Federalism fails

When British Labour brings out the ‘F’ word it’s because they fail to recognise three things.

  1. For any federal settlement to be acceptable to the people of Scotland it would have to be freely negotiated in a way that is not possible under the conditions imposed by the Union. Scotland’s independence would have to be restored first.
  2. No federal settlement can address the issue of asymmetry and be acceptable to the people of both Scotland and England. Parity would, with justification, be perceived as relegation by the people of England. Disparity would, by definition, fail to address one of the principal issues with the Union leaving Scotland no better off.
  3. No federal settlement can possibly achieve anything which couldn’t be better achieved by a new form of association freely negotiated between two nations in an atmosphere of parity of status, mutual respect and commonality of interest which can only exist with the restoration of Scotland’s independence.

Federalism either couldn’t possibly be negotiated, couldn’t possibly resolve the main issues or would leave an evidently better settlement which the people of both England and Scotland must surely aspire to and strive for.

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10 thoughts on “Federalism fails

  1. The F word gets trotted out when the yoons think independence is inevitable. It’s a desperate attempt to hold Scotland to the crumbling union, holding Scotland by its Sinews.

    It’s like putting an elastoplast on a severed artery.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I remember from my studies in Scottish History in university 45 years ago that the Scots wanted a confederacy with England. England insisted in an incorporating union. A confederation of independent sovereign states in the British Isles may not be a bad thing. Could the English, however, accept not controlling the confederation? Perhaps a confederation of Scotland Ireland and Wales would produce a more equal relationship between sovereign states than is possible with England. It looks as if the English really want to be on their own anyway, or be Greater England with Scotland and Wales as regions of England.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “…It looks as if the English really want to be on their own anyway, or be Greater England with Scotland and Wales as regions of England…”

      Your sentence sums up the dichotomy of the English mind, as I have found it, leaving aside all those who support our independence, and I welcome them on board. The first part of your sentence sums up a large part of the English attitude south of the border, now, to Scotland, and the second part sums up a large part of the English attitude to Scotland north of the border, and was eminently discoverable in the run-up to the indyref of 2014, and ever since. In other words, the English in the south are, I would suggest, Steelwires, outspoken about their perception of the Scots and Scotland, while a large – the majority? – of English people in Scotland want to retain links and ties with England, but appear to be incapable of imagining a different context in which that might be the case (a loose mutual interest confederation of independent states, as in Scandinavia, for example?). Always, England must be top dog. A thousand years of conditioning, where Scotland must always bend the knee or suffer the consequences of English hegemony, would appear to be paramount here.

      That is the mindset that must be overcome or left behind and disregarded as we move forward – if we move forward. It is yet another reason for not risking a second indyref, where the rUK voters will hold, as they did in 2014, the deciding hand which could take the indigenous Scottish NO voters over the line again. The pusillanimous approach to this dilemma is part of the reason we are in a state of paralysis because no one wants to rock the boat. Unfortunately, rocking the boat will not be enough to gain our independence; we will probably have to overturn it and spill everyone out who still clings on to their deluded fantasies about how they might control matters – and that includes both the three British parties and their supporters, and all those who continue to act against international law in their opposition to independence. It is not in any way anti English to point out this dichotomy, but it does show, and is in keeping with all previous instances, of imperialist/colonialist attitudes to the peoples of the nations where English people have settled (and Scots, too, in the days of the Empire, it must be said). It must not be allowed to derail us, in my opinion, through some counter-productive and self-exclusionary policy of putting everyone’s else’s sensibilities first, where those sensibilities are profoundly totalitarian in nature.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. “It is yet another reason for not risking a second indyref, where the rUK voters will hold, as they did in 2014, the deciding hand which could take the indigenous Scottish NO voters over the line again.”

        I still don’t get this claim, but maybe it depends upon what attributes one must have in order to be deemed an ‘indigenous Scot’, or maybe what one must not have in order not to be disqualified from being one.

        If we take the last census figures, we can round up the number of folks born in the rUK to at most 10%. If we assume they all vote against Independence, then then that means we still need 51% of the others to vote for it. Doing the maths that means one has to convince 56% of non rUK voters in order that the views of that 10% can simply be overridden.

        So what am I missing? In what way is that 10% the deciding factor?

        Is it simply that the YES side is unable to convince 56% of their fellow ‘indigenous Scots’ of their argument?

        Or are you disqualifying even more people from ‘indigenous Scot’ so that such make up fewer than 90% of the population?

        As to a federation, in some ways that would be a trap. Members can leave a confederation, members of a federation give up that ability (c.f. States of the USA).

        Liked by 1 person

    2. For any kind of rederation to be feasible England-as-Britain would first have to get over its exceptiona;ism. Which takes us from the cosy rationality of political speculation into the realm of futurology.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. JB: I am saying, because all the research I have done for myself, suggests that the percentage of rUK voters in Scotland who wish to retain absolute ties with England-as-the-UK (and that means, logically, Scotland being corralled inside the Union) is a huge majority of their numbers in Scotland. The rUK voters are more than 10% now – the last Census was in 2011, and was out-of-date even in 2014 – and the EU voters, who might be expected to vote YES this time around, are lower in numbers than in 2014. Yes, you are right that it is indigenous Scots who form the biggest NO group, but not per capita of their population, as 47.3% of them voted NO, while 52.7% of indigenous Scots voted YES. The indigenous Scots won, and you can deny that till the cows come home, but it is fact. Ergo, logically, the rUK voters hold the deciding hand (EU NO voters in 2014, as now, will not make a massive difference. Now, putting all notions of anti Englishness aside, almost 75% (three-quarters) of their number in 2014 voted NO – a supermajority, you will agree. Why? Why do you think?

    It has nothing to do with whether they are regarded as Scots or not, because they are in every essential sense. What it does have to do with is that they are representative of the very nation from whom we are trying to escape – those of us who desire independence. Under the terms of the UN Charter, the NO voters among them can be regarded as ‘colonists’, as defined under the Charter and international law, and should not be allowed to scupper the absolute right of another people to their self-determination. I fully accept that self-determination and independence may not be the same thing, but that does not negate their negative influence in any pre independence referendum. If the voting pattern for any future indyref is the same as that for 2014, we cannot possibly win. It is as simple as that. We will require to turn hundreds of thousands of both indigenous Scottish NO voters and rUK NO voters to win. If you could just stop and think rationally about what was done to us in 2014, you will see that it was not the indigenous Scots who offered an ethnic vote, but rUK NO voters themselves.

    Even in the EU referendum, indigenous Scots did not vote by almost 75% to scupper the Leave vote. Everyone else, across Europe and in Eire, understands that Brexit was all about English hegemony and Nationalism. Only the Scots fail to see it. Only the Scots seem unable to separate out adverse ethnic influences from the rest in fear of being accused of being anti English. I am no racist and I am not anti English: as I have said before, I have English family; but neither am I a fool who cannot see that we must take our independence and not wait – in vain – for people who will never change their views because they fear the break-up of the UK and their own security within that UK – as it is. I can understand that, but I cannot accept that that gives them the right to corral us into a Union so many no longer want or that is, in any sense, of benefit to us, but quite the opposite. Resiling/dissolving the Treaty avoids another divisive indyref and it is legal, democratic and legitimate. If we carry on, on this path, we will live to regret it profoundly and, if I am still around, believe me, I will tell you so.


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