Joanna Cherry asks “what will we do if court action [over refusal of a Section 30 order] fails or if we win but this rogue Government refuses to respect the judgement of the court?” But we already know the answer to that question. We already know what must be done. We already know what is was always going to come to in the end.
So why is Joanna Cherry talking about having the issue tied up in court for months or more? Scotland’s predicament is such that action is desperately urgent. We have already delayed far too long. With every passing day the British Nationalist juggernaut rolls over another aspect of devolution or human rights or Scotland’s capacity to have and develop a distinctive identity and political culture. With every passing day another part of the British Nationalist ‘One Nation’ project becomes a fait accompli. With every passing day Scotland comes closer to being subsumed in a new British state whose ugliness is now evident to even the most blinkered Unionist.
And what has our government done to prevent any of this? What has the SNP administration actually done to defend and protect the people of Scotland against this British Nationalist onslaught on our fundamental rights and the very existence of this nation? What has our democratically elected government DONE?
That’s it! That is all! The ‘strategy’ for the past six years has been to wait. Wait for the British government’s next attack on our democratic institutions. Wait for the next act of coldly calculated contempt from the British state and it’s agents in Scotland. Wait for the next assault on our dignity. Wait! Just wait!
And now Joanna Cherry suggests we wait some more. She suggests we wait knowing what is coming. She suggests we wait in expectation of more of the same and worse. She suggests we wait for proof of what we already know to be a proven fact – the UK is a rogue state. So why are we waiting? Why would we wait any longer? Why not do now what we know we will have to do anyway?
There is not now and never was any route to the restoration of Scotland’s Independence which does not involve confrontation with the British state. It was always a nonsense to suppose that, in the wake of the 2014 referendum and with a rising wave of democratic dissent in Scotland, there could ever be a viable process that was critically dependent on the full and honest cooperation of the British government. However long we waited; however much public support for independence grew; however angry the people of Scotland became, the British establishment was never going to allow any process that threatened their ‘precious’ Union far less cooperate with it.
So why are we waiting? Why are we waiting when we know what is coming if we wait and knowing that what is coming is nothing less than the dismantling of Scotland’s democratic institutions, the eradication of our distinctive political culture and the obliteration of our identity as a nation? Why?
The British state must be confronted now! Not with the mere threat of legal action but with immediate political action. The idea that the British political elite might be dissuaded from its plans for Scotland by public opinion has been shown to be delusional. The assumption that ultimate they would respect democratic principles and the rule of law has been shown to be utterly false. The notion that the British establishment is basically decent has been shown to be tragically naive. It is long past time for political action. It is far too late for pointless litigation.
Before this month is out the SNP must adopt a Manifesto for Independence explicitly rejecting the Section 30 process and undertaking, if returned to government in the 2021 election, to take immediate steps to assert the exclusive competence of the Scottish Parliament in all constitutional matters on the basis of its indisputable democratic legitimacy and the sovereignty of Scotland’s people effectively denied – or denied effect – by the Union.
This Manifesto for Independence must further commit the Scottish Government to initiate a process by which Scotland’s participation is the Union is ended subject only to the agreement and consent of the people of Scotland. And that this shall be done within the period of the Parliamentary term immediately following the 2021 Scottish Parliament elections.
If there is to be court action then let it be the British government that takes that action. Let it be for the British government to make its case. Let it be for the British government to justify its behaviour.
Scotland has no need to justify itself. We have the right of self-determination guaranteed to us by international laws and convention. What we do not have is the freedom to exercise our right of self-determination. This is effectively forbidden to us by British law. If the sovereign people of Scotland are to exercise their right of self-determination British law must be broken. It was always going to come to this.
Why are we waiting?