I don’t get it. Nicola Sturgeon says, “No Westminster government, of any party, has the right to stand in the way of the sovereign right of the people of Scotland to determine their own future.” If that is the case, then why is she intent on asking their permission? Why would you beg consent if consent isn’t required? If the British state has no right to stand in our way, why is Nicola Sturgeon behaving as if they do?
The people of Scotland are sovereign! There is no ‘but’ at the end of that statement. There cannot be. In one breath she says that the people of Scotland have a sovereign right to determine their own future. In the next she says that this supposedly sovereign right is subject to the approval of the British political elite. Both things cannot be true. Sovereignty cannot be conditional.
I don’t get it. Nicola Sturgeon says that another election win will “reinforce” this sovereign right that is, apparently, only sovereign in a certain ‘political’ sense. It’s only a ‘sort of’ sovereignty. Why would that sovereignty need to be reinforced unless it was in doubt? Nicola Sturgeon may entertain such misgivings, but I sure as hell don’t!
I don’t get it. Why would anybody imagine an election victory for the SNP would demolish the British establishment’s opposition to a new referendum? It never did before. The SNP has enjoyed almost unprecedented electoral success over the past few years and British antipathy to the idea of Scotland exercising its sovereign right of self-determination has only become more fervent. Opposition to a new referendum hasn’t been weakened by SNP election wins, it has grown more desperately resolute.
To summarise; Nicola Sturgeon wants us to do something she insists we have to do despite the fact that the sovereignty she claims means that we absolutely do not have to do it, in the hope that doing this thing will have an effect that it never did before.
I just don’t get it!
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25 thoughts on “I don’t get it!”
Peter, we have ceded a bit of our sovereignty to the UK government when it comes to constitutional matters. Doesn’t mean we’re not sovereign, just that we ceded part of our rights away. Obviously that was a bad choice. Now we need to find a way around that because of course the UK won’t give that back to us. No matter how many mandates we get. This is one reason why an election needs to be structured so that a positive response, however that is defined, is a mandate for independence, not for a referendum. That’s the only way to take back this bit of sovereignty.
Sovereignty is indivisible. Sovereignty may be pooled, but it cannot be shared. Sovereignty is also inalienable. It can neither be ceded nor removed.
The British state asserts authority to constrain or deny the exercise of our sovereignty. An authority it cannot legitimately possess and cannot legally enforce. That asserted authority must be challenged. Nicola Sturgeon declines to do so. Instead, she submits to this false authority on our behalf. I will not be persuaded that this is acceptable.
SO you really think that countries in the EU aren’t sovereign because they’ve shred/pooled/ceded whatever some of their interests for the larger good?
Thanks for keeping me right on what I “really think” despite having said the opposite.
@Monica Worley @Peter A Bell
A more precise term for the EU is that states “align” sovereignty.
Each state chooses to make sovereign decisions that are matched to the other members. They are sovereign in that choice and can decouple themselves at any time….No state in the EU is forced to stay and in theory no state can be force out (i.e. no country is forced into a decision they did not make themselves)
Lets be honest….the UK got its way for the majority of its membership – from the Single Market to Eastward expansion. All that has happened is England is unhappy with the consequences of its own decisions. Yes it has the Sovereign right do do so….the question is what does Scotland choose to do with its sovereign right if it is no longer happy with England’s choice?
Pooling sovereignty is a misnomer.
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The EU nations don’t share Sovereignty the same way it is done in UK, where London has so much power, and control over us.
EU is a club of nations, and mainly some trading rules and standards are shared, but that cannot be compared to UK, Tho there are some who do try to make that comparison.
UK is a unitary State, that acts as though it was one single country, as far as Scotland and England goes. That’s not how EU works.
As far as the position of Scotland goes with UK, if England see’s itself as a Sovereign nation, that needs no permission from anyone to do anything, (and hence Brexit) why is it not the case for Scotland? After all,are not both of equal standing with the UK union? Or is it just England that has all the power?
But Scotland,does have as much say as England, but we need Scottish politicians to assert that say.
It is an unfortunate fact, the Scottish politicians don’t want to understand that, and allow themselves to be dictated to by London rule. Others want to be dictated to, as they get plenty out of the London Establishment, and are well rewarded, either in getting a place in House of Lords, or some high paying finance position with some London financial group.
SNP leadership, at present, , has also fallen into that way of allowing themselves to be dictated to be London.
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Peter none of us get it. The SNP have spent the last 3 years trying to stop England leaving the EU.
So the one thing that almost guarantees independence. They want to stop. The SNP are all over the place. At the moment they are rudderless.
The more support the SNP receives the clearer it is that a substantial portion of the population backs the drive for independence. Without such support their can be no effective ‘sovereignty’ since in practice, sovereignty ultimately derives from the people, unless you believe in some sort of divine right of nations. So a good showing for the SNP in elections simply bolsters their claim for an Indy Scotland, while otoh the less support there is for the UK-wide parties, the less WM has to lose by conceding independence to Scotland when the time comes.
Judging just when and how to claim nationhood, to ‘come out’ as it were, is a very heavy choice, so should we not respect those who will have to make the call?
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According to the Treaty of Union, which underpins the UK, Scotland and England agreed mutually to give up their sovereignty only to the extent that each gave it to the new British parliament to exercise on behalf of both and each. It stands to reason that, if either country/nation decided to leave the UK, the UK could continue only with the sovereignty of that nation which was left in the UK or rUK. Scotland’s sovereignty has not been given away forever under any and all circumstances, no matter how detrimental, to be held in perpetuity and in total control by England. That is completely contrary to the Treaty Articles. At no point did Scotland cede her sovereignty to England; Scotland ceded her sovereignty to the UK, as did England, which, likewise never ceded its sovereignty to Scotland. This is where so much confusion arises. England has always assumed that it took over Scotland, but the Treaty itself negates that totally, but, still, some – many – daft people who have never even bothered to read the Treaty terms or to understand what they mean, and certainly what they meant in 1707, prefer to believe the nonsense that was Crawford and Boyle. These two eminent jurists started from the assumption that Scotland had been subsumed in order to prove that Scotland had been subsumed. Their Report has been completely destroyed by counter arguments from equally eminent Scottish jurists, and that would form the basis of any future case in the International Court of Justice. Just why does the SNP hierarchy not seek to challenge Westminster and Whitehall on these facts?
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The problem arose when the original Scots Parliament dissolved itself and sent MPs to sit at WM. Since the majority of WM MPs were English it inevitably became the de facto English parliament.
The question now is whether the Holyrood parliament is the Old Scots Parliament restored, as I believe was declared at its opening, or whether it is simply a creature of Westminster, on a par with the Welsh Assembly or indeed as some would wish to view it, just a “glorified county council”.
Can’t you just picture the lawyers rubbing their hands … 🙂
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This article states what most of us have been saying for a long time. I stated this very point in the national a while ago. A section 30 order will be denied, so why ask and to ask when it isn’t needed makes no sense at all. I also keep making the point that Nicola stated that Wings over Scotland starting a political party would make a mess of Independence, this got me thinking that Nicola had played her hand here, because Wings was clear they would only field candidates if no referendum had been called, so why would Nicola or the SNP be worried about Wings starting a new party if we where going to have a referendum before 2021, so by stating this is Nicola stating the obvious that she has no intention of holding a referendum before 2021, and was and is going to allow the mandate lapse. A further issue I have is, why did the Scottish government (SNP) need to take Westminster to Court over the return of the powers to Scotland (when we leave the EU), because if she was going to hold an independence referendum and we’d won then ALL powers would be coming back to Scotland.
Not many people do get it because they mistakenly believe that their priorities are shared by Nicola. They simply aren’t and once you get over that, everything becomes clear.
The truth is that Nicola’s only priority is to be re-elected in 2021. She (very stupidly) admitted as much during the Fringe when she said she was obsessed with keeping the SNP in power. For those of us who have Independence as our foremost political aspiration, our obsession is in securing Independence not some mechanism that might assist it along the way.
Following Salmond and Cameron, she knows very well what is expected of leaders who lose a Referendum that they call. Therefore unless she is certain she will win a Referendum she won’t call it if she thinks she can possibly get away with it. Most sensible people realise that nothing is ever certain in politics; for the risk-averse FM that is doubly so. The result is that she has never had any intention whatever of contesting a referendum before 2021.
What we have seen between 2016 and today is a tightrope being walked that ensures that she doesn’t need to contest a Referendum in a way that keeps the movement on side. The strategy is to talk and act as if a Referendum is coming but for it to be frustrated by factors outwith her control.
That is why the narrative about the S30 order persists. It is a sure fire means of her being able to blame someone else for frustrating her ‘intentions’.
But it doesn’t stop there.
Look back at 2016. That manifesto commitment was written (probably in January or February) the way it was written because nobody believed for a second that the UK would vote to leave the EU five months later. She never expected for a moment to have to call for a Referendum. Her actions in the immediate aftermath certainly suggest she was unprepared for that result.
The line about ‘clarity surrounding Brexit’ has been nothing but a shameless fudge to buy time. Everyone knows that every form of Brexit leaves us worse off than today. Why do we have to wait until we know how much worse off we might be? Nobody has been able to explain how that could possibly impinge on a campaign for Independence for a reason. I am sick of this line being parroted back by supposedly clever people without any intelligent analysis as to its merits.
Some will say that maybe things have changed because there is now legislation going through parliament. And citizens’ assemblies. This is true to the extent that the movement has been slowly building the pressure such that the line about ‘waiting for Brexit clarity’ just ain’t enough.
But all this has been held back long enough to leave very little time between its conclusion and the 2021 election. This is important because when the S30 order is refused, it will mean there is no time for an alternative course of action to be implemented and we will all have to vote SNP again in 2021 to refresh the mandate.
We should reflect on where our movement would be if Nicola had been FM in 2011 and it was she who had to decide whether to call the 2014 Referendum. My best guess is that we would not be having this conversation today and Ms Sturgeon (and most other SNP MSPs/MPs) would not be politicians any longer.
I have to agree with you, Dissident. That is the way I see it, too, much as it pains me to admit it, having supported the SNP for many years. It seems to me that, when push comes to shove, none of them is willing to take up the challenge. Well, we know what happened to the Labour party in similar circumstances. Take your membership and support for granted and they are going to give you the Order of the Boot. The SNP might win 2021, but that will be the last. On the other hand, in such circumstances, another party or movement could arise which does take us out of the UK or, at the very least, demands full autonomy within the UK.
I don’t get it either. I keep saying that something is not right with the SNP hierarchy. It now appears that stopping Brexit per se – not just a NO Deal – is the intention, and that would remove the option of independence altogether as most people understand the mandates. If they won’t challenge the status quo of the UK when we are under threat of Brexit, they are even less likely to do so if Brexit does not happen. That, however, is pie in the sky because England will implode if Brexit is brought down by Scotland. Can you imagine what Farage and Johnson would make of that. We’d become Public Enemy NO. 1, and Scots in England would be in the firing line, as EU residents were not so long ago. What the hell is going on here?
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Marconatrix, the Westminster parliament has never been a de facto English parliament. Again, the Treaty precludes that, as does all the actings and workings around the Treaty. It has been Scottish acquiescence and downright sycophancy that have been our bane. The introduction of EVEL, the day after the humiliating referendum result of 2014 was spiteful, vicious and primed with malice to rub our noses in it. It was also unconstitutional, never having even been debated in Westminster, let alone voted on, and yet, not even even as much as a bleat from the SNP. No, the hierarchy was far too busy in telling NO voters, particularly rUK NO voters, how they had every right to vote down our independence. I think that was when I knew, in a wee corner of my mind, that there was no intention that we should have independence. Nicola Sturgeon can’t lie, and she tells us every day in a multitude of different ways that there will be no second indyref on her watch.
Belt and braces surely….and the way Westminster behaves, who can blame her?
I hear over and over from SNP supporters. That Nicola will not do anything until after Brexit.
But she has told us already what she is going to do. She is going to request a section 30. There is no secret plan or rabbit from a hat.
Nicola is going to get 51 Mps and then plead for a right to vote. WM are laughing at our complicit stupidity. They can’t believe how weak we are.
Nicola will not deliver independence. We need to take it.
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YES need to stop projecting so to see what they want (in some SNP secret lair) and focus on what is actually being done.
YES is projecting their wishes on words already shown hollow and dismissing facts – talk about rose coloured glasses. At the moment it’s almost as delusional as the Brexit extremists vision of No Deal….except the Brexiters actually want that bonfire.
Just as it made no difference to structural contradictions that BJ became PM, it will make no difference to the structural contradictions if a new SNP leader is elected.
The problems are created by the Act of Union itself, which is basically the legalisation and normalisation of imperial domination. Until the Act of Union is destroyed, the situation will persist, no matter who is at the helm.
The arguments seem to me only about how to do this. Obviously, a respectable political party like the SNP must play nice and do the democracy thing properly. I am sure the leadership knows that the odds are stacked against us and that this democracy is a deliberate fiction designed purely to ensure the perpetuation of the patronage and privilege of British power.
All of which is independent of the utter chaos created by Brexit. Brexit has simply exposed it all. The British State is one of the wickedest most evil assemblage of powers and institutions this planet has known. Its basics have remained essentially unchanged since the Norman invasion. History teaches that it will kill and ride roughshod over its own laws to preserve itself.
I would certainly not like to be responsible for making strategic decisions under these circumstances. The fact of the matter is that our aspiration to be an autonomous country is a real threat to British State power. Caution on the part of the SNP government and party machinery is therefore hardly surprising.
I too wish it were bolder, but it is people that bring about revolutions, not political parties. And I have no doubt that we are witnessing exactly that. Revolution.
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I do not have an issue with Nicola trying to achieve, that is what has previously been described as the “gold standard” for a referendum as we had in 2014. It simply puts the process beyond reproach or challenge by courts. I would have an issue if not having consent granted by Westminster stopped indyref 2 going ahead. I believe that Nicola stating what she has is a precursor to a referendum going ahead should Westminster not agree to a section 30. I would be extremely surprised and disappointed if not obtaining the transfer of section 30 powers in any way affected the proposed timetable for indyref 2. We shall see. . . . . .
You don’t address any of the arguments against taking the Section 30 route. For example, how might it be possible to rationally and consistently argue that a Section 30 order isn’t required after having spent so long insisting that it is? Stating that the Section 30 route is the only legitimate way inevitably implies that all other ways are illegitimate. By insisting that the Section 30 process is the “gold standard”, she has effectively closed off all alternatives by branding them ‘illegal’.
If people want to maintain that the First Minister is doing the right thing, they should be prepared to deal with points such as the above. I have yet to see anybody even try.
Cannot fault your logic Peter. Very fair point.
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Once the genie is out of the bottle- in that (We have asked for a section 30) ,and it has already been refused. If we ask for it again, and it is refused. We are already acquiescing to the subordination of the Scottish citizens by our overlords in Westminster.
We cannot put the genie back in the bottle using the same current leadership and thinking. Nicola has set out her stall and personally agreed that a section 30 must be obtained. She has backed herself into a political Cul-de-sac. There is no going back, with her as leader. She will not change her strategy, for fear of a media backlash.
So as painful as it is to accept. Nicola is stuck in a siding while the world goes past.
We are in a total mess. Someone needs to make that change.
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I consider it obvious why our FM is unwillingly to commit to indyref 2 or use any of her many mandates .
Scottish Parliament “mandates” are based on 50% of the electorate voting , *half the electorate dont care ) and half of those who vote, vote for SNP (it may be a landslide its only 25% of the electorate)
In the GE of 2017 the turnout was 67% in Scotland and approx 2.5 million folk voted, one million of them voted SNP, yet 1.5 million voted against them.
And that is without the “yoons” doing what “yoons” are wont to do, ie form a union,
When the SNP decide to storm the barricades and just go for “number of MPS ” , then the parties of the Union will unite as one and not stand against each other, thus focusing their vote.
Again the 1 million SNP votes bite on granite as they cant progress.
And that is why Indyref2 has not been called only “threatened” as a bargaining tool .
After years of intense debate on the future of Scotland the ones who have been moved have already taken sides.
Spite of all, the Union postion looks too strong.