The Plan!

By all means read all of Joanna Cherry’s column. But focus on those last three paragraphs. They contain three very significant messages.

The Brexit process has very clearly illustrated the limits of devolution. So, while SNP MPs must do the job we were elected by our constituents to do at Westminster, the reality is that only action taken in Scotland to gain independence can secure a future where this sort of unwanted chaos cannot happen again.

Action taken in Scotland! Presumably, action taken in the Scottish Parliament. Is this not what some of us have been saying for a while now? The Scottish Parliament is the locus of Scottish political authority. Westminster has precisely no democratic legitimacy. Only the Scottish Parliament can speak and act for the people of Scotland whom all legitimate political authority derives.

It’s great to see an increase in support for independence in the opinion polls, but this, together with the SNP riding high in the polls, takes us no further forward unless we have a plan for how to secure our independence and what to do with it.

Unless we have a plan! Suggesting that we presently lack a plan. Something an increasing number of people are beginning to recognise. Joanna Cherry appears to be acknowledging that commitment to the Section 30 process does not constitute “a plan for how to secure our independence”. Unless I am reading too much into her comments, Ms Cherry may be the first senior SNP figure to break ranks on this. And what a welcome breakthrough this would be.

Those who want to discuss and debate such plans are to be applauded. The time for avoiding discussion of Plan B is over. That discussion and proposals like those of the Common Weal for a resilient Scotland should be centre stage if, as mooted, the SNP conference and national assemblies go online this autumn.

No ambivalence or ambiguity here. This amounts to a demand that the SNP leadership cease and desist from blocking discussion of alternative strategies for taking forward the fight to restore Scotland’s independence.

I still have concerns. My fear is that rather than opening up discussion of alternative strategies the party will restrict discussion to the Plan B being promoted by Angus MacNeil and Chris McEleny. The major issue I have with that is that this Plan B does not replace the current failed and failing Section 30 approach. It merely anticipates the next humiliating cycle of our First Minister going to Boris Johnson as a supplicant petitioning her superior for the boon of permission to exercise an inalienable democratic right – and being unceremoniously told to f*** off!

Angus and Chris are basically saying of the Section 30 process “One more chance!”. I maintain that we all should be saying “Never again!”. No more of this indignity! No more validating the British state’s claim to a veto over our right of self-determination! No more bargaining with the sovereignty of Scotland’s people!

The Section 30 process must be renounced. It must be explicitly and emphatically rejected. Discussion of alternative strategies must not be restricted to the MacNeil-McEleny Plan B but must be opened up to approaches which eschew the British state’s “gold standard” in measures to protect and preserve the Union.

As Joanna Cherry says, we need a plan designed to secure our independence. No ‘plan’ which is crucially dependent on the full, willing and honest cooperation of the British political elite can possibly qualify as a plan designed to restore Scotland’s independence. To the extent that the MacNeil-McEleny Plan B still involves the Section 30 process it is as much a plan to fail as the approach to which Nicola Sturgeon has wedded herself.

We have one more chance. We must learn the lessons of past failures. It is not merely a case of renouncing the Section 30 process. We urgently need to go back to first principles. We need to redefine our goal; reframe the entire constitutional issue, and devise a strategy appropriate to this reframing.

But first we must adopt a new mindset. Scotland is not an equal partner in a democratic political union. Scotland is effectively the annexed territory of England-as-Britain. British Nationalists want to formalise this annexation to create a single state moulded in the image of Boris Johnson’s Brexiteer Britain. They intend that Scotland, together with the rest of what British Nationalists regard as England-as-Britain’s periphery – be subsumed into what will effectively be Greater England – an indivisible and indissoluble state. Scotland will cease to exist other than as a marketing brand.

We don’t just need a plan. We need it urgently. We need it to work. We need it to work first time and with all possible haste. We do not need a Plan B for the next time Plan A fails. We need a new Plan A that succeeds.

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11 thoughts on “The Plan!

  1. “But first we must adopt a new mindset.”

    It is only when the revolution in thinking appears, that the revolution in action can follow!

    It is happening, Peter, way too slowly for me, and I suspect you, but it is happening.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Think your reading of the J Cherry position is right . The gradualistas will be overdosing on the smelling salts when they catch a whiff of this .

    Liked by 3 people

    1. The gradualistas you refer to are as spineless as No voters. They are essentially the same thing, and are just another obstacle in the way. If facing a catastrophic No Deal Brexit at the end of this year, which will ruin the economy for a generation is not urgent enough i’d suggest you don’t really want Independence. I welcome Joanne Cherry’s recent interventions as i feel she understands the gravity of the situation, something woefully lacking from Nicola’s inner circle.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Believe it or not, I do try to avoid personalising my attacks on what you call “gradualistas”. I try to bear in mind that while the position held may be anathema to me the person holding that position is, at heart, an ally. I have folk who’ve read my railing against her record on and approach to the constitutional issue ask me why I hate Nicola Sturgeon. Nothing could be further from the truth. I admire, respect and rather like the lady. It’s the position. Not the person.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. All Independence supporters want Independence. Many feel that they have been led up the garden path, especially as we were all promised a referendum during this parliamentary session ending 2021. It is a dead cert that a Section 30, which is basically obliging the so called UK Gov to play ball = pissing into the wind. The UK Treasury and Bank of England, and other institutions, will be reluctant to return Scottish Assets. They are also clinging on to monies that Scotland raises, that benefit British institutions. We can be sure that the financial and economic consequences will not be trivial, because the British establishment is particularly greedy and dangerous. It’s similar to a bitter divorce proceeding. But the choice waste time hoping justice will be served or to sacrifice in order to get a life. It’s going to be one hell of a battle. But it’s a battle that needs winning urgently. Scotland cannot breathe until it is Independent.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. You identify the very reason I reckon the British political elite will back down if they are confronted forcefully enough. When it becomes clear that the restoration of Scotland’s independence can’t be stopped other than at great cost, they will be anxious to get the best deal possible when the Union ends. A seriously acrimonious, scorched-earth divorce would not be good for Scotland. It would be catastrophic for rUK.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I was going to contact my local SNP guy today about binning S30 and highlight the discontent starting to surge through the Yes Movement like a pandemic. Instead I’ll put Joanna Cherry’s comments straight to the top. Kenny McAskill’s comments don’t do us any harm either. At last some light at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully other Senior MSPs will now come out in support of Joanna and S30 gets well and truly booted into touch.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s going to be very difficult for Nicola Sturgeon to roll back on her inexplicably enthusiastic embracing of the Section 30 process. A massive campaign makes it easier for her. She can just sat she’s bowing to the evident will of the people. For the past couple of years I’ve been getting accused of making things difficult for Nicola. That’s not the intention at. Section 30 has to go. My preference is to find a way of getting rid of it while keeping her.


      1. Peter, if anyone is hung up on Section 30, it is you. OK, it is the gold standard, which is why we are not going to get one. And if we do get one and we lose, then there is a presentational problem over it being perceived as the only way, not least by Scots. So a bit harder the next time. But that is about the biggest problem.

        But Section 30 is not the only way. And after a 3rd time of asking and being knocked back, it will be dead easy for NS to change tack and say ‘we have asked 3 times and now we must find another way.


  5. I agree with most of what you say but I am extremely concerned with the timetable, waiting till the autumn when the supposed SNP conference and assemblies are SCHEDULED to take place online is just more of the wait and see from members of the hierarchy , and is just an additional sop to maintain the high polling numbers

    If NS and the SNP hierarchy cannot see the anger and outrage espoused daily by proponents of indy whilst they sit and contemplate the fluff in their navels , then clearly they do not concern themselves with the urgency required to protect the people of Scotland from the catastrophe of brexshit

    Is this just ANOTHER false dawn like the excitement encouraged prior to the 31st Jan where Nicola informed the WORLD that she had INSTRUCTED the independence movement to STAND DOWN even though there was NO REQUIREMENT to do so

    I and many other Scots want something done now , challenge and passion , not some vague and possible promise of maybes I or maybes naw

    I have asked and begged repeatedly for the SNP membership to TAKE BACK CONTROL of their party and TBH this doesn’t look anything like TAKING BACK CONTROL it looks more like jam tomorrow

    Liked by 1 person

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