Having dealt with the matter of the relationship between the Yes movement and the SNP in an earlier article, I should probably address Carolyn Leckie’s ‘sage advices’ on the matter of when the new referendum should be held. At least this gives me the opportunity to heartily agree with one point that she makes.
I suspect the main reason why Ruth Davidson, Richard Leonard and Willie Rennie are so hostile to a referendum during this parliamentary term is because they fear defeat. They rate their chances of ousting the SNP from power at Holyrood higher than their chances of winning a second No vote.
Absolutely correct! And one of the reasons I find the position taken by Pete (Wishart) and the Postponers so unacceptable. The idea of indefinitely delaying the referendum feeds all too neatly into the British parties’ anti-democratic campaign to deny Scotland’s right of self-determination.
Of course, they would never admit that they want to deny the people of Scotland a right guaranteed by no less than the Charter of the United Nations. The British parties don’t do that kind of honesty. Instead, they will simply keep on insisting that “now is not the time”. An assertion for which the very determined could find expedient justification at any time. Which means that it is effectively identical to the argument for indefinite delay being peddled so vigorously by Pete and the Postponers.
The difference – and pretty much the only difference – between the anti-democratic British Nationalists and Pete Wishart is that, while he still supposes there might be a new referendum at some undefined time in the future, Ruth Davidson, Richard Leonard and Willie Rennie) are determined that the referendum be postponed until such time as the British government, to which they give total allegiance, has implemented measures to ensure that a new referendum is impossible and/or unwinnable.
On this matter, uniquely, I am prepared to ‘trust’ the British parties. I have not the slightest doubt that, given the time and space Pete and the Postponers wish to afford them, the British political elite will introduce new impediments to the exercise of our democratic rights. They will,over the period between now and the next Holyrood elections, take action to eliminate the threat of democratic dissent and eradicate Scotland’s distinctive political identity.
Like Pete Wishart, Carolyn Leckie seems to be prepared to gamble that they won’t. She seems ready to bet Scotland’s future on the hope that the British state will turn out to be more benign than all its history and Scotland’s experience suggests. She’s content to delay the referendum trusting that the British state will play nice and forego the opportunity offered by Brexit to unilaterally rewrite the devolution settlement redefining Scotland’s status within a political union ‘reformed’ without any reference to the people of Scotland or our elected representatives. She’s prepared to take the chance that maybe the British state won’t seek to satisfy its long-standing imperative to lock Scotland into the Union.
The British parties in Scotland don’t just rate their chances of seizing control of Holyrood in 2021, they regard it as a racing certainty. It is what they are planning for. They know that they only have to erode a relatively tiny part of the SNP vote to be in a position to oust them – even if this involves forming a ‘Grand Coalition’ of Unionist parties in order to do so. They know that they can rely on help from the British media and the rest of the British establishment. They know that, in addition to the delegitimising and disempowering of the Scottish Parliament that has already begun, there will be a campaign of smears, distortions, scaremongering and lies such as to make Project Fear look honest and principled by comparison.
They don’t just hope to oust the SNP in 2021, they aim to do so by whatever means they deem necessary. They expect to put an end to Scotland’s dream well before then. But the next Scottish Parliament elections are intended to be the ultimate subordination of Scotland. The final solution to the Scottish problem. The realisation of a ‘One Nation’ British state that will last a thousand years. Greater England at last!
Either Postponers such as Carolyn Leckie and Pete Wishart are unaware of the threat to Scotland’s democratic institutions, political culture and public services; or they are in denial about the jeopardy in which our nation finds itself; or they are naive enough to imagine the British state will now, all of a sudden, start to show Scotland the respect that it never has shown in all the centuries since this benighted Union was foisted upon us. Whichever it is, we heed their ‘sage advices’ at our peril.
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