Relying on alchemy

Another serving of stale platitude purée from Ian Blackford. Chunks of it don’t even make sense.

Asked if he was disappointed support for independence wasn’t higher, Blackford said he thought that people were waiting to “see the direction of travel” over the course of the last few years.

Waiting to see what has already happened? Really?

Perhaps Ian Blackford could tell us exactly how long he reckons it will take for the reality of Brexit to hit home. He might even hazard a guess at how many mandates the SNP administration in Edinburgh will have by the time it does. Or maybe he’ll just keep spouting this kind of drivel so that he doesn’t have to admit the plain folly of shackling the independence cause to something that the SNP couldn’t hope to influence, far less control. Like hitching Scotland’s cause to a runaway truck and hoping it heads in the direction of a referendum.

Day in and day out I have people telling me that Mr Blackford and his colleagues know what they are doing. That they have a ‘secret plan’. That claim ceased to be credible some time ago. The SNP leadership staked everything on Brexit while tragically failing to recognise that it is not the reality of Brexit that matters, but the perception. And who controls all the main tools for manipulating public perceptions?

The SNP has got the independence project into a mess. I have no interest in recriminations. But can we please just recognise a failed strategy when it is slapping us repeatedly about the face. Can we get past the denial and start figuring out how to rectify the mistakes of the past five years.

The leaden lump of the SNP’s strategy isn’t going to turn to gold no matter how long it’s left steeping in the noxious alchemists’ brew of Brexit. Ian Blackford might as well stop throwing banalities and bromides into the cauldron.



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43 thoughts on “Relying on alchemy

  1. Hi Peter

    Someone needs to put a rocket up the SNP. I have lost all faith in them. Iain Mcwhirter suggested the strategy was to avoid indy ref 2 altogether. I thought this was arrant nonsense when I first read it. But now it makes perfect sense.

    By Nicola continuing to ask for a section 30. She can just sit on her hands until it is accepted, which she knows is never.

    Lets suppose we do actually crash out on Halloween without a deal. What is Nicola going to do?

    I will tell you. She is going to sit and watch the carnage unfold. She is not going to request a dissolution of the Union. She will demand another section 30. By the time Holyrood 2021 comes along. Scotland will be on it’s knees and the parliament culled.

    If Brexit is extended to January. She will say we need to know the shape of Brexit before calling indy ref 2. This will go on and on , but nothing will be done.

    This is a rotten state of affairs and I am scunnered with the whole thing.

    Don’t forget that Nicola has already missed her target date for indy ref 2. She said it must be between autumn 18 and March 19. Now it’s late 2020. She can miss that as well.

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    1. Once again, I have to point out that a referendum in September 2018 would have avoided the situation in which the SNP bagan to falter and lose the trust of independence supporters. I’m not claiming to have foreseen he precise events or developments. But it was always clear to me that the circumstances were ripe for deterioration. Basically, something was bound to go wrong. Maybe a big thing. Maybe a lot of small things. But entropy is relentless.

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  2. I don’t accept that the strategy has failed. Obviously, you and I have different perceptions of the route to Indy.

    Imagine it is 23rd May 1944 and everyone is barracked up in the preparation for D-Day. And Private Bell [for it is he] says “Montgomery and Eisenhower just don’t get it, their strategy has failed. All this North Africa and Italy, it’s nothing to do with us, there is a whole continent full of Jerry and we are sat here in barracks. They are going to lose the war if they carry on doing nothing like this”

    And history will be the judge.

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      1. Constructive criticism is always positive. Even if some people have their heads too far up their arse to realise it.

        As the grown-ups will already be aware, constructive criticism is an essential part of the process by which organisations, movements, projects etc improve. The ability to constructively criticise the government is also an essential element of democracy. Without constructive criticism organisations stagnate. Without constructive criticism governments make regrettable public policy decisions – and repeat their past mistakes.

        I’ll continue with the constructive criticism while you practise your dumb complacency. The former at least stands a chance of contributing to the progress of Scotland’s cause. The latter, by definition, does nothing to contribute to anything other than more complacency.

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    1. Positivity and happy clappy optimism alone will not guarantee independence, even less a referendum to achieve independence, оптик. If that were the case, Mr Chamberlain’;s ‘peace in our time’ scrap of paper would not have been worthless, and the ‘little corporal’ would not have invaded Poland to kick-start WW II. Mr Bell is correct: sooner or later, we are going to have to ‘fight’ for our independence; sooner would be better. A long series of bad decisions have been made by the SNP. If you want to stop something catastrophic, you do so early on so that you avoid the largely unnecessary ‘blood spill’ and pain of prolonged ‘warfare’. Politicians rarely get that – at least, some do, but are shouted down by people like you who can’t see further than the end of their proboscis. History will, indeed, be the judge. Untold millions sacrificed in all the theatres of war of WW II, armed forces and civilians alike, not to mention the millions who died needlessly in the genocidal camps all because those too blind to see or admit the truth were unwilling to act in time.

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      1. On May 23 1944, everyone had to wait. That was what people had to do for victory. Sometimes in a war, there is no fighting for a while. It does not mean there is no war. It is just a necessary part of war to wait until the moment for the fight.

        As for ‘a long series of bad decisions by the SNP’, that is opinion and not yet established fact. That is something for history to judge. The SNP have the helm. They are playing it as they see fit. Shouting the odds now, when it is at least arguable that they are right, is not going to help. If anything, the ongoing Indy on Indy fighting is going to lose us Independence.

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  3. Sitting waiting for the tide to come to you ,and hoping it will bring it’s bounties. Is the most pointless and dumb thing anyone can do. Doing nothing means that essentially nothing changes in your favour. Relying on events to get you where you want to go is the epitome of inertia.

    In science every action creates a reaction. You need to do something methodically to get the result you desire. Allowing random third party activity to dictate your strategy. Means that the strategy is not in your control and the result will not be of your making.

    The SNP need to get off their arses!

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  4. Had Hitler been stopped in the mid 30s, at the latest, there would have been no WW II. That is the point. He could have been stopped. Cameron could have been stopped before he ever held the EU referendum by a solid YES vote; a EU referendum might never have happened because Scotland would have been out of the UK, and no one envisaged a EU withdrawal without Scotland, did they? No NO vote, no Leave vote. No Nazi regime and build-up of Germany’s military strength, no WW II. No WW II, no D-Day, no unnecessary deaths of millions. That is what doing something in time means, оптик. Allowing psychopaths and sociopaths to have their head is always – but always – infinitely stupid and wasteful of human life. The thing is, it is those who decide to allow the psychopaths and sociopaths to have their head who are not called upon to do the dying, but the poor military and the civilian populations. Likewise, if independence goes south and Brexit happens, it will be you and I and BJ and Mr Bell and everyone else who will pay the price, not the top politicians, and their friends in big business and the City, with their fat salaries, gold-plated pensions and second homes. Fact number one in the world: it is always the hoi polloi who suffer most in any situation. As a member of the hoi polloi, I do not volunteer to ‘die’ on someone else’s behalf. You can, if you choose. Be my guest.

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  5. My question to the SNP is – Why do we have to wait for Brexit before going for independence? Why are the SNP happy for Scotland to be damaged , before they will act to save us.

    Their duty as the government of Scotland is to protect the citizens from harm. It is not to allow harm to happen and then trying to put a sticking plaster on a gaping wound.

    Prevention is always better than cure.

    We did not vote for Brexit,, soft Brexit, EEA, Semi detached EU membership, Single market Brexit. We voted for full membership ,and emphatically. We know that any Brexit is bad and against our wishes.

    So why are they selling what we voted for , by negotiating 6 degrees of separation with Westminster.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. quote: “My question to the SNP is – Why do we have to wait for Brexit before going for independence?”

      Good question, which goes to the nub of all the disagreement, which I am surprised that the thinkers have not thought their way through.

      There are only 2 ways of avoiding brexit or its equivalent for Scotland:

      [1] A Section 30 Order followed by a successful Indyref

      [2] Brexit is cancelled UK wide.

      There is no option for an Indyref without a Section 30 to avoid Scotland leaving the EU. The EU will not contemplate admitting Scotland to the EU without a Section 30 order while the UK remains a member of the EU. The EU is having quite enough trouble with the UK at the moment over the question of the border between NI and RoI and will not want the complication of dealing with an independent Scotland applying to join while the Irish border question is unresolved. To follow this route is to invite the EU to positively not recognise Scotland as an independent country, which might well take some undoing.

      It is of course possible for Scotland to just go ahead with a referendum, get the vote and become independent without the Section 30 order. In Scottish terms that would be entirely legal. In international terms, it is less clear, but while the UK remains a member of the EU, Scotland would not be recognised, so we would not rejoin until brexit had happened or until the UK recognised the independence of Scotland. For this situation, the practical question of whether the EU recognises Scotland as an independent country will be of much more significance than the legalities of whether it should.

      There is a great danger in going down this path, in that unionists will have stronger grounds than in 2014 to say that a vote for Indy will make it much more difficult for Scotland to join the EU in its own right. If we fall for going down this road and we lose the referendum on this argument, that will tend to cement into peoples minds the idea that Scotland cannot join the EU and make the prospect of a 3rd referendum even more remote.

      I suppose I will be called an arrogant tosser for this, but never mind.

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      1. “There are only 2 ways of avoiding brexit or its equivalent for Scotland:

        [1] A Section 30 Order followed by a successful Indyref

        [2] Brexit is cancelled UK wide.”

        Jockholm syndrome.

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    2. “The colonised mind.” Write ‘Section 30’ and Peter writes ‘the colonised mind’. Peter has taken a disliking to me and whatever I say, he has to denigrate. He doesn’t even try to argue against it or put a different point of view.

      I am quite clear that if we get the numbers, we can become independent without a Section 30. But people here are concerned to avoid brexit. The question is: are we prepared to take Scottish exit form as the price of Indy? If we are, then go for it.

      Because I am arguing NOTHING from what the British State or its establishment is saying. I am only arguing from what I understand the EU reaction to be of the propriety of taking a membership application from a state seceding from a member state.

      It is a question which merits a proper grown up debate. But Peter wants to control the debate and make certain directions of thought off limits in the same way that the British State does. Orwell’s Animal Farm comes to mind …

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      1. That’s a serious accusation in the last paragraph. And a lie. You are an arrogant prick who presumes to tell others what my views and attitudes when you know absolutely fuck all about me. That said, I neither like not dislike you. I simply don’t care about you at all. It may be hard for such an arrogant prick to hear, but you’re just not that important.

        If you understood what the term ‘colonised mind’ meant you’d realise that it is an argument. Or maybe you wouldn’t. You are clearly not very clever.

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      2. ‘The truth of it is in your earlier comment. You are trying to make my thinking off limits’

        Your thinking is the orthodoxy and well debated all the time. Some of us just do not see it panning out as you do, that’s all. There are more than two ways of avoiding Brexit and more than two ways of gaining independence. That is the whole point of debate: to tease out the unorthodox. Orthodoxy is always acceptable to the colonizer because it limits the colonized mind. No one is trying to put you down, оптик, and your arguments are valid as they are the same as the SNP hierarchy’s. It is simply that they have proven to be cul de sacs, and we are going nowhere. The SNP has been in power for 12 years, and we required to have institutions ready to be brought out of mothballs for the day that independence arrived. Instead, every bit of energy for the past five years and more has been expended on pandering to British Nationalists, English Nationalists and Unionists of various strengths and hues. Our only escape from Brexit is to take our independence. There is no other way, and, if we do Brexit, we will be sucked into that One Nation State and, gradually, all pretence of even our limited devolution will go. All that has happened is that waiting will leave us with an even steeper and more boulder-strewn mountain to climb if and when we do decide that now (that is, then or whenever) is the time.

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      3. Hi, Lorna.

        I don’t think that my thinking is the orthodoxy. And it isn’t Peter’s orthodoxy or yours either.

        What I do accept is your argument and Peter’s argument that it is possible to have some sort of process right now and be out of the union. But I do note your concern about wanting that process resolved before brexit happens.

        What concerns me is that if we do our thing and become independent [1] without a Section 30 order and [2] before brexit, we will effectively brexit Scotland on its own to what is effectively a No Deal brexit or Scoxit – bearing in mind that rest of UK may in the meantime brexit with a deal. I don’t think that this point has been debated at all. All I have seen debated is that we could go independent by means of different processes before brexit. I have seen nothing about the consequences re the EU of actually doing so.

        If Peter had answers, I would think that he would give them rather than delivering abuse and putting on the angry face. For the sake of absolute clarity, if Peter were to say that if we became independent before brexit and that would put us into Scoxit and he is OK with that, I would say that would be a good enough answer from him, although I might disagree about the wisdom of going for Indy in such a way that Scoxit is inevitable. If he could argue that going independent before brexit without a Section 30 order would leave us able to negotiate with the EU for membership, I would like to hear that

        What concerns me here is that because the EU has more sense of principle than the UK, it is likely to still take the UK’s side over a disputed Scottish independence while the UK is still a member of the EU. We often compare how the EU has stuck up for Ireland compared to how the UK has stuck up for Scotland. I think we can expect the EU to respect the territorial integrity of the UK for as long as the UK remains an EU member.

        Now if brexit did happen, I think that the EU would be open to accepting Scottish independence without the Section 30 order

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  6. “It is of course possible for Scotland to just go ahead with a referendum, get the vote and become independent without the Section 30 order. In Scottish terms that would be entirely legal. In international terms, it is less clear, ”

    According to United Nations Resolution 1514 (XV), it would be very clear –

    “All peoples have the right to self-determination; by virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.

    All armed action or repressive measures of all kinds directed against dependent peoples shall cease in order to enable them to exercise peacefully and freely their right to complete independence, and the integrity of their national territory shall be respected.”

    After that, the practical question is whether other nation states recognise Scotland’s independence. I do not see any reason why they wouldn’t.

    EU membership depends on sovereign status. To be accepted into the EU, Scotland needs to be an independent, fully functioning nation state. Independence comes first.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. More or less that, cirsium.

      Sovereignty is a necessary,but not sufficient condition to be accepted into the EU.

      If we don’t want to be in the EU, we just go ahead and become independent.

      But, if we do want to be in the EU, we need to think about the pragmatics of getting the EU to accept our sovereign status. If we go independent before brexit, the EU will not diss the UK by accepting our sovereignty to the point of being accepted in to the EU, unless we have the Section 30, to show that the UK is OK with the situation. OK, the EU must be mighty fed up with the UK right now, but I still believe that the EU is not backing down on upholding member states.

      And they quite unlikely to accept the UK into the EU until either Brexit happens or there is a retrospective Section 30.

      After brexit, I doubt they will be quite so fussy.

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    2. Agreed, cirsium, but the UK is not very good at obeying UN strictures, as the Chagos Islanders can tell us. It appears to recognize only its own (English) constitutional law as superior to that of all others’. For that reason, I believe that resiling the Treaty is the end game, declaring independence and holding a ratifying referendum is the only way we can guarantee that our independent status will be recognised by all the other independent nations of the world, and rUK can go hang and like it or lump it.

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  7. оптик, I take your point that we could find ourselves out of the EU whatever we do, and there is a danger that this will happen. However, we will be in a position after independence to re-align with the EU if we choose. Last least, I would hope so, if only on a looser level because the EU itself is becoming more politicized, and that is a worrying development as it could mean a loss of sovereignty for its members. However, I fear that UK One Nation State far more than I fear EU integration right now because it is imminent. As soon as that Brexit vote was brought in, and Scotland’s voice was muted, it became evident that devolution would have to be diminished in order to achieve the post Brexit UK. I think we have just seen the beginning of that process with the removal of the Scottish EU powers to Westminster. More and more powers will require to be ceded as it becomes obvious that these new deals with America (if they materialize) will require even more of our devolved powers to facilitate them. Eventually, Holyrood will go if we do not agree to this stripping of powers.

    I also believe that English devolution will take place after Brexit to facilitate the decrease of the state sector. The big English regions of the North and Midlands will be cut adrift, basically, as semi autonomous regions, as more and more privatization of services comes in, and, in order to secure central government funding and build up their own resources, they will be in conflict with Scotland which cannot be other than the northernmost region. I believe we have already been allocated minimal status in this putative post Brexit UK and it will be our natural resources that will be of most interest to the UK (England, in actuality); that, and as a weapons silo for, perhaps, America as well as the UK. We will either descend into a wholly colonial relationship with the UK or we will be swallowed up by a Greater England, as has always been the ambition of the English ruling elite for a thousand years.

    London will continue to be the UK’s powerhouse for the foreseeable future. I cannot see any role for Scotland in all this except as part of a Greater England or as a colonized outpost supplying the centre. England will not be able to countenance any separate, real relationship on our part with the EU and Europe as world politics starts to throw up a new world order, just as they could not countenance it, or any attempt on our part to make our own way, in the run-up to the Union. Conditions are very much the same as then. Our hope lies in leaving the UK as soon as possible. Time is not on our side.

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  8. Hi Lorna

    I share your concerns over how brexit could work out for Scotland

    Quote: “I take your point that we could find ourselves out of the EU whatever we do, and there is a danger that this will happen.”

    Unless we get a Section 30, that is exactly what will happen with an Indyref before brexit. But I am not arguing that we must get a Section 30 to avoid that. What I am asking is whether we are prepared to do No Deal Scoxit in order to do Indy before brexit. And also whether we can carry a referendum for Indy with that in prospect? I can see that if we go down that route, the unionists will say that our referendum will mean Scoxit, which in turn will mean that the EU citizens who are very much on side for Indy will suddenly not be so sure or inclined to vote for Indy under those circumstances – and other Scots too will see this argument and be influenced to vote against Independence.

    And I think our EU citizens are an important part of who we are and who we want to be. I don’t think we want to inflict on them the uncertainty the Bristish state has inflicted and continues to inflict by knowingly going down a road that will result in Scoxit.

    So an Indyref without a Section 30 looks likely either to lose us the referendum or put us into a hard Scoxit which will be rather hard to escape from.

    Quote: “Eventually, Holyrood will go if we do not agree to this stripping of powers.”

    I share this concern, but I don’t think it will be immediate. On the day after brexit, I think we will be free of the need to get a Section 30 Order to get EU membership, because I think that the EU will be inclined to respect our sovereignty on its own merits under UN resolutions without the concerns they would have for explicit consent from the UK as a member state for a referendum as they would have had on the day before brexit.

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    1. оптик, a S30 Order is no guarantee of a YES vote win in the ensuing referendum. Even if they could prevaricate until after Brexit, whenever that will be, but I suspect Johnson is adamant it will be Hallowe’en, they will interfere in the referendum itself, and I fear that might call upon those in our midst who are not independence supporters and who fear for their own comfort to step up and undermine from within. I also suspect that this is already being done, and I would guess that agent provocateurs are already in place. It is only when we are willing to look at what the 2014 referendum told us about the demographics and when we are willing to understand why Westminster is so desperate for us to remain in the UK that the possibility of invasion even becomes harder to resist. That is why I would go to the international courts and place the spotlight firmly and openly on Westminster and dare it to become a rogue state in the global community. We have to fight on the terms we find we are being forced to meet the threat and the scale of the threat. That is also why I have never believed that a second indyref was desirable: it allows for far too many risks; and, in the end, we might lose again, anyway.

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      1. If you are not having an indyref, how are you going to legitimise indy within Scotland to a degree which would stand up internationally?

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    1. Juteman, if Brexit is cancelled, England will implode. The English MPs know this. Ours appear to be quite sanguine although the tsunami that would follow would engulf us, too. I am not being alarmist. I do believe that the revolution successive British governments have put off in every era by bending just enough will come at last to the UK, and to England, initially, but it could be a far right revolution. This is what the ruling elite/establishment fears most and it is what would unite them against the hoi polloi. No one can overturn a democratic (no matter how apparently insane) referendum decision by force. Even another EU referendum is iffy because, again, would the Leavers accept that one when theirs was trashed? I really don’t think so, and, while so many on this side of the border see Johnson as some kind of clownish buffoon, I have never been in any doubt of his ability to do damage or of his ability to choose friends like Dominic Cummings, whose ability to do damage surpasses his own. I think that, if he brings back May’s deal, but tweaked enough that some kind of backstop is available, the MPs should vote for it because the alternative will be catastrophic. I think we need to go now, and we need to resile the Treaty of Union to do it.

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      1. rUK couldn’t afford to lose Scotlands assets on top of the hit from Brexit.
        I really do think they would cancel Brexit to stop Scotland leaving. As you say, that would probably cause trouble on the streets of England, but they would see that as a price worth paying. I think the SNP have been forced into delaying any referendum until Brexit is a certainty, because they fear a Brexit cancelation.

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  9. “…If you are not having an indyref, how are you going to legitimise indy within Scotland to a degree which would stand up internationally?…”

    I’ve just outlined how. A treaty is an internationally-recognized agreement that is subject to international law for adjudication and which must be adhered to if them UK is not to descend into rogue state status. We must have the spotlight on the UK even if we have a referendum because only international observers can prevent wholesale cheating again. The whole point is to put the UK on the spot in the spotlight. I know the likes of Israel behaves with impunity against the Palestinians, but they do not have a mutually-agreed international treaty. If we resile the Treaty, the international community will recognize our independence.

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    1. Lorna, I am not saying you are wrong here, but I think you need to spell things out a bit more.

      You suggest resiling the Treaty of union, rather than a referendum. OK, now the questions:

      [1] how do you give that democratic legitimacy? For any international recognition, you have to show that you have have the support of a majority of those in Scotland.

      [2] Assuming that you go through this process this before brexit and you can demonstrate democratic legitimacy, there is a strong likelihood that the EU will not recognise this process [or any process] without a Section 30 order if the UK is still a member of the EU. So, how are you going to deal with the possibility of No Deal Scoxit?

      I can see several answers to [1], but I would like to know yours. And I can see that for [2], you might want to accept the possibility of Scoxit as a consequence of adopting a method for Independence without a Section 30 order. Although that has problems which I have already mentioned, it would be OK as an answer.

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      1. I hope Mr Bell will forgive our monopolizing of his site, оптик, but here goes: 1. why would you need a majority to agree anything under the Treaty? It would be resiled via a case brought on the grounds of both bad faith and others, equally important, and is strictly legal rather than political. If the case can be shown to be prima facie sound legally – that is, that the terms of the Treaty, the main ones that protect Scotland’s status as a partner, have been violated by rUK (England), as the biggest part of the UK – then we have nothing to lose. First, though, I think the Treaty would have to be ‘sound’ in law, and this case could be brought in the Scottish court before going to the international court. Proceedings could start before Brexit, putting our Brexit on hold, even if the rest of the UK left at Hallowe’en. I cannot see the Treaty not being ‘sound’ in law as it still underpins the UK – no Treaties/Acts, no UK.

        2. democratic legitimacy is neither here nor there. This would be achieved via ratifying referendum after de facto independence. How are you going to enforce the overturning of a democratic referendum decision? That is what is required for Brexit to fall. I have already outlined how England is very likely to react, and if Scotland was at the back of it, I shudder to think what they would do, yet that is what the SNP is proposing. The EU, like every other country, will recognize Scottish independence if the International Court of Justice and/or the Floor of the UN declare us to be independent. The right of the state of Palestine to exist within specific borders is recognised globally even though Israel and Palestine itself refuse to acknowledge those borders. The law does not require majorities of electors to function, or to rule upon its decisions. Yes, a democratic majority for independence would be the best modern option, but I don’t believe we will have that option, do you? We are heading for a NI situation, but with the emphasis more on ethnicity, unless we are very careful and unless we act very soon. The fact remains that a minority scuppered the last indyref and could do so again.

        I know that saying that doesn’t sit well with some, who will accuse me of anti Englishness, but there is no escaping the fact that a huge majority of rUK voters in Scotland ensured we did not achieve independence in 2014. Had they not done so, no one would be able to lay that fact at their feet. I am awaiting the election or choosing of the new Tory leader in Scotland. If that person is Adam Tomkins or one of the other English-born Tory MSPs, our fate will be almost sealed, as Johnson, and anyone else who occupies No. 10, will be able to work with that person far more than he or she ever could with Ruth Davidson, no matter what we think of her as a politician. She was Scottish and there was only so much she could stomach. Mind you, if they find a malleable enough Scottish-born Tory, I suppose it would not make a huge difference, but the likes of Tomkins is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He was one of the architects of Better Together, of EVEL and of other anti Scottish constructs, so I believe he would be more than willing to ensure that the SNP is embattled day in, day out at Holyrood to undermine from within, as will elements at Bute House and the Westminster Scotland Office under ‘Union Jack’, while, south of the border, they will do their bit from without – and that will include all the British Nationalist parties, the media, etc. You might think I’m being paranoid and silly, but time will tell. I really do believe they mean to finish us once and for all – if they can – and I also believe that they believe they have the SNP paralyzed.

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      2. Lorna Campbell September 21, 2019 at 15:47

        Thanks Lorna for a full and serious answer. I am going to come back to this because it’s obviously worth more of a read and reply than I can give it at the moment.

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      3. Re Lorna Campbell September 21, 2019 at 15:47

        On [1], I can’t think of a Court which would take a case to resile the Treaty of Union. You could try looking at the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties [VCLT] but this is not clear cut, because the States which were the original contracting parties are now subsumed into a single successor state

        I would be more inclined to look at a straight revoke by the Scottish Government. This would then place the onus on the rUK to go to court somewhere and it would be better than Scotland being the party going to court because generally in a civil case, it is better to be the defendant. But it does have the risk of bringing about one of the things you fear, which is restoring the union by military force.

        On [2], for the Scottish Government to do a straight revoke requires a democratic mandate. You say after, I say before, particularly with the numbers we have at the moment.

        At the present time, there is only a mandate for a referendum in which the Scottish Government will campaign for Independence. So this course of action is not available until 2021 at the earliest, assuming there is a party which would make a manifesto commitment to revoke the treaty of union unilaterally rather than after a referendum

        It is also argued that the SG could revoke right now and legitimise with a referendum. This seems reckless, in that we do not have the numbers to be confident that a revoke would be upheld by the electorate.

        But however we go about a revoke, if we do it before brexit, I am convinced that it will result in a hard no deal Scoxit, as I have already explained, because the EU almost certainly will not enter into accession negotiations with a territory which has seceded from a member state without due constitutional process. And I believe that the EU will be firm on this, even if Scotland has had its day in court and got international recognition.

        Once brexit has happened, I think that the EU will be less fussy about the process. But bear in mind that the EU can see what you see in the potential for the UK to resolve Scottish Independence with violence. It’s quite certain that the EU will not want a civil war just off its borders, which might spill over into Ireland, one of its members

        If you are OK with hard no deal Scoxit as the price of independence, I can respect that. But I can see that any course of action which leads to Scoxit is not going to get the support of EU Citizens in Scotland, because for them, it will be much the same as brexit. The support of EU Citizens here is important to me because it reflects the kind of country we are and should continue to be.

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  10. “…I really do think they would cancel Brexit to stop Scotland leaving…”

    Do you? I think they would send in the troops and subdue us by force, myself. As I keep on saying, the majority of Scots, both independists and British Nationalists, have not a clue about England’s ruling elite and the lengths to which it will go. Not a scoobie. We should be thanking our lucky stars for the likes of the Mr Bells of this world and his ilk. Anyway, I think I have monopolized poor Mr Bell’s blog site long enough. I have nothing to add to that which I have already stated.

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    1. Subdue who by force?
      Seriously, what would the troops do?
      I’m afraid that most Scots would just shrug their shoulders and go to the pub to discuss football and what they got up to at the weekend.
      The British State doesn’t need to put troops on the street. We Scots are now a bunch of pussies that accept getting told what to do by their English masters.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. They would use the excuse that they needed to protect their nationals (rUK) in Scotland because we all know just how anti English the Scots are – NOT. That is precisely what they did in NI, remember? Would the DUP be able to wrap Johnson round its little finger now, otherwise? I keep on saying: most Scots have no conception of what the British State will do to save itself. Not a scoobie.

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  11. “…On [1], I can’t think of a Court which would take a case to resile the Treaty of Union. You could try looking at the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties [VCLT] but this is not clear cut, because the States which were the original contracting parties are now subsumed into a single successor state…”

    Sorry, оптик, but that statement shows just how wrong you are. Even a class action, cried-funded, by citizens would be competent. We were not subsumed in 1707, and that can be argued cogently in any case before the international courts. The SG could revoke the Treaty, but under what legal circumstances? It is a contract between two states. Just as in all contracts, both parties are affected, and the best way to revoke a contract is to take the other party to court to show bad faith/dishonesty/onerous impositions, etc. Westminster would, prima facie, be liable under all these points, wouldn’t you say. In any case, there can be no getting away from the Treaty because it underpins the UK, the British State itself. Sooner or later, we are going to have to face up to the challenge of having it resiled because we no longer can abide by its strictures as a modern state, and it will determine a number of areas of negotiation after independence, just as the EU treaties will in the case of the post Brexit UK. The thing is that Westminster and Whitehall actually believe they have the right to behave one-sidedly, to make every decision affecting us, but the Treaty says otherwise.

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    1. Lorna Campbell September 23, 2019 at 13:45:

      Lorna, it is all very well telling me how wrong I am, but you need to be right yourself..

      You do not go to court to revoke/rescind/resile a contract. You just rescind it and the other side might or might not go to court to enforce their rights under the contract.

      While a treaty is like a contract, it is not dealt with under the law of contract, it is dealt with under the law of treaties. Contracts are between parties on the basis of the law in a jurisdiction. Treaties come under international law, which is nothing like a civil jurisdiction. You really need to identify which court and under which law or convention you intend to proceed, which is why I mention the VCLT. And ideally you need to point out a case which is broadly similar [ie a treaty being revoked, not necessarily a treaty of union] in order to show how this could work.

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