You have been warned!

The above statement fell out of the head of the future British Prime Minister, Liz Truss, at a hustings event in Exeter, England. The media are making a big fuss about her haughty dismissal of Scotland’s First Minister saying that “the best thing to do with Nicola Sturgeon is ignore her”. The soon-to-be leader of a party which has been roundly rejected by the Scottish electorate at every opportunity in the last sixty years or more and who expects to be ‘crowned’ as British Prime Minister by a minuscule part of the UK population, contemptuously insists that we should disregard the woman who is the democratically elected leader of the largest political party by far in Scotland; the woman who leads the democratically elected Scottish Government; the woman who became First Minister only with the explicit approval of the democratically elected Scottish Parliament. The arrogance tests comprehension.

But while the Scottish media – as opposed to the British media in Scotland – fumes about this pompous slight to our First Minister, it is these words which should really concern us.

What we need to do is show the people of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales what we’re delivering for them and making sure that all of our Government policies apply right across the United Kingdom.

That the almost British Prime Minister should be so disrespectful of the First Minister and thereby the Scottish electorate is just about as unsurprising as sunrise. One would have to be terminally naive or totally deluded to expect anything better than overbearing disdain from any British politician. But it is the words highlighted above that should chill the heart of anyone who claims to espouse democratic values. It was worrying enough when we first heard the phrase “UK-wide common framework” in the context of the Brexit that was foisted on Scotland just as Liz Truss is about to be. But that was a subtle hint compared to the explicit intent to impose direct rule from London now being telegraphed with drooling relish by the British political elite.

While the vast majority of people were being distracted by dire warnings and implausible reassurances regarding the economic consequences of Brexit prior to the EU referendum in 2016, some of us were frantically trying to flag the constitutional implications. It seemed obvious that the UK leaving the EU would necessarily require a redefining of the UK just as joining the European project had. It also seemed obvious that this would provide an opportunity for British Nationalists to make their move. Since at least 2007 and the first SNP minority government at Holyrood the British state has regarded the Scottish Parliament as a potential threat. With the SNP landslide of 2011, destroying or at least crippling the Scottish Parliament became an imperative. Brexit provided the ideal opportunity.

Most of my readers will, I’m sure, be familiar with Section 38 of the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020 (see below). But I’m equally sure that most of Scotland’s voters are unaware of this gobbet of British law. They must be made aware.

Thus, with a stroke of a pen the British state tramples all over Scotland’s ancient principle of popular sovereignty and imposes on us the alien doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty. And not even the sovereignty of our own parliament but a foreign parliament within which Scotland’s representatives are treated with the same open contempt as is so brazenly exhibited by Liz Truss.

Make no mistake! If the Scottish Government fails to act before the next UK general election Scotland’s democracy is doomed. Scotland’s very existence as a distinct entity will be in jeopardy.

You have been warned!

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26 thoughts on “You have been warned!

  1. I am sure that you made this point at the SSRG conference last weekend.

    We need to alert, and alarm, people to what ‘taking back control’, ‘leveling-up’ and ‘UK common frameworks’ actually mean and refer to in the context of Scotland.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Unfortunately the Scots betrayer and her morons within the snp the (SUPPOSED) Scottish government are sitting idly by contemplating whether they should wear a frock today or a pair of breeks to cover up their bulge whilst the tories and liebour undermine and destroy Scotland

      I suppose it is a good thing that the snp morons are more interested in frocks with cocks than running Scotland because up to now their governance has been incompetence personified with humza useless and shirley anne shit for brains being worse than Annie Wells


      1. The tribalism is sickening. I’m not going to bother trying to explain the realpolitik to you. You’ll just come back with some stale shit about the SNP that we’ve all heard a thousand times before and which makes not the slightest difference to our political reality.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Three points: a) we have devolution; b) we have Brexit and the common framework, allied to the One Nation State; c) we have the Treaty. The last should temper the former two, but it doesn’t because we continue to acquiesce in devolution which has simply not worked effectively for Scotland, was never intended to work effectively for Scotland.

    No one with any sense (or even a rudimentary knowledge of the law) can state that the Treaty is no longer extant. If it it is still extant, and a Scottish court can have it ‘sound’ in law, our law being equal to and independent of, England as the UK’s, then it still applies as the founding document, based in international law, that underpins the UK.

    It is not that the Treaty is not extant that has always been our bane, it is that we continue to acquiesce in our own demise by always – but always – accepting any load of bulls**t that Westminster and the British State offloads on to us. That silly woman, Liz Truss, can bleat all she likes, like a ewe that thinks it is a billygoat, but she has neither the authority nor the balls to write off the Treaty because the moment she does, the UK unravels – or, at least, the UK of GB created by the Treaties of Scotland and England unravel, and the UK ceases to exist.

    If Scots would just get their heads round that and start to challenge on all levels, we might bring this thing to a head and force our departure, but the SNP under Nicola Sturgeon, ignored or lauded, will not do that, so others must do it instead. The Supreme Court will adjudicate on most things, but it has no authority or jurisdiction to adjudicate on the Treaties of Union which require adjudication in international law.

    A case based on the consistent and persistent unilateral breaching by England is enough to use to force the issue. The work of SALVO, SSRG and other constitutional groups is the icing on that cake, and it requires no political party to do so, just the call of the Scottish people who want out of the Union. Yes, it will bring the issue to a head, and it will bring confrontation with Westminster and with Scottish Unionists and rUK NO voters, but that is what is necessary. No way round that. So long as we play the Westminster game and acquiesce in what is uniquely English conventions around a devolved status that is outwith the Treaty parameters, we are lost.

    We need to choose: the Treaty and international law or devolved status and the Scotland Act. Only the former affords us a way out of the Union because, if we stick to domestic law and the Scotland Act, we are screwed royally as the Westminster cabal (all of the Unionist parties + the SNP/Greens) will try to divert us on to that domestic law (essentially English law) path. The only thing stopping us is the will and the courage to do what needs to be done.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Devolution has worked very effectively for Scotland’s cause. Holyrood is now the locus of Scotland’s politics. It has allowed us to develop a distinct political culture. It’s the British who have lost out of it. Devolution certainly hasn’t worked for them. You will recall that it was supposed to kill the independence movement “stone dead”. Instead, it has made us stronger.

      If we go to court to argue about the Treaty we better tak a big piece. ‘Cos well be there a long time.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. We can spend the rest of our time whining about the failures and failings of the SNP, or we can get past that to the realisation that they are the tool – which makes us the workers blaming the tools for our fuck-ups. Because they are our fuck-ups. Political parties are what we make them or they are what others make them because we can’t be bothered with the effort of making them what we want. And however much some folk may whine it remains a cold hard fact that the SNP is the party of government and there is no way to change that before it’s too late. THAT is the reality. Deal with it! Because until you do you are no fucking use to the campaign.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. ” Nicola Sturgeon defends Liz Truss after Kremlin blames her for Putin’s nuclear orders ”
    28th February

    From The National Feb 28 .



  4. I have just watched a rather depressing video presentation by James Ker-Lindsay, at the time of recording a visiting Professor at the LSE.

    The video which was released on YouTube on 8 January 2021, before the last Scottish parliamentary election, nevertheless rightly assumed an independence majority would be returned with a mandate for a new referendum on independence.

    Professor Ker-Lindsay states that, with respect to international recognition; independence is very difficult to achieve. ‘The international system is stacked against territories and peoples seeking independence,’ he says. He also says that, except in cases of colonialism or occupation by force of arms – independence is almost never recognised without the ‘express agreement of the parent state.’

    He goes on to say that, should Scotland hold a referendum without a S30 order and use a positive result to proclaim UDI, that this would be a disaster for the country. In fact he calls it,’the one path that Scotland should avoid at all costs!’

    Then he cites the example of Catalonia. He doesn’t suggest that Scotland would befall the same fate as Catalonia necessarily with rUK imposing direct rule and throwing her leaders in gaol, but he does claim that Scotland would be outcast by the international community who tend to be dead against countries seeking independence except in the circumstances described earlier.

    He paints a picture of the UK using its veto as a permanent member of the UN Security Council to deny us a seat at the UN, Spain blocking our acceptance into the EU and Scotland being outcast from the international community for years or even decades to come.

    So, I’m just throwing this out there to seek reactions.

    Does anybody know this guy? He’s English and based at the LSE – perhaps he’s not entirely impartial?

    With respect to Catalonia – is he comparing apples with apples? Scotland is not a region of the UK but, supposedly, an equal partner in a political union of nations. Professor JKL even points to Scotland’s ancient and long history as an independent country before 1707.

    As far as the UK’s veto – since Scotland is currently part of the UK, it begs the questionof how the remaining part of the UK can veto an erstwhile equal constituent part from joining the UN! Seems quite ludicrous to me.

    Part of me says that even independence as an international outlaw is preferable to remaining hog-tied to the UK.

    If Professor JKL’s belief in how international law will judge Scottish UDI is well founded and proves to be the case, then the the law is not just a ass, but a total fud!

    Any thoughts?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. His is a view (I read it some time back), there are others. He has been around including some time at the FCO, but I think his views are his own – though perhaps coloured by Oxford which is the main seat of UK politicans. I like work from the LSE, which includes work from International scholars, but would personally disparage work from Oxford as being generally UK-centric and unable to see past itself. It tends to look down on Scotland.

      Sadly, in terms of “International Law”, that is largely a matter of politics, as there is no World Government to have a world court, which is just as well, perhaps.

      In general terms I think UDI will be accepted by those that want to accept them, and rejected by those who want to refuse them. Sounds obvious, and perhaps it is!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I just heard that Taiwan isn’t a UN member, due to the obvious. I doubt that the EU would welcome any place that isn’t recognised by the UN. Or even bother speaking to them. etc. – but much closer to home.

      Not sure why I am bothering to comment on something that is completely whacky.


    3. Although the name is vaguely familiar I don’t know anything about this Professor Ker-Lindsay. But what he says is an almost verbatim recitation of the British propaganda we were fed during the 2014 referendum campaign. So I am immediately suspicious. It’s all so plausibly shallow. His characterisation of international recognition portrays the nations of the world poised to shun independent Scotland. Or any other gaining its independence. This is odd given that all relevant international law actually works the opposite way. It’s all geared to encouraging and assisting nations seeking independence.

      The reality is that there will be no difficulty whatever in gaining international recognition on condition only that the process by which independence is restored is seen to be impeccably democratic. Nations are not scrabbling around looking for excuses to deny recognition. So long as the process is seen to be democratic the default position is that newly independent nations are granted recognition. Not necessarily immediately. But delaying recognition is not the same as refusing it. A lot of the countries that are cited as having denied recognition to Kosovo, for example, haven’t actually declared any position at all.

      The UK is NOT the “parent state”. I’d like to see Professor Ker-Lindsay’s arguments on that bit of labelling. The UK is a political union. Political unions can be dissolved. This has happened many times – Brexit being a recent example. The irony of this is that if the UK was the “parent state” then Scotland would satisfy the criteria to be regarded as a colony. A political union which cannot be dissolved other than with the consent of the more powerful partner cannot be characterised as voluntary. Besides which, the relevant UN legislation refers not to colonies but to non-self-governing territories. Again, if the UK is a “parent country” with the power to arbitrarily deny Scotland’s right of self-determination, Scotland cannot be regarded as self-governing despite devolution. A territory cannot be self-governing if it cannot choose the form of government which best serves its needs, priorities and aspirations. Neither can a country be deemed self-governing when it can have a ‘parent’ government imposed on it over the objections of that country’s people.

      Another fail for Professor Ker-Lindsay.

      It is when he cites Catalonia that I know Professor Ker-Lindsay is talking out of a very British arse. The constitutional situations are – for now! – very different in very significant ways. The example of Catalonia cannot be relevant.

      As to the UK vetoing Scotland’s UN membership, that argument makes no sense. In order for the UK’s veto to be relevant, Scotland would have to be already independent and satisfy the criteria for applying for membership of the UN. Long before it got to this point the rUK government would have abandoned obstructionism and sought negotiation. The UK only has permanent membership of the UN Security Council because of (a) nuclear weapons; and (b) geopolitical importance. Both of which depend on its ‘ownership’ of Scotland. Nothing in international law says that detriment to the “parent state” might be an impediment to restoring independence. Quite the contrary. International law doesn’t even acknowledge the social or economic unpreparedness of the territory seeking to become self-governing as an obstacle. The only impediment international law acknowledges is the will of the people as determined by wholly democratic means.

      You may be right when you say “independence as an international outlaw is preferable to remaining hog-tied to the UK”. But what is certain is that we don’t deserve independence if we are not prepared to take this risk. Or if we are not prepared to deal with such issues as international relations.

      Conclusion: Professor Ker-Lindsay is blethering a load of shite. I’d love to see him on a panel with the likes of Sara Salyers and Alf Baird. I doubt if he’d want that on YouTube.

      Liked by 4 people

  5. Well that’s a comprehensive and informative answer! Thank you, Peter.

    I agree that we can’t afford to be disillusioned by the opinions of ‘experts.’ I love the Nobel Prize winning physicist Niels Bohr’s definition of an expert as, ‘someone who has made every mistake that can be made in a very small body of knowledge!’

    That’s why I was looking for other opinions. If it looks like shite and it smells like shite…

    That’s the second time in a week you’ve cheered me up! You have to watch yersel’ – you’re in danger of becoming an optimist!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Having read your response to Prodessor Ker-Lindsay, I sent him the following questions:

    ‘In what way is the UK the ‘parent’ state? There is no UK without Scotland! There is a clue in the name United Kingdom – the kingdoms of Scotland and England are equal partners in a united entity. Scotland has as much right to claim to be the parent state as England – none.

    In the example you raise of Catalonia, you are not comparing apples with apples. Catalonia is a region of Spain. Scotland is recognised as a country in a partnership with it’s southern neighbour. If a business partnership is failing one of the partners, that partner must be free to leave the partnership,so long as it is done legally.

    How can the UK use it’s veto to deny Scotland a seat in the UN? The UK is only a permanent member of the security council because of it’s strategic position and possession of nuclear bombs. If Scotland secedes, rUK loses much of it’s strategic value and will need to find another home for it’s proliferating nuclear arsenal. As well as this, Scotland is currently part of the UK with this veto. How can rUK veto Scotland who are a former part of the UK? It’s ludicrous! Anyway, rUK will be so desperate for friends by then that it will need to dump it’s belligerence in favour of cooperation.

    As a last resort, even if everything you say is true – I believe there is now a majority in Scotland who would prefer to be internationally outlawed but independent, than continue to be hog-tied to a failing, belligerent and undemocratic UK.’

    He was kind enough to reply quite promptly:

    ‘Thanks. I’m really not new to all this. I work on secession and statehood. I have advised governments and international organisations on these matters.

    Scotland may have been an independent Kingdom. But it gave that up when it m merged with England. The new entity, the U.K., was created. In those sense, and under international law as it has emerged since 1945, it does not have a right to break away at will. It is essentially considered a sub-state unit. We may call it a country. However, under international law, it is really no different than a province, territory, federal state, etc. in this sense, it is exactly like Catalonia. Some people on Scotland might like to think it is different. But it isn’t really. It is not considered to have the right to break away without the permission of the British government. Of course, it could try. But it wouldn’t get far. States value territorial integrity. And it really doesn’t matter how the U.K. is a permanent member of the UN, or whether it should be one, it is a P5 and that’s all that counts. It can block whatever it wants for whatever reason, without justification. Look at Russia and Ukraine.

    By the way, I don’t say any of this as someone who opposes Scottish independence. As it happens, I have spoken out strongly defending the moral case for a new independence referendum. But as someone who specialises on these issues I have a responsibility to clarify mistaken opinions – and especially cases of misinformation – when I come across them.’

    And also:

    ‘And being an outlaw state really isn’t an option. In fact, it just wouldn’t happen. I won’t going into all the details here, but Scotland is too integrated into the international system to try to disentangle itself in that way.’

    If you’re interested, you could see his presentation here:


    1. To whatever extent he is correct about Scotland’s status, the whole point of the independence campaign is to alter that status. Saying it can’t be altered because it is what it is could have been said about any of the nations which have gained or restored their independence. Scotland’s cause is all about NOT accepting the status quo, however it is described by academics.

      I’d still like to see Professor Ker-Lindsay go up against Alf Baird and Sara Salyer. I reckon they would have plenty to say about his views.

      It occurs to me also that Professor Ker-Lindsay is talking about how Scotland is seen from the outside. Inevitably, this is a perspective almost entirely informed by British politicians and the British media. There is no guarantee that this perspective is valid. Quite the contrary, in fact.

      Liked by 5 people

    2. Historically Scotland and England are the parent states of the UK, rather than the other way around, and considering the double dealing and military presence at the time for instance on the Forth, it wasn’t a marriage so much as a rape, which makes the UK the, excuse the technical word, bastard child of England and Scotland.

      I’m also not impressed by a self-named constitutionalist who talks about the “British Government”. There is legally and democratically no such beast, it is the “UK Government”.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. If it’s a government that serves the British state – the structures of power, privilege and patronage that benefit the few at whatever cost to the many – I’d say it was perfectly appropriate to call it the British Government. Although I suspect Professor Ker-Lindsay wouldn’t share my reasoning on this. His use of the term betrays a particular mindset. For all his protestations to the contrary, I reckon the good professor has decided which side he’s on.

        Liked by 4 people

    3. Another thing, “territorial integrity” is PRECISELY the difference betwee Spain and the UK re Catalonia and Scotland. Spain has territorial integrity written into its written Constitution, hence the ability of the Constitutional court to rule against Catalonia, and the state police to take action with some degree of legaility, (as well as brutaility).

      The UK has no such term of territorial integrity in its unwritten constitution, nor does it have state police, in fact Police Scotland is fully devolved and no English Police Force has any remit in Scotland unless effectively invited by Police Scotland. I’m less and less impressed by this guy, who seems to me to show a large amount of ignorance.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I have replied to him to say I wasn’t doubting his credentials or knowledge but I was expressing my incredulity about the apparent unfair nature of international law as he describes it.

    I also said that the international view of UK history looks like it’s being taught from a BBC documentary of England as Britain who like to have their cake and eat it. I have asked how – given that the odds are stacked against it – 62 countries have managed to gain independence from the British Empire in the last century – including Ireland which was also part of the UK. It seems that, yet again, there are some unique conditions in Scotland which sets us apart from the rest of humanity!

    Finally I asked him about the Claim of Right which asserts the inalienable sovereignty of the people of Scotland in perpetuity. We’ll see how he responds.

    Looking at the responses on his page, there are numerous comments from different nationalities – Czech, Serbian, Croatian, Spanish, Irish and many others who show great understanding, sympathy and solidarity with Scotland’s plight.

    The big message coming through is don’t give up. We are in the right and with that knowledge combined with passion, belief, integrity, determination and togetherness – we will win this battle against our aloof, disinterested and presumptuous oppressors.

    Thanks also to Peter for bringing my attention to Sara Salyer and Alf Baird. I’ve had look at some of their output and they are very impressive. I’ll be paying attention to them from now on.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Good morning, Alf.

        Thanks for the link, most interesting! I love the sound of nails being hit squarely on the head.

        Lang may yer lum reek.

        Liked by 3 people

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