Scotland’s has a Parliament

So, our First Minister has at last caught up with those of us in the Yes movement who have been warning for years that Scotland’s democratic institutions are in jeopardy. Or, more likely, she is finally prepared to speak publicly about the likelihood of the Scottish Parliament being ‘suspended’. I find it hard to believe Nicola Sturgeon was oblivious to the threat. But it is easy to understand why, as a senior politician, she might have been reluctant to admit any concerns. It’s not that long since talking about the Scottish Parliament being closed down would have called down a torrent of mockery and condemnation from the British establishment for ‘scaremongering’.

Now, it is those who try to deny even the possibility who open themselves to mockery. It is those who try to dismiss the threat who must be condemned. The threat is real. The threat is imminent.

All of which creates a major problem for the British parties in Scotland. What does Richard Leonard say now? How does Ruth Davidson rationalise Boris Johnson’s unceremonious attack on the British democracy that she holds to be sacrosanct? If anybody was listening to Willie Rennie, what sort of simpering drivel would they hear? How do any of them defend a Union which places Scotland at the mercy of Boris Johnson and whatever form of unthinkable worse that is yet to come?

England has chosen its path. As Stu Campbell points out on Wings Over Scotland

The UK has a democratically-elected government which is currently due to run until the summer of 2022. And that government has a mandate to deliver Brexit, in any form, come what may.

It’s a common cry from Remain-supporting politicians and media alike that Johnson has “no mandate” for no-deal. But all leaving personal opinion aside, it’s simply impossible to support that argument.

Two-and-a-half years ago, the UK parliament voted overwhelmingly – 498 to 114 – to enact Article 50, the mechanism by which a member of the European Union leaves the organisation. The terms of Article 50 are clear, and stipulate a no-deal exit unless a deal is done. The EU has already granted the UK two extensions on the timetable, which have produced absolutely nothing.

Scotland has no right to interfere with the choices made by the people of England. And no capacity to do so even if such interference could be justified. There have been opportunities to stop the Brexit madness and to avoid the hard-right British Nationalist coup currently underway. Voters in England have spurned every chance to choose differently.

Ii is time for the Scottish Government to leave England-as-Britain to its own devices. However noble you may consider the efforts of Nicola Sturgeon and Ian Blackford to have England’s voters draw back from the abyss, it is now time for them to acknowledge that the effort is doomed to fail – because the people of England don’t want it. They want what they’re getting. However anathema it may be to most of us here in Scotland, what is happening in London right now is precisely what the majority of people in /england voted for.

Scotland has made different choices. It is time the Scottish Government focused on ensuring that those choices are honoured.

Many of us realised that the Scottish Parliament’s future started to look perilous in 2007, wth the first (minority) SNP administration. When the voters broke the system to elect a majority SNP government in 2011, the fate of the Scottish Parliament was sealed. The British establishment was only prepared to tolerate devolution so long as the Union was not compromised. It was only a matter of time before they found a way to end the ‘experiment’.

The only way to avoid Scotland’s democratic institutions being dismantled is for the Scottish Parliament to assert its primacy on the basis of its exclusive democratic legitimacy. The Scottish Government must propose that the Scottish Parliament declare itself the sole voice of Scotland’s people and agent their of democratic will. It will then be for the people of Scotland to vote on whether to #DissolveTheUnion in order that Scotland should should be able to choose and follow its own path..

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9 thoughts on “Scotland’s has a Parliament

  1. I do not believe even Johnson will suspend Holyrood immediately or even very soon, not if he can hold us off long enough to make that unnecessary. The plan was always to kill it off by the death of a thousand cuts, and this, I think, remains the preferred option. That is not to say that he will not contemplate its suspension, but we must remember that Stormont, albeit suspended, was suspended not because Westminster wanted it suspended but because the two ruling parties could not agree on anything. It was in a state of stasis and not working when it was suspended. If Holyrood opposes Johnson’s plans at every turn, then, he might suspend it, but that would create the very conditions he wants to avoid. The English ruling elite is not the English electorate and vice versa. The former did not spend an entire millennium and more trying to invade and subsume us just to let us go easily now. His proroguing of parliament is not so much to push through a No Deal (although that looks likelier every day) as it is to prevent a Motion of No Confidence to bring him down. This was always going to be a non-starter. Boris the Buffoon was never a buffoon, and the way he moved with lightning speed to lay the foundations for that post Brexit Tory One Nation State should have been all the warning we needed.

    I absolutely agree that it is not our place and certainly not our government’s place to try and scupper Brexit; it is their place, however, to get us out of this Union, and to do so very soon.

    The assumption that a second indyref, one without Westminster’s sanction because there will be no other kind unless something very different from the norm occurs – and it might, of course – will save us, is being optimistic indeed. Just read the comments section of The Herald, and weep. The Scottish British Nationalists, the English British Nationalists and the English Nationalists (and there are many in Scotland, as we will find out when we try to go) are in tune with the South, not with us. That is what the result of the 2014 indyref told us, but the SNP refused to acknowledge the truth of that because they wanted English migrants not to be put off staying in Scotland, and inadvertently handed them carte blanche to scupper any future indyref. Why is it so hard for us to see that many up here will have the same mindset as many down there? Some article said today that there are around 400,000 rUK people in Scotland, which might have been the case in 2014, but I believe it is far higher than that now, and while many are for independence, bless them for their sense and understanding of our viewpoint, far greater numbers are still opposed to it, and I fear that another indyref might just prove that. I could be very wrong; I hope I am. Somehow, all this was so very foreseeable from 2014 onwards, and especially after 2016.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ”Scotland has no right to interfere with the choices made by the people of England.”

    I don’t understand this viewpoint Peter. Nicola Sturgeon has had to consider every eventuality, I’m sure, including the Scots letting her (Alex Salmond) down again as they did in 2014. What if she’d just sat back and did nought in relationship to stopping / mitigating Brexit and we lost Indyref2? Can you imagine how that would go down with the Scots? We’re on course to winning Indyref2. Time for people to buck up and stop being so negative.


        1. First, you must be prepared to learn. Perhaps start by learning what a ‘straw man’ is. Since nobody had suggested Nicola Sturgeon do “nought in relationship to stopping / mitigating Brexit”, your point isn’t a point at all. And the game of “what if” is just a way of forcing a conclusion by selectively supposing only the things which lead to that conclusion.

          Also, there is nothing “negative” about urging action to resolve the constitutional issue before Scotland’s democratic institutions are dismantled and our public services are decimated. Had you considered even a fraction of the eventualities that Nicola Sturgeon doubtless has, you might realise that there are no circumstances in which she does not require the loudest public clamour for action that we can possibly contrive.


    1. Petra, Mr Bell is right, constitutionally and morally. Although the overall Brexit majority was not massive, it was biggest in England, and it has been England that has driven Brexit from day one. How can we claim that Westminster must stop interfering in our affairs if we are prepared to interfere in theirs? I do agree that she was right to try to stop a NO Deal Brexit, because of the implications for all of us, but not Brexit itself. There never was the remotest possibility from 2016 onwards of preventing Brexit, and it was from 2016 onwards that we should have been looking for more than one route out. I know the majority is for another indyref and I bow to that, but a parallel case in the International Court of Justice to resile the Treaty was also a minimal, to my mind. Seeing Ms Sturgeon’s face last night on the news, showed, to me, at any rate, that this proroguing has come as a shock, even though she might have, somewhere in her consciousness, been expecting it. The reality of it has taken the SNP by surprise, I think. They have always underestimated what they are up against for reasons that I, for one, have never been able to fathom.


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