Defiance! Not compliance!

scotlands_parliament“At then end of the day Westminster is still sovereign and they could impose a confirmatory referendum on us…” – Alex Neil

No it isn’t and no they couldn’t!

For me, the whole point of Scotland’s independence cause is that we reject the sovereignty of Westminster as incompatible with the sovereignty of Scotland’s people. We reject the Union as a constitutional device by which the people of Scotland are denied the full and proper exercise of their sovereignty.

I further maintain that the right of self-determination is absolute. It is vested wholly in the people of Scotland, to be exercised entirely at their discretion. That right may not be limited or constrained by any power. The British state has no veto over our right of self-determination. It is in no way and at no time conditional on the permission or approval of the British political elite.

We will not restore Scotland’s rightful constitutional status so long as we comply with rules intended to preserve the Union. A change of mindset is required. If Scotland is to be a nation again, in practice as well as principle, we must stand ready to confront the British state. To reject its authority. To defy its rules.

To restore independence, we must seize control of the process by which independence will be restored. We must approach the constitutional issue, not as supplicants petitioning a superior power for some favour, but as a people demanding that which is rightfully ours.

I demand for Scotland nothing less than that status and those powers which other nations assume to be theirs by right. Let’s bring our government home.

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6 thoughts on “Defiance! Not compliance!

  1. I am somewhat surprised, that a person of MSP Alex’s Neil’s standing, can come out with this stuff!
    Perhaps, he is simply giving various reasons fro not supporting the much hyped ‘People’s Vote”.
    There is no way Westminster has the Authority to impose anything on Scotland, after Independence is decided upon.
    Just as EU cannot impose any new votes on UK following the 2016 result.
    Once we decide on Independence, London, will be quite powerless.
    Hence, they are doing everything and anything they can, to stop Independence happening in the first place.
    I have not, till just now, in fact, come across this “confirmatory vote” idea.
    Has MSP Neil just now, invented it to suit his argument? Or has it been mooted previously?
    As for SNP leadership in general.. I rather get the impression, they have been too polite, when it come to dealing with London. And especially over Social Security issues, as well as Brexit.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Peter

    I think the big confusion is many people are mixing the story of the constitutional facts and who needs to make the case for change.

    Sure, in 2014 YES had to make the case for change. YES had to convince people to de-couple Scotland’s constitutional rights from England.

    In 2018…this time England has decided to change and no matter what there is no more status quo. The UK condition of 2014 has ceased to exist and Scotland needs to choose.

    YES needs to stop falling back into a replay its role of 2014 and start making England make the case to continue the Union given there is no status quo…..Not the platitudes they want to give you…but demand definitive detail of how a post Brexit world will be better for Scotland.

    The rules have changed and Yes needs to nail Westminster and their minions to the flaws in their arguments until the reality becomes fully exposed–that the only safe and logical choice for Scotland is to dissolve the union.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Peter, I know I will get slated for this, but here goes anyway.
    When you write “At then end of the day Westminster is still sovereign and they could impose a confirmatory referendum on us…” – Alex Neil
    No it isn’t and no they couldn’t!”
    You strike me as encouraging the sort of attitude that saw troops getting shot to bits on the barbed wire as they made their way across “no man’s land” in order to “win” a few yards of ground.
    The fact is that the Supreme Court of the UK reminded us last year (as if we needed reminding) of the sovereignty of the House of Commons (Queen in Parliament and all that guff). We voted to remain with the UK and so the decisions of that Court have traction.
    You say ” the whole point of Scotland’s independence cause is that we reject the sovereignty of Westminster as incompatible with the sovereignty of Scotland’s people”, and it is the case that the tradition here is the sovereignty of the people rather than the crown. But, to the best of my knowledge, other than an obiter dicta in the McCormack case in the early 50s no Court has recently referred to this. We can talk about rights all we want but they only have relevance if a Court is prepared to enforce them and to date I dont know of one that has done this for us.
    You next claim “I further maintain that the right of self-determination is absolute. It is vested wholly in the people of Scotland, to be exercised entirely at their discretion.”. Now I concede that this point is arguable, but there are two defects here. One is that in 2014 we decided not to exercise it. If we argue your point then the Unionists will simply point to the numbers in that vote (as they do already to a tiresome degree), Secondly, as above, that right has to be enforced and I see nothing in your argument that sets out how this might be done.
    So I am sorry, but Alex Neill is, in practical terms, dead right – indeed we could go further and argue that being sovereign they refuse any sort of referendum! Indeed this is what I would expect – its not so much “now is not the time”, but “never is the time”. Lets face it, if they had realised in 2012 what might happen, do you think they would have agreed to the first one? They thought it would be a walk in the park (likewise the EU referendum – Cameron’s judgement is mince). But with support for independence conservatively (lower case c is deliberate) sticking at/about 45% (of course it is arguable it is more – but please dont let Ross Colquhoun near the stats) they will never take the risk.
    My view is that they might employ a softer version of the Madrid strategy (I doubt they will be sending in the troops) as Craig Murray has argued. For that reason, while I disagree with your first part, you are absolutely right in your conclusion. We cannot continue just to obey the rules, we should not be supplicants etc – as Kenyon Wright in replying to a journalist who asked what he would do if the govt said “We are the govt and we say no”, replied “Well, we are the people and we say Yes”.
    In short we really do need to get off our knees – but lets not put too much store behind the law.


    1. You make some interesting points. As to the question of how we assert our sovereignty and break the deadlock between law and right, I see only one realistic way. We must use the SNP. We must channel all the power of the Yes movement through the SNP. That is the only means we have to achieve the concentration of effective political power such as will be required to lever Scotland out of the Union.


      1. Thank you kind sir!
        My preference is for a slight shift on your own.
        There are two levels to this, as I see it – the political and (for want of better) the community.
        With regard to the political sphere then at the very very least the SNP should lead, though I think they need to show some modesty and inclusiveness. Its not as if the Greens, for instance, dont bring anything with them – with the composition of Holyrood, while there arent very many of them, they are critical. In other words, the SNP will be much the dominant factor in the political sphere, but they need to be inclusive. In this regard I agree with you about using the SNP.
        But, at community level, I think inclusiveness is even more important. One of the interesting things from 2014 was the extent to which the political sphere was if not disengaged from, then “loosely coupled” with the community. Events in the political sphere will influence what happens at community level – no doubt about that – but there are aspects to the community level which have at least a relative autonomy from the political. For instance, at some point, there will be a “critical mass” where independence comes to be regarded as the new normal – the default position, if you like. We arent there yet, but we are not far off. However, while the debate in the political sphere will be influential, there is a need for action at community level to encourage more support. If/ when this succeeds then this will feed back into the political sphere – for instance imagine the consequences in the political sphere if opinion polls were reporting support for independence running at 55-60%? And if we are going to have disobedience then this is much more effective in the community – how many times can our MPs be suspended?
        Personally, while again the SNP will inevitably play a significant role, it is here that there is a need to include those of Unionist parties who support independence, and even folk like me – of no party who support independence. Why? Two reasons at least.
        First of all I dont think the time will ever come when we can say to supporters/ potential supporters, “go away”. We should be content they support independence.
        Secondly because we dont know what an independent Scotland will be like. Indeed I worry about basing a case for independence that requires second guessing this. There are questions which can be answered only by the Scottish electorate at an appropriate post independence moment (the fact that we would be doing this by ourselves without worrying what they are doing elsewhere is something that should be celebrated and emphasised). In my view, we can only do two things.
        First set the context – for instance what kind of constitution? What kind of voting system? How would Scotland work as a political system?
        Secondly to point out what is possible – not necessarily that this is what we would do, but what is possible.
        To do both of these things requires reaching out beyond any particular political party for their process is to produce specific and defined proposals. The 2014 WP was a case in point – it was the longest party manifesto in history, and came with a big sign on it saying “kick me hard”. Focusing on how Scotland would work – and in contrast to WM surely we cannot do worse – and what is possible does not give them as much of a stationery target.
        But more than anything else Peter, if there is widespread support for independence in the community – whether in the SNP or not, the Unionists become small islands of contrarianism in a sea of indy!


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