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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  • kashmiri

    Observer missions aren’t free – someone always has to foot the bill, and here it would be the UK as the requesting member. Are we sure London will be willing to?

  • John McLeod

    This is an important initiative. It is vital to get these arrangements in place before the referendum begins. I have signed the petition. It is also necessary to mobilise the resources of the Electoral Commission (EC). Although its response to previous electoral abuses has been disappointing, it does have the capacity to issue stop notices that require campaign parties from persisiting in unlawful activities. One action that I think could be within EC powers, would be to require campaign groups to report donations in real time on their websites (at present, larger donations are recorded by EC and reported on their website, but only after a delay).


    After seeing the cheating in the last vote where YES voting forms were in the NO piles, I think there should be independent people there watching them.

  • Lorna Smedley-Hardy

    Scotland needs surveillance of these events. Sky news filmed Ruth Davidson placing yes votes in No boxes. When sky was approached they said they did not have the footage. That is a lie. So you know where their allegiances lie.
    The fact is that Westminster is so underhand is because it is shitless at losing all Scotlands resources. They have done it from the Act of Union. What does Scotland have in abundance water.

  • Jacqueline Bain

    We want an i independent country. We’re feel that as an ancient nation we have a right to be independent. For centuries our history has been written for us, not by us!
    This was the case for our 2014 referendum.
    The establishment and media, owned by foreigners, had their own agenda. We were fed lies and false information. We are used to doing our own research, but how can we, the ordinary people of Scotland compete with the money spent by these people?
    We don’t want to hate or indoctrinate. We’re not xenophobic and we are actually welcoming to all who want to make Scotland home.
    We simply want our ancient nation to be free and independent. What is wrong with that?
    We. Want democracy. What’s wrong with that?
    We need the world to ensure our referendum is fair. Wee need impartial observers to protect us.

    Please help

  • Conspiranoid

    Three visits to 10 Downing and netanyahu was unable to breach the Chrstian defences of preachers daughter Teresa May, but yesterdays single visit to bojo left him completely off balanced. Just what information on bojo is held by mossad, the indyref2 mob would love to also use it.

    • michael norton

      Think back to a time when Boris Johnson was Foreign Secretary, 13 July 2016 – 9 July 2018,
      during that time the Secretary of State for International Development was Priti Patel, Boris’s current Home Secretary.
      On 3 November 2017, the BBC’s Diplomatic correspondent James Landale broke the news that Priti Patel had held meetings in Israeli held Golan in August 2017.

      • Sharp Ears

        That is when she lied and said she was on her holidays. She was relieved of her post then but is back in favour. I expect she shook Bibi’s bloodied hand in No 10.

    • giyane


      If you remember , both Cameron and May had a visit from or visited Erdogan within weeks of becoming PM. Both of them sold their everlasting souls for something and now the Oaf wants to prove something.

      Hevpraised Al Qaida in the HoC last year and supported the Skripal scam against Russia.
      Yesterday’s visit from the enemy of peace in the middle east probably told him he had to hand over his baton immediately to Pritti Patel.
      To which BoJo obviously replied
      ” Who’s going to buy my everlasting soul now ?”

      Dave’ll just have to squeeze up in the gypsy caravan.

  • Ian

    You’re still working on the old models of elections, and ignoring the copious evidence and painstaking research that journalists and data scientists have been undertaking. Old media are a small part of the picture. Digital is the proven means of manipulating and achieving results. But you persist in believing that it some kind of weird, conspiracy theory, when the evidence is profuse. We don’t have the laws to address this situation, based as they are on pre-digital era. What a pity a lot of people don’t understand it – which is exactly how it is much more likely to be persuasive. Remember, they don’t need to persuade a majority of people, just the small amount who will make the difference. And they are very good at targeting them. That is the whole point. And you won’t even see the ads and campaigns they put out, they will be invisible to most.

  • Sharp Ears

    Gina Miller et all have lost their case in the High Court. An appeal against the judgement will go to the Supreme Court on 17th September.

    Boris Johnson’s prorogation of parliament attacked in court
    Lawyers for anti-Brexit campaigner Gina Miller call PM’s action an unlawful ‘abuse of power’

    Where is the law? ‘Wherever the law ends, tyranny begins ‘ etc
    John Locke. 29 August 1632 – 28 October 1704

  • Mr V

    Seeing extra shit media coverage on votes this week (where half of the throng glossed over mophead losses in parliament and as usual focused on blaming Corbyn for everything they could think of) what UK needs is not only observers on every vote, but also forced re-nationalization of the more rabid right-wing tubes (especially owned by certain foreign scum) plus much stricter media laws, period. Democracy is a farce when half of the electorate tries to make decision based of pile of shyte, as they say in IT, garbage in, garbage out…

  • Colin S Urquhart

    Suspicions were aroused in 2014. It is important that the highest level of umpiring is in place.

  • Glasshopper

    Scottish nationalists would likely win a second ref. They would definitely lose the inevitable 3rd though.

    • Hatuey

      I doubt that Scottish nationalists would win a second referendum. The truth is I don’t know any Scottish nationalists… there doesn’t seem to be many up here.

      I think the Scottish people increasingly want to separate themselves from the diabolical and perverse regime in London though and they could easily win an independence referendum.

      • Glasshopper

        Agreed. They’d win a second. And lose the third. And the third is hard wired into the second.

        Which is why many in the UK don’t want a second EU ref.

        You still don’t get it?

        • Hatuey

          No I get it, I just think it wrong and inappropriate when applied to Scotland.

          I think the pro-unionist argument and camp would collapse completely after independence and most of them would want to forget their role in trying to prevent it as quickly as possible.

  • Mist001

    It’s all academic now, because it looks like Scotland isn’t going to have a referendum any time soon. Going by Sturgeons statements, she wanted a referendum held in late 2020. She has also made crystal clear that she won’t hold any referendum without obtaining a section 30 order beforehand.

    It’s being reported this morning that as I forecast here two nights ago, the SNP are going to jump into bed with Labour to push back the date of the next GE to November. I think I’m making an accurate guess here by saying that a section 30 order will have been discussed and will have been promised as part of this arrangement to be handed to the SNP in the event of Labour winning the next GE.

    The thing is and again it’s just my opinion, although my opinion is widely shared, that it doesn’t matter when a GE is held, Labour are going to lose. Sturgeon simply MUST know this too. If Labour lose the next GE, then Sturgeon won’t get her section 30 order, it’s that simple.

    So, why would you do such a deal when you knew beforehand that you were likely not to achieve the intended outcome?

    By jumping into bed with Labour, she can’t go begging to Boris for the section 30 because that would mean supporting Brexit, the very thing she’s spent to past three years trying to stop.

    Sturgeon knows all this, if she is so naive to think otherwise, then she shouldn’t be leader.

    Again as I said the other night, my belief is that independence is being sabotaged from the inside and for me, this is clear vindication that this is the case. Sturgeon is stitching Scotland up by talking about independence to keep the cult happy and the money flowing in. That’s what it’s all about. It’s not about independence now.

  • Sharp Ears

    Ms Fiona Bruce, the ubiquitous newsreader/presenter of multiple shows on the state broadcasting channel, aka Mrs Nigel Sharrocks (look him up) kept trying to shut down Ian Blackford on last night’s QT. She is like the Head Girl manqué. She attended the International School in Milan and then Haberdashers’ Aske’s Hatcham College* in London.

    The panel – Richard Tice Brexit party, Iain Dale LBC, Layla Moran LD, Emily Thornberry Lab, Kwasi Kwarteng Con.

    * formerly a grammar school, then a comp, now one of Mr Gove’s Academies.

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      I am entirely scunnered that the SNP continues to participate in this Menthorn Media farce. Better to boycott and issue a clear press statement laying out the reasons why. And Gawd knows there’s abundant evidence to cite.

      • Hatuey

        They have messed up. They could have made demands of the rebel alliance. They could have demanded legislation was rushed through for a section 30 in the next few days or threatened to facilitate an election on the 15th.

        The Tories would have given us the section 30 on the basis that we facilitate an election on the 15th.

        I understand the logic of what they plan. But plans don’t always go as planned, do they…

        It wouldn’t surprise any of us to see the Lib-Dems enter into a pact with the Tories (again) and see the SNP plans go down the drain. Or maybe the Tory rebels will be enticed back into the Tory fold.

        Lest we forget, the Lib-Dems and Labour have done absolutely nothing towards facilitating an independence referendum for Scotland. These self-proclaimed lovers of democracy and liberty have not only refused to acknowledge the indy mandate but they have denied it exists. If we were honest, we’d admit this whole anti-brexit campaign is premised on the denial of democracy.

        Be in no doubt, our comrades in the alliance are unprincipled losers and how the SNP can trust any of them is beyond my understanding. I’m sure we will get screwed yet again.

        Great TV though.

  • Sharp Ears

    The signatures on the petition have more than doubled since yesterday. Now numbering 5,510..

  • Andrew Sloane

    Signed and shared.

    In other news, the rightard press is going somewhat ballistic at Johnson’s failure to deliver Brexit. In what must be Comment of the Year, someone on the Daily Mail website opined, ‘We need her Majesty to intervene, as this is undemocratic!’.

    Oh, my aching ribs…..

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