I can assume that my public pronouncements on the subject of a referendum mean that I am clearly counted when the Nat Whip Brain Adam says:
"Mike Rumbles said he wanted the party to decide their policy - a party in which we know many members favour a referendum, as do the vast majority of Lib Dem voters."
Now while I am counted in the many, of the party, from the number of our voters I have met the vast majority have not given any preferred stance on this issue. Indeed it has never been a issue that any who have expressed a preference for the Lib Dems have proffered as one of their top three concerns.
However, the tactical side of me would suggest that looking at the First Minister's handling (or lack of) of the impending recession now is just the time to call a referendum if you wanted to maintain the Union. My reasoning being that in times of crisis people tend to stay to the status quo rather than take a risk on change. Therefore to volunteer to shelve it is actually a brave step that the battle will still be won when things have stabilised.
I also notice that rather ironically Jeff is abiding by the UK Government's predictions of when the recession will be over. Of course that is one of the most optimistic predictions, mid-2009 didn't I just read yesterday that deflation would be at it's worse in September. Also this belief in Labour propaganda is surprising for someone who has attacked them for having myopia on a number of issues (including the economy).
However, give Jeff his due he does agree that there is no appetite for a referendum right now. Something I said on Saturday while backing John Farquhar Munro's call to not shy away from a referendum is that unlike last summer when Mike Rumbles stood on the party deciding the policy there are more pressing policy considerations to be taken right now. Something the Nats seem to have forgotten in their pursuit of the one goal that identifies them.
I'm glad that Tavish has clarified that he isn't against a referendum just sees that the time is not before 2011. The Nats can moan all they like about be obstructed at every turn but they'll need to do something about something that really matters.
*SNP Tactical Voting (in case you're not a MacBlogosphere follower)