Nicola Sturgeon is to be commended and admired for sticking with her effort to mitigate the appalling folly of Brexit. But surely she must now accept that this effort has been in vain. Nothing now can prevent Scotland being dragged out of the EU against the will of the people of Scotland and on terms that the First Minister has clearly indicated are totally unacceptable even given her willingness to abide by the UK-wide Leave vote.
That sufferance of Scotland’s voice being ignored was, in itself, a massive compromise. Some would argue that it was already a compromise too far. It has to be the last such compromise.
Let us, for the moment, set aside partisan politics and policy agendas. Let us, instead, consider the matter of fundamental democratic principle. Let us focus on the fact that all legitimate political authority derives from the people.Government requires the consent of the people. Policies imposed absent popular consent lack democratic legitimacy. Government that disregards the will of the people is not democratic. Government which acts contrary to the expressed will of the people is, by definition, anti-democratic.
The Union is a constitutional device which allows the British government to treat the will of Scotland’s people with coldly calculated contempt. Brexit represents merely one particularly egregious example of this callous disdain for democracy. The Union is anti-democratic. The Union facilitates an ongoing breach of that most essential democratic principle – the people of Scotland are sovereign!
And let us be bold enough to talk, not just of principle, but of pride. Our pride must count for something. The pride of the people of Scotland must have some worth. We must cling to our self-respect all the more determinedly in the face of the corrosive contempt exhibited by the British political elite which would otherwise strip us of any regard we have for ourselves. If we do not respect ourselves; our capacities and capabilities and qualities as a nation, then how can we protest the disrespect shown to us by others? If we do not take pride our democracy, how might we expect others to do so. If we do not defend our sovereignty, who will?
More than any other individual, we look to our First Minister to represent Scotland’s attitude to itself. More than anyone else, it is Nicola Sturgeon who bears responsibility for asserting our sovereignty and defending our democracy.
It is time, Nicola! It is time to take a stand for principle! It is time to take a stand for pride! It is time to take the bold and decisive action which will end the Union and restore the sovereignty of Scotland’s people!
It is time!
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