I read a large number of newspaper and blog articles every day as well as a great deal of research material and far more below-the-line and social media comments than can possibly be good for me. As I read – and particularly when reading what politicians write and say – I’m always looking for the telling phrase. The bit that says something significant. Often, there’s nothing. Occasionally, there’s so much that it becomes difficult to prioritise the texts and chose which may be worth commenting on. Mostly, it’s possible to find something that I consider meaningful, even if it can be difficult to convince others of the fact.
Not for anything like the first time, the telling phrase in this report comes from Joanna Cherry. Arguably more than any of our other elected representative, and certainly more than Angus Robertson, Joanna Cherry has a propensity for offering the kind of insights that we hope for from our politicians. One such may readily have been taken for a throwaway remark. The kind of phatic rhetorical filler that politicians deploy when they are trying to run down the clock to deny an opponent the chance to speak or an interviewer the opportunity to ask what might be an awkward question. Others may consider it a statement of the obvious. In fact, it is an acute and extremely important observation which highlights a truth that is not widely enough recognised. She says,
[T]he movement for Scotland to be an independent European nation can only be realised from Holyrood…
That’s it! That’s a key point. Scotland’s independence will be restored by way of Scotland’s Parliament. Not consequent to the intervention of any external agency such as the EU or the UN. Not through the ponderously grinding mill of the courts. Certainly not courtesy of the Wicked Step-mother of all Parliaments. Only by way of action in and by the Scottish Parliament will the aspiration to normalise Scotland’s constitutional status be realised.
This should be axiomatic. Holyrood has exclusive democratic legitimacy in Scotland. Only the Scottish Parliament can truly claim to speak and act for Scotland’s people. When you think about it, it’s plainly apparent that if Scotland’s people are to assert their sovereignty then it can only be through the Parliament elected by Scotland’s people. When jealous Britannia says ‘No’ through her worm-tongued mouthpieces in Westminster and Whitehall, how shall Scotland’s people defy the arrogant, grasping crone but through their own democratic institutions?
Joanna Cherry sees this. Perhaps Angus Robertson does too. But while he was making sly, petty comments about her availability, Joanna was the one who gave us the telling phrase.
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