Scotland the timorous?

The Bill that will supposedly pave way for independence is fatally flawed from the outset. We know this before we even see it because it is proposed that the question be tested by the British Electoral Commission. A referendum can only be free and fair if it is entirely made and managed in Scotland under the auspices of the Scottish Parliament and such other democratic institutions or organisations as the Parliament should deem appropriate.

No exercise of Scotland’s right of self-determination can possibly be considered free and fair that allows direct participation by or interference from any agency external to Scotland. For the purposes of the exercise of Scotland’s right of self-determination – if for no other – the UK Government must be considered an external agent and thus be prohibited from interfering in the process by, for example, UN Declaration 1415.

But if the Bill is not to be condemned as fatally flawed for this reason then there will all but certainly be others. The abomination that is the Section 30 process has been dealt with at length elsewhere. That too provides sufficient reason in itself to reject the SNP’s approach to the constitutional issue. In addition to all this, however, we have the near certainty that the Bill will propose the same question as was on the ballot in the 2014 referendum. The question which makes independence the contentious matter when independence is normal and it is the Union that is anomalous. This gave the anti-independence side an advantage in the campaign then and it would do so again now.

The question defines the campaign. In the 2014 referendum the campaign was defined such that the Yes side must always be on the defensive. Why in the name of reason would we want to repeat that appalling error?

I well remember this passage from the SNP’s The Programme for Government,

if there is majority support for the bill in the Scottish Parliament in the next term, there could then be no moral or democratic justification whatsoever for any UK Government to ignore the rights of the people of Scotland to choose our own future

I recall thinking at the time that this was appallingly, depressingly tame, wishy-washy, mealy-mouthed language for the fight to rescue a nation from a grotesquely asymmetric and incorrigibly anti-democratic political union which denies the people of Scotland the full and proper exercise of the sovereignty that is ours by absolute and inalienable right.

Has it not yet dawned on the ‘party of independence’ that the British state has no need of “moral or democratic justification” while it has the Union?

The May 6 election must be treated as if it is our last chance to save Scotland’s democracy and distinct political culture and identity as a nation. The SNP seems poised to squander this opportunity as it has squandered so many over the past six years. This is intolerable. So why are we tolerating it? Why is the entire party and Yes movement risen in revolt against this plan to fail? Why are we not combined to demand better?

We have allowed the political arm of our movement to succumb to the cancer of factionalism. We have let it become timid and ineffectual at the very moment when we need it to be fierce and uncompromising. We are responsible! We did this. We allowed it to happen. It’s up to us to fix it.

8 thoughts on “Scotland the timorous?

  1. I agree with all you say. But how do we fix it?

    The SNP has an arrogant leadership. They are in thrall to a particularly arrogant and distasteful faction. Hearsay informs us that the membership is rapidly declining as a result of all the recent nastiness and sectionalism. There is a fatalism that has befallen many of us who hold Scotland’s Cause dear. For the remainder there is blind belief that Independence will be handed to us on a plate if we just wait and hope and pray.

    We can’t change the leadership as there is not enough time to do this in an orderly manner. And they show no signs of departing of their on accord. If they do vacate their positions it will only be because of the various scandals currently engulfing the top brass of the SNP. And that is unlikely to play well with the electorate, especially once the British Nationalists start shouting about it.

    If the May elections are indeed our last hope then we may already be lost.

    That’s at least how it feels to me this morning. Maybe I’ll feel better in the afternoon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We the people can do whatever we are sufficiently determined to do. There will be a spring conference of some kind. That is our opportunity to fix the party. The leadership will seek to ‘manage’ the conference in such a way as to minimise dissenting voices. We have to counter this. Plans are afoot.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I would agree with this to an extent.
    However I don’t think it’s fair to blame the wider Yes movement for the present failings of the SNP approach.
    Plenty such as yourself, has done all they could to try get the SNP Hierarchy to change its position, and has been a waste of time, thus far.
    We have had councillors such as the Inverclyde councillor, and MPs even, raise concerns, and offer alternatives, albeit, less than brilliant alternatives, but mild and weak as they were, still got dismissed out of hand.
    And when some consider turning to a different political group, they are faced with criticism, and the simple fact, we don’t really have an alternative to SNP at this moment in time. A fair number of voters will turn to others for the List vote, but for the constituency vote, anything other than SNP is not to be considered. And while tempting, (and it is very) the result could be totally disastrous. That approach allowed Ruth Davidson into Edinburgh Central.

    We begin to wonder, just what the present SNP leadership is up to, and we wonder too, as more than a few others have, is this a deliberate attempt to stop Independence?
    For senior SNP figures cannot be that stupid as not to know what they are doing here.

    But I look forward with interest, to see what comes of those within SNP trying to take back control of things, and move the Independence agenda forward.
    Something certainly has to be done

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am an Edinburgh Central voter and am currently at a loss as to to vote for in May. Apart from not suporting the Conservative, LibDem or Labour candidates, which out of SNP (Robertson) and Green do I hold my nose and vote for?
      Meanwhile I am waiting to see what will be possible on the Regional List, having voted Green last time.


  3. It is hard to believe that the SNP are serious about independence today. The top brass are already tarnished and behave as if they want more devolution rather than independence. Permission for this, permission for that, permission to go to the toilet please Wastemonster.

    The top brass, these people, do nothing but entrench their stranglehold on the SNP and its NEC. They exclude the membership as much as they can from all input into policy and direction of travel. The NEC recently voted against a very sensible proposition to set up an independence working group. Is that serious behaviour from the SNP high command, a group supposedly devoted to an independent Scotland?

    How is it possible to take these mealy mouthed scroungers seriously? They prefer the company and adulation of guileless yet malicious and self centred accolytes to the very competent and effective men and women, like Joanna Cherry and others, who can and would fight harder for independence than ever the “top brass” today would.

    We are being sold a pup and a very sick one at that.


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