“They simply cannot on the one hand portray themselves as democratic and on the other stand united against the clearly expressed wishes of an entire country.”Richard Walker: Unionist parties must decide their stance on indyref2
Oh yes they can!
Richard Walker opens by saying that the British parties in Scotland have “have waved goodbye to logic” and that “the Westminster Parliament operates within a completely different moral code to its equivalent in Holyrood”. He finishes by contradicting himself. What he now says they can’t do is precisely what abandoning logic and forsaking anything we would recognise as a moral code enables them to do.
Richard starts out well. But he is prevented from reaching the logical conclusion to his arguments by the need to toe the party line. Hence, his well-constructed argument that the British political elite is perfectly capable of brazenly denying fundamental democratic principles concludes that they must surely be bound by those same principles.
The SNP party line that ‘independence is inevitable (if you keep voting for us)’ doesn’t allow him to state what must be true if everything else he says is true. Namely, that the British political elite will fight tooth and nail to preserve their ‘precious’ Union; and do so unfettered by and considerations of morality, legality or logic.
Independence is not inevitable! If Scotland’s independence is to be restored it will require that the Scottish Government take bold, decisive action to effect this change. It will not simple happen in the ‘normal’ course of events. It will not happen while the Scottish Government accepts the hobbles put on it by the devolution settlement. There can be no route to independence within the legal and constitutional framework constructed by England-as-Britain for the purpose of protecting and preserving the Union.
It is the Union which bestows on the British political elite such power over Scotland that they cannot be bound by sense or conscience. It is said that power corrupts. Well, this is how it corrupts. Power corrupts by eroding the limits to power and substituting cold expediency.
The British parties do not have to decide their stance on a new referendum. That is decided for them by the fact that they are British. They serve and are served by the structures of power, privilege and patronage which define the British state. They can do no other than seek to preserve the Union at whatever cost to Scotland and its people, never mind decency and democracy.
The belief that the British political elite will undergo some sort of epiphany in response to the expressed will of Scotland’s people is a faith position which denies the amply evidenced nature of the British state. So long as the SNP adheres to this faith position it will not take the necessary action to initiate the process by which Scotland’s independence will be restored. The self-styled ‘party of independence’ – together with pretenders to that title – must accept that to break the rule of the Union they must break the Union’s rules.