Why all the fuss? All George Osborne has done is encourage Boris Johnson to abide by Section 30 of the Scotland Act (1998). The part of the Act which affirms the power over Scotland afforded to England-as-Britain by the Union. The part of the Act which states that this power is absolute. The part of the Act which states explicitly that power devolved is power retained.
THE PART OF THE SCOTLAND ACT WHICH NICOLA STURGEON HAS HAILED AS THE ‘GOLD STANDARD’ OF DEMOCRACY!
So, why all the fuss? What is Mike Russell so incensed about? Why the indignant outrage from Tommy Sheppard? If they agree with the party leader’s assessment of Section 30, aren’t they being extremely hypocritical in condemning Boris Johnson for using this part of the Act in precisely the way it was intended to be used? That is to say, to protect and preserve their ‘precious’ Union.
Section 30 merely confirms Scotland’s status as annexed territory entirely at the disposal of the British political elite. The status imposed on Scotland by the Union. Mike Russel’s talk of “old-style Soviet Stalin era” is perfectly apt. Tommy Sheppard’s reference to “tin-pot dictator[ship” is just as appropriate. But why does Mr Sheppard pose the question of whether the British want to “maintain a Union by consent or by coercion” when they have already made it very plain that consent is not a consideration and coercion is always an option? That answer is nowhere made more plain than in Section 30 of the Scotland Act.
WHICH NICOLA STURGEON MAINTAINS IS THE ‘GOLD STANDARD’!
Mr Russell is correct about the British government denying the people of Scotland our “basic democratic rights”. But it is Section 30 of the Scotland Act which legitimises this denial with authority derived from the Union. He is correct when he observes that this denial of our right of self-determination is “illegal under international law”. But Section 30 makes it legal under British law.
NICOLA STURGEON SAYS THAT SECTION 30 IS THE ONLY PROCESS WHICH IS “LEGAL AND CONSTITUTIONAL”!
I don’t care what George Osborne thinks. What he states is, however, the simple truth. British Prime Ministers can just veto our right of self-determination in the same way they vetoed our Remain vote and the same way they can ALWAYS veto the democratic will of Scotland’s people. The Union gives them this power. This power is expressed in Section 30 of the Scotland Act.
NICOLA STURGEON SAYS SECTION 30 OF THE SCOTLAND ACT IS THE ‘GOLD STANDARD’!
I do care what our elected representatives think. Elected representatives such as Mike Russell and Tommy Sheppard. If they agree with Nicola Sturgeon’s assessment of Section 30 then they are agreeing with George Osborne. Because Osborne is merely stating a fact which Sturgeon also acknowledges.
I care about that. I worry about that. And so should you.