So, it saddens me that arch-unionist Hamish McDonnell feels the need to imply that there is some sort of gerrymandering going on, by using loaded language to describe the measure, such as:
"...in an attempt to maximise nationalist support for the break-up of Britain..."
"...just one of a number of schemes the SNP leadership is working on to maximise their chances in a referendum."
Why can't the guy just report the facts, instead of having to put his unionist spin on it? This paragraph in particular just screams out "IT'S A FIX!!!!!!!!!!1111111111oneoneonewunwunwun":
Alex Salmond has made it clear that he intends to use his majority in the Scottish Parliament to drive through a new, lower voting age for the referendum because he knows that younger Scots are generally more nationalistic than their older counterparts.
I'd like to see when and where Alex Salmond "made it clear" that he was doing this just because younger voters tend to be more nationalistic. I suspect this is Hamish being his usual self. Shame on you, Hamish. Shamish?
On a similar note, the Express is reporting that Big Eck is thinking of having a second question on the referendum, and telling us that this is the SNP "wavering". We then have FAILED outgoing Labour leader Iain Gray and DISGRACED ex-Tory leader David "Taxi For" McLetchie telling us that this is the SNP admitting they won't win the referendum and that they're trying to move away from independence. What utter rubbish. McLetchie is particularly revealing about the disdain he holds for the Scottish electorate:
“By offering this option, Alex Salmond is depriving Scotland of the decisive answer it requires.”
No David, by offering this option, the SNP are allowing the people of Scotland to vote for what they actually want. Polls show that support for independence, increased powers within the union and the status quo are split roughly equally. With that in mind, it's pretty sensible to offer people the full range of options so they can properly tell us what they want. Otherwise, you get a situation like the AV referendum, where people were being asked to vote for a false choice, as many (like myself) were really wanting to vote in favour of PR, but this option was not on the table. In a straight choice between independence and the status quo, many people may vote for the status quo when really they do want increased powers, but not to the extent of independence.
This is about saying to the voters "it's your referendum, so we're giving you the choices you want to vote for". McLetchie, in his unflagging support for the union in its current guise, would prefer to deny a large proportion of the electorate the option they truly want. Such actions do not bring people towards your own point of view - they're more likely to push them away. Think about next time you're hailing a taxi, David.