Ruth Davidson will fail to save the Union from whom or what? The Union isn’t under threat. Nobody is doing anything that threatens the Union. What is meant by “fail” anyway? The notion that the Union is going to self-destruct is utterly deluded.
In order to define failure in this context it is first necessary to understand the purpose of the Union. Only when the Union’s capacity to fulfil this purpose can it be said to be failing. Only when it ceases to fulfil its function altogether can it be said to have failed.
The purpose of the Union is to give England-as-Britain a permanent and significant advantage in the management of its relations with Scotland. Or, to put it another way, the Union serves to keep Scotland at a disadvantage relative to England-as-Britain. It does this in a number of ways, not the least of which is denial of the sovereignty of the people of Scotland.
If anything, this denial of our sovereignty has become ever more explicit over recent years. Imposing Brexit on Scotland contrary to the democratic will of the people of Scotland is a particularly egregious example of our sovereignty being denied. Our votes counted for nothing. The so-called “power-grab” of competencies being repatriated from the EU is another. When the British Prime Minister refuses a Section 30 request they are exercising powers associated with absolute monarchy. They are saying that the people of Scotland in their nation, the British Prime Minister is sovereign.
It is the Union which permits and enables this denial of our sovereignty. The Union absolutely requires that the sovereignty of the people of Scotland must be denied. The British Parliament may endorse Scotland’s Claim of Right, But it does so fully aware that the Union makes the endorsement a meaningless gesture.
So, where are the signs of failure? It seems that portents of the Union’s imminent collapse are being seen in the antics of the current regime in London. But British Governments have been riddled with incompetence and corruption for all of the three centuries of the Union. These governments come and go and the only thing that differentiates them is the amount of avaricious bungling they manage to cram into their period in office. The Union abides!
The behaviour towards Scotland of the Boris Johnson Clown Troupe provides ever more and better cause for Scotland to end the Union. But there is no reason to suppose that mere continuation of the British political elite’s centuries-old custom of contempt intimates the imminent spontaneous disintegration of the Union. It never did before.
The Union is not failing. The Union is working perfectly. There has been no measurable or meaningful shift of power in Scotland’s favour. Nor shall there be. The Union continues to lurk like some malign, anti-democratic beast prowling just beneath the deceptively bright surface of Scotland’s politics.
The Union won’t fail. It sure as hell isn’t depending on Ruth Davidson preventing it from doing so. Only if and when the Scottish Government, mandated by the people of Scotland, seeks and obtains the authority of the Scottish Parliament so to do will the Union end. Only bold, decisive action by the Scottish Government can save Scotland’s democracy and identity.
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