I do not consent!

I doubt if many reading this would change a word of the excoriating assessment of Boris Johnson’s character and competence offered by Nicola Sturgeon; unless it was to use less politic and more expressive language. Johnson is, indeed, disgusting, craven, reckless and, above all, untrustworthy.

But we already knew that. The First Minister was perfectly well aware of how untrustworthy and duplicitous and dishonest Johnson is long before he became British Prime Minister. And yet she did not modify her ‘strategy’ accordingly when he was maneuvered into Downing Street by whatever shadowy forces conrive such things. While she denounces Johnson on Twitter, in her day-to-day dealings with his regime she continues to behave as if he were just a run-of-the-mill British politician – arrogant, vacuous, venal, corrupt, incompetent, but not downright malicious and wanton and irrational.

Our First Minister acknowledges the uncontested fact that Boris Johnson cannot be trusted, but she insists on entrusting to him ultimate authority over Scotland’s democratic right of self-determination. Sturgeon scathingly denigrates Johnson in statements to the press and on social media, but maintains her commitment to the Section 30 process, thus putting Scotland’s future in the hands of a man she judges to be totally unfit to have any influence over the future of the UK.

Surely this requires some explanation. What is it that the First Minister is hoping for? Is she hoping for a final reel epiphany in which Johnson sees the sense that he has been blind to almost since birth? Does she anticipate a last-minute Damascene conversion to the ways of a sane world? Is she banking on Boris undergoing some sort of eleventh-hour metamorphosis such as transformed Scrooge overnight from grasping miser to beneficent philanthropist?

I have news for Nicola Sturgeon. Boris Johnson won’t be visited by the Ghost of Christmas Past because he is the ghost of all our past mistakes and misjudgements and misdeeds come to offer us, not redemption, but a future lived in a mire of corrosive regret. He is not a ‘bad apple’. He is the rot that afflicts all apples. He’s not Jekyll and Hyde. He’s just Hyde. He is not a freakish phenomenon thrown up by a political system in total disarray, but the inevitable product of a British political system which is inherently corrupt. Boris Johnson is exactly what he seems, and worse. He is all you take him to be, and less. He is everything you would want scrubbed, scoured and grit-blasted from the political life of any nation, and more. He is unprincipled, unscrupulous, amoral, self-serving and treacherous.

Knowing all this, the First Minister asks the people of Scotland to accept that our sovereignty be subordinated to an authority that is not derived from any democratic legitimacy, but bestowed on Boris Johnson by the corrupt British political system and imposed on Scotland by the Union.

Knowing what Boris Johnson is, Nicola Sturgeon continues to insist that he should be allowed to prohibit the exercise of our sovereignty. She persists in asserting that a referendum cannot be legitimated by the sovereignty of the people of Scotland, or by the international laws and conventions guaranteeing our right of self-determination, but only by the imprimatur of whoever has been elevated to the office of British Prime Minister by the apparatus of power, privilege and patronage which is the British state.

I find that insulting! Offensive! Belittling! Wholly inexplicable! And totally unacceptable!

I do not consent to this.

I do not consent to Boris Johnson, or any of his successors, being granted any effective veto over, control of or influence in the process by which the people of Scotland determine the constitutional status of our nation and choose the form of government which best suits our needs.

I do not consent to the sovereignty of Scotland’s people being compromised.

I do not consent to the Section 30 process.

I DO NOT CONSENT!



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8 thoughts on “I do not consent!

  1. So if Nicola continues with this strategy. Do we need to get rid of her Peter?

    I am asking because I can’t see another way to change what is happening to the SNP.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do not think it necessary or desirable to try and oust Nicola Sturgeon at this time. Besides which, I have absolutely no idea how this could be achieved. Neither the party nor the country is prepared to tolerate a challenge to her at this time. The only way her position could be undermined would be to withdraw our support and votes from the SNP. Which would be the most horrendous case in all recorded history of hacking off ones nose with a dull shard of glass to spite ones face.

      The alternative – and my preferred course of action – is to mount a campaign against the Section 30 process in the hope that it might force a rethink of the current strategy. So far, that campaign has been totally ignored. Just as the growing concerns about delay have been completely disregarded. We cannot afford to give up on either of these efforts.

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  2. Reblogged this on Ramblings of a 50+ Female and commented:
    I, also, do not consent.

    Our FM has said that she’s waiting on the outcome of Brexit but more than enough has happened in Westminster for her to go ahead with what she has three mandates for!

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  3. I think she is going to let Brexit happen. That will allow a years worth of harm to happen to Scotland before she ,might act.

    Assuming she is going down the section 30 route. Then indy ref 2 will never happen. We certainly never consented to that.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. We read this morning, through a FOI by the Tories, that plans are afoot to have certain measures in place before an indyref, and that this process has been in there making for the past two years. Could it be that Nicola Sturgeon wants the time to finish the project for next year when she will demand a S30 Order?

    I understand where you are coming from, and I agree. The SNP is tying itself in knots over the British constitution when there is no need to, at all, and the hi-jacking of the Supreme Court’s decision, ignoring very much the same verdict from the Scottish Court is symptomatic of how the British/English parties still treat us even when we are on their side.

    On the other hand, because of the existence of the Treaty of Union and the fact that it underpins the UK, there does not appear to be a way that the SNP will consider that is not through a S30 Order. The fear of being held to account for making an illegitimate move has caused political and constitutional paralysis in Scotland. Oddly enough, Stewart Stevenson, on Debate Night, hinted that he agreed with the proposition that the EU vote was a UK-wide one, moving away fractionally from the Brexit/Second Indyref Principle adopted by the SNP, but now proving to be a veritable handicap, on to an ‘independence because we need it’ footing.

    It seems, too, judging by the spate of letters from the usual suspects, and the refusal by all the British/English parties to compromise on independence, that Better Together Mark II is gearing up to stymie a second indyref even if a S30 Order were to be granted, thereby cutting off all democratic avenues (unless the SNP moves away from the S30 Order route, of course) to independence. Every constitutional obstacle from a 60% hurdle to 2/3 of the vote voting YES are being bandied about.

    I hope you will allow me to offer some insights from very eminent Scottish jurists – I know your feelings about lawyers, Mr Bell, but they are not all of the Rook, Fleece and Skinem Edinburgh-based legal firm or ‘stick to the well-trodden paths and don’t frighten the horses’ type either – because they show why we should not be wasting another moment on begging for a S30 Order, so I beg your indulgence here:

    “In the event of a ‘Yes’ vote, negotiations over the end of the ‘Union’ will almost certainly lead to issues arising as to whether or not the theory propounded by Professors Crawford and Boyle is correct…” – Ian Campbell CMG, former circuit judge and former Honorary Visiting Professor at the University of Liverpool, in The Union and the Law Revisited, 14 July, 2014.

    “From the outset the true legal nature of the Union of 1706-07 has not been properly understood, particularly in England, and there have been consequential mistakes in talking and writing about it, evidenced particularly by the way in which Scottish historians normally refer to the Treaty of Union, and English historians, and most politicians and members of the general public, normally speak of the Act or Acts of Union. The proper understanding of the legal nature of the Union is that it was an agreement made in 1706-07, not by the parliaments of Scotland and England, but by commissioners appointed by the heads of the executive of the independent states of Scotland and England (both of which offices were then vested in Queen Anne but acting in different capacities”) – the late David M Walker was Regius Professor of Law in the University of Glasgow from 1958-1990, and the above quote is from his writings in The Law Society of Scotland Journal, 18 June, 2007; he died in January, 2014, a great loss to Scots Law.

    He goes on to say: “…the fact that the Articles themselves (e.g. articles XIV, XV, XVIII, XXII) refer repeatedly to “this Treaty”, and that it is so referred to in other related legislation [are primary evidence that it is a treaty]. The word “article” is the proper technical term for a part of a Treaty, whereas “section” is proper for a part of an Act in domestic law. The agreement conformed to all requisites for a treaty in international law (Lord McNair, Law of Treaties (1961)…the fundamental cause of the continued misunderstandings since 1707 has been the continuing failure of the Westminster Parliament, and its advisers and draftsmen, to appreciate that the Union was made by a treaty within international law and merely ratified by the parliaments of the two uniting states under their domestic laws, so as to put themselves out of existence and create a new sovereign state in lieu. The Westminster Parliament could possibly repeal parts of the two ratifying Acts, but that would leave the Treaty standing because it is part of international law affecting Britain and the whole world, and not merely part of domestic law…”

    He adds that it is clear that any political development which requires reconsideration of the Treaty and relative Acts of 1706-07 will require careful handling to avoid repeating or compounding mistakes of the past. He adds further that The Scotland Act 1998 provided (sched 4) that an Act of the new Scottish Parliament could not modify, or confer power by subordinate instrument to modify, inter alia, articles 4 or 6 of the (English) Union with Scotland Act 1706 (c 11), and of the (Scottish) Union with England Act 1707 (c 7), so far as they related to freedom of trade. The late Professor also notes that: “…The tenor of the Treaty was included in both ratifying Acts, but neither of them professed to incorporate the text in domestic law…”

    In ‘The Union and the Law Revisited’ by Ian Campbell (Professor David Walker had died in January, 2014) in the Journal of the Law Society of Scotland, 14 July, 2014, and in which he is ostensibly writing about the Crawford and Boyle Report, which he agreed was unsound in claiming that Scotland was extinguished, he asserts that the late Professor would have seen C&B as continuing the mistakes of past.
    He states: “One may note at para 31 of the opinion of Professors Crawford and Boyle that they there fall into error in asserting: on 22 July 1706, commissioners appointed by the English and Scottish parliaments agreed on 25 articles comprising the Treaty of Union…[in] other words, the Treaty was not concluded by the Parliaments of England and Scotland…[accordingly] the suggestion made, as noted above, in the opinion of Professors Crawford and Boyle that: “If one of the two parties to the Treaty ceased to exist as a state in May 1707, it can no longer sound in international law”, is in my submission flawed. What this proposition ignores is that in the United Kingdom it is the Crown which is treated as a symbol, although not necessarily as a synonym, for the state.
    Did Queen Anne, in her Scottish capacity cease to exist in 1707?…”

    The UK Parliament met for the first time in October 1707, and Queen Anne addressed her subjects in the following terms: “My Lords and Gentlemen [no female MPs then] – my words and italics – It is with all humble Thankfulness to Almighty God, and entire Satisfaction to myself, that I meet you here in this first Parliament of Great Britain…” The Commons replied: “in making your Majesty the glorious Instrument of uniting your two Kingdoms…”

    From the Treaty itself, we have the following: Article 1 states that, from 1 May 1707 the Kingdoms of Scotland and England were to be ‘united into one kingdom by the name of Great Britain’ (UK of Great Britain) and their individual flags (St George and St Andrew) were to be combined into one common flag to represent the Union. The written Articles of Union, sealed by the Commissioners, using their own seals, were presented to Queen Anne, at St James’s Palace, on 23 July 1706, and the ceremony was witnessed by courtiers and foreign ambassadors. It should be noted that these diplomatic personages were normally present only when international agreements were being reached, as, indeed, is the case today.

    Ian Campbell also states: “…the Balfour Royal Commission on Scottish Affairs Report 1952-1954, presented to Parliament in July 1954 (to which the Law Society of Scotland gave evidence through its representatives), stated in its first Chapter: “Scotland is a nation and voluntarily entered into union with England as a partner and not as a dependency…” He adds: “…in the introduction to Scotland’s Constitutional Future 2 (p 4), under the subheading, ‘About the referendum on Scottish independence’, the proposition (hereinafter proposition A) is set out that: ‘The Treaty of Union (1707), which brought together Scotland and England in the United Kingdom of Great Britain, contains provisions which have been key in maintaining, amongst other things, a distinctive legal system in Scotland. This is undoubtedly a factor in the continued sense of national identity in Scotland even though the Treaty is 307 (sic) years old’. He continues: “…would Scotland cease to be a member of the European Union upon independence if proposition A is correct? It should not be forgotten that it was in the name of Her Majesty the Queen as Head of State of the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland that the United Kingdom acceded to the Lisbon Treaty…”

    Please note that neither the late Professor Walker nor Ian Campbell have concerned themselves with Scotland’s political standing, only the legal standing, and any political inferences or implications drawn are mine alone, but they show that the intention of the Treaty, and all that has flowed from it since, have been subjugated to English control and advantage, breaking the good faith of the Treaty itself and breaching its terms at will, and, therefore, acting ultra vires, enabling the Treaty to be resiled and repudiated by the Scots. This is part of the text I sent to the SG recently.

    PS: I will be in touch soon.

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  5. So, Scotland and England voluntarily joined together by treaty.

    Either party can unilaterally withdraw from a treaty – the USA seems to do that on a weekly basis. It seems clear that the English side has broken the treaty more or less from day one – not that that is necessary for us to repudiate the treaty (again, see Trump).

    The question is, who can speak for Scotland in this matter? Logically it must be either the Scottish Government (Holyrood) or the Scottish MPs at Westminster. Probably the Westminster MPs, since they are notionally at a higher level. Certainly it is reported that Margaret Thatcher was of this view – that if the SNP gained more than 50% of Scottish seats, then independence would follow.

    This seems like a really basic question, and it must have been considered – does anyone know what the answer was?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Anyone can, if he/she/they has/have an interest, which in law means that the case and the reasons for the case being brought have direct consequences for him/her/them. That is: all of us. Obviously, it would be better if the SG or its representatives brought the case, but it could be a class action, crowd-funded, led by an advocate QC, as the prorogation case was. There are several reasons for rising the Treaty being the best option available to Scotland’s independence movement: 1) the Treaty would be ‘sound’ in law and ruled in the International Courts, meaning that Westminster and Whitehall would not get their sticky fingers on it in the domestic sphere; 2. the whole action (and any challenge) would be carried out in the full glare of the spotlight of the international community; 3. assuming a ruling in favour of Scotland, the acceptance of the international community would be a mere formality. Also, it could be argued positively, that it is rUK which is seeking to leave the EU and not Scotland, within the terms of the Treaty of Union, and, therefore, since we all entered the EU as partners under the Treaty, we have no obligation to leave with rUK, but should be arguing, assuming that we want to remain in the EU now as a full member (and that can no longer be a foregone conclusion either) we cannot be forced out. We should remember that we signed international treaties with the EU and a No Deal Brexit or one that breaches those treaties will be actionable or justiciable. I would imagine that the EU will seek redress/compensation in the International Courts. Then, of course, if we are to be faced with the Treaty after independence, in any case – and we will because it is the legislation that both created and still underpins the UK, and rUK will not let what it sees as its own rights under the Treaty go easily, albeit a ruling in our favour will have the effect of giving us at least half the aces in the pack – we will already have an advantage. There are various issues to be addressed, too, such as successor and continuity state status which will require to be ironed out, but Scotland should not be afraid to take the course on these issues that serves us best, even if we end up walking away from some perceived rights and off-setting their loss against other gains. It will be a balancing act.

      As for the 50% of Scottish seats of Thatcher’s day, the SNP no longer recognizes that simple procedure as democratic. It is hard to resist the conclusion that a great deal of the problems we have, have been of the SNP’s own making, again because they seek always – mistakenly, in my view – to toe the UK constitutional line, although I can understand to an extent why they do so. We need only to look at Catalunyan repression or, closer to home, to NI, to see what could happen. Yes, we had the Claim of Right exercised on our behalf when we become devolved, but the truth is that it was exercised through Westminster, not as an independent Scottish constitutional right. That is why the MPs could give it the nod earlier this year. They had no conception of it being used except through the auspices of Westminster – again bringing us back to adherence to the British constitution, which, itself, is de facto wholly English, and is even so de iure.

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