A qualifier is a word which comes after a sentance to give it meaning.
Have you ever asked yourself why unionists say the words “Once in a generation” but never quote the actual sentence as it was said, namely: “Once in a generation OPPORTUNITY”. There’s a good reason for this, and it’s the literal definition of the word “opportunity”.
Opportunity – “a time or set of circumstances that make it possible to do something”.
Or put simply, the “opportunity” to do something is dependant on the time and/or the set of circumstances. If these change, then the opportunity arises again.
We’re no longer in 2014 and the UK that existed then (the circumstances prevailing at the time) no longer exists. In other words, both have changed, therefore there is now another opportunity to hold a referendum.
The phrase once in a generation was not some vow to lock the people of Scotland into constitutional purgatory and deny them the fundamental right to vote on their own constitutional future – the word “opportunity” was a qualifying warning to the UK Government – if Scotland votes no and you continue to screw us after all of your promises, we’re going to revisit this question. “Once in a generation opportunity” was a warning, not acquiescence to continuing abuse at the hands of the UK Government.
Here’s another phrase for the UK Government – Buckle up folks! It’s going to be a bumpy ride!