“ONE way or another,” Labour MP John Home Robertson advised the House of Commons on March 1, 1983, “Scotland is going to get its own assembly. He and his fellow Labour MPs, he warned, would cause procedural disruption in the next Parliament if an assembly was not forthcoming. Mr Home Robertson asked leave to introduce an assembly bill - essentially the 1978 Scotland Act with new revenue and tax-raising powers but without clauses relating to the 1979 referendum - but was unsuccessful. “The Scottish nation,” he added, “is still waiting for its wish to be carried out.”

Pressure for an assembly continued to grow, however, and in March 1984, five years after the referendum and one year after Mr Home Robertson’s speech, the Campaign for a Scottish Assembly staged a midnight-to-dawn vigil at the doors of the former Royal High School in Edinburgh, which had once been earmarked as the home of an assembly. The Conservatives excepted, all the major political parties took part. A declaration signed by 140 supporters, demanding that the government deliver the Devolution Act to Scotland, was handed into St Andrew’s House. Watched by security guards, the demonstrators used a large symbolic key try to ‘unlock’ the gates. Among those in the picture are campaign chairman Jim Boyack and secretary Valerie Marshall, and representatives of Labour, the SNP, the Liberals and the SDP.

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