Don’t take me for a fool!

There it is again! The faclie nonsense about refusal of a Section 30 order being unsustainable absent any account of what makes it so. The complacent assumption that there will be a new referendum in 2020 absent any consideration of what the British political elite will be doing over the year until then. The glittering generalities about burgeoning support for Yes absent any explanation as to why the polls persistently fail to reflect this.

I suppose we can expect at least one of these every day in The National. A steady drip-feed of messages meant to assure us that all will be well if we just have faith in the judgement of the SNP leadership. And that is precisely what is being asked of us – that we have faith. That we believe against the evidence of our senses and the reasoning of our intellects. That we set aside all doubt. That we neither question nor challenge.

I don’t do faith. I cannot switch off that part of my mind that wants to question everything. I will not meekly accept vapid assurances. I require to be persuaded. And what might persuade me is, not vacuous platitudes wrapped in rousing rhetoric, but evidence and rational argument. Wrap that in rousing rhetoric and you’re at least treating me with that minimum of respect due to any citizen of Scotland. Or, for that matter, any person of normal intelligence.

Don’t just tell me it is not sustainable for either the Tories or Labour to continue blocking a new referendum. Tell me what makes it unsustainable. Tell me what it costs the British Prime Minister to say “Now is not the time!”. And you’d better make it convincing. Because I know how much of an imperative it is for the British establishment to prevent the people of Scotland exercising our right of self-determination.

Don’t just tell me there will be a referendum in the second half of 2020. Describe to me the process by which that referendum comes about. And your description better not assume that the British government will be idle in the meantime. Don’t try to sell me the notion that delay is a consequence-free option. Don’t assume I’m too stupid to have realised that the British state has the power to arbitrarily denude the Scottish Parliament of its powers, or to ‘suspend’ it indefinitely.

Don’t imagine I’m unaware that the British political elite will shortly be in a position to unilaterally redefine the Union and Scotland’s status within a ‘One Nation’ British state. Don’t dare suppose I am naive enough to think they wouldn’t do it. That they might be restrained by some sense of honour or respect for democratic principles.

Tell me how you propose to deal with eventualities such as these and I might start to find some credibility in tales of a 2020 referendum.

Don’t just offer me bland assurances about growing support for independence. Show me the evidence of it. Don’t just tell me you’ve got it covered and expect me to applaud like an old-time circus seal. Give me at least the bare bones of your strategy for a campaign that I can have confidence will be effective in persuading people of the urgent need to end the Union.

If I want to be treated like a credulous fool I’ll turn to one or other of the British parties. I expect better from the SNP. I demand better from the SNP.

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8 thoughts on “Don’t take me for a fool!

  1. What they actually mean is.

    “We hope to Christ it isn’t sustainable,because we have invested everything in the section 30 being granted.”

    I am afraid the SNP have no counter to the refusal. Angus McNeil tweets this on a daily basis. I am pretty sure Nicola reads his tweets on a daily basis.

    There isn’t a contingency plan ,because Angus would know about it, and stop tweeting about there being no contingency plan if he knew there was one.

    Why would senior MP’s not know about the contingency plan as a basic strategy and PR initiative ,if indeed there was one.

    Boris is openly talking about stopping Nicola appearing at the climate convention in Glasgow. Tories are talking about taking back castles! Other ones are talking about direct funding of Scotland from WM. Nicola for fecks sake can you not bloody wake up and do something before everything is lost!

    I am so angry now with this complacency!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s not the first time someone including myself has said, ‘think and act like we are already independent’. A simple enough idea, yet perhaps intangible for those who prefer ‘output’ rather than ‘influence’

    As you know Peter, I supported the S30 request, but I blogged somewhere that it’s not something to be meekly asked for, and certainly not asked for informally at PMQ. S30 is a process. It’s a bureaucracy. And it is part of Westminster governance. But it is something that we are entitled to, by the clear mandate(s) of the last 3 years that everyone reiterates.

    S30 is nothing more than a Civil Service process to be formally applied for. And everyone should think like this.

    So back to my comment that we don’t ask, we inform. And it should be done formally and communicated to the electorate. This is my original point that we need to think not as subjugated, colony, but as equal member of the Union.

    There is a schism between:

    1. How Scotland sees Holyrood and the Scottish Government


    2. The political & legal framework that Holyrood are actually working within.

    In other words, ‘Real Government’ versus ‘Pretendy Parliament’ (to quote Connelly) Many people in Scotland now accept Holyrood as the Defacto Government in Scotland. And it’s hard to see our MSPs go to Westminster to be reviled.

    It’s frustrating to imagine that all the power and voting majority is in Westminster’s hands.

    However, it’s not that simple. Westminster are worried. Imagine, you are in their shoes. One of the countries in their construction is showing strong signs of succession. The Unionists are panicking.

    Westminster well understand that they are unable to refuse a formal request for a S30 for many reasons:

    1. It would simply increase Indy support.

    2. They are already fighting on too many fronts, they have few global friends. (Ireland? EU? USA?) It’s easier to agree a Indy Ref and push the problem along, try to frustrate it and put it on a back burner.

    3. Refusal of this legal process, might encourage other legal challenges. For example, a crowdfund to raise a legal case on behalf of Scotland against the treatment under the Union. Brexit is the classic democratic deficit. Easily challenged if not proven.

    4. Westminster do not want an escalation of the discord in Scotland. Scotland would have many allies.

    Holyrood are shifting out from under the devolution framework. This is where the angst is coming from. Perhaps they are evolving too slowly for people who have a more radical view of Scotland’s place in the Union.

    Forget the S30, it’s not the obstacle that anyone imagines. It’s an enabler. One way or another.

    Our biggest obstacle is the various divisions that are creeping across the YES groups. Division has been sown and we are not handling it well enough.

    Our answer isn’t ‘Another mandate’, it’s to continue and strengthen the mandate that we have by returning 59 MPs in the imminent GE.

    This is what converts the ‘Pretendy Parliament’ to a real Scottish Parliament which can demand democratic rights, and cannot be denied democratic rights from Westminster.

    This is what Thatcher understood when she suggested that Scotland would have a voice when they returned a majority of MPs.

    There will be a referendum in 2020. I am sure of that. And we will hold to the same questions and same percentage.

    And devoid of any state intervention, it will be a YES

    Of course, they will try to frustrate, obstruct, frighten and generally claim that we are still too poor, too wee, and too stupid.

    The SNP need to make it absolutely clear in their manifesto that they stand on Independence and an EU referendum after.

    And for all the ‘impatient anger’ with the SNP that I see rising, I have yet to see the ‘solution’ that takes us wholly out of the Westminster legal and political constraints.

    Don’t get me wrong. I am angry, frustrated and bitter about Scotland’s treatment under this accursed Union. I despise Westminster with a passion.

    We have a serious squatters problem in Scotland. Labour, Conservative and Lib Dems are nothing more than English Political parties, squatting in Scotland.

    I am the first to agree to ‘Send them homewards to think again’

    We’d do well in Scotland to get on the front foot. Scotland holds all the cards. The game might be rigged, but Westminster cannot win it.


      1. Hi Peter,

        I read it when it was first published and a few times thereafter. 🙂

        But it doesn’t change my views.

        We both agree that people of Scotland are sovereign. But we disagree on how the political game must be played.

        For me, the real battle will not be at a S30 level. It’s merely a distraction. And perhaps something minor to dismiss in court if we ever reached the stage of Scotland arguing in International Courts

        And for all you rail about sovereignty, I see elements in you and your arguments that have been fashioned by decades in the UK. If we are indeed an equal member of this Union, then it is right to standup against ‘No deal’. It’s an imminent crisis.

        The mere act of challenging Westminster, has done more for Scotland’s place in the Union, than all the Independence arguments of the last five years.

        Westminster loses if it refuses S30, and we win if they agree it. It’s a win-win, in other words, for Scotland.

        There is a sea change beginning, and it is around Scotland’s true place in the Union.

        The words ‘People are Sovereign’ doesn’t change peoples’ minds. The SNP approach to Westminster and No Deal Brexit, plus the legal challenges, will change understanding. And will even shift ‘No to Yes’ if people start to understand that Scotland is not, contrary to their education, a colony, vassal state or something to be managed from Westminster.


        1. “S30 is nothing more than a Civil Service process…”

          That this is wrong isn’t a matter of opinion, it’s a matter of fact. As you would realise if you had read and UNDERSTOOD that article. The text from the Scotland Act makes it perfectly clear what Section 30 is. Quite why you continue to deny the reality is a mystery. But one that I have no interest in solving.

          “I see elements in you and your arguments that have been fashioned by decades in the UK”

          It is not possible to take you seriously.


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