Empty choices


This ‘People’s Vote’ campaign is almost as nonsensical as Brexit. A referendum is the crudest of democratic instruments. It’s an axe, not a scalpel. It is only useful for binary choices where the two options are distinct, discrete and deliverable.

The 2014 independence referendum was disastrous for Scotland, not only because of the failure to secure a Yes vote, but because the implications of a No vote were all but totally unspecified. Nobody knew what a No vote meant. It was defined only as ‘Not Yes’. The No campaign was never properly scrutinised. In fact, it was barely examined. The media failed to ask any meaningful questions of Better Together or the British parties or the UK Government. They declined to challenge any of the lies, smears, threats or empty promises.

Initially, a No vote was supposed to be a vote for the status quo. But this quickly changed when the dullards running Better Together realised that this was by far the least popular option. The meaning of a No vote then became fluid. Pretty much anybody on the anti-independence side could make any claim about what would follow from a No vote. This culminated in ‘The Vow’. Within the space of less than 18 months a No vote had gone from meaning ‘no change’ to promising massive constitutional reform.

It has since become clear that the No vote was sold on a totally false prospectus. How could it be otherwise? An option which can mean anything inevitably means nothing. A No vote was effectively a vote to let the British political elite decide what you’d just voted for. It gave the British state a licence to do as it pleased with Scotland. They’d been handed a ballot that was marked with a cross but otherwise blank. They were left to fill in the details in whatever way suited them. So they’ve decided that a No vote was a vote to roll back devolution and tack forward the ‘One Nation’ British Nationalist project.

Much the same thing happened with the EU referendum. The implications of a Leave vote were never properly explored. The Brexiteers were never seriously interrogated. Not only were their plans afforded no scrutiny, for the most part they weren’t even asked if they had any plans. Once again, the mainstream media failed shamefully in its duty to inform and explain.

A Leave vote in the EU referendum ended up being an unspecified choice in much the same way as a No vote in Scotland’s first independence referendum. What ensued is a farce inside a fiasco wrapped in a bourach as the British political elite squabbles over what should fill the empty vessel of Leave and fails abysmally to find anything that will actually fit.

Now, we have this campaign for a ‘People’s Vote’. Which sounds very worthy. But which actually means only that they want to use the UK electorate as a big fist to force something into that empty vessel regardless of whether it fits or not. The very fact that it proposes three options is evidence enough of the idiocy of this campaign. Idiocy which only grows more profound as one realises that none of the three options can be anything like as tightly defined as the blunt instrument of a referendum absolutely requires.

Quite apart from the rather obvious inanity of having two Leave options and one Remain option, nobody can possibly say with any certainty what any of these options would mean in practice. Because it won’t be the voters who ultimately decide the outcome. It will be the EU. At best, people can only be voting for what they imagine is the option which comes closest to what they hope for.

A vote for the UK Government’s Leave ‘deal’ – supposing one is ever agreed – isn’t a vote for an outcome. At best, it is a vote for a negotiating position which is liable to change depending on which faction of the British political elite has the upper hand at any given time. A negotiating position which, furthermore, has already been largely rejected by the EU or is subject to severe reservations.

A vote for Leave with no ‘deal’ is even more of a mystery bundle. Although the revolting stench coming off it strongly hints at the unpleasant nature of what lies beneath the layers of packaging.

Even a Remain vote cannot be defined. Supposing it is possible to revoke Article 50 and abandon the entire Brexit mess, would this restore the status quo ante? Or might the EU impose terms? Is there the political will among the British political elite to implement such a decision? And what if Remain ‘wins’ but without an absolute majority? Pick your permutation of problematic poll results. How about 35% Remain; 35% Leave with ‘deal’; 30% Leave without ‘deal’. What is the will of the electorate?

And even in the highly improbably event that the ‘People’s Vote’ did give a clear result, what if that result serves only to confirm and emphasise the democratic deficit inherent in the Union? What if, once again, it’s a Leave vote in England and Wales outweighing a decisive Remain vote in Scotland? Nothing is resolved. We’re back where we started.

Brexit can’t be fixed. That’s the bottom line. It simply cannot be sorted. There is no way to make it OK. The only way that Scotland can avoid being dragged down by Brexit is to cease being part of the UK. The Scottish Government must initiate the process of dissolving the Union as a matter of extreme urgency.

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6 thoughts on “Empty choices

  1. I think that what has become clear since our independence referendum and now more explicitly with Brexit is not so much what the British state has done but what it can do.Without legal safeguards and a written constitution,the Westminster government of the day can do what it likes,up to and including revoking devolution.
    Not having it’s hands tied by previous administrations is just a smoke screen for allowing it to do anything without democratic accountability…national interest and all that stuff.
    Brexit is only going to exacerbate this situation,not fix it.
    We have to start with the principle of the People in parliament and not the Monarch.(especially Henry VIII).
    Seems even dead monarchs have more say that elected MPs.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Usual great post by Peter.

    The whole idea of WM thinking it can do what they think to Scotland (and wales / NI) is the misguided idea that WM is sovereign and as such, are all powerful, which sovereign power affords.

    Except they are living a 311 year old lie, and here is why.
    Westminster Parliament is ABSOLUTELY NOT sovereign

    WM is the parliament of the united kingdom NOT the parliament of England. 

    As such, it is impossible for WM to be sovereign. 

    Scots are the sovereign power and sovereignty is ABSOLUTE. 

    Scottish MP’s are representatives of those Sovereign Scots people and as such WM cannot be sovereign over Scots MP’s. 

    This is legal fact. 

    Just because WM acts like the parliament of England, that is absolutely not the case. WM is the parly of the UK. 

    WM sovereignty is THE biggest fallacy ever told to the people of the uk over 311 years. 

    And handily, i can prove it is a lie. 


    In 1688 England had its “Glorious Revolution” where Conservative and Whig MP’s invited King William of Orange over to England to overthrow the monarchy to avoid England being ruled by a catholic (king james). 

    The kicker for this deal was that the sovereign power of the Monarch in England must be legally delegated to the ENGLISH parliament at WM. 

    And indeed it was and in 1688 the English parly became legally Sovereign. 

    Unfortunately, this changed in 1707 on the 1st of May when WM CHANGED from being home to the Sovereign ENGLISH parliament (that was put into permanent recess and that sovereign English parliament has NEVER sat in 311 years since) to home of the UNITED KINGDOM parliament, formed by the Union of Scotland and England. 

    NO SOVEREIGNTY was legally attached to this parly as Scots sovereignty was assured by the permanence of Scots Law enshrined in said Act and Treaties of Union. 

    There has NEVER been an Act of Parliament declaring WM parliament as Sovereign. 


    The fact nobody has challenged this 311 year old lie, is neither here nor there, the legal position is that the UK WM parly is NOT and never has been, sovereign.

    The referendum is looking less likely as the initial cause of the union being dissolved.

    Events are rapidly overtaking a referendum.

    It is a founding tenet of the Act and Treaties of Union, that neither Scots Law nor the expressed Scots Sovereign will can be subjugated.

    Brexit does both in different ways.

    WM challenging the Continuity Bill is subjugation of Scots Law on an issue where Scots Law has legal Competence over.

    THAT is a legal reason to move to dissolve the Union alone.

    Brexit (and despite everything, it has not happened yet, although the final deal on Sept 29th CAN be counted as intent to subjugate) is an absolutely clear subjugation of Scotttish peoples sovereign will (62% REMAIN) and also is reason enough to dissolve the Union by Holyrood motion.

    Technically, that motion should contain a caveat to hold a plebiscite of Sovereign Scots, to assauge their sovereign will on dissolution, however, the question would not be what you may expect.

    A motion to dissolve, if passed (it would be as there is a pro indy majority) would, under Scots Law, return Scotland to pre May 1st 1707 status, ie: independent.

    So any plebiscite would be to ask Scots if we want to STAY independent or REJOIN into Union with WM under terms negotiated by our elected Scotsgov.

    That is the legal reality here and it began at the WM appointed Supreme Court on 24/25th July…. the end game has begun,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well done Mr Blackhall, the end game began a while ago and very few people have actually noticed. IMHO Westminster is going to be hoist by its own petard, a delicous irony. My bet is that we will be independent by Xmas 2018.

      PS Don’t give them any more hints.


  3. All the absolute bullcrap that came from that committee at wastemonster today is merely a sign that they ( the establishment ) is panicking , we independenistas need to hold our nerves and point out to people this is merely a version of VOW 2 or another attempt to con Scots voters .

    You only have to look at the makeup of that committee to realise that the majority have no interest in anything other than the 1 nation concept where engwaland rules all And if we fall for their pish we deserve all that they will dish out


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