Rethink required!

To request a Section 30 order is to compromise the sovereignty of Scotland’s people. The sovereignty of Scotland’s people is not negotiable.

Sovereign people do not require permission to exercise their sovereignty.

Sovereign people do not require permission to exercise their democratic right of self-determination.

Sovereign people should not take lightly attempts to trade their sovereignty for some legalistic bauble and an easier life for those we elected to defend our sovereignty.

Requesting a Section 30 order is an affront to the very concept of popular sovereignty. It is, thereby, an affront to democracy. The requirement for a Section 30 order is an insult to the people of Scotland and a blatant breach of international laws and conventions.

Why is our First Minister intent on pandering to a requirement which is clearly unlawful and unenforceable? Why is our First Minister not challenging this requirement instead of submitting to it? Why is the First Minister willing to compromise the sovereignty of Scotland’s people by insisting that it is subject to the consent and approval of a British government we didn’t even elect?

Either we are sovereign, or the British monarchy / parliament is! If we are sovereign, we require nobody’s consent and approval to exercise our sovereignty. If our own political leaders concede our sovereignty, on what do we base or constitutional claim?

Committing to the Section 30 process is the most appalling political folly. Asserting that is is the only and essential ‘legal’ process by which Scotland’s right of self-determination may be exercised goes beyond political folly. What happens now when a Section 30 order is refused? What alternative course of action can Nicola Sturgeon fall back on having declared them all ‘illegal’?

And supposing a Section 30 order is granted, how will Nicola Sturgeon go about re-asserting the popular sovereignty that has been compromised? How will she respond when the British political elite sabotage the Section 30 process – as they certainly will, this being the only reason they would grant the Section 30 order in the first place.

When the Scottish Government compromises the sovereignty of Scotland’s people by requesting a Section 30 order they are giving a solemn undertaking only to proceed to a referendum when and if (a) the Section 30 order is granted; and (b) when there is an agreement between the two governments on all aspects of the referendum. How easy would it be for the British government to sabotage the negotiations for that agreement? They need only make one unacceptable demand. Is there seriously any doubt that they could and would do so?

No Section 30 order! No referendum! Section 30 order but no agreement! No referendum! And no alternative process because the First Minister has declared that ONLY the Section 30 process is legal.

Nicola Sturgeon is banking on the British political elite acting in good faith. She is gambling the entire independence cause on a process that is designed to thwart the independence cause. And, in the process, she is undermining the sovereignty of Scotland’s people.

This is not acceptable.



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17 thoughts on “Rethink required!

    1. I can’t speak for what Peter here, would do, but I would have the Edinburgh Parliament vote to Dissolve the Union, and withdraw Scottish MPs from Westminster.
      That should have happened within months of the Brexit vote in 2016.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. How can the Scottish Parliament just go ahead and dissolve the Union without proof that a majority of Sovereign Scots support such a move, Gordon? That’s in line, imo, with the illiberal, undemocratic Libdem proposal to take it on themselves to Revoke A 50, if they ever get into power (ha ha).

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      2. I was going to warn you that you’d be accused of recommending that the Scottish Government should act without a mandate. I see I’m too late. Some people simply don’t have the wits to think things through for themselves. You have to explain the concept of a confirmatory referendum to them with diagrams and pictures.

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      3. Couldn’t agree more, GK. If the SNP won’t do that – and it won’t – then we need to ‘persuade’ them to do so or take a different route to independence.

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  1. Aye, the implications of the upholding of British parliamentary sovereignty were not foreseen and will not be taken aboard even now. It should have been an opportunity to point out to the world that Scottish sovereignty rests on entirely different principles, and that, although the SNP were co-operating and compromising because it was necessary to do so to stop a No Deal Brexit and to re-instate parliamentary scrutiny, it, in no way, defines Scottish constitutional law or the constitutional bid for independence. I believe that the SNP needs to set up an entirely separate independence unit that does nothing but work out ways in which we can get round the British constitution legally and legitimately, work out what the opposition is up to and work out how we can best leave them behind. It should report back without fear or favour, and its recommendations should be acted upon. Neither the Westminster group nor the Holyrood executive has the time and energy to run an independence campaign properly any more, but both seem reluctant to relinquish control over the process even when fundamental and very easy-to-spot blunders are being made. No one is blaming the SNP leadership. Being in power is exhausting without having to keep all the political juggling balls in the air at the same time.

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  2. Petra: Scottish independence is entirely different from Brexit, for a start. The independence vote was lost in 2014, but the crass and illiberal actions of Westminster in not recognising that Scotland was entitled to voice on Brexit, the 62% in Scotland vote against leaving the EU and the contemptuous ways in which the British/English Nationalist parties have taken upon themselves to veto even a revisit to the independence issue are all excellent reasons for the SG to argue that, while we are not what the international community would regard as your bog standard colony, we are very much treated like one. If we do not use the Treaty as a lever to at least indicate that we are very serious about independence, Westminster and Whitehall will carry on manipulating the puppets up here to continue to block the SNP’s path and, ultimately, to bring it down from within, as well as from without. Brexit was a UK-wide vote, regardless of how you feel about Brexit and Scotland’s 62% Remain vote, and parliament itself voted by a largish majority to place the decision in the hands of the people of the UK. They voted for Leave. Any revocation of the S50 Order, even with a second EU referendum, will lead to Farage moving to the front in England, with the backing of Brexiteers and right-wing Tories. The Lib Dems are so stupid on this issue that it is beyond belief that they manage to function at all. They would be setting the precedent in England for overturning a democratic vote. They are acting very much as Johnson did with prorogation of parliament. They, too, will face a class action if they do this, and it could be much worse than that.

    In Scotland, albeit we lost the first indyref, there is no precedent or constitutional block that can prevent another. You keep on saying that we would need a majority of Scots, new and old, to achieve that, and, indeed, that is the stance of both the SNP and the YES movement. Explain why we would need that when we have a perfectly good Treaty to resile? It was there SNP that did away with a simple election majority in order to bring in independence, setting a negative precedent; it was the SNP that insisted on a S30 Order and Edinburgh Agreement last time (and I understand why) that also set a negative precedent; and it was the SNP that refused to challenge the legitimacy of the rUK and EU NO vote, even though they were against the UN’s own protocols for independence referendums. “We was robbed” is not putting too fine a point on it. Can you explain just how we get this majority who will vote YES when all the signs are that previous NO voters have barely responded in the three and a half years and more since the Brexit vote? Can you explain how we will galvanize a demoralized and crippled Scotland after Brexit, especially if it is a No Deal Brexit? Why do the Scots not understand that we are co-signatories to a Treaty that makes us partners in the Union and, therefore, we have to ask no one if we may resile it in light of the other co-signatory’s blatant contempt of due process, of its utter disregard for our rights as its partner and for the offensive and undemocratic blocking of every avenue of escape? Why do we sit twiddling our fingers at what is none other than a travesty and a disgrace? Petra, it would be democratic, legitimate and legal for us to resile the Treaty and end the Union without asking our opponents if they agree. Of course they won’t, but they will be forced to defend their anti democratic stance in a court of law, just as Johnson and his cohorts were forced today to face up to the illegality of their position. A class action was brought, partially crowd-funded. We can do the same. We do not need the permission of Scottish naysayers, EU NO voters or rUK colonials to do so. All those who believe in a better Scotland for all, regardless of origin or colour or creed or anything else, need ask no one’s permission.

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  3. Peter we need to be very honest. Do you think Nicola Sturgeon will move away from the section 30? I don’t.

    So does she need to go,in order for us to get independence? Because following your outline above she is going to ruin any chance we have.

    I think she wants another 5 years as FM. But as you suggest. This is unnaceptable for our movement.

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    1. I don’t see how it is possible to maintain the commitment to the Section 30 process. Neither do I see how it is possible for Nicola Sturgeon to abandon it. What is certain is that she cannot survive the failure of the Section 30 process. Frankly, I don’t know where this goes from here.

      In these situations I often ask myself what would happen if this was a movie or a book. But no author would ever have written their main character into a situation as intractable as this. It simply wouldn’t be credible.

      So I ask myself, if I was presented with this plotline and asked to figure out how to resolve it, I’d probably resort to a ‘palace coup’. An internal plot to remove Sturgeon and replace her with someone who could dump the Section 30 process without suffering any personal harm.

      But I fear that, in order to make this work, I’d have to invent a whole new batch of SNP politicians.

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  4. Lorna I don’t need a lesson on what’s gone on over time, I’m entirely conversant with it all, and I also understand (rolling eyes) that “Scottish Independence is entirely different from Brexit.” I used the Libdem Brexit example in response to Gordon’s post to highlight how just trashing the 300 year old Treaty would be regarded in the eyes of the people that Nicola Sturgeon represents, that is ALL Scots.

    You can say all you like but at the end of the day it would NOT be considered to be democratic, legitimate and legal for Nicola Sturgeon to go ahead and resile the Treaty and end the Union without a majority of Sovereign Scots supporting such a move. I don’t give Jack sh*t about our “opponents” and what they think, but I do care about the Scots, Yes and No supporters and how they would react to such a move.

    Can you imagine it, fgs? Imagine what some of the millionaire/billionaire Unionists would do? Sit back and stay schtum? No, at the very least they would bombard the Scottish Government with lawsuits that could drag on for years and cost us a fortune. What would the ordinary Scottish No punters do? Take to the streets? What would the UN or EU do if Nicola Sturgeon put her case to them without that majority? Chase her? And what about the fence-sitters that we are trying to convert? They would just see her as being a wee dictator. All of which would prove to be detrimental to us getting anywhere at all, imo.

    When Nicola Sturgeon has a majority behind her she can then wave that Treaty in front of their noses and list the MANY breaches of such, some of which you have mentioned on here. Add to that the potential for an Irish Sea border. Another breach. And if they choose to ignore her she can then get our / International courts involved.

    However I don’t see it going there at all. A GE is looming and from all accounts the SNP will do well. We’ll also have a better idea of the Brexit situation and who exactly will be running the show, such as Johnston?, Farage, Swinson, Corbyn (or coalitions). I don’t see any of them, or configuration of, appealing to the Scots. Brexit (type then clarified), in whatever shape or form wouldn’t appeal to the majority either, as we know. Polls would indicate that support was rising, as has been happening even although you haven’t noticed any shift in the last 3 years. Nicola Sturgeon would then request an S30 confident of the support that she requires. Who knows they could acquiesce, especially as they’ve had a wee taste of CoS rulings and if not the case could then go to the Courts in the sure knowledge that Nicola Sturgeon is representing the majority of Sovereign Scots.

    We’re both agreed that dissolving the Union will probably end up in the Courts. Where we differ relates to that majority of Sovereign Scots or not. I won’t change my mind about that and I don’t see you changing yours either, Lorna. We’ll just have to agree to disagree.

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    1. Petra: I wasn’t trying to come over all know-all. I tend to treat others as intelligent human beings, and I have to admit that I am frequently disappointed. Think about the Supreme Court decision today: did those bringing the action present the Court with evidence of a majority wishing to Remain in the EU as a main tenet of their case? Nope. The reason? Because the law does not require a majority of anything to bring forward a ruling on constitutional grounds. The Treaty is part of our constitution – ours and theirs – and we may bring an action to resile if we please. The only consideration would be that we have a prima facie case.

      If, for example, the UKG decided that all Scots who support independence should be interned, would you wait for a majority before you decided to challenge? During the Troubles in NI, many things that the British government did were later ruled to be unconstitutional. It is a fundamental mistake to imagine that the law cannot rule on constitutional matters. Patently, three courts just did.

      I heard an English barrister today whine about politicization of the courts. What dim-witted nonsense from someone who should know better. The Scottish Court, the English High Court and the Supreme Court are all competent to rule on matters constitutional, with the Supreme Court being the Court of Last/Final Appeal, as the HoL used to be. Hitler had all those judges and all those advocates removed from the system whom he knew would uphold the constitution against his party’s illegal predations and had them exiled or placed in concentration camps. If the law is not a danger, like reading and learning and trade unions (intellectuals were removed, too, as were leftists) then he would not have bothered.

      Right-wing governments rely on people not utilizing their constitutional rights. If even the 45% who voted YES in 2014 were to bring an action to resile the Treaty, it would have to be taken seriously and the case would reflect the bad faith and ultra vires actings of successive Westminster governments, and also on the blocking of any democratic means to achieve independence in light of Brexit, not whether there is a majority for independence. It is the actings and the outcomes and the intentions of the party being sued that are paramount. After that, a ratifying referendum would be held to give the democratic approval to the resiling and the dissolution of the Union.

      If people still opposed independence in those circumstances, they would be deemed, I am sure, to be vexatious litigants. If you are suggesting that a civil war might ensue, then I would argue that one will almost certainly ensue if independence is thwarted and there is no democratic way to leave the Union. It was exactly these conditions in relation to the lack of Catholic civil rights, after years of stalemate, and the blocking of all means of relief from that condition, that led to Bloody Sunday and the outbreak of civil war in NI. This is exactly what I have been trying to warn against since 2014. When you hand all the aces in the pack to people who are fundamentally wedded to the status quo, in an uncompromising way, as both the NI ultra Unionists and their Scottish reflections over here were and are, you are creating the very conditions for conflict. As you say, we must agree to disagree.

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    2. Petra, ….The Scottish Parliament can, and should revoke the Treaty of Union.
      It is not a case of the First Minister, all by herself, declaring Independence, but of a majority vote in the Parliament, with the support of the majority of Scottish MPs at Westminster, and also, by those MPs abandoning Westminster for good.
      We can have the follow up Referendum vote later.
      Waiting, and waiting, forever, and ever, and ever, for something that is never going to be given us, get Scotland, where?
      As for trashing the old Treaty of Union, the fact is, England via its Westminster Parliament, and rulers, and tits treacherous minions in Scotland, have already trashed the Treaty, and for many a long year, too.
      How much more damage and destruction must we allow to this country, under London rule, before we do something about it?
      We don’t need to wait any longer for Brexit clarity, or to wait and see how it pans out.
      And as for the majority of Scots, we have evidence enough, that most do want Independence, and others actually do not care that much one way or other, and will have a shrug of the shoulders,and their own,” lets see how it goes” approach.

      It is for Labour and Libs to justify their anti Scottish stance.
      Do Labour politicians in Scotland really prefer tories ruling over us?
      We know what the Libs want, and don’t want. They want to stop Brexit, and want rid of Prime Minister Johnson,.but they don’t want Corbyn in Downing Street either. Their pro tory policy will keep him in power.
      And we see support for these anti Scottish politicians fall to next to nothing, now.

      True, there will always be the die hard imperialists who want to keep with the Union at all costs, and couldn’t care the damage done, and already done.
      We see orangemen in Glasgow and elsewhere, tramp past empty bits of land, where factories and shipyards once stood. They support the very entity, that created those bits of empty land, and the destruction of their very own communities that went with it.
      A price worth paying for the Union!
      Ruth Davidson outrageously pandered to such groups, as did the likes of Labour MSP James Kelly.
      But most Scots have no time for these small, if vocal groups And we have to move forward.

      The present SNP way, is not the right way. It is leading us nowhere.
      And while many are in admiration at MP Cherry and her successful appeals thru the Court of Session, that does nothing to stop Brexit. In fact, it does nothing for Scotland inside the Union. .London can still impose whatever other policy it suits, on a wide range of essential services and economic matters.

      So long as London believes Scotland will not act against the Treaty of Union, it will continue as is, and not ever care for us.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. We’ll never get independence by pandering to English law. Using International Law is the only way to go, and, according to Craig Murray, is recognised by the English government of the UK. This talk by him is well worth listening to.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are correct, habibsteele. The assumption always is – and the Supreme Court actually ruled this to be the case – that anything England decides in relation to the devolved administrations must be right. This has come down to us because the lickspittles after 1707 did not challenge the assumption that this was a subsumption. It is quite unbelievable that then, and even more so today, people still believe that s***e. Oh, no, let’s ask for a S30 Order that will be denied. If it’s denied, we will all rise up in protest. Just like we did with Brexit? Give me strength. The Supreme Court was so profoundly wrong then, but has actually redeemed itself (well, over the omnishambles that prorogation would have caused, anyway). Any cursory reading of the Treaty shows it to be an international treaty, shows it to be a partnership. Now, the last thing we want is to bring evidence that the Treaty should stand and the UK be vindicated as a partnership. That is the last thing we would want. No, it must be resiled on the grounds that England (rUK) has acted ultra vires and in bad faith throughout the 312 years of the Union; that we have been treated almost as a colony. The EU, even though it also is veering towards political and military integration now, doesn’t treat its members with that kind of contempt. You can still leave. They don’t make it easy, but you can still leave. The UK is gradually ruling out all democratic paths to independence, and the SNP appears to be quite sanguine about it. Are they hoping that Johnson will fall, that they will hold on till 2021 or at least take a majority of seats in another GE? Then what?

      Like

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