3. The prospect of an even more hard-line Brexiteer now becoming PM and threatening a no deal exit is deeply concerning. Added to the experience of the past three years, this makes it all the more important that Scotland is given the choice of becoming an independent country.— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) May 24, 2019
That’s my emphasis on the above Tweet from Nicola Sturgeon; part of the First Minister’s characteristically gracious but pointed statement responding to Theresa May’s much-anticipated resignation announcement. I highlight it as an example of the kind of talk that brings me to the verge of despair. The kind of talk which tells of a mindset that is totally inadequate for the purpose of taking forward the cause of restoring Scotland’s independence.
Power is never given. Power is only taken.
This is not just an iron law of politics, it is inescapable logic. The power to bestow is merely the prettily painted face of the power to withhold. The converse of, and stolid attendant to the power to give is the power to deny or deprive. The power to take. Thus, power that is given is not real power at all. It cannot be when the acquisition of it is conditional on the consent of another and the ongoing possession of it depends on the other’s continuing approval.
The very act of requesting power acknowledges the other’s superordinate status. And, by necessary implication, the subordinate status of the petitioner. One only asks if one is prepared to accept refusal. And if refusal is unacceptable, then asking is pointless – unless the purpose is to signal weakness.
Why would we ask for something that is ours by absolute right?
This mindset has to change. The ‘petitioner mindset’ demeans us all. It begs the question, can we really call ourselves a nation if we allow that our nationhood is in the gift of what is, for all relevant purposes, a foreign power?
Nations don’t ask if they can be nations. Nations assert their nationhood. Independence is the starting point. The normal condition. The default status. It is anything other than independence which must ask permission to pertain.
The predecessors of today’s British political elite were ‘given’ power over Scotland by the grasping, self-serving, corrupt antecedents of today’s ideological Unionists. Ever since, the Union has served as a constitutional device by which the sovereign people of Scotland are denied the full and proper exercise of their sovereignty. That sovereignty remains ours. It is inalienable. We no more require Westminster’s consent to exercise it than we require their permission to breathe.
We must, as a matter of the utmost urgency, rid ourselves of the insidious notion – inculcated over more than three centuries of domination that has been sometimes brutal, sometimes subtle – that the supremacy claimed by the British state over Scotland is rightful. It is not! It cannot be! And it must be forcefully rejected!
Scotland looks to our elected leaders to assert and affirm the sovereignty of Scotland’s people. Not merely as a form of words in some declaration, but in fundamental practical ways. We look to our elected representatives and the only Parliament with democratic legitimacy in Scotland to defend our inalienable rights by their every word and deed.
Nicola Sturgeon is clever, astute, principled and determined. She is, without question, the most fitting political leader for Scotland at this time. But we need her to be, not just clever, but bold. Not just astute, but decisive. Not just principled, but fervent in pursuit of those principles. Not just determined, but assertive, even aggressive in demanding respect for the sovereignty of Scotland’s people and Scotland’s status as a nation.
We will get behind you, Nicola. But not if you are standing at England’s door with a begging bowl.
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