I just read and responded to Chris McEleny’s article on Wings Over Scotland. As Chris and Angus are aware I’m not fully in agreement with their Plan B. My preference is for a Plan A that does away with the need for a Plan B. A Plan A that actually works. Unfortunately, neither the current Plan A nor the proposed Plan B will work as both involve the Section 30 process.
Plan A supposes that the Section 30 process will work because the British state will relent and not only grant permission but cooperate fully and honestly with the process. It remains unclear by what devilish cantrip slight this happy state of affairs might come to pass. Personally, I don’t do faith.
Plan B supposes that there are no circumstances in which Boris’s Veto will be withdrawn, but if it is then it’s back to relying on magic with Plan A. Plan B also fails to take account of the fact that Plan B creates perhaps the only circumstances in which Boris might withdraw the veto afforded him by the Union.
The error lies in imagining that a Section 30 order being granted is somehow better than a Section 30 order being refused. It isn’t. Boris Johnson will only grant a Section 30 order because he knows that the influence the Section 30 order gives him will allow him to sabotage the ensuing process. Granting a Section 30 order is actually the British state’s second option. Its fallback position. Because by the granting and accepting of a Section 30 order the British state assumes involvement in and influence over Scotland’s exercise of the right of self-determination and the Scottish Government legitimises that authority.
It’s like the Americans inviting the British to have the final edit of their Declaration of Independence.
Boris Johnson will continue to veto a referendum so long as he wishes – there is absolutely nothing to stop him doing so. He will continue to veto a referendum as long as the Scottish Government accepts that he has powers which supersede the sovereignty of Scotland’s people. He will continue to veto a referendum until it better serves the interests of the British political elite to have a Section 30 order granted. Those circumstances arise when a Plan B is adopted which would disallow the British state having any influence over the exercise of Scotland’s right of self-determination AND that Plan B can be killed stone dead by the simple expedient of granting a Section 30 order.
The SNP has driven the independence campaign into a dead-end alley, parked it and gone off to strut its stuff on the pandemic stage. The ONLY way to get the campaign out of that trap and on the move again is to completely renounce the Section 30 process and create our own democratic process by which to exercise our right of self-determination on the solid basis of the sovereignty of Scotland’s people and the democratic legitimacy of our Parliament.
It is at this point that nominal independence supporters intervene with their parroting of British Nationalist propaganda about legality and international recognition. Which only demonstrates how thoroughly some minds have been colonised by the British. They repeat this stuff not because it makes sense – it doesn’t if you bother to think about it – but because they think it makes them sound wise and sophisticated and moderate. As the price of them feeling good about themselves they would have Scotland continue to be the annexed territory of England-as-Britain.
The fight to restore Scotland’s independence urgently needs a fresh mindset. If you’re still talking about the Section 30 process – whether as part of Plan A or Plan B – then you are still a long way from adopting that mindset. The mindset characteristic of the citizens of an independent nation.