Locked in!

When politicians start ruling on what is and isn’t democratic, you know the political system is broken. When that politician is Boris Johnson, you know the political system is diseased unto death.

In a properly functioning political system, it should never be necessary for anyone to rule on the democratic legitimacy of any action or process or policy. It should be obvious. There should never be any doubt because the criterion for assessing democratic legitimacy is so simple and all-encompassing – the people decide.

That’s it! That’s the only rule. At every opportunity, the people decide. Wherever there is doubt, the people decide. If the people have the final say, it’s democratic. If the people are prohibited or prevented from having the final say, it’s undemocratic. If the role of the people as the final arbiters in all matters concerning the nation is in any way limited or constrained, it is undemocratic. If politicians seek to usurp that role, that is undemocratic. If the status of the people as the source of all legitimate political authority is fully recognised – in principle and in practice – that is democratic. If that status is contemned, that is undemocratic.

The very last people who should rule on what is and isn’t democratic ere those who wield the power that is authorised and legitimised by being ruled democratic. That is a recipe for despotism.

I’m sure Boris Johnson entertains a conceit of himself as a benign despot. I have not the slightest doubt that when he looks in the mirror, the face he sees staring back at him is the face of a strong leader such as has historically come to England’s aid in her time of need – rather than the pouting, smirking balloon-face of a petulantly malicious child-clown that the rest of us see. His is a mind in which despotism is easily rationalised as a firm hand on the rudder of state. In that mind, democracy is whatever serves this warped, deluded self-image.

Boris Johnson supposes himself a born leader; the inheritor of all the qualities which define the heroes who inhabit the Great British Myth from Saint George, Slayer of Dragons to Saint Margaret, Destroyer of Communities. If he is destined to lead, the people must be fated to follow. Is that not the natural order?

If there is one thing worse than a wannabe autocrat in a position of political power, it is the people who pander to the delusion in order to turn political power to their own purposes. Purposes which are rarely of the benign sort which might be pursued by less devious means. Purposes which can be discerned by noting the things that are declared ‘undemocratic’.

We should be able to dismiss the nonsense about there being a “very clear promise” attached to the 2014 referendum stating that it would be a “once in a generation event”. This is a lie. There never was any such promise. Nor could there be. No politician can constrain the inalienable right of self-determination. Even if such an undertaking had been given and could be valid, in order to be so it would have to be enshrined in the legislation relating to the referendum, or in the Edinburgh Agreement. Next time some British Nationalist comes out with this drivel about “once in a generation”, ask them to show you the relevant legal provision. Ask them to tell you the precise wording of the alleged promise. Just don’t ask them how it could possibly be democratically legitimate as this would require an understanding of democratic principles that is evidently absent from British Nationalist ideology.

We should be able to discount this “once in a generation” lie. But we have to allow for the British media’s efforts to give such lies the status of truth, if only by means of repetition without challenge. The BBC and the British press will, as a matter of habit and practice, insinuate the idea into the public consciousness. That’s their job, as they see it.

But this may not be the worst of it. We are well-advised to attend carefully to what British politicians say so as to discover what they are thinking. And the most telling part of Boris Johnson’s reported remarks is not the the old lie about a “once in a generation” promise. A disturbing hint of what noxious notions are gestating in the British Prime Minister’s mind is to be found in the following,

I think that it’s odd that both Jeremy Corbyn and the SNP claim to be attached to democracy when their mission is to smash up the oldest and most successful political partnership in history, in the form of the Union …

Boris Johnson: ‘No reason’ for second Scottish independence referendum

The bit about Jeremy Corbyn is just another lie, of course. Corbyn is avery bit as much a British Nationalist as Boris Johnson. What is significant in this remark in the clear implication that proposing to dissolve the Union is undemocratic. The utterance falls just short of declaring that the campaign to restore Scotland’s independence is undemocratic.

When politicians start ruling on what is and isn’t democratic, you know the political system is broken. When that politician is Boris Johnson, you know the political system is diseased unto death.



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6 thoughts on “Locked in!

  1. It has been on the cards for a wee while that we will openly be accused of sedition. And as many of us realise, this is hardly surprising; that despite its glossy efforts to present itself as an equal partnership, the Act of Union is in fact an act of imperial domination. So resistance to this must be sedition.

    All this means is that the mask has slipped, that Boris is now openly admitting this.

    I think you are right; he does see himself as one of Plato’s philosopher kings. I agree too that the enablers of this are in many ways a lot worse. For they are less likely to be deluded, more likely to be cold, calculating gobshites.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As I have said time and time again, it will all come down to the Treaty of Union and the Union itself in the end because that is where it all went wrong. We, in Scotland, did not sign away our inheritance for a mess of pottage, no matter what anyone says to the contrary. The truth of our partnership in the Union is contained in the Treaty of Union. Don’t mistake me, I am not trying to prove that we were in a partnership because I want that partnership to continue, but we must first bring evidence to show that a partnership was in tended by all parties to said Treaty, that said Treaty was an international agreement between two sovereign, independent nation states and that the negotiations left Scotland to pay off the English National Debt in return for access to the English colonies and trade deals. Each and every Article contained in the Treaty screams loud and clear that it was a partnership where both parties to the international contract received their due.

      Once we have shown that to be the case, the next thing is for us to show that England, on its own behalf, and as part of the UK, has done little else but undermine our position from day one in favour of its own and to its own advantage and to our detriment. When Fletcher of Saltoun and others talked about the end of ‘ane auld sang’ and the bind we had placed ourselves in, I believe they were referring to the perfidy of our big neighbour and the likely consequences to future generations of placing ourselves in the hands of one of the most rapacious and self-interested countries ever to claim a colony. I am so sick of the pussy-footing around the reality of the bind we placed ourselves in, in 1707. The jusrists who drafted the Treaty knew that the minute the ink was dry, the English would try to subvert it and to try and subsume Scotland. That we survived more or less intact well into the 20th century is down to those astute Scottish lawyers. Now, however, the pressure to become part of the Borg is relentless, and the One Nation State is the vanguard of that movement. Anyone daft enough to believe it is because they love us, want us to stay out of familial feelings, is so deluded as to be better off in an institution. They want Scotland as they have always wanted Scotland, as any imperial state wants its colonies – to exploit and use and squeeze dry. Over a thousand years of invasions and incursions, of genocides and attempts to depose should tell us that simple fact.

      Yes, we have to live with England on these Isles and yes, there is no way we can move forward without our rUK population in Scotland, even though a majority of them appear to be viscerally anti independence and even anti Scottish, to an extent, but we do not have to put up with the treatment we receive, with knee-jerk NO votes, with attempts to block our independence illegally. It is the Union that is the underlying problem, and it is the Union itself that must be deconstructed. The fear of Brexit might prompt some NO voters to change sides, but how much more civilized and democratic and legal to show that these NO voters are voting against the tide, voting against all moral principle and against all international legal principle before presenting them with the option, in a ratifying, post independence referendum to vote on our future again – which, let’s face it, they might well continue to wish to sabotage in any pre independence referendum? I am amazed at the fear of some, or is it just an unwillingness to face unpalatable truths, to confront the possibility that many up here, both Scots-born and rUK anti independence voters, might actually hold very similar views to those right-wing factions down south?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. And in the midst of all this chaos, the SNP leadership seem intent on doing next to nothing of any use, to end this miserable Union.
    And their desire for another Referendum is yet more time wasting, as this will not be taking place anytime soon, and not ’till after we have been forced out of EU.
    The plans to stop Brexit inits tracks, or at least a No Deal Brexit, look doomed to failure.
    The efforts to prevent a General Election, like wise, will end in badly.
    It s insane these politicians are trying to stop it.
    Surely if Labour expected to win that Election, they would be happy to have it now.But they can’t be sure of winning, and by the looks of things, won’t, at this time.
    But for SNP to try stop it just now, I think is a mistake.
    But regardless of that, SNP must step up its efforts to end the Union.
    For otherwise, it begins to look like they will wait as long as they can think they an get away with, but waiting is no an option now.
    And waiting, also, can backfire on them.
    Now we see the likes of Boris Johnson in power in London, this waiting, is seen for the mistake it is.

    Like

  3. Lorna, I remember a video clip of Sturgeon scoffing at the idea of dissolving the Union, I think it was at a Women’s Institute meeting.

    But surely it is time to be looking at this very seriously.

    The problem seems to be that Scotland is being held to a legal template of gaining independence that was established in order to free colonies acquired by the European nations in the 18th and 19th centuries.

    But Scotland does not fit into this template. As you say Lorna, by the terms of the treaty, it is already a sovereign independent state, but the world – and Scotland itself – has forgotten it.

    The SNP should make the GE a plebiscite on Independence and on the manifesto it should say it is asking for a mandate to dissolve the Treaty of Union. That’s all it would need for ‘permission’ to hold a referendum to be rapidly forthcoming, I suspect. But it should be spurned, as a UK General Election would be mandate enough.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think we are in a bind of our own making, to some extent, Jim, because we did have the policy that winning a GE in Scotland, or an SE, after devolution, would also win us our independence, but the SNP withdrew that policy in favour of an independence referendum. I detest referendums as the way to test public opinion because they never solve anything – certainly not in a state like the UK. They might work in Switzerland, but not here because our four nations are, by temperament, not given to toeing the line on every issue, and we are left with deep division and rancour. A general election, likewise, is not a good indicator of what the people would wish on the constitution. If we do not respect legal parameters where they have been reached amicably and reasonably, the constitution will fall, in any case.

      Something is just not right about the way that the SNP has been conducting its case against Brexit and for independence. If anything, it appears to be determined to allow independence to fall by the wayside in favour of preventing Brexit. I think it is way past the time when we should be asking why. All parties evolve, but when does an independence party evolve into a UK-wide anti Brexit party because that is what is happening? If we do Brexit on 31st October, or if there is another delay and extension, something is going to give in England, and the issue will become even more fractious. I cannot see Farage and the Brexit party holding off any longer; they have been waiting for Johnson to make his move; and, if he fails because he has been thwarted, I believe all hell will break loose and the right-wing factions will rise up in England. We will not remain unscathed, especially if the SNP is seen to have been one of the parties trying to prevent Brexit. The English voted for it; we did not. Our only recourse is to take our independence; that was always our only;y solution. What the SNP appears to be contemplating will rive England apart, and the rage will not stop at the border. The SNP is either lacking in political nous or is playing a very dangerous political game.

      Liked by 1 person

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