It seems that it has never occurred to Martin Keatings that if the Scottish Government and Parliament have never asked the question of whether the Scottish Parliament can legislate for a referendum without permission from Westminster there might be a good reason for that.
Nor does he see the glaring contradiction in his own position. He insist that he believes the Scottish Parliament has the power to authorise a constitutional referendum, but he behaves as if the sovereignty of the people of Scotland is far from certain. If we maintain that the people of Scotland are sovereign then it inevitably and unquestionably follows from this that the Parliament elected by the people of Scotland must have the competence to authorise a constitutional referendum.
If we are to restore Scotland’s independence then we must behave as an independent nation. We must have the confidence to assert our sovereignty and thereby the full competence of our Parliament.
It is not for us to question this. We must assume our sovereignty and the competence of our Parliament just as the people of all other nations take these things to be theirs by absolute right. It is for us to proceed as if we truly believe in our sovereignty and all it entails. It is not for us to claim our sovereignty and seek confirmation from the courts. It is for us to own our sovereignty and defend it against any who would deny it.
Martin Keatings should consider the possibility that the Scottish Government and Parliament have never asked the question of whether the Scottish Parliament can legislate for a referendum without permission from Westminster because it is not appropriate for them to do so – and therefore not appropriate for anyone to presume to ask the question on behalf of Scotland’s Government, Parliament and people.
When we act as a sovereign people and assert the competence of our Parliament in all matters pertaining to our constitutional status this will undoubtedly be challenged by the British state. Let them! If Scotland’s independence is to be restored we must be prepared to face such challenges. Indeed, we must accept that such challenges are inevitable and unavoidable. There is no route to independence that does not pass through a point at which there is direct and almost certainly acrimonious confrontation with the British political elite.
If we are not prepared for such a confrontation then the bigger question might be asked as to whether we are fit to be an independent nation. Because being an independent nation means facing any and all confrontations that arise. And they surely will. Trying to avoid challenges to our sovereignty by the British state is potentially detrimental to Scotland’s cause. More importantly, it is futile. The attempt by Martin Keatings to circumvent one of the more obvious ways in which the British state might seek to preserve the Union by obstructing Scotland’s democracy is utterly pointless. They will simply find another way.