Amazing story this, as it goes to show how far the powers that be actually trust the people (i.e. not at all). Now the SNP have the most SMPs, but no majority, everyone has started saying that they don’t have a mandate for a referendum on independence.
‘the Liberal Democrats also dismissed the chance of a coalition deal unless the nationalists dropped their demand for a referendum on independence the centrepiece of their manifesto.’
But so what. You don’t need a mandate for a referendum. The point is that the referendum is the mandate for any action. The people could say yes, or say no, and it would be up to them to decide on independence.
In fact, if and when a deal is done the SNP coalition could enact laws that it doesn’t have a mandate for, unless by some good luck these ideas were in the manifesto of all those in the coalition. And these laws would have definite real impacts (i.e. make immediate real changes) whereas the referendum needs to be endorsed by the people first.
Furthermore, lots of governments do things that they don’t have a mandate for (via a manifesto/election) nor have they consulted the people on (with a referendum). If it was up to me, we’d have lots of referendums, to decide those big and sometimes irreversible decisions on which the government have not yet consulted us. Do the government not trust us?