Petition for Official International Observers for Next Scottish Independence Referendum 501

Please sign the petition

This UK Government cannot be trusted to behave democratically. We have seen that in the prorogation of the Westminster Parliament and in tricks like not providing tellers to count votes against an amendment, causing it to pass. Ian Blackford, SNP leader at Westminster, described Boris Johnson as behaving “like a dictator, not a democrat”.

It is highly likely that the Scottish people will shortly be voting on whether to become an independent nation again. It is essential that process be scrutinised by formal international invigilation, to make sure the conduct of the referendum is fair.

Please sign the petition for international observers to the next Scottish Indyref. Only the UK government can request an OSCE observer mission (it must be a current member state that asks), therefore the petition must be addressed to Westminster, not to Holyrood.

The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, through its Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, is the organisation specifically charged with monitoring democratic processes in Europe, and in which the UK government is an active participant in monitoring other countries’ elections.

Not only will the OSCE send a large team to observe the conduct of the campaign and physical balloting and counting process, they will send an advance team of experts with international experience in monitoring media bias in campaign situations, with a particular emphasis on state media. These experts will produce a careful and scientific quantitative and qualitative analysis of the extent of media bias, and this analysis will be presented to all the member states of the Organisation of Security and Cooperation in Europe. The very presence of the international monitoring team will be a strong deterrent to bad media behaviour, and will boost public confidence in the process.

In the 2014 referendum there was massive anti-Independence bias through all the privately owned media and also, blatantly and demonstrably, within the BBC.

There was a crucial and highly significant breaking of the rules of the referendum when the Unionist parties combined to issue the (since spectacularly broken) promises of “The Vow” during the official purdah period of the last week. Suspicion was attached by many to some extraordinarily high postal vote turnouts in certain localities. All events of this kind would be subject to real time scrutiny were an OSCE observer mission present.

We are frequently told by the government that, when it comes to their programmes of mass surveillance of the population, “if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear”. Those who wish to claim that it is axiomatic that both the media coverage and the physical process of an Independence referendum would be fair, have nothing to fear from OSCE scrutiny. It is an organisation of which the UK is a contributing member anyway, so there are no grounds to objection to its monitoring.

The OSCE handbook on the media monitoring they will undertake is well worth reading and gives a valuable insight into how thorough they are. They do not just measure crudely the amount of time given to each side. They assess the quality of coverage of each side, the inferences and body language of the presenters. They look at the legal, institutional and ownership framework in which journalists operate and the pressures on them to self-censor, as opposed to just considering whether there is formal state censorship.

It is essential that all sides in a future Independence referendum have trust in the fairness of the process. There is every reason to believe that British state institutions, including both the BBC and the Electoral Commission, need to be subjected to outside scrutiny.

Wherever you are in the UK, and whatever your stance on Scottish Independence, please sign and support this petition for strengthening confidence in the fairness of democratic process. The restoring of Scottish Independence and the break-up of the UK state is a major step; it is essential that the process involved in the decision is accepted by all as fair.

Obviously an observer mission takes some time to organise and needs to be in place right from the start of any campaign period, or even before. Like all international organisations, the OSCE’s processes take some time to agree between members. Therefore it is essential to launch this petition now rather than wait until a referendum is called.


501 thoughts on “Petition for Official International Observers for Next Scottish Independence Referendum

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  • TonyT12

    I wish I could vote SNP in our constituency, but we leave in one of the outer boroughs of London.

    Iain Dale on LBC tried his darndest this evening to skewer an SNP MP on his phone-in for not voting through Johnson’s general election, but he got nowhere.

    An open goal. Who would trust Johnson a millimetre? Give him one millimetre, and he’ll go wherever he wants. Johnson stated unequivocally this afternoon that he will not follow through on this week’s legislation, so who believes for one second he would stick to any agreement or convention component in a General Election undertaking based on his word.

    Boris Johnson’s brother must know him better than many, and even he has been forced to put up with no more of the nonsense.

    Long live SNP!

  • Ian Loney

    100% behind this initiative, the next Scottish referendum needs to be conducted in a fair and unbiased manner. Monitored by a trusted observer.

  • remember kronstadt

    this voting malarkey is quite simple – unless the count exceeds the electorate let the committed win. vote early, vote often.

  • N_

    If the SNP wants to win tactical votes from Labour supporters in Stirling and Gordon who are tempted to vote for them as the party that is best placed to beat the Tories, they would be well-advised not to shout too loud that they plan to treat every vote they receive as a vote for UDI or even for mere independence 🙂

  • Sharp Ears

    5th September 2019

    The Alex Salmond Show moves away from this week’s political pyrotechnics at Westminster to discuss international economic trends. In the first of a three part series on the economy, Alex interviews one of the world’s leading Keynesian economists, Professor David Blanchflower of Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, to discuss the economic backdrop against which the Brexit drama is being played out. Professor Blanchflower warns that an economic storm is blowing in…


  • Dungroanin

    What a great idea.
    Every major election should be equally monitored. That is how democracy can be equal in every place that claims to be democratic.

    If there is nothing to hide why not be transparent and expect everyone else to be?

    Like a kitemark. A badge of honour. A … Royal Seal?

    Can we call them in for the next general election? As a test?

  • Deb O'Nair

    I’ve recently been perusing the BBC’s output to see how it has been reporting on the Johnson fiasco, imagine my shock and horror (sarcasm) when I saw that right across their output they were in damage-limitation-maximum-overdrive.

    As a minor example I just heard Kirsty Wark on Newsnight stating that it was the “perceived tradition that it is the duty of the opposition to accept a GE when offered” by the government. Anyone that has a passing understanding of the FTPA 2011 knows that the legislation is only 8 years old and the provision for calling for a GE has never been invoked until Wednesday, so where could this “perceived tradition” have been established. As for “duty of the opposition to accept a GE when offered”, there is no such duty define in the Act. Complete and utter bullshit – this is how low the BBC have sunk; literally making it up so that they can sit there and bash Corbyn and Labour.

    The brazen and ridiculous level of news manipulation by the BBC has even been noted by FT journalist.

    A major factor in the disastrous state of politics in the UK is the willful dishonesty and blatant political bias across the corporate media, however the BBC is publicly funded and has a charter which explicitly states that it must be impartial and unbiased. How can that be squared against the outrageous misrepresentation that they have engaged in over the last couple of days?

    • Jo1

      Yep, Kuennsberg was almost tearful reporting on today’s events.

      Camilla Tominey took the biscuit tho’, on a NN panel later. She said Johnson had had a very bad few days and we needed to remember he was new to the job….blah…blah.

      Imagine had it been Corbyn. She’d have crucified him! Andrea Jenkyns declared Johnson was brave to throw those rebels out and lambasted Major as a hypocrite. She was jolly cross!

  • Dungroanin

    Even as tonight we are closer to their last throw of the dice – a move to let the boisterous Government and its bad boys and girls to crash and burn to set up the call for a gnu with the excuse of the new bennites and fattened leach like libdems – it is important not to let a slip happen between cup and lip. The SNP in parliament are the deciders of what happens next as the second largest opposition party. Democracy on our terms or THEIRS.

    If anybody believes in prayer now is the time.

  • giyane

    At a time that senior moderate Tory MPs have been removed from their jobs , to be replaced by more Zionist friendly candidates at the behest of the oaf who met the foe today,
    we in England need impartial observers for the forthcoming election, not just you in Scotland.

    All fascists hate it when journalists reveal their lies. That’s the definition of a fascist.
    In Kurdistan armed gangsters March into the polling booths and dump container loads of pro oligarch voting slips.

    Nobody in the UK will ever vote for Johnson after this regime Change. People at work are saying that he is justified because politicians have taken too long dithering over Brexit.

    I would have thought that even the d immest of them would have worked out that it was the Tory ERG that voted against May’s Withdrawal Agreement. The same ERG that is kicking out MPs that did vote for it..

    In other words the one who is accusing others of scuppering Brexit is the one who is the most guilty of it. Working class brain is incapable of rational thought so they will probably vote for the pit bull with the biggest lies.

  • Node

    As well as making sure there is no cheating during the election, we should use the waiting time to ensure there is no cheating after Independence either.

    A panel of trusted academics (perhaps assembled and led by a trusted ex-diplomat who knows the devious ways of governments), should begin immediately devising a constitution that is specifically designed to resist corruption and outside pressure. A very good start would be to compel every politician in high office to subject themselves to monthly live broadcast questioning by members of the public chosen from the willing by lottery.

    The panel would also be tasked with designing an electoral system that was fraud proof. Internet voting controlled by open source software based on block chain verification, perhaps.

    Get these measures in place before the referendum is called and it would swing the vote massively in favour of YES. Scots would not only be voting for independence, they would be voting to leave behind the traditional vices of Western democracy.

    Let’s not free ourselves of Westminster, just to be ruled by a clone of it.

  • Petra

    Well thanks for that. I’m signed up and I’m hoping that this will actually come to pass and will result in our Scottish bunch of media degenaretes sh*tting themselves for six months plus. In fact let’s monitor them during that period. Suffice to say that they’ll have nothing to say or write about. On a positive note it will prepare them, in particular the BBC, for removing themselves from our forthcoming Independent Scotland. And, eh, we won’t forget those employed by the Scottish media who tried, against all odds, to tell the bl**dy truth. You’ll get a job. We’ll make sure of it especially as there will be hundreds of vacancies to choose from.

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