The ups and downs

I might despair less if, while they “brush off Tory claims a Section 30 order would be blocked“. the SNP leadership showed some sign of recognising that the problem isn’t the request being denied, but the request being made. The right of self-determination is inextricably bound up with sovereignty. The people of Scotland are sovereign. Therefore, we ‘own’ the exclusive right to decide the constitutional status of our nation and to choose the form of government which best suits our needs. To request a Section 30 order is to allow that the British state has the legitimate authority to deny our right of self-determination. Requesting a Section 30 order is tantamount to declaring that the people of Scotland are NOT sovereign. Because sovereign people don’t need permission to exercise their sovereignty.

Even if we set aside this utterly unanswerable reason for eschewing a Section 30 request, there is at least one more compelling reason for doing so. It might not be refused. The politically astute course for the British state to take would be to grant the request, thus giving the British government a significant say in the technicalities and practicalities of the referendum. A Section 30 order having been requested and granted, a new ‘Edinburgh Agreement’ would then have to be negotiated. By taking the Section 30 route, the Scottish Government would effectively have agreed that the referendum could not proceed in the absence of such an agreement.

We can be sure of two things. We can be certain that the British side would hold the Scottish Government to this undertaking not to proceed without an agreement. And we can be certain that the British side would do everything it could to ensure that there was no agreement. This wouldn’t be difficult. The British would simply have to insist on terms that the Scottish Government could not possibly accept. The exclusion from the franchise of 16 and 17-year olds, for example. Or a new version of the infamous ‘40% rule’.

I might despair less if, while evidently determined to contrive the righteous grievance of a Section 30 refusal, the SNP leadership showed some sign of recognising that control of the process would be a very high price to pay for this political bauble.

My heart lifted a little when Nicola Sturgeon announced the intention to legislate for a new independence referendum in the Scottish Parliament. My heart sank again when it became clear that the legislation she has in mind would involve a denial of the sovereignty of Scotland’s people and a failure to seize control of the process by which we might exercise our right of self-determination.

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23 thoughts on “The ups and downs

  1. Reblogged this on Scottish Exile and commented:
    Please read this. I believe Peter would deny the word “betrayal” but I am the one saying it. Scotland, right now, appear to be being betrayed by the party in power. Said it before, saying it again..Nicola wants to become UKPM, and saviour of the entire UK from cliff edge Brexit. That. And to do it she’ll sacrifice Scotland’s Sovereign Rights. If people don’t realise the potential seriousness of that, I don’t know what to say…please, if nothing else, look up and research Scots Sovereignty. How it came into being, what it means for us and what it does. Before it becomes history.


    1. I got to “Nicola wants to become UKPM” and couldn’t read on for laughing. I’ve heard British Nationalist say some silly things about Nicola Sturgeon. But you’ve got the beating of them with this nonsense. Your notion is not just daft, it’s self-evidently daft. Because it doesn’t connect to anything else that is known or that can be reasonably assumed.


    2. What utter bollocks. It takes more than 2 brain cells to see your no thinker, and being generous.yoon loons, always good for a laugh.


      1. Talking of brain cells, that’d be “you’re”, Yvonne. And folks are free to dislike what I say and think, but naebody calls me a unionist. I’ve been for a free Scotland all my life. Always will be. So if you’re (not the spelling there hen) a prime example of an independence supporter, no wonder Scotland isn’t getting anywhere at the moment.


  2. Thank you. I agree. It is not in the power of Westminster to grant us permission to do anything.

    However, I see the FM’s announcement as just part of a long game, and interpret that bit of it that involves “asking permission to hold another referendum” as necessary only because there are certain legal arrangements that already exist between the UK and Scotland. As a whole, what I take out is that it lays down the legal foundations for another referendum, irrespective of whether or not the UK gives its permission or not. It often seems to me that this discourse about “asking for permission to hold another referendum” is a nice diversion that plays into unionist hands. Don’t get me wrong, personally I would declare UDI today without giving a toss about what Westminster had to say. But that would be a tad radical I think for most folks. And I don’t see Nicola doing so at the weekend. The SNP government does have a duty of care over all opinion in this country and must work in the national interest as best it can under extreme circumstances.

    But the SNP as a party and all elements of the yes movement more generally are informally developing campaigns to persuade people of certain general principles; that independence is normal, even for small countries; that the current state of affairs are not normal; that the UK is demonstrably broken, that politics can be about looking after everybody. I only see forces ahead bringing about independence.

    I think the citizen’s assembly idea is a good one too and sincerely hope my name is pulled out of the hat. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

      1. There are probably different many ways of being fucked. Some might say we are already seriously fucked and have been since 1707.

        I do agree that playing the long game, as a matter of principle, is not a good idea. But I believe this long game is rather an effect of the political situation …. or the utter chaos caused by English and British Nationalist disagreements about what Brexit means.

        My greatest fear is that the British State will actually never act in good faith. Even if we voted to leave, or if independence came about by other legal or democratic processes, Perfidious Albion will work as hard as it can to make sure wealth is sucked out of our economy. Which is why personally, if I had any say, I would go for just being an independent country. UDI can be organised in many ways I guess, but since I am just an ordinary bloke with no access to the affairs of state I do not know what the best first move would be.

        Maybe if my name is pulled out of the hat though 🙂


      1. I get the jist of it, but still disagree.
        Scotland doesn’t need to ask London for anything.
        It is not up to London to unilaterally stop anything in this country.
        A Scottish Parliament signed the Act of Union, a Scottish Parliament can withdraw from it.
        And if the First Minsters is Keeper of The Great Seal of Scotland….. by definition… does that not mean the First Minister actually already has such power?
        Didn’t Alex Salmond go for the Section 30 route, mainly to put David Cameron on the spot, and Cameron saw the sense not to refuse, knowing Salmond had the powers himself already?
        Again, this business of asking UK Govt, well, this should have been done formally ages ago, and if PM. T. May said no, alternatives could have been set out long before now, if the MacAlba idea outlined was to make any sense.
        Scotland faces being taken out of EU any moment now. Corbyn wants out, May wants out.
        They will come up with something, and that something leaves Scotland where?

        Apart from all of that, we still have the atrocious London imposed Social Security policies, and those policies alone, have been more than justification for Independence!
        And again, regards to that, SNP has been a bit timid, in not challenging tory policies enough
        By which I mean, for example, would London really risk the Union, for the sake of benefit sanctions, or Universal Credit, or jobcenters being closed, etc, etc?
        I don’t think it would.
        I’m pretty sure, SNP could have made demands, the London Govt couldn’t refuse!
        As for this People’s Assembly thing….. We already have one. in Edinburgh, and they call it “Holyrood”!!!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. The crux of the matter surely is whether Holyrood is the original pre-union Scottish parliament revived, as it declared itself to be at its first sitting (IIRC), or as WM will no doubt claim, that it is merely a _devolved_ body, its powers simply handed down to it, leased as it were, by the British (English?) state, and so capable of being clawed back at will?
          Are the present Holyrood powers devolved from ‘above’ = WM, or are they somehow evolved from below, directly from the Scottish people?
          Answers on a postcard from any constitutional experts in the hoose 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          1. The crux of the matter is who decides “whether Holyrood is the original pre-union Scottish parliament revived”. I contend that only the people of Scotland possess the rightful authority. It’s called the right of self-determination. My concern – my fear – is that the Scottish Government is prepared to compromise the sovereignty of Scotland’s people by allowing that Westminster has some say in the matter. That’s what I’m hearing from Nicola Sturgeon and others.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Hopefully Nicola is trying to draw WM out and then in some way catch them off-guard or otherwise out-manoeuvre them, but I agree it’s a risky strategy, sort of Mongoose & Cobra, but there’s probably no safe strategy?

              Liked by 1 person

  3. I thought the First Minister’s evasiveness, regards Brexit being stopped and the Independence question, less than helpful!
    I am not too impressed with SNP strategy at this moment in time, alas!


  4. Indeed Peter.

    How in God’s name did any country ever get independence, if they had to get permission first. It is utterly bizarre.

    The only way a country can become independent, is by its citizens declaring their sovereignty . The majority of the population are the ones who decide. The government then use the mechanics to declare it.

    What Nicola is doing is taking away our sovereignty by agreeing that England holds the mandate to allow it. Some of us are pretty angry about this.


    1. How do countries become independent of imperial powers? Revolution. Warfare. Resistance. And other “illegal” means. Unless we want to get involved with that sort of stuff we are obliged to be “democratic” and to a degree accept the temporary legitimacy of the imperial power.

      I’m too old and sick to go to war, but I understand why extra democratic or non legal means might be attractive. But I can also see why the FM with her duty of care for the whole nation would not want that at all.


      1. I totally reject the notion that the process of restoring Scotland’s rightful constitutional status can only be democratic on terms dictated by the British state.

        If ‘British’ is the standard by which democracy is judged then democracy is doomed.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. There was no war with Norway and Sweden 100 years ago.
        There was no war between Czech Republic, and Slovakia, about 20 years ago.
        Gaining Independence doesn’t always have to mean war, or other kinds of violence.
        And “Resistance” can come in many forms.
        How about, for example, a mass boycott in Scotland of the TV License?
        Now some might object to that concept, while others go for such a thing.
        It’s been talked about before, so isn’t some brave new thing I’ve come with, but is one example of a peaceful form of resistance.
        It would help better, however, if we had media outlets here, who had the sense too resist London rule, in their editorials.
        That, instead of Daily Record style subservience would do this country good.

        Liked by 2 people

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