There is only #ScottishUDI

If ten years, why not twenty? If twenty years, why not forty? If forty years, why not four hundred? It is not the period of time involved that matters but the arrogant sense of entitlement with which these British politicians assume they have the right to dictate that period. Such presumptuousness does not diminish with being pandered to. On the contrary, as we have seen over the past decade, the brazenness with which the British political elite denies Scotland’s democracy only increases as the Scottish Government continues to make concessions.

Why should Sajid Javid and the rest not feel entitled to dictate the terms on which we may exercise our right of self-determination when our First Minister and all our leading politicians acknowledge and legitimise their authority to do so?

By embracing the Section 30 process in a backwards-bending and utterly futile effort to be seen as reasonable by the British media and the ‘international community’, Scotland’s own political elite has fostered the notion that the sovereignty of Scotland’s people is negotiable. They have treated our sovereignty as something that can be traded away in an ongoing effort to avoid confrontation. Our politicians, along with most of the population, have been convinced and/or have convinced themselves that the only ‘legal and constitutional’ route to independence is one that is controlled by the British state.

Scotland’s politicians and people have largely fallen for a psychological con-trick that every parent tries on their children at least once in their young lives. The one where the parent appeals to the ‘maturity’ to which children tend to aspire while portraying the thing the parent wants the child to do as the option which is associated with ‘maturity’. The pompously paternalistic British establishment has convinced half of Scotland’s voters and almost all Scottish politicians that the ‘grown-up’ thing to do is let the establishment take care of things.

“Of course you’re a nation!”, they exclaim while tittering behind their hands. “Of course we respect you!”, they assure us in their best placatory voice. “Of course the Scottish people are sovereign! Of course you have the right of self-determination! Of course you can have a referendum!” All the right noises are made. None of the behaviour matches.

Our own politicians mirror this. They too will from time to time insist with a great show of indignation that Scotland is a nation; that the people of Scotland are sovereign; that we have the right to choose; that we will exercise that right. Ian Blackford has made this his stentorian speciality. But there is every bit as much of a mismatch between word and deed as is the case with their British counterparts.

Scotland is a nation in a voluntary political union with England-as-Britain. But we may only leave this voluntary political union with the consent and cooperation of England-as Britain. The people of Scotland are sovereign. But we’ll allow British politicians to overrule the will of the sovereign people if that is necessary to avoid confrontation. The sovereign people of Scotland have the absolute right to choose the form of government that best accords with our needs, priorities and aspirations. But we’ll allow the British state to dictate or significantly influence when and how that right is exercised – including what options are made available to us – if that’s what it takes to avoid confrontation. We demand the respect of the British state. But we’ll back away from doing anything to earn that respect.

Always there’s that ‘but’!

Haven’t you had enough of this shit? I know I have!

It is time our elected representatives took a very much harder line. It is actually long past time our politicians got on their hind legs and acted like they believe Scotland is a nation. It is time they stopped treating the sovereignty of Scotland’s people as a bargaining chip. It is time they stopped qualifying our right of self-determination. It is time they slapped the smug off the likes of Sajid Javid. Only by doing so will they force some grudging respect from the British political elite.

That’s metaphorical slapping, of course. It’s a sad reflection on the dire state of our political discourse that I am obliged to add such a disclaimer. What I’m referring to is not Ian Blackford crossing the Chamber to visit remedial violence on whichever British politician is delivering today’s ration of condescending crap. (Although that would make for a memorable and epically viral YouTube video, there is probably a downside which doesn’t immediately come to mind.)

What I’m talking about is a response to the arrogant entitlement that leaves no room for doubt about where our political leaders stand on the fundamental matter of sovereignty. It’s no use just saying the people of Scotland are sovereign. Our politicians have to start acting the part. They have to start behaving like the representatives of sovereign people. There can be no concessions. The people of Scotland are sovereign. There is no ‘but’ at the end of that statement. If you ever hear one of our politicians appending that weaselly qualifier it may be time for the slapping to get a bit less metaphorical.

I have come to the conclusion that there is only #ScottishUDI. There is no other way our independence will be restored. To be more accurate, I have decided that it is time for us to start saying out loud that there is only #ScottishUDI. I feel that I actually reached this conclusion some time ago, but only lately have come to realise that #ScottishUDI isn’t merely an option – not merely something that we might resort to if all else fails. I see now that all else is bound to fail. All else cannot succeed. Every route commended by this or that group eventually reaches a point at which the Scottish Parliament has to act in a way that the Union does not permit. The Union being the constitutional device by which Scotland is denied the full and proper exercise of its sovereignty. This means that if our independence is to be restored then the Scottish Parliament must assert the required competence. There simply is no other way by which the necessary power can be acquired. The notion that this power is in the gift of the British state is, on reflection, quite farcical. If it were in the gift of the British state it would be worthless. Power is only ever taken. That which is given cannot be real power.

To illustrate the foregoing let’s look at what our First Minister is proposing. Bear in mind that what is true of Nicola Sturgeon’s ‘plan’ also holds for every other conceivable route to restored independence.

There will be a referendum. I know there are still those who doubt her word. For present purposes, let’s just assume that she means it. There will be a referendum. The First Minister is quite assertive on this point. Not nearly assertive enough, however. There’s one of those ‘buts’ attached. You can feel it coming. There will be a referendum, but it will not be a formal exercise of Scotland’s right of self-determination. There will be a referendum, but it will be “consultative and non-self-executing”. There will be a referendum but it will have no direct legislative or constitutional consequences. There will be a referendum but in order to avoid serious confrontation with the British state, it will have no effect.

Assertive. But not even close to being assertive enough. In order to properly represent the sovereign people of Scotland rather than pander to the bullying British state Sturgeon would have had to declare that there will be a referendum and it will be decisive and it will be entirely made and managed in Scotland entirely under the auspices of the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Parliament will assert the necessary competence and the British political elite will accept this or we will confront them in court.

When the Scottish Parliament asserts its exclusive competence in all constitutional matters this will effectively be a unilateral declaration of independence – but done in a Scottish way that is appropriate to Scotland’s circumstances.

The so-called ‘Plan B’ of a plebiscitary election is just more pandering to the obstreperous British state. The very fact of having a ‘Plan B’ signals a lack of determination to see ‘Plan A’ through. For “lack of determination” read weakness. Because the British certainly will. And they will exploit that weakness. The British political elite will accept the Scottish Parliament’s taking of the power to hold a real constitutional referendum – one that is decisive and connects to defined legal consequences – only if they are convinced the Scottish Government is not going to back down. By announcing a pretendy referendum and a ‘Plan B’ Nicola Sturgeon has told them that she is prepared to back down. She has made the preparations for when she backs down. She wants to avoid confrontation.

There is no route to the restoration of Scotland’s independence which does not involve confrontation with the British state.

There is no route to the restoration of Scotland’s independence through the legal and constitutional framewrok developed under the imperative to preserve the Union at any cost.

There is only #ScottishUDI!

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16 thoughts on “There is only #ScottishUDI

  1. The Scottish government are not only feart of taking on the English establishment, they’re feart of upsetting ‘no’ voters living in Scotland whose votes they seem to cherish above all others.

    The irony is, if they were to grab the bull by the horns, and there was an English backlash (though the current inhabitants of Tory Westminster look like they couldn’t organise a piss-up in a brewery), that is the thing that is most likely to persuade the ‘No’ voters to the cause!

    Liked by 6 people

  2. I have literally just posted this comment on Grumpy Scottish Man’s site

    Bruce your anger is palpable which should be echoed and highlighted by our representatives but instead they are crawling even further up the crevasses of the tory warmongering scum , I have said repeatedly until we get POLITICIANS who are willing to stand up and EXPOSE and HIGHLIGHT the contempt and hatred these exceptionalist morons have for Scots which includes ALL political parties we will go nowhere
    I had high hopes for ALBA but I am sorry even they are too wrapped up in their diplomacy and patience in dealing with these unmentionables and that includes the scum Scottish Nonce Party

    I like you have no time for poseurs and fakes especially when bairns , OAP’s , homeless people and lower income families are suffering continuously , what WE need is someone like the old Tommy Sheridan who is willing to call a spade a spade and EXPOSE sturgeon for the fraud she is , but even then the establishment OWN the media so the message wouldn’t be heard , NO we NEED a revolution of the working classes

    Liked by 10 people

    1. “but even then the establishment OWN the media so the message wouldn’t be heard , NO we NEED a revolution of the working classes”

      Well said Twathater, Sean Clerkin is loathed in some indy quarters but the man recognised that real action is required to get us out of this union. Even the vile Tories know when to say enough is enough and voted Johnson out, look what Sturgeon has done to Scotland, yet the spineless and gutless SNP MPs and MSPs sit back and keep their heads down and their snouts in the troughs whilst Scotland and all its culture history etc is eroded away and replaced.

      The current SNP under Sturgeon has done untold damage, AUOB marches should not be happy clappy flag waving events but loud demos outside Bute House and OUR Holyrood parliament of which Sturgeon via the SPCB banned us demonstrating outside.

      Placards should be waved listing her failure to remove us from this union, small fast moving groups dedicated to following her around on public engagements should be formed so when she arrives or exits a venue she is booed and her failures are there for all to see on the placards.

      You venture nothing you loose nothing, like Extinction Rebellion WE must be prepared to go to prison (arrested at venues she attends by Police Scotland the COPFS’s foot soldiers at the behest of Sturgeon via the Lord Advocate ) for demonstrating that she has betrayed us.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The various wannabe Prime Ministers,(both tory and Labour) have given the First Minister the perfect excuse to change her stance regards Section 30, and “Legal” routes, etc.
    She could just simply say that she tried to be reasonable with Westminster, but this has turned out to be quite impossible.
    Every one of those tory hopefuls has declared they will either say “No” for next 10 years, or in the case of some like Mordunt, not ever! Labour has done the same thing.
    Thus, there is no hope any one of them being “reasonable” towards Scotland, the way SNP “Leadership” wants.
    However, as most of us have already been saying, it depends on how the First Minister reacts.
    Her present strategy is getting us nowhere. .
    Either she already knows that, and wants it that way, or she is still deluded about what she hopes to achieve with this failed course.
    We would like to think and hope she will now change her position, or that others within SNP finally force a change. For so far, SNP have already blown opportunity after opportunity.
    And maybe the prospect of someone more extreme than even Johnson taking over UK Government, just might force that change.

    They have yet another opportunity here, with this debacle going on in London
    And another simple point to make, is that if Labour in Scotland can now change its position on Europe (because they have no choice in the matter, tho refuse to admit it), so too can SNP change its mind on how to get our Independence. And Labour in Scotland have nothing they can counter that one, with.
    But it remains to be seen how things go, as far as SNP policy is concerned.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. In large part because so many people decided they were going nowhere with Sturgeon. Political parties and government are what we make them. Or they’re what we let others make them.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. “Political parties and government are what we make them”


        Political parties and government are what we allow them to be, we’ve allowed Sturgeon and the SNP to take us where we are, and now we’re paying for it, as will future generations.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. It is perhaps not so much a case of the people either making or allowing political developments, but rather is more to do with the colonial environment in which we exist which determines behaviour, and particularly behaviour of political elites. In the colonial environment a common feature of the dependent psychology prevalent is that no one can serve two masters, one of the two must be sacrificed to the other (Aime Cesaire). Postcolonial theory also predicts what occurs when an independence movement initially places all its faith in a single dominant national party elite. See section headed ‘Frantz Fanon’ here:

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Totally agree with the UDI bit, Peter, but there is always more than one way to skin cat. The SNP MPs and MSPs are under strict instructions not to support anything Alba tainted. The Scottish parliament could sanction a referendum and we still lose. We require to go back to the Treaty for legitimacy, its breaching, the contempt that has dogged us since 1707. It actually underpins the UK of GB and there is no getting round it: we will meet it again in any negotiation stage because England as the UK will almost certainly try to trot it out. Yes, the SNP/SGP has a majority at the moment in Holyrood, but the Unionist parties will not allow a clear passage for a referendum, and it will end up as a fight between the two sides. Once independence is declared (via a case brought by SALVO/SSRG/the people of Scotland who wish to have independence) and that will be immediately, after the case has been properly and legally deconstructed and reconstructed to make it watertight, then is the time to hold a ratifying/confirmatory referendum of the people. Perfectly legal and legitimate and democratic. Independence would be declared on the strength of the Scottish constitutional tools and would be immediate (with the case brought before the international court for a final ruling, but not dependent on it time-wise.) Most sensible Unionist people will understand that they are defeated, and those who don’t will be in a small minority. The prevailing mood is for independence no matter the voices raised against it, and, strangely, this time, even some of the more frothing media chaps and chapesses are less strident. Still, it’s early days. I do not trust the Scottish parliament or the Scottish government or the Greens to do anything whatsoever to advance the cause: too many ‘wokies’ and foot-draggers; and, your belief in Nicola Sturgeon’s ability to bend may be over-optimistic, Peter. I suspect that the ground she’ll die on will be the GRA reform; if she doesn’t bring it in, many of her LGBTQI+++++++ into infinity will not be best pleased. For them, independence is a mere distraction, not the other way round.


    1. You could have stopped at the end of the third sentence. Because the consent of the people must be sought. And if it is not given, it’s game over.

      You can talk about this and that treaty and the Claim of Right and all the rest as much as you like. But there ALWAYS comes the point where you have to put the matter to the people. You can spend a decade or two and a huge amount of money arguing the toss in every court that’ll entertain you. But you will still end up at the same place.

      As far as I am aware nobody from SALVO/SSRG has put a timeframe on their cunning plan. But it looks to me like something that could take decades. Or be made to take decades. Same effect.

      And there are some gaping holes in what you describe. Who declares independence? What is the basis of their democratic legitimacy? How the hell could the Unionist parties “not allow clear passage”? What could they do? What international court? How is it accessed? What is the procedure? What legal weight attached to the findings of this court?

      I’ve been invited to speak at a SALVO/SSRG event in Dunfermline at the end of the month. Maybe I’ll find out more then. But it sounds to me like exhausting yourself with a eleven rounds of fancy footwork only to find that just as at the very first bell, you still have to deliver the same decisive blow.


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