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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34 thoughts on “With friends like this…”
Wishy-Washy at it again, I see. What an a**s*. Opens his mouth and lets his belly rumble.
Westminster is our “parent”! Well I suppose it makes a change from being our captor.
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Too many asterisks. I can’t spell arse!
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I guess that makes me a ‘more thoughtful person’ not a high bar on this occasion but I’ll take it…. 😂
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I think the world would be a better place if he just kept his gob shut. Whenever he speaks it is just a lot of negative hot air that comes out. :”Independence has never been closer”.
Well from where I’m sitting it seems to be disappearing into the sunset of the British Empire. We were closer to independence in 2013, when at least we had a choice coming our way in 2014. Right now there is no referendum , no date for a potential referendum, no sign of movement on the section 30, no alternative plans from SNP HQ. In fact given we are only 9 months from catastrophe. Hasn’t it all gone eerily quiet!
There is a minimum statutory period of 3 months to run a referendum. So any referendum has to be agreed by June in order to avoid a December referendum.
Essentially we are 4 months away from everything being in place for a 2020 referendum to be held.
Then there is the idea of the 2021 election being used as another mandate! But why is that new mandate any better than the one in 2016, 2017 or 2019. If 3 can be ignored , then 4 can be ignored.
This is groundhog day for independence. Something must change and it must change now. Pete Wishart is part of the problem not part of the solution.
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I had to go to Pete’s blog yesterday to experience for myself the total claptrap the guy was spouting. Some of it is cringeworthy embarrassing and I really don’t know how this guy ever got selected as an MP.
On another note and speaking of other options. I have read previously the suggestion on making the 2021 Scottish Parliament election a plebiscite on Independence.
Is this a realistic proposition and do we think the SNP would go for it?
The Unionist masses couldn’t possibly boycott the election. Or could they?
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2 million votes secured a ‘No’, so 2 million would be a legitimate mandate for yes, regardless of how many ‘boycott’.
I think PW – and many in the SNP – could do with a session from Bill Dale on Framing. And a primer on the British Constitution.
Quite simply, they seem to not know what they are talking about.
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YES have been caught out by their own short sightedness.
The VOTE SNP no matter who…has come back to bite Indy supporters and hard. The YES crowd who spouted: don’t rock the boat, don’t make noise focus on indy, and don’t split the vote…All that self censorship has gotten you is a party no longer razor sharp on indy.
It would be hard to argue that YES’s natural political party is currently filled with the leading indy thinkers able to lead the movement – let alone build it to the majority everyone hopes for. In fact the litany of false bravado unkept promises over the last 3 years make it look decidedly weak.
The current malaise is all its own making. How to solve the cuckoos in the nest is the big question.
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The YES movement had precious little choice but to rely on SNP for most of the past few years.
I do agree, we could, and actually do need another pro Independence political Party.
But it isn’t fair to blame the YES movement, for the failings of the SNP leadership.
Few would have though it even possible the SNP could lead us to this point.
But now they have, it is for YES movement to make it very clear to SNP, its strategy at present, is getting nowhere, and it has to change, or it will go the way of Labour.
I know the First Minister has said the believes another Vote is still possible this year.
That remains to be seen.
But why this absolute insistence on a vote, rather than revoking the Treaty of Union first, I can’t figure.
And it isn’t good enough to girn about Westminster policy, say, immigration, etc, while not being prepared doing anything about it.
So the problem is not YES,.Its’ not them who are telling us not to rock the boat, but does seem to be an SNP thing, as we see, with the likes of MP Wishart,, and we begin to wonder why is even in the SNP these days, if that is is line of thought.
You’d think his local SNP group would have asked about his wild views, and sought clarification, or even deselected him. But no… they keep with him regardless.
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…”Few would have though it even possible the SNP could lead us to this point.”….
People have been shouting about this for over 2 years. Just go back an read Peter’s blog from that time and it is a snapshot of this slow-motion train wreck. The comments are full of 2 stories – people warning about this very outcome – and those telling them to be quiet. Jeggit/Grouse Beater/Indy Car/Wings/ MrMalky and others are similar stores.
In reality it doesn’t really matter if it is by design or poor political skill – the outcome is the same. A YES party who not only painted YES into a corner – it also kept a lid on YES agitation during a once in 300year opportunity/threat. Again I go back to the question:
If the SNP can’t/won’t deliver INDY – is it still the party of INDY?
Mr Wishart is only echoing the opinion being spouted by too many atm. Any who intervene are shut down, shouted down and castigated on those blogs who have the ‘ear’ of the high heid yins and it’s making them look increasingly out of ideas, out of touch and ridiculous.
If loud voices of bloggers and SNP members and ‘rogue’ MP’s are not being entertained then the yes marches should be making their direction to Holyrood…especially during open hours. We have no other options left to have our voices heard…
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“parent state” f**k me, that’s what I’d expect to hear from Pitel or Raab etc. I’ll have to go and tell his sorry arse what an indictment he is to the cause that he supposedly represents..
Maybe pick up some quotes from this article to throw at him. – https://archive.ph/qxdcc
You know, gravy trainer-rider aspects of things aside, I do wonder how much actually attending Westminster influences SNP MSPs thoughts and actions. It can’t be easy going into a humiliating, hostile environment all the time, knowing you are despised and going to be humiliated. I wonder if our ostensible representatives down there rationalise what they are saying or doing as necessary, cos they don’t want to be verbally tongue-lashed by a sneering PM and his deranged cabal cabinet. Seems like it could be partly Stockholm Syndrome to me, apart from the obvious financial aspects to be reaped. Who knows, may well be wrong, just a thought that occurred to me today. Nothing worse than a hostile workplace, where you know your work is useless and you are not welcome. Which is why SNP MSPs should not be there in the first place.
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I have said this before.
When Pete was pictured with those huntin an shootin twits, in that pub in Blairgowrie. It was the final proof that he is a man of straw. He is obsessed with not upsetting his posh Perthshire constituents. He probably tells them that voting for him doesn’t mean endorsing independence. He knows what he’s doing to maximize his vote!
The problem is. He is no longer representing the SNP , the majority of his constituents and the wider yes movement. He has become a constituency MP , rather than a force for change. He would happily allow 10 years to pass before independence is moved forward.
Bear in mind he also hangs about with a bunch of English MPS in Westminster, who have become his mates. They play in a band together. Whilst there is nothing wrong with being friends with English mps. It does cause a conflict with what you are in England to represent.
It’s not about Pete Wishart and he needs reminded of that. It’s not about him being a man for all seasons. Part of his remit is to upset the English MP’s and for them to be reminded he is there to free Scotland. I bet a million dollars he never mentions independence to his posh constituents and English cronies.
Pete has completely lost his way.
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You mean his constituents?
Surely, since the United Kingdom came into being via the Act/Treaty of Union of 1707, the the jointly-equal “parent states” are England and Scotland. They ought to have equal status,however, as we know, this has never been the case.
Now that Scotland is, in effect, seeking to dissolve the marriage, we ought to be making our equal status clear, while also making it clear the reason for dissolution is the unreasonable, bullying and controlling actions of the other partner – England.
Similarly, we obviously do not require their agreement or co-operation to dissolve this failed Union – merely a means of dissolving it, with or without England’s agreement.
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That is not the reason for dissolving the Union. The Union has to be ended because it is inherently anti-democratic. It must be dissolved in order to rectify a constitutionasl injustice.
It’s anti democratic status can be traced back to 1707, however. Of course, an 18th century Treaty could not have been democratic, but the lack of democracy in the 21st century is down to how the Union has panned out fir the two constituent parts, and Scotland has lost out big time because it has no equal status with England in practical reality – not because that was the intention – I would argue against that – but that England cannot help itself from dominating (or trying to) all in sight. Practically speaking, we were annexed/subsumed/swallowed in 1707 – mainly because we did not challenge from day one but acquiesced – but, legally, we were not and that can be shown to be the case in a court of law.
A second indyref, following the same pattern as the first, will also be inherently anti democratic: if an alliance is allowed to form again between any of the distinct anti independence groupings, solely for the purpose of opposing independence by any means, as was allowed in 2014, it has anti democracy built into it, as well as the propensity for division and challenge – even if we win. It is a fundamental human right and a tenet of the Charter of the UN that a people not be prevented from realising their self-determination, whatever form that takes. Self-determination for Scotland has moved from devolution to independence, with around half the population supporting that latter stance. Ergo, any attempt to thwart that process via an alliance of any of the anti independence groups (the three ‘British’ Nationalist parties, acting on behalf of English Nationalism and the rUK voters (the biggest single NO vote per capita) would automatically be contrary to the UN Charter and to human rights, both of which have been signed up to by the UK.
The only sane and legal, not to mention logical and practical, route out of the Union now is by resiling the Treaty, and which requires no large majority as the case brought would rest on legal pillars rather than political ones, and which would override all political opposition. We must forget all the usual objections about not being a state, etc., which are mere distractions to off-side the gullible, as we were an independent, sovereign state when the Treaty was signed, and we are determined to return to that independent, sovereign state. The first phase of any case would be to have the Treaty ‘sound’ in law, and this can be done in the Scottish Court of Session; the second phase would be to show that both the Treaty and the Union have been legally ‘sound’; the third phase would be to show that England and England-as-the-UK has, since day one, breached the Treaty Articles, treated Scotland with contempt and not allowed Scotland her due within the Treaty (international contract) parameters. In fact and in law, England and England-as-the-UK has been acting in an ultra vires (below the law) fashion towards Scotland from the day of inception of the Treaty.
The case would make the legal point that Scotland no longer can tolerate being part of the UK precisely because of the behaviour of England and England-as-the-UK, that it shows no contrition or intention to reform, but merely presses down harder on Scotland. No partner to a contract in law which treated him or her in such a fashion, allowing one partner to benefit to the detriment of the other, could possibly stand. Likewise, an international treaty – and that is what the Treaty of Union is – cannot be allowed to continue. I am almost certain we would win our case. I am far from certain that: a) we will be allowed another indyref or have the cojones to hold one anyway; b) allowed to win it; c) can actually win it without alienating, politically, large swathes of our population who might feel justified in calling for help from the ‘parent’, England-as-the-UK. This is the danger that we face now because we refused to even acknowledge that we had a problem with the demographics after 2014. Resiling the Treaty circumvents and avoids that potential confrontation – which, given that we now have Johnson as PM, has become even more real a threat than before.
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The term “parent state” is not “technical language”, as Aileen McHarg tried to insist in a Twitter exchange yesterday which she really should be embarrassed about but doubtless isn’t. Like Wishart, she is another one who doesn’t like to be questioned or have her pronouncements challenged. Rather, the term speaks to an attitude. A mindset. A freme of reference which I refer to as being symptomatic of a colonised mind in that it is entire or to an unfortunate extent a British frame of reference.
I don’t have time to get into this too deeply just now, unfortunately. (Or perhaps fortunately!) But it’s a matter of perspective on the relative statuses of Scotland and England-as-Britain. My starting point is that Scotland is a nation in an anachronistic and unacceptably asymmetric political union with England. The other perspective places Scotland within a state dominated by England-as-Britain and entirely subject to a British constitution which is pretty much whatever the political elite of the day says it is. Whatever serves a British interest.
My starting point is the Scotland that existed prior to the Union – in terms of staus. The other perspective takes as its starting point Scotland as it has been affected by that Union. As the Union was intended to affect it.
Taking the latter as a starting point, there is no credibly feasible route to the resstoration of Scotland’s independence. Given that this is the mindset of Scotland’s political leaders and even many in the independence movement, we are fucked.
Using the word twice contradicts the intention. I meant he is so busy pacifying the minority, he has forgotten his other constituents who elected him.
By constituency MP I infer that he is just like any other MP from any other of the parties. In other words he has become like a sitting MP with no purpose other than to be in Westminster.
The UK is “the state”. There is no parent-child relationship between the entities – two countries, one principality and two-thirds of a province – that currently comprise it.
After Independence there will be two states, namely Scotland and whatever-the-remaining-bits-wish-to- call-themselves.
As regards the latter components I would prefer something like the “federal UK”, if they reformed in such a fashion. That way when somebody were to invite me to accompany them south of the border I can have the ultimate riposte of “You can go to fUK, I’m not!”.
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If we secede from the UK then there is no UK. The UK is therefore dissolved. Therefore the UK is not the parent state. It is like saying the husband somehow becomes the legal parent and guardian of the wife should she divorce him.
Couldn’t agree more, Peter. Every word.
I just can’t fathom the crippling lack of self-belief from which Pathetic Pete Wishart appears to suffer. Here we are (by his own admission, even!) on the very cusp of a historic tipping point for independence as the British State staggers into domestic incompetence and international irrelevance, and the best he can offer – and those who think like him, in and out of the SNP – is to capture the initiative and strike while the iron is hot by…. …sitting back, doing nothing except urging extreme inertia, and hoping that somehow events will work out in our favour by some kind of divine happenstance. This self-induced passivity makes me want to scream.
Everyone is entitled to their point of view, but this is not leadership by any reasonable measure, it’s a total abdication of responsibility as a supposed leading proponent of independence.
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Reblogged this on New Scotland and commented:
With friends like Pete Wishart who needs enemies…
It’s a pity Pete didnt step aside at the last election. Gethins would be an ideal replacement now. Pete can retire on his Westminster pension and give piano lessons. He might even have a chance to ponder if now isn’t opportune for independence then will ever be.
I believe we need to review our obsession with sending MPs to Westminster from Scotland
which quite frankly is giving recognition to an institution which holds the elected representatives
of our country Scotland with such open contempt. By continuing to do so we are complicit in
our own political demise.
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We have been complicit from 1707 onwards, Mr McAllan. Having studied the workings around the Treaty, I could find no intention that Scotland was to be subsumed. In fact, quite the opposite: we were left with all our institutions of state (apart from our parliament) intact. It was actually the English MPs who assumed that we had been swallowed up or “catch’d” as they put it, and no one up here bothered to put them right. It was a massive con perpetrated by the political and civil classes of England, and the stupid and collaborationist (but well remunerated) Scots did nothing about it. The ordinary people, as usual, had the right of it. They were never remunerated. Eventually, even they, many of them became just as stupid and collaborationist, but for no remuneration, having been conned with a kind of religious fervour in the efficacy of the Union. So what’s changed?
We cannot afford to NOT have a plan. The vultures are getting ready to have a feast. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-51575899 . I tend to think there is a plan, and that Nicola Sturgeon will die on her sword, when Independence is done. However, we cannot afford the luxury of relying on faith to get us where we need to be. Pete Wishart has done himself no favours at all. He does hail from a very conservative/unionist constituency and seems frightened to loose that vote. I also think, he’s got comfortable and has enjoyed and enjoying, dancing with the devil. His raison d’etre of Independence may have become secondary, or else, he genuinely believes Scotland is servile to the whims of a UK gov. His success as an MP, has at least, impeded the return of a Tory. That alone is worth something, I should think?
A more appropriate term is “predecessor state”. https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/12/the-scottish-parliament-does-have-the-right-to-withdraw-from-the-act-of-union/
A referendum is pointless now, as is going to Court. We need to secede.
Get Indy Done!!
Can the regions or cities of Scotland secede from Scotland and go independent of the UK?
And we can do so as we resile the Treaty. Independence must be a first step – or, at least, the suspension of the Union until the Treaty is resiled. That is a must if we are to prevent the UKG from welding us into trade contracts we do not wish too fulfil. Full independence, with international recognition, is then the next step. That would be legal, democratic (with a post independence ratifying referendum) and internationally-acceptable. It is the only way now unless we go down the Catalan route. It should have been our first choice after the debacle of 2014 and the impossible situation we were in after 2016, with no voice, no rights, no future to call our own. I am still so angry and sad that the party I supported from my earliest teenage years has allowed this to happen to us and has actually driven us down a cul de sac. If we go to the international court and fail – I don’t believe we will – we will be no worse off than now because Johnson has no intention of letting go if he can avoid it, and as long as we play his game, challenge only in the domestic courts – that must follow British Constitutional Law – we are stuck in that cul de sac.
They could try, but it is very unlikely. All you would do is force Scotland and rUK into an alliance of mutual interest.