THE news that Labour MSP James Kelly wants to introduce a 50% turnout barrier on any future independence referendum is another blow for democracy from this party.

Many readers will remember the 40% rule imposed by Labour MPs on the 1979 Scottish devolution referendum, which meant that although more people voted for a devolved parliament than against, the requirement of 40% of the electorate voting in favour meant we had to wait 20 years for our devolved parliament. During that 20 years Scotland’s economy was destroyed by Thatcher as the Feeble Fifty Labour MPs stood by doing nothing but collecting expenses and creating comfortable lives for themselves.

READ MORE: Labour plan to ‘wreck’ indyref2 compared to notorious 40 percent rule

The 40% rule had never been used before or since – it was a travesty to democracy. This new move by Kelly falls into the same category – an attempt to treat Scottish voters differently, a move to silence opposition to British nationalism. If anything highlights why no-one in Scotland should vote Labour then it is this.

Instead of trying to subvert democracy in Scotland (I note Labour have even mentioned this rule for any future EU referendum!) maybe Mr Kelly would be better employed trying to negate the sectarianism that has been unleashed in football grounds by his move to repeal the Offensive Behaviour at Football Act. He seems to have gone very quiet on all the trouble his actions have caused.

Cllr Kenny MacLaren