It is time!

“It’s time to give Scotland the chance to choose our own future.” – Nicola Sturgeon

Give? Really, First Minister? Not to be pernickety, but how can the British government possibly “give” the people of Scotland something which is inalienably ours? How might they gift us something which isn’t in their gift?

And even supposing it was theirs to give, why would we want it? Why would we want anything the British state might be prepared to give to us? If they are prepared to give it, they must consider it worthless. And if it turns out not to be worthless in our hands, they reserve the right to take it back.

Language matters, First Minister. It both expresses and shapes our mindset. If you habitually speak as if you are a supplicant carving a boon from their superior, then that is how you will tend to think of yourself. It is certainly how others will be led to think of you. Especially if you are, by your words, merely confirming their prejudices.

In refusing a Section 30 order Boris Johnson is not clinging jealously to something that is his. He is trying to impede our taking something that is ours. He is attempting to deny us the full and effective exercise of our sovereign right to determine the constitutional status of our nation and choose the form of government which best addresses our needs, priorities and aspirations.

To speak of Scotland being ‘given’ the chance to choose our own future implies that there is some doubt about the fact that the choice must be ours because the future is. It implies a mindset which regards independence as something that would be nice to have if only we could persuade the British state to grant it to us. Better for that you, as First Minister of Scotland and leader of the SNP, should think of independence as an essential thing that is rightfully ours but which is being wrongfully withheld from us by the British state.

Asking for “the chance to choose our own future” also implies a persistent hope that the British political elite will eventually relent. That they can be won over by incessant appeals to reason or principle or conscience. I ask you, First Minister, what cause is there to suppose this to be anything other than a forlorn hope? Does not all evidence and experience indicate that the British political elite is determined to preserve the Union at any cost? Do the words and deeds of British politicians not tell of an abiding disrespect for Scotland and for democracy? Has it not yet become clear to Scotland’s political leaders, as it has to increasing numbers of Scotland’s people, that locking Scotland into the Union is an overarching imperative for England-as-Britain?

And even supposing the right of self-determination was theirs to give and they could be persuaded to give it, do you not recognise that this ‘gift’ would come wrapped in caveats and conditions and conceals traps such as to make it useless for our purposes?

Please, First Minister, stop saying, “It’s time to give Scotland the chance to choose our own future.” Start saying that it is time for Scotland to take what is rightfully ours. Time to defy Boris Johnson and the British government. It is time to stop trying to avoid a confrontation that can only be avoided by abandoning Scotland’s cause. It is time to accept that the route to independence does not and never can lie through Westminster but must be by way of the only Parliament which can claim democratic legitimacy in Scotland. It is time!

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13 thoughts on “It is time!

  1. I concur with your sentiments again Peter , this adherence to language is imperative , this has been instilled in our population for centuries , promoted repeatedly by people who consider themselves to be our betters , what many many people feel from our politicians supposedly acting on our behalf is an aloofness , a lack of passion , an unwillingness to address the urgency that our situation demands , they appear to be content in reacting to westminster driven policies and demands rather than proactively creating situations .

    I personally am disgusted at the lack of challenge to the lies and misinformation spouted day and daily by the MSM particularly the broadcast media , where are the representatives when being interviewed openly and vigorously demanding that these lies and untruths be corrected before continuing , only today I recd a email video from indyref2 showing that purveyor of PISH toodleoo openly STATING on broadcast that Nicola Sturgeon had PROMISED that the 2014 ref was once in a lifetime , The SNP and NS MUST INSIST that this cretin correct this broadcast and bar him from ANY public announcement

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Well said Peter. I know we have tried to capture the ‘high ground’ by being reasonable and not breaking the rules and conventions but the time has come not to ask but to demand. As a lawyer Nichola will understand the importance of words and how they can be construed but it is time for her to be assertive rather than submissive. We need her to show some ‘devil’ and to face down any in the senior hierarchy who would insist on maintaining this softly softly approach.

    We should know by the end of the month.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. “Please, First Minister, stop saying, “It’s time to give Scotland the chance to choose our own future.” Start saying that it is time for Scotland to take what is rightfully ours.”
    The problem with seeking a S30O is that it presupposes the sovereignty of the English Parliament of the UK over Scotland. It attributes to it an authority it does not have. My chief problem with Nicola and the SNP mandarins is that they have adopted a British ( = Greater English) mind-set. The SNP has become British rather than Scottish.


    1. I was joyed to see Joanna Cherry start pushing Scotland legal case today.

      But WTAF…why was this not started 2 years ago – and where was this hutzpah for Scotland when she was instead doing the Article 50 case in 2018.


      1. Did she ? Haven’t seen that yet. But welcome nonetheless.

        I don’t see why the FM cannot remain ‘regal’ while some other MSPs & MPs up the ante – regularly – for example describing Nandy’s comments as the ugly side of British nationalism might be a start. Good for headlines. Ultimately, we have to call the unionists out. We should have done so with the BBC a long time ago, strip away the cloak of neutrality under which it hides. We should be aiming to install Independence at our cultural core & not just as an anti-tory tactic with limited shelf-life.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Can anyone name one country that was part of the former British Empire, that applied for a S30 order to enable it to become an Independent nation (excl Scotland of course). It appears that our politicians are so servile they are frozen to the spot. Why are we not withdrawing our MP’s from Westminster, why are we not organising our trade union members, where are the days of action. Where is the civil disobedience and where/what is the SNP’s escape plan ?

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Good article as always. I don’t like the idea of splitting the vote but the SNP don’t seem to have a plan on how to deal with with the secton 30 issue and lack the killer instinct required to put Westminster and its accomplices BBC etc. to the sword. An independent broadcaster should have been set up in the immediate aftermath if 2014 and some forward planning should have been put into place ensure all voters were informed of the true impact of independence in the years ahead. As it stands we have allowed the establishment to run a mock with misinformation and the voters on the fence are still on the fence when they should have been firmly in the yes side. I don’t believe a valid and fair referendum will ever be a route to independence so the next SNP manifesto should contain the wording we will declare independence if we return above 50 % of the popular vote. Any further delay will result in splinter groups forming as people are becoming restless. I know I am.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. One of the reasons I pushed for a referendum in September 2018 was that I foresaw precisely what is happening now; including the splintering to which you refer. Obviously, I couldn’t say this at the time as I would, with some justification, have been accused of provoking the very thing I was warning about. Some will say that it’s pointless discussing what should have happened. I disagree. We must be careful not to obsess so much about what might have been that we think too little about what must be. And if our consideration of the past focuses only on mistakes and blame then we will surely fail to learn the lessons that we must.

      There are lessons aplenty. The problem lies in figuring out which are relevant to the changed circumstances, and how the lessons might be applied. Especially given the fact that our political leaders appear oblivious to those lessons – selectively blind because to learn the lessons they’d have to acknowledge their mistakes.

      Of one thing I am certain. There must be a referendum. Scotland’s independence can only be restored with the consent of the people. That consent must be beyond doubt or dispute. This can only be achieved by plebiscite.

      Unfortunately, the SNP has committed to an approach which replicates the 2014 referendum to the fullest extent possible. The party leadership has totally ignored all concerns about and criticism of this approach and refused to countenance any internal discussion of possible alternatives. They seem unshakeable in this commitment. So talk of what should be happening may be deemed as pointless as talking about missed opportunities. Again, I would disagree. But only if we are talking about what can realistically be done to retrieve the situation – supposing it can be retrieved.

      With every passing day I grow more despairing of the prospects for Scotland’s cause. Not because I am given to pessimism by nature but because I am realistic.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Peter ,
        Thank you for the reply.

        I have no faith that a future referendum wouldn’t be rigged hence my reasoning. The stakes for the crumbling empire, royal family and aristocracy are too high. The cannot afford to lose Scotland and in the event of separation would be plunged into a deep, long lasting depression with no means of servicing the astronomical national debt.

        Our leaders need to stand up and be counted as they have done so in Catalonia. Treat Westminster with the same disdain and contempt they have for Scotland. Maximum disruption is required; there will be pain along the way but nobody ever won independence by any other means. It certainly wont be won by peaceful protest and a fair referendum as a fair referendum will have to be conducted internally and will never be recognised. That doesn’t mean I don’t think we shouldn’t have one.

        We are up against one of the the most crooked and dishonest regimes in the world. Breaking away from this will take extraordinary resolve and commitment to the cause which seems to be lacking under the current leadership. I cannot believe we have 2 weeks to go before being dragged out of the EU are we are still on our knees, begging for our masters approval over something which is ours to take.

        Only in Scotland…

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Good stuff again Peter.

    I’ve taken some stick over the past 5 years from the “Get a Grip” wing of the SNP for making many of the excellent points being made on this forum. I am now reduced as a lifelong 67 year old Scot(never having been a Brit) from as an 11 year old handing out wee SNP badges at Woodmill High Dunfermline to a curmudgeonly auld goat. Hoping above hope that our esteemed leader will suddenly turn on the 1st February from the gradualist submissiveness of her 5 year reign, to the firebrand who destroyed Carmichael, Moore and Lamont in times gone by, and through using a magic wand called unconditional support from the UN and EU to sweep our wonderful wee country to freedom. Alas this is when I always wake up.


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