John Bercow talks a great deal more sense than Pete Wishart. But this will come as little surprise to regular readers of the latter’s ghastly blog, with its ill-thought statements and industriously censored comments. In the latest edition of his mindless musings and extemporaneous mutterings from Perthshire Pete Wishart didn’t only argue for conceding the British Prime Minister’s authority to veto Scotland’s right of self-determination. He also referred to the UK as the “parent state”. Effectively arguing that Scotland is somehow derived from and necessarily subsidiary to the UK. Such revisionist history might be expected from the likes of Neil Oliver. It is not a million miles away from the drivel peddled by Rory Stewart as his contribution to Better Together’s denigration of Scotland. But coming from the SNP’s longest-serving MP it is nothing less than shocking.
While disingenuously claiming that an ‘advisory referendum’ is “being presented as a cost-free strategy to break the deadlock” Wishart himself presents his own strategy of indefinite delay and total compliance with the British state’s rules as a consequence-free strategy. At least, he doesn’t address any of the potential or inevitable consequences. If anybody presumes to question his strategy of fearful inaction and meek compliance they will find themselves blocked on Twitter and their comments deleted from his blog.
Apparently, Pete Wishart wants us all to forget about a referendum this year – thus contradicting Nicola Sturgeon in a way that might well constitute a breach of the Westminster group’s code of conduct – and focus instead on winning yet another mandate for the SNP in the 2021 Holyrood elections. He fails entirely to explain why this mandate should be any different from all those that went before and were ignored by both the British and the Scottish Governments. He says that if the SNP this shiny new mandate “there will be no available grounds on which the UK Government can legitimately continue to oppose”. Is he acknowledging that the UK Government had legitimate grounds for refusing to recognise those previous mandates? What are these ‘legitimate grounds? He doesn’t tell us. How could there possibly be ‘legitimate grounds’ for denying Scotland’s right of self-determination? He neither explains nor entertains enquiries on any of these points.
To be fair, Pete Wishart does touch on the possibility that the British state will continue to deny any mandate that Scotland’s voters give the SNP. He allows that if they do then he might be prepared to admit that “the ‘section 30’ road may indeed be running out”. Let’s gloss over the fact that anticipating the willing and honest cooperation of the British establishment in a project to dissolve the Union was always a self-evidently forlorn and foolish hope. Let’s see what Mr Wishart’s proposed course of action would be in the event of there being no change for the better in the British establishment’s contempt for Scotland and democracy. He says, “It is at this stage we consider all options to progress our cause.” Wow! That’s impressive!
What these options might be remains a total mystery given that Pete Wishart’s principal purpose in penning this dire diatribe was to reject all other options as ‘illegal and unconstitutional’. What is left after he’s ruled out everything other than the Section 30 process and that has failed as anticipated by more thoughtful persons? He doesn’t say. And he won’t accept any questions on the matter.
I have news for Pete Wishart. Some of us have been considering all options for years. Some of us didn’t close our minds to those options. Some of us have known for years that neither the Section 30 process nor mere ‘gentle persuasion’ was going to “progress our cause”. Some of us have tried very hard, against fervent opposition from such as yourself, to persuade the SNP to at least open up discussion about our options. All to no avail.
Determined that the culinary catastrophe of his cake shouldn’t lack a cherry on top, Pete Wishart regurgitates the idiocy that “independence has never been closer”. Had he been less determined to shut out all dissenting, questioning or critical voices he might have been aware of how plainly, unavoidably idiotic it is to claim that we are closer to independence now than we were when the polls opened on Thursday 18 September 2014. He didn’t listen. He didn’t think. It’s a fine-sounding phrase and possibly an effective platitude, so long as nobody gives the assertion any more thought than he did. He remains blissfully unaware of the impression he gives when he spouts such patent drivel. We might be forgiven for wondering how many potential converts to Yes he deters by bringing his party and the independence movement into disrepute.
Nicola Sturgeon needs to disown this distasteful and daft dribble and drool. I’m not suggesting she should censor Pete Wishart in the way he does any who criticise or question him. But she really should dissociate the party from such objectionable views and senseless blabber.
The UK is the state currently recognised by the international community, from which Scotland may secede. The UK is therefore the parent state. I really don't know why people get so upset about technical language.— Aileen McHarg (@AileenMcHarg) February 20, 2020
After Aileen McHarg basically told us all to wheesht and stop making a fuss about Pete Wishart referring to the UK as the “parent state” I thought I should try and hunt down the definition of what she claims is a technical term. I was unable to find one. Maybe it’s very, very specialised technical language.
What I did find was an article in which Dr Rebecca Richards (http://t.ly/0EXEO) a Lecturer in International Relations at Keele University, is quoted at some length. If her take on the meaning of ‘parent state’ is authoritative then maybe people shouldn’t be quite as complacent as Aileen McHarg would have us be.
From my reading of Dr Richards’s views on the matter it would seem that if Scotland’s status within the UK is as Pete Wishart asserts then it is all but impossible that Scotland’s independence can ever be restored. Even if that can possibly be the case it is exceedingly strange to find the case being argued by an SNP MP. Which begs a number of very awkward questions which,were they to be put to him, Mr Wishart would doubtless deal with in his customary contemptuous manner.
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