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.


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

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    • N_

      Is the reason you want a fair count

      1) so that the SNP is more likely to win? or
      2) so that both sides can accept the result and shut the f*** up afterwards about having a further referendum asking the same

      Note: 2) applies especially to independence supporters.

        • N_

          You sound for all the world like a Trump supporter shouting “fake news” or a Zionist shouting “Jerusalem is the eternal and indivisible capital of Israel”. Look at the referendum result, at voting results since, and at recent polling, and revise your understanding of stuff.

  • N_

    Breaking news

    Rumour has it that the Benn bill requiring the prime minister to ask for a Brexit extension will not receive royal assent on Monday, and will therefore not become law, ostensibly because the queen is too ill.

    • nevermind

      Breaking News. Wales to be cut off from all budgets and services due to Marxist influences sweeping through the population like a bad rash. The Governments says it will be blowing over and all will be fine for a hard Brexit next Monday.

    • N_

      Bear in mind that the queen gave Boris Johnson the OK for Parliament to be prorogued from as early as Monday.

      She may well do a “Challenor”/”Ernest Saunders”/”Pinochet”.

      On Monday they could run it like this:

      * let people think the bill will receive royal assent
      * oh dear, she is ill – she’s 93, you know – so it won’t be getting royal assent today
      * parliament has been prorogued, everyone! – and the document said Boris could prorogue from this date
      * sorry – under the “ladder in the Beefeater’s tights” convention, there can’t be any “assent” when Parliament is prorogued

  • RandomComment

    I happen to agree with Farage when he says that democracy requires the losers’ consent. It has to be so, if you believe in the concept. Ofc, assuming fair circumstances and impartial adjudicators.

  • Donald McGregor

    Thousands attend Saturdays All under one banner March in Perth; senior SNP attendance, flagged in advance for the first time that I can remember; absolutely no BBC website report but plenty of coverage for a few hundred people marching in Glasgow for Ireland and being shouted at.
    We are going to be ignored it seems, as one method of killing the spark.

  • Hugh Allan

    Westminster government can not be trusted to hold a fair referendum? There has in the past been numerous occasions of interfering to got there preferred outcome! Therefore we must have in place numerous observers from a neutral country,

  • Alan Hendry

    I am all in favour of our referendum voting and counting to be scrutinised. I am of the opinion that our last Independence referendum was interfered by and that the result was rigged by Westminster in order for us to remain in the UK

    • N_

      As I understand it, as of 10.30pm the “Benn bill” has not yet received royal assent. (Check its progress here at the Parliamentary website).

      The order that Boris Johnson, Eugenics Cummings and others hand over the emails and communications they sent and received regarding No Deal planning and prorogation is a biggie. Rumour is that sooner or later – and it could be very soon – a foreign power is going to start to be mentioned in this context.

      Any movement on who funded Cummings’s three years of business activities in Russia after he graduated from Oxford?

      • N_

        Am I mistaken in what I just wrote about the Benn bill? The Daily Mirror wrote 7 hours ago that it has received royal assent. If so, has someone got a link to the relevant declaration “la reine la veult”?

  • Pauline lindsay

    We need protected from the unscrupulous!
    We need a true count with no intervention or cheating
    We need honesty and openness
    There was far too many reports of dodgy goings on at the last referendum

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    Commission for Countering Extremism, set up by PM May after the Manchester Area bombing has managed to shoehorn “violent, left wing extremism” into its remit.
    Paper written by academics prominent in the false, anti-Semitic campaign against Corbyn, refers to the far left promotion of “violent extremists tactics”

    When, IMHO, the Johnson Government is elected in mid-November with a working majority and a Conservative Party purged of any socially liberal elements, Home Secretary Priti Patel will run and run with this.

  • CATHERINE Clark-Holman

    The current voting system is still run by IDOX, a Tory run company. It has proven in the past that it cannot be trusted. We need serious change in the voting system and tight security.
    Not only that, even though there was video evidence of voter tampering, nothing was really done about it. This has to change, the law must be upheld and seen to be upheld.

  • Andrea Mckirdy

    I have no doubt that this is necessary. In 2014 so many rules were broken by the No side . We were cheated and threatened and lied to. Scotland has very little reason to remain in this abusive union. UK elite are ruthless…….

  • Jack coll

    It is incredible that Scotland does not yet, even today, have the widespread Right to determine their own political future. Even more incredible is that a neighbouring country, with this Right, consistently blocks Scotlands efforts to achieve parity.

  • Teresa Pieraccini

    I agree and support Scotland right to gain independence …therefore I support this petition to demand outside observers to oversee and monitor media coverage of Indyref 2.

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