The Tompkins Doctrine

The United Kingdom needs a new Act of Union to set out, authoritatively, the rare circumstances in which one part of the country can seek lawfully to secede. As well as defining how frequently referendums on such a matter may be held, the law could at the same time impose obligations on governments and public bodies throughout the land to act with fidelity towards — and not to undermine — the territorial integrity of the country.

Professor Adam Tomkins

A political union which can be maintained only by means of open threats, empty promises, blatant dishonesty, cancerous corruption, cold contempt for democratic principles and brute force of law or arms is a political union which is broken beyond repair. It is a political union which must end.

Consent which cannot be refused or withdrawn as readily as it is given and without onerous penalty is not true consent. It is coercion in the guise of consent.

Our First Minister acknowledges the uncontested fact that Boris Johnson cannot be trusted, but she insists on entrusting to him ultimate authority over Scotland’s democratic right of self-determination. Sturgeon scathingly denigrates Johnson in statements to the press and on social media, but maintains her commitment to the Section 30 process, thus putting Scotland’s future in the hands of a man she judges to be totally unfit to have any influence over the future of the UK.

Surely this requires some explanation. What is it that the First Minister is hoping for? Is she hoping for a final reel epiphany in which Johnson sees the sense that he has been blind to almost since birth? Does she anticipate a last-minute Damascene conversion to the ways of a sane world? Is she banking on Boris undergoing some sort of eleventh-hour metamorphosis such as transformed Scrooge overnight from grasping miser to beneficent philanthropist?

I have news for Nicola Sturgeon. Boris Johnson won’t be visited by the Ghost of Christmas Past because he is the ghost of all our past mistakes and misjudgements and misdeeds come to offer us, not redemption, but a future lived in a mire of corrosive regret. He is not a ‘bad apple’. He is the rot that afflicts all apples. He’s not Jekyll and Hyde. He’s just Hyde. He is not a freakish phenomenon thrown up by a political system in total disarray, but the inevitable product of a British political system which is inherently corrupt. Boris Johnson is exactly what he seems, and worse. He is all you take him to be, and less. He is everything you would want scrubbed, scoured and grit-blasted from the political life of any nation, and more. He is unprincipled, unscrupulous, amoral, self-serving and treacherous.

Knowing all this, the First Minister asks the people of Scotland to accept that our sovereignty be subordinated to an authority that is not derived from any democratic legitimacy, but bestowed on Boris Johnson by the corrupt British political system and imposed on Scotland by the Union.

Knowing what Boris Johnson is, Nicola Sturgeon continues to insist that he should be allowed to prohibit the exercise of our sovereignty. She persists in asserting that a referendum cannot be legitimated by the sovereignty of the people of Scotland, or by the international laws and conventions guaranteeing our right of self-determination, but only by the imprimatur of whoever has been elevated to the office of British Prime Minister by the apparatus of power, privilege and patronage which is the British state.

I find that insulting! Offensive! Belittling! Wholly inexplicable! And totally unacceptable!

I do not consent to this. I do not consent to this political union. It inevitably follows therefore that –

I do not consent to Boris Johnson, or any of his successors, being granted any effective veto over, control of or influence in the process by which the people of Scotland determine the constitutional status of our nation and choose the form of government which best suits our needs.

I do not consent to the sovereignty of Scotland’s people being compromised.

Part of the above is taken from an article first published here on 26 September 2019.



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22 thoughts on “The Tompkins Doctrine

  1. Indisputably correct in every sense Peter. Unfortunately for Scotland and her people recent events might demonstrate the last sentence in paragraph 5 could equally be applied to Nicola Sturgeon.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. “I do not consent to the sovereignty of Scotland’s people being compromised.” That’s the hub of it; Scotland’s sovereignty subsumed under the suzerainty of the Prime Minister of the English Government of the UK.

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  3. Nicola Sturgeon continues to insist that he should be allowed to prohibit the exercise of our sovereignty

    No she doesn’t. From the SNP manifesto:

    “If the democratically elected Scottish Parliament passes the referendum bill and the UK Government then attempts to block it by taking legal action we will vigorously defend the Parliament’s will in order to protect the democratic rights of the Scottish people.”

    and Sturgeon has always suggested that it coule end up in court.

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    1. AFTER requesting a Section 30 order and being refused she wants a court to force Johnson to accede to her request. How can you be blind to the horrible contradiction here? On the one hand she’s saying the Scottish Parliament has the competence. On the other she’s saying a Section 30 order must be requested. It makes no sense. No more sense than the pish being dribbled by Alba’s devotees. Both Sturgeon and Salmond know that they don’t have to make sense. They just have to tap into the right emotion. This isn’t grown-up politics. It isn’t even the politics of the school playground. It’s pathetic. But not nearly as pathetic as the fools who are falling for it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No Peter, you misunderstand it, that’s not what she wants at all. Read what the manifesto says: “the UK Government then attempts to block it by taking legal action

        It’s not Sturgeon taking the UK Gov to court. The referendum bill passes, and the UK Gov have 28 days to challenge it in court, otherwise it receives Royal Assent. After that they could still challenge it, different court, different process. But with no challenge, or an unsuccessful challenge, the Scot Gov, empowered by the ScotParl can hold a legal referendum, with which the 32 unitary authorities, police and anyone else, must co-operate.

        I think people get confused comparing it to Catalonia. It’s not remotely like Catalonia, same as the UK is nothing like Spain. And hence the clear manifesto for a mandate; the others relied on a Section 30 – this doesn’t.

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      2. “Both Sturgeon and Salmond know that they don’t have to make sense. They just have to tap into the right emotion. This isn’t grown-up politics. It isn’t even the politics of the school playground. It’s pathetic. But not nearly as pathetic as the fools who are falling for it.”

        Exactly; that’s what 2 million of us thought in 2014.
        Its the Yes voters that are catching up with us now.

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      3. That’s EXACTLY what it says on the SNP Manifesto 2021, page 12, 2nd column, 9th paragraph.

        http://bit.ly/SNP-Manifesto-2021

        If the democratically elected Scottish Parliament passes the referendum bill and the UK Government then attempts to block it by taking legal action we will vigorously defend the Parliament’s will in order to protect the democratic rights of the Scottish people.

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      4. You assume that means repudiating the Section 30 process. Why? Nicola Sturgeon has said nothing to suggest that her obsession with the British state’s ‘gold standard’ has abated. Surely the default assumption must be that she is still wedded to the Section 30 process.

        The most noticeable thing about the manifesto statement on the constitutional issue is that Section 30 is not mentioned. All that tells us is that the SNP leadership may finally be starting to realise how much opposition there is to that process. The wording is contrived so it can be differently interpreted. So that the Sturgeon faithful can believe what they want to believe.

        Until Sturgeon states explicitly that the Section 30 process is repudiated then I have no reason to suppose that it has been. I have every reason to suppose that she still intends to invite the British political elite to interfere in the exercise of our right of self-determination. And I still consider that an unconscionable affront to the sovereignty and dignity of Scotland’s people.

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      5. You assume that means repudiating the Section 30 process.

        Not at all. The Scot Gov still ask for a transfer of powers for the Ref – whether S30 or some other way. But if it’s not forthcoming, they proceed anyway with the Ref, after Parliament has passed the Bill.

        All that tells us is that the SNP leadership may finally be starting to realise how much opposition there is to that process.

        Peter, I see a few people like yourself opposed to it “Why should we have to beg the British State for permission?”. Most people don’t care or trust the SNP / Sturgeon (hence the 50% SNP in the polls). A Ref is a Ref. Or people prefer the S30 route as it means the result will be accepted. People like Aileen McHarg, and I think Peat Worrier. And me. Personally I think the UK Gov will have no choice but to “grant it”, as otherwise they will look dictatorial – and weak.

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      6. I get it. You don’t understand the full implications of the Section 30 process, therefore those implications cannot be of any significance. I do find it a bit odd that while awareness of those implications is generally increasing, your own seems to remain entirely absent. But then, you are naive enough to suppose the British establishment cares how things look. And arrogant enough to imagine you speak for Professors McHarg and Tickell.

        I strongly suggest you go away and learn a wee bit about Section 30 before commenting further.

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      7. I don’t speak for them Peter, they’re very capable of speaking for themselves. For instance Aileen McHarg:

        From the point of view of the Scottish Government, the advantage of a section 30 order is that it would put the legality of a referendum Bill beyond doubt. The disadvantage is that the UK Government may refuse to grant such an order, or agree to do so only subject to conditions.

        https://www.scottishconstitutionalfutures.org/OpinionandAnalysis/ViewBlogPost/tabid/1767/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/10276/Aileen-McHarg-Indyref2-Who-Decides.aspx

        That’s a very good website by the way, I’ve read it since it started in 2012.

        And then from Peat Worrier in the National:

        So what does Section 30 do? With a little help from Her Majesty the Queen, Section 30 gives the UK Government the legal power to alter the list of reserved matters which fall outside Holyrood’s powers. Such an order was made before the 2014 poll. For a time-limited period, David Cameron’s administration put it beyond legal question that Holyrood had the legal authority to design and deliver the first referendum on Scottish independence.

        I’ll leave it to you to supply the converse of the argument in the last sentence.

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      8. Ah, so you don’t know, and THAT’s why you have such a dislike of the Section 30. All is not lost, however, read this and it might all become clear for you.

        https://ukconstitutionallaw.org/2020/01/13/chris-mccorkindale-and-aileen-mcharg-constitutional-pathways-to-a-second-scottish-independence-referendum/

        and then try reading the ScotGov document from December 2019: “Scotland’s Right to Choose: Putting Scotland’s Future in Scotland’s Hands.”

        I’m sure that will help you.

        The SNP have been on top of this for a long time, way longer ago than December 2019.

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      9. Peter, that’s an article by you. You already said you taught psychology. You are not a constitutional or legal expert.

        Aileen McHarg is. So is Chris McCorkindale.

        Like

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