The Cherry approach

Keith Brown says “the reality is that people want [a referendum] and they want it to be made in Scotland, not in Westminster”. Which begs the question, why then is the Scottish Government so obsessed with the Section 30 process which, by definition, affords Westminster a role in the making of Scotland’s referendum?

He goes on to say “the longer the Tories try to block a referendum the higher support for independence will rise”. Which sounds to me like an attempt to rationalise prevarication on the part of the Scottish Government. It sounds as if the ‘plan’ is to invite the British government to spit in Scotland’s face repeatedly in the hope that repetitious disrespect will move the polls without the need for the Scottish Government to actually do anything – other than take the credit if the polls eventually twitch into favourable territory.

Could there be a more undignified way to go about the business of restoring Scotland’s independence?

Apart from which, the obvious problem with this ‘plan’ is that disrespect from the British state is the norm that people in Scotland have learned to live with. We are inured to the contempt. What indignation there is gets vented on trivial matters such as Scottish banknotes being refused by some ill-trained checkout assistant in an English supermarket.

And so to Joanna Cherry. The Sunday National reports her as suggesting “as a way forward against the “current impasse” could be for Holyrood to pass a bill to hold an advisory referendum”. Although when we look at the actual quote we find that the word “advisory” doesn’t appear. The Sunday National may have reason to suppose Ms Cherry meant to say “advisory”. But given that she is both a proficient politician and a highly experienced QC, my assumption would be that she tends to say what she means, and mean what she says. And what she says is,

Having Holyrood pass a bill to hold a referendum could be part of a multi-faceted strategy to move us away from the current impasse and stop the constant and unproductive talk about Section 30 orders and seeking ‘permission’ to act from Westminster.

Until the Sunday National spoiled it by inserting the word “advisory” this was looking like it might at least hint at an eminently sensible approach. The only sensible approach. We know that the Section 30 process cannot provide a path to a new referendum and the restoration of independence, regardless of whether a Section 30 order is granted or refused. We know that there is no effective process that the British state will not deem ‘illegal’. We know that the referendum must be made and managed entirely in Scotland.

We know that the primacy of the Scottish Parliament on the basis of its democratic legitimacy must be asserted. We know that assuming competence to conduct the exercise of Scotland’s right of self-determination would be a practical and viable way of both rejecting the sovereignty of the British parliament and asserting the sovereignty of Scotland’s people. We know that this is the necessary next step on the road to independence.

Taking Joanna Cherry at her word, I am fully behind her on this. Which means nothing, of course. But if enough of the Yes movement gets behind her – including SNP members – then Nicola Sturgeon will surely be compelled to rethink her approach to the constitutional issue.

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13 thoughts on “The Cherry approach

    1. I received a letter from Peter Murrel yesterday asking for more money as “we build our momentum towards the second independence referendum”.

      I have binned this and will not be contributing anything extra until such time as the SNP leadership take real tangible steps to restoring full Scottish self-government instead of the half-hearted efforts and repeated platitudes to date.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Understandable as this may be, I am firmly persuaded that we should persist with the SNP. It’s all we’ve got. And we don’t have time to get anything else. Rather than abandoning the party we should be campaigning to force a rethink on the SNP’s approach to the constitutional issue.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. To Peter A. Bell:

        I’m not advocating abandoning the party – we have nothing else at our disposal. I am loathe, however, to lend financial support to the leadership as they would take that to be an endorsement of their current approach. The leadership needs to change its ways, or be changed.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. One reason for the email asking for money might be because many of us cancelled our memberships after Nicola’s milquetoast effort on the 31st.

        That Cherry quote is very interesting, the most off-message any senior SNP head has yet been, and the clearest indicator that she’d like to take over from NS.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. It’s heartening to see that more and more figures like Cherry are questioning the narrative that we need permission to ask for our own liberty rather than just assert it for ourselves.

    Have you heard of MMT Scotland?

    Fair cheered me up. Videos are really interesting.

    As I explained earlier, when Norway declared independence on 17 May 1814, at a meeting of leading citizens at Eidsvoll and declared independence in a Norwegian Constitution (based on the US constitution) and set up the Storting (parliament) in Oslo, one of the first things the Storting did was set up a central bank. That was effective independence throughout the 19th century which the Swedish ambassadors at the Congress of Vienna were powerless to prevent. For reasons of European international security in the aftermath of the defeat of Napoleon, Norway was prevented by the international community at the Congress of Vienna from having her own military and was obliged to fall under the military defence arrangements headed by Sweden in this international agreement but was otherwise free.

    When we have our Central Bank we will be free bar the defence arrangements.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Peter you say, “Rather than abandoning the party we should be campaigning to force a rethink on the SNP’s approach to the constitutional issue.” Campaigning to force a rethink by the SNP is like campaigning to force a rethink by Boris. You often assert that Boris can not be forced to rethink. Can Nicola be forced to rethink? I doubt it!

    It’s hopeful that Joanna Cherry is beginning to abandon Nicola’s mantra and useless strategy. I hope that there is a groundswell among SNP members that will either force her to rethink or remove her from leadership. If things continue as at present the SNP will lose us our independence!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. “What indignation there is gets vented on trivial matters such as Scottish banknotes being refused by some ill-trained checkout assistant in an English supermarket.”

    Which is actually quite sensible, due to the fact that they often don’t circulate in England, apart from in Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne & Wear; hence people are not sure about being able to spot fakes. Training is not the point, familiarity is. No one is obliged to accept any form of offered tender, not even ‘legal tender’ (i.e. English notes offered in England) is obligatory.

    I even had an occasion in NE England, where there was a sign in a local Butchers about not accepting Scottish notes (Clydesdale I think), due to some fakes being in circulation. He had to put the sign up, as Scottish notes do circulate in small numbers. They could spot them, but it was simply taking too much time in store.

    When I worked in the south of England, even 25 years ago, I’d simply change my notes at a bank first, as they were confident at spotting fakes, and most shops would refuse them. The same happens with NI notes, and IOM notes. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen Jersey or Guernsey notes.

    Who here would be confident about spotting fakes for those other issues of notes? I’d probably decline them if offered in Scotland.


    1. I have had Northern Ireland notes in change here, and used them to buy things. I have no problem with them.


  4. If waiting around for Johnson’s refusal to grant a section 30 to increase support for indepedence is used as an argument for the current non-action, surely having the British establishment use a court challenge to stop a unilateral “advisory” referendum would actually accelerate the process?

    As many have aready said – what’s to lose?

    The SNP seem to be focussed on fire-fighting at the moment. That may keep them in government for years to come, but it won’t win us independence. I would like to see some initiative and a lot more assertive action. If this non-action has been a clever ruse, I will take it all back. But things have to happen quickly – in the next few months. At the moment, the jury’s out.


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