Hope versus experience

Ian Blackford’s insistence that the next British Prime Minister will somehow be compelled to grant a Section 30 order is beginning to sound a bit desperate. Almost as if he’s trying to convince himself that respect for democracy will be the deciding factor. His entire argument hinges on the British political elite deciding that the imperative to preserve the Union is outweighed by the demands of democratic justice.

Does Jackson Carlaw sound like someone who has any understanding of democracy, far less respect for it, when he says “we will never give Nicola Sturgeon #IndyRef2” ? Does Boris Johnson’s bombastic ranting about “once in a generation” give the impression that he’s prepared to make any concessions to democracy?

However hard Ian Blackford tries to persuade himself, and us, that democracy must surely prevail, we cannot long avoid the reality that Carlaw’s ignorant, arrogant bluster represents the true attitude of the British establishment. And that includes Jeremy Corbyn.

Just as Ian Blackford entertains quaint notions about the British state deferring to fundamental democratic principles, so some are naive enough to suppose that Corbyn is different. Gerry Hassan’s rose-tinted, starry-eyed perspective is illustrative. Apparently,

Corbyn and McDonnell are not “against” Scottish independence per se. They believe in the principle that such a decision is fundamentally up to the people of Scotland. In this they recognise “the sovereignty of the Scottish people” which many pro-union politicians pay lip service to and which the Commons unanimously accepted in July 2018. They take it as a given.

If that is so, then why do they so assiduously avoid giving any firm commitment to a new referendum? While Ian Blackford strives, by force of rhetoric alone, to make the case that British intransigence on the constitutional issue is ‘unsustainable’, Corbyn is working just as hard to maintain a position which differentiates British Labour from their Tory cousins while not actually making any concessions at all.

According to Gerry Hassan,

Corbyn and McDonnell do not believe in the UK in the way that previous Labour politicians did. They see the UK as a force for imperialism, reaction and militarism around the world. This brings them to align themselves with a position which is anti-British establishment and notes its attachment to the politics of the union and its geopolitical interests. Scottish independence, they understand, is a body blow to such pretensions and power politics.

The idea of British Labour being “anti-British establishment” is every bit as fantastical as Ian Blackford’s notion that the British political elite might put respect for democracy before its own geopolitical interests. Gerry Hassan fails to see that it is precisely because those interests make preservation of the Union an overriding imperative that Corbyn would never be permitted to put the Union in jeopardy even supposing he was minded to do so. It is because of the British state’s pretensions to being “a force for imperialism, reaction and militarism around the world” that locking Scotland into the Union is an absolute necessity.

The obligations of democracy are as nothing compared to the dictates of the British state’s ambition.

Gerry Hassan ends by asking,

But does Labour have the political will and imagination to break with the last vestiges of the conservative elements of labourism as well as the ancien regime which has for too long defined power and privilege across the UK?

Pinning one’s hopes on that ever happening is, if anything, even less realistic than trusting that the next British Prime Minister might acknowledge Scotland’s right of self-determination and respect the democratic will of the Scottish people.

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13 thoughts on “Hope versus experience

  1. I read folk saying that refusing a second referendum on Scottish Independence is ” unsustainable” , as if some mysterious force would take the refusnics by the throat and force a sec30 Order out of them despite their resistance . Surely this is a prime case of Hope’s triumph over Experience .

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Oh dear, another demotivational whine from lost in the wilderness. The lack of vision and self-belief is palpable. You’re well on your way to becoming a true prophet of self-fulfilling negativity.


      1. You have well registered your reservations about the current SNP strategy over S.30 and its self-evident weakness, which is fair enough, but repeating it ad nauseam doesn’t make your case any stronger. In any event your criticism is premature and will remain so until the strategy is tested in earnest. If that fails then you can deservedly claim justification.

        (However you don’t seem to comprehend that an outright refusal, were it to come, would also represent progress of a kind. The same kind as provided by the ITV exclusionary beanfest tonight. The unionists’ worst enemies are themselves.)

        All your ongoing grumbling serves to do is bore at best and demotivate at worst, just at the very time when maximal SNP support is necessary, whatever is to follow. I find that worse than merely “pathetic”, I find that outright counterproductive, and no less so if motivated – as it seems – by mere personal pique. You should and can be bigger than that.

        Fair enough, your effective takedown of Gerry Hassan’s continuing self-delusion is well made. More of that kind of thing, please!


      2. So, it’ll be OK to criticise the ‘strategy’ AFTER it fails, Great! I will stop talking about the Section 30 process when Nicola Sturgeon does. So long as she is pushing it as the ‘only legal and constitutional’ process, I am obliged to point out the flaws in that argument. My loyalty is to the cause of independence. If I see that cause being put at risk, I have no choice but to speak out.

        Then it’s back to shooting the messenger with your silly wee water pistol. If you had any means of addressing concerns about the Section 30 process you would have come out with them by now. Instead, your only ‘argument’ is that those who don’t share your blind faith should shut up.

        Evidently, you can’t be bigger than your prejudices.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Your latest (typically ungenerous) ripose is cute, I’ll give you that. You set yourself up as judge, jury and executioner on a strategy that hasn’t even begun to be tested yet! You get 10/10 for chutzpah at least. You are as entitled to your opinion as anyone else, and your reservations may have some justification, but you’re kidding yourself (and your lone admirer) with this absurd delusional posturing as a Biblical Jeremiah with a direct line to God. To the rest of us you look more and more like a pub bore with a chip on the shoulder.

        At this critical juncture when the SNP needs all the electoral support it can get, it’s beginning to look as if you would prefer to demotivate people and do the party down just to prove your premature negative prognostigations right. (Getting your retaliation in early, as the old football saying goes.) To apparently achieve some perverse personal satisfaction from a repeat of 2017 with the Unionists crowing “there’s no support”. It’s not even as if you are offering any credible alternative strategy yourself. A self-defeatist on a mission. Not exactly a good look right now.

        I used to greatly admire your impatience for progress, but lately it seems to have curdled into a bitter-and-twisted negativity that can only offer succour to the enemies of independence.


      4. Blah! Blah! Blah! But still no attempt to address concerns about the Section 30 process. Get back to me if you ever have something meaningful to say.


  3. What is it that you’re looking for, Peter? That everyone who posts on here should agree with you and if not they’re called blockheads and are pathetic, etc. Great stuff coming from a so-called “thinker and listener.” Looks as though Iain Blackford, Nicola Sturgeon, in fact most SNP politicians, are a bunch of numpties too, as per you. Don’t you know that what people say in public isn’t always a clear sign of what they actually think, know or plan to do?

    And still not a negative word on here in relation to dozens of corrupt Unionist politicians, the biased MSM or even a comment about the latest forthcoming GE fiasco. Just an obsession with the S30O. The S30O that Nicola Sturgeon has said that she’ll deal with following the GE. Is this really a pro-Independence site? Just asking.


  4. “…And still not a negative word on here in relation to dozens of corrupt Unionist politicians, the biased MSM or even a comment about the latest forthcoming GE fiasco. Just an obsession with the S30O. The S30O that Nicola Sturgeon has said that she’ll deal with following the GE. Is this really a pro-Independence site? Just asking…” – Petra.

    For all critics of SNP independence strategy, Petra, that is our default position. If you haven’t understood that by now, why are you still posting daft and inaccurate comments? Yes, Nicola Sturgeon has said that she will deal with the S30 Order issue after the GE. Good. Then, when it is refused, I hope she will listen to us and not go down the line of trying to gain traction in the domestic courts, including the Supreme Court, because she will get nowhere, just as the party interviews debacle has proved what many of us have been saying. By all means go down the legal routes, but not in the domestic courts because they must be governed by existing constitutional principles. If we cannot have a second referendum in the Spring, I firmly believe it will all be too late. If Johnson wins this GE, we are doomed because he will expedite Brexit in full knowledge that he needs Sxcotl;and’s assets and resources for the next phase. If Corbyn wins this GE, we are doomed. If the Lib Dems win this GE, we are doomed. They are all British Nationalist parties and will not cut us loose. We will have to do that for ourselves.

    There is no way back; there is no fixing this, not even with a revocation of A50, which is now impossible, anyway, unless the people come out on to the streets of every English city and county town and demonstrate that they want it revoked, and they won’t, not in the numbers required because too many south of the border want Brexit; there is no answer to how we save Scotland than to gain our independence. The abuse of our resources, of our rights and of our future cannot be mitigated by some half-way house solution, and it will not stop. Indeed, after Brexit, if we are still in the UK, the abuse will only intensify and become even more insupportable. The moment that Brexit result was brought in, there was nowhere to go except to independence because Brexit itself means that Scotland’s well-being and the well-being of the other two parts of the UK will have to be sacrificed on the altar of England’s needs and wants, as per. Only, after Brexit, that will become more acute because the plans have long been that Scotland should be reduced to regional status and our powers and resources utilized for the greater good of the country downwind of us, or, at least, its ruling elite, the only ones, apparently, in England who know the reality of what the UK is and has always been. No word, no hint, of more powers regardless of what the SNP contingent at Westminster has said and done. No, there wouldn’t be because they have no intention of giving us any more, but, rather, of reducing the ones we have or of rendering them useless.

    We cannot wait. We cannot hang around to see how it’s all going to pan out this time. If we return to stalemate, it will be a stalemate of the English politicians’ making, not ours. However this plays out, we either go by Spring, 2020 or we stay with the UK and shrivel away as a nation. No one is having a go at Nicola Sturgeon for fun, for the sheer hell of it, Petra. We are all petrified, if you’ll pardon the pun, by the stonewalling of our every attempt to placate and co-operate. We must now save ourselves or we make a totally useless gesture and go down with the sinking ship. I’m sorry you think that Mr Bell is negative for the fun of it. He is not. He sees, as I see, that the solution is the SNP, and he, like me, is utterly at a loss to understand why the SNP is not using every weapon at its disposal now. We understand completely that Nicola Sturgeon has her job to do and that she must work for all, but not on independence she doesn’t, because this is now a matter of life or death of our country, and resiling the Treaty is our last hope, I believe. It is that serious. No theatrics and hyperbole. It is now that serious and we must move soon – immediately after the GE, no matter how many or how few MPs we have.

    Sorry, Mr Bell, for butting in again. I am in despair. We may yet snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, as is the Scottish wont.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lorna, a major challenge facing the movement for Scottish Independence becomes despairingly more apparent in the comments left on this site by Petra and those of that ilk, who unfortunately have learnt nothing from recent history regarding Scotland’s treatment at the hands of the judicial system and that of the English parliament. The Smith Commission Report and Sewel I believe being a case in point!
      The opinions presented by the author of this blog I would in general agree with, even more so in terms of the erudition expressed by endorsement and thematic expansion by those commenting, albeit with obvious exception. The debate that followed from A GLORIOUS U-TURN was highly illustrative of this point. Every opportunity must be taken in this forthcoming election campaign to challenge SNP candidates with regard to this S30 order strategy and to familiarise them with the case for Scottish Independence. From an informative perspective I would hope that you would continue to butt in without undue apology.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. ‘’Yes, Nicola Sturgeon has said that she will deal with the S30 Order issue after the GE. Good. Then, when it is refused, I hope she will listen to us and not go down the line of trying to gain traction in the domestic courts, including the Supreme Court, because she will get nowhere.’’

      FGS, you and your pal’s opinion of yourselves just beggars belief. ‘’I hope she (the First Minister of Scotland) will listen to us?’’ Unbelievable. Do you really think that you two are more knowledgeable than Nicola Sturgeon and her team of experts? What about listening to yourselves? And get real.

      It comes across to me, that you seem to think that she suffers from some kind of a cognitive deficit, as do some of us who post on here. You talk to people on this site, as does Peter, as though we’re a bunch of total ignoramuses whilst you actually know nothing about us. You know nothing about our background, about what we currently do, the qualifications that we have acquired and so on. And besides formal qualifications, etc, etc, you don’t seem to realise that hundreds of us online, if not thousands of us, are WELL aware of our history (past and present); the constitutional and legal issues; that the Unionist rat-pack can’t be trusted, that they consider us as being their wee colony; want to, NEED to, hold onto our assets and resources; require to house their Nuclear weapons in Scotland for numerous nefarious reasons and that if we don’t get out of this Union ASAP Scotland will be decimated. You’re not telling us anything that the vast majority of us don’t know. Although you seem to think that you are … some kind of an oracle. More to the point you’re not telling Nicola Sturgeon anything that she’s not fully cognizant with already. In fact it stands to reason, if you have the ability to reason at all, that Nicola Sturgeon must be aware of MANY issues that you and Peter Bell don’t have a blooming clue about.

      In reading through your latest post, it must be hellish for you right enough thinking that the FM of Scotland has lost the plot and that folks like you are saner and smarter than she is, however have no real control over events. That would surely leave one with doomladen thoughts and feeling petrified. If you’re right, and you seem to think that you are, you should just give up and throw in the towel, because no one else is going to get us out of this hellhole, especially not you and Peter Bell. So how do YOU suggest that we ‘’save ourselves or make a totally useless gesture and go down with the sinking ship?’’

      You say, ‘’He (Peter Bell), like me, is utterly at a loss to understand why the SNP is not using every weapon at its disposal now.’’

      Lorna, Nicola Sturgeon has dealt with this long drawn out saga, most effectively, every convoluted step of the way. Peter has stated that Independence isn’t reliant on Brexit and yet most people would disagree with him. If it wasn’t for Brexit Independence would have been a long time coming, if ever at all, imo, with the drip, drip, drip damage that would have been heaped on Scotland over time. Brexit has given us a second shot at this and Nicola Sturgeon, in using the Brexit clusterfeck to achieve her objective, stated that she would clarify her intentions when the (initial) outcome of Brexit was known (clarified to some extent). Well, I hate to point it out to you, but we haven’t reached that point yet and even so she has already divulged some of her plans. And that by the way includes going ahead with Indyref2 even if the UK ultimately decides to remain in the EU following the GE.

      And do you REALLY think that she’s going to divulge ‘’every weapon that she has at her disposal’’ right now? What successful leader has ever done so at any time in history, anywhere in the World? She’d have to be downright crazy to do that, however as she hasn’t decided to inform you and Peter, et al, of the ” weapon / s that she has at her disposal” you guys are extremely annoyed with her, undermine her at every turn and as a consequence of her not listening to you …. ”stonewalling of our every attempt to placate and co-operate” …. are literally sh*tting yourselves. Or are you?

      You say that the way forward is to ‘’resile the Treaty’’, as it is our last hope. Do you reckon that should happen before or after we can prove to the EU / International community that a majority of sovereign Scots actually want this to take place? Either way do you actually know if Nicola Sturgeon plans to do this or has she ruled it out? Oh right, you don’t know because she hasn’t been obliging enough to send you or Mr Bell a wee email informing you guys of her intentions.

      Whatever the case, I say that ”our VERY last hope” is Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP. If you don’t support them, worst still continue to undermine her / them, who exactly to you think is going to be in a position to ‘’resile’’ anything at all? You and Peter?

      Anyway last post from me on here. One less person to deal with that lives outside of your wee depressive, destructive (for Independence) online bubble. You can all get on with it and agree to …. agree with each other.


  5. “this is now a matter of life or death of our country, and resiling the Treaty is our last hope, I believe. It is that serious. No theatrics and hyperbole. It is now that serious and we must move soon – immediately after the GE, no matter how many or how few MPs we have.”

    Well said, Lorna. It feels like we are on the decks of the Titanic which has just been hit by the iceberg which is the Withdrawal Act with the removal of powers from the Scottish Parliament. We need to make for the lifeboats soon.

    Peter – thank you for continuing to question the s.30 strategy.

    Liked by 1 person

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