Messengers will be shot!

Nicola Sturgeon has a column in The National today.

Today I will join thousands of others in the heart of Glasgow to demand Scotland’s right to choose independence.

The First Minister of Scotland concedes that our right of self-determination is in the gift of the British political elite.

Another election win for the SNP will make the case for this country having the opportunity to decide its own future simply unanswerable.

What makes this mandate different from all those that already exist? What has changed to render “unanswerable” the case that Theresa May demonstrated was answerable by the simple expedient of not answering?

And the National’s rally today is a great chance to show Westminster that Scotland’s voice will not, and cannot, be ignored.

All experience tells us that Scotland’s voice both can and will be ignored. Again, Nicola Sturgeon fails to explain why it should be any different this time.

The question people are now faced with is whether Boris Johnson or the people of Scotland themselves should control this country’s future.

The First Minister of Scotland has declared her intention to acknowledge and validate the authority of the British Prime Minister to “control this country’s future”.

And I am confident that people across the nation will answer that question in a resounding fashion on December 12 by rejecting Johnson and his increasingly extreme right-wing government.

We’ve been rejecting those governments for years. What difference has it made? Why might it be different this time?

This election is Scotland’s chance to escape Brexit and to put our future in our own hands.

Actually, it isn’t. But it’s a great line – so long as you don’t think about it.

I could go on. But what’s the point? Nobody, least of all Nicola Sturgeon, will attempt to address any of these points. Instead, they will condemn and castigate those who not only have the audacity to think rationally about what the First Minister says and does, but the effrontery to give voice to their concerns.

Five years ago, in the aftermath of the 2014 referendum, this is not what I envisaged. I anticipated that lessons would be learned from the first referendum campaign. Following the EU referendum in 2016, my expectation was that there would be a marked change of mindset in the SNP and the Yes movement. Instead, it’s as if nothing that’s happened since 2012 has been taken on board.

Over the past eight years or so, pretty much everything in the political environment has changed – except the mindset of the SNP leadership. Their attitude to the British state has, if anything, grown more deferential. Or, at least, the deference is more explicit. Their approach to the independence campaign hasn’t developed at all. Unless you consider demanding rather than requesting permission to hold a referendum a significant development.

But, as I say, it is futile to speak of such things. Messengers will be shot.

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13 thoughts on “Messengers will be shot!

    1. It’s all about the mindset. The words that Nicola Sturgeon chooses reflect and project her mindset. And it is NOT the mindset of someone who can provide the leadership that Scotland’s cause requires.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I take your point but all the same I find it hard to seriously criticise NS. She has the whole country to govern, ultimately the Indy buck stops with her, and for every ‘rabid Nat’ in the population there will be several middle-of-the-road types. She has to take the whole nation with her, as far as that’s humanly possible. How to judge just the right speed and course? Exactly the attitude to strike?
        In this particular case, I think she’s come over too deferential to London, whether by design or accident. But then I’m glad I don’t have her job, and doubt I could do any better. Maybe you think you could, who knows?


  1. I can’t see what your solution is, to be honest.
    Is it to pronounce that we dissolve the union, or maybe just have a unilateral referrendum, which will be boycotted by unionists, making it completely invalid?
    We can see the problems for ourselves and Im sure NS is aware too, but, a valid and transformative solution is a different matter.


    1. Others have written about the solution. Former Ambassador Craig Murray has shown that even the English government of the UK is of the legal opinion that “ law has not treated the legality of
      the act of secession under the internal law of the predecessor State as determining the effect
      of that act on the international plane. In most cases of secession, of course, the predecessor
      State‟s law will not have been complied with: that is true almost as a matter of definition.

      5.6 Nor is compliance with the law of the predecessor State a condition for the declaration
      of independence to be recognised by third States, if other conditions for recognition are
      fulfilled. The conditions do not include compliance with the internal legal requirements of
      the predecessor State. Otherwise the international legality of a secession would be
      predetermined by the very system of internal law called in question by the circumstances in
      which the secession is occurring.

      5.7 For the same reason, the constitutional authority of the seceding entity to proclaim
      independence within the predecessor State is not determinative as a matter of international
      law. In most if not all cases, provincial or regional authorities will lack the constitutional
      authority to secede. The act of secession is not thereby excluded. Moreover, representative
      institutions may legitimately act, and seek to reflect the views of their constituents, beyond
      the scope of already conferred power.”

      I do not understand why Nicola and the SNP leaders do not take the route of using International Law as the route to independence.


      Liked by 3 people

      1. Presumably because they are not yet convinced there is sufficient support within Scotland to allow them to get away with it, both in practise and also in international law?


    2. Graham – In 2014, 2 million Scots voted No. This was 55% of the vote on a very high turnout of 84%. Scotland therefore stayed in the Union.
      That being the case, if 2 million Scots voted Yes in the next referendum, that would be an equally valid result for independence, regardless of whether or not it was ‘boycotted by Unionists’. Decisions are made by those who turn up to vote, not by those who don’t.

      The problem identified by Peter is that NS has put us in a similar position to the one the SNP got themselves into in 2014, when they predicated Scotland’s economic future on English cooperation with Bank and currency sharing.

      We are back in the same territory. It’s all in the hands of the UK government, and no Plan B. In 2014 we know what they did when we asked them to be nice. How do you think they might play it this time? Answers on a postcard…

      At the moment ‘Scotland’s future in England’s hands’ would be a more accurate reflection of SNP strategy.

      The strategy should be the perfectly reasonable one advanced by the MacNeil / McEleny amendment. If / when the UK gov’t refuses, assert the democratic legitimacy of Scotland’s right to choose and get on with it.

      As Steelwires has pointed out, NS need look no further for iron-clad arguements than the UK Government’s own contributions to the hearing on Kosovo’s declaration of independence.


  2. Peter I am your biggest fan but have you ever stopped to think that playing by their rules and winning by their rules might just be the way to do it


  3. I’m just wondering how you’re feeling, Peter? I’m asking because your articles, one after another, fairly drag people right down. It doesn’t matter what Nicola Sturgeon says or does as far as you’re concerned she can’t do anything right. When people at work disagree with anything that I propose I put the ball back into their court and ask them for their proposal / s. People of a constructive frame of mind can outline their ideas in an instant. People who basically have a destructive type of mindset, sit with their mouths agape and can’t come up with jack sh*t. You fall into the latter category. The constant reeling off, of your gripes about Nicola Sturgeon / the SNP, are wearing (thin) and are totally meaningless if you can’t produce a counter argument. What about just telling us what you would do … For A Change … if you were in her position?


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