Nicola Sturgeon may be “a believer in the power of democracy”, but her confidence that any British Prime Minister might accede to her ‘demand’ for a Section 30 order requires that they share her belief. Nothing that’s happened in British politics over the last thirty years or so persuades me that democracy has much to do with it,
The people have already demonstrated their desire for a referendum. The Scottish Government has a ‘triple-locked’ mandate. What is it about another mandate which makes the British political elite’s opposition unsustainable? They’ve been sustaining that opposition rather well up to now. What is it about yet another SNP election victory that is going to change their attitude? The First Minister declines to explain. So we are left with empty rhetoric.
Not granting a Section 30 order is both preferable and easy for the British Prime Minister. It doesn’t matter who the incumbent is, the role of British Prime Minister requires that the holder of the office be absolutely committed to the preservation of the Union. The notion that Jeremy Corbyn could be an exception would be naive in anybody. In the First Minister of Scotland it is positively outlandish.
Given that the British Prime Minister – whoever it may be – is bound by the imperative to preserve the Union; and given that they can so easily prevent a new independence referendum happening, to believe that they won’t is entirely a faith position. It is a belief of the same order as being absolutely convinced that you will win the lottery this weekend because… well… just because.
I don’t do fantasy politics. I don’t do faith positions. I don’t believe in magic. If something happens which appears to defy nature or logic, I want a rational explanation. I invite Nicola Sturgeon to explain what it is that is going to make her demand for a Section 30 order irresistible.
From where I stand, the First Minister’s strategy relies entirely on the goodwill, god grace and good faith of the British Prime Minister. Or some fluke by which the British Prime Minister fails to stop a new referendum despite this making no demands on them whatsoever. Or magic. I’m not seeing anything here that I’d be prepared to gamble Scotland’s future on. Evidently, Nicola Sturgeon sees something I don’t. What is it?
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