The principle of Scotland’s right of self-determination is of little worth or utility if there is no process by which that principle can be put into practice and the right exercised. After the principle comes the plan. Which is also dependent on process. Without a process, the plan doesn’t even qualify as a plan. It is, frankly, idiotic to dismiss process.
Scotland’s right to decide is not in doubt. And even if it were, we must proceed as if it isn’t. Attend to the words of Alasdair Gray: ‘Work as if you live in the early days of a better nation!’. Take those words literally. Assume the mantle you wish to wear. Use the power you intend to own.
Yes! I am talking about UDI! But not Catalonian UDI! Because, Gerry, Scotland is NOT Catalonia. The constitutional arrangements are very different. I am talking about Scottish UDI! A form of UDI designed for Scotland and our circumstances.
For Gerry Hassan – and he is far from alone in this – independence is a theoretical thing. A matter of academic interest. For me, independence is a practical thing. A matter of the survival of my nation as it is threatened by the imperial ambitions of the British ruling elite. Gerry is happy to discuss how we think about restoring Scotland’s independence. I am primarily concerned with how we do it. He can ignore the practicalities of process. I cannot.
I have no objection to academics bringing their learning to the narrative of Scotland’s cause. Thinking is good. Thinking about principles is fine. Essential, even. I don’t protest against Gerry Hassan urging us to think about the principles underlying Scotland’s cause – the principles of democracy and the right to develop our own political culture as opposed to having an alien political culture imposed upon us. What I object to in the strongest terms is academics and others telling people they don’t need to consider the practicalities – the process.
We need action! We need the right action! We need that action urgently! There can be no action absent a process for that action to follow. The insistence that process can be ignored comes from those who are content to gaze at the horizon. For those of us who want to go beyond that horizon, process is essential.
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