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Going off message

Posted on November 21, 2011 by

An alert viewer draws attention to an interesting historical curio in the Scotsman today. It's a letter to the paper from Labour MSP Hugh Henry, dating from a few days after the 2011 Holyrood election, in which he rejects the idea of an early independence referendum in the most unambiguous of terms:

"Mr Salmond and the SNP clearly stated that any referendum would be held later in the life of this parliament. That's what many Scots voted for, that's what gave Mr Salmond his majority and that's the mandate which the SNP has."

Henry isn't exactly a radical dissident in Scottish Labour – he was Education Minister and Deputy Justice Minister in the second Lab-Lib coalition administration, and was mainstream enough to be the party's nomination for Presiding Officer earlier this year. In the light of Labour's recent threats to back the Westminster government in forcing an earlier UK-controlled referendum over the Scottish Parliament's head, it would be interesting to find out if his position is the same now as it was six months ago.

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