Double the thinking! Half the sense!

In common with innumerable other commentators, Richard Walker portrays the British government as having no respect for democracy. He is, of course, perfectly justified in doing so. The catalogue of reasons for stating that the British government has no regard for democratic principles and that the latest iteration of British Nationalism is overtly anti-democratic, need not be revisited here.

Richard is also correct to note how drastically the context of the constitutional issue has changed since David Cameron volunteered that Section 30 order a decade ago. What I find perplexing is that even while acknowledging the massively altered circumstances he appears to suppose that the Edinburgh Agreement should still serve as a precedent. I don’t think it can. Mainly because one aspect of the situation hasn’t changed since David Cameron and Alex Salmond negotiated the accord which led to the 2014 referendum. The power relationship remains the same. The British state still dominates. Scotland remains subject to the whims of Westminster and the whimsicality of an English electorate which thought it a good idea to make Boris Johnson Prime Minister.

The important thing to remember about the SNP landslide in the 2011 Holyrood election is that this expression of the will of Scotland’s people carried no weight in the British political system. David Cameron had the legal and constitutional authority to brush aside the democratic mandate given to the Scottish Government by the sovereign people of Scotland, he simply chose not to use the power afforded him by the Union and the legal and constitutional framework developed under the influence of England-as-Britain’s imperative to protect and preserve. the Union.

As a precedent, the 2012 Edinburgh Agreement supports the argument that the granting of a Section 30 order is a matter of unconstrained choice for the British Prime Minister. Cameron chose to put on a show of respect for the democratically expressed will of Scotland’s people, but was under no legal or constitutional obligation to do so. Theresa May then Boris Johnson and now Liz Truss were and are similarly under no legal or constitutional obligation to respect Scotland’s democracy, and they choose not to. That choice is not contrary to the precedent set by the old Edinburgh Agreement. It is just a different choice.

Richard says “Westminster is left with just three arguments in their bid to keep the Union in place”. But the Union is not under imminent threat in the way that Scotland’s democracy is. The proposed 2023 referendum does not threaten the Union at all. If it is deemed lawful, it will be on the basis that it does not put the Union in jeopardy. Nothing that has been done in the past ten years has altered the power relationship between Scotland and England-as-Britain. Unless it is in the latter’s favour. Adam Tomkins has opined that “it would be insane for the UK Government to block indyref2”. But he doesn’t seem to have figured out the main reason the British government is mad to oppose the referendum as proposed by Nicola Sturgeon.

The referendum is guaranteed to have no effect, so it poses no threat to the Union. If it is a Yes vote, the present British Prime Minister will be under no more legal or constitutional obligation to respect that vote than any of her predecessors. If it is a No vote, the present British Prime Minister has the same freedom of choice as was enjoyed by David Cameron. She can choose to ‘respect’ the result as an expression of the will of Scotland’s people citing the 2012 Edinburgh Agreement as precedent.

Whatever way the vote goes, the British government gets to claim that it has ‘given’ the separatists the referendum they wanted, and they should now shut up about the whole issue for a century or two.

Heads, the Brits win. Tails, Scotland loses.

So why is the British government opposing the proposed referendum if it would be to their advantage for it to go ahead? Because it’s what they do. It is what they are committed to doing. After years of shouting ‘No referendum!’ it would look odd if they just relented now. It might cause people to wonder about the value to Scotland’s cause of a referendum that the British were happy to ‘allow’.

Richard Walker appears to follow the same line of thinking as Nicola Sturgeon. I’d be surprised if he didn’t. But there is a fatal contradiction in that line of thought. The justification for the referendum as proposed is that making it totally ineffectual gives the best chance of having it deemed lawful by the UK Supreme Court (UKSC). It is also argued that the referendum would not be totally ineffectual despite it being explicitly stated that it can have no effect. Sturgeon supposes that the referendum will have political effect. Which, obviously, it will. But she supposes a Yes vote will have the very particular political effect of forcing the British Prime Minister to grant a Section 30 order or risk being seen to be disrespecting the democratically expressed will of Scotland’s people. The problem is that she supposes this while continually pointing out how unashamedly contemptuous the British government is of Scotland, Scotland’s people and Scotland’s democracy.

Richard Walker too, seems to believe simultaneously that the British government has no respect for democracy and that it will respect a democratic Yes vote in a referendum that explicitly affirms their legal and constitutional power to disregard the outcome. The word that comes to mind is ‘doublethink’.

In refusing a Section 30 order, successive British Prime Ministers have repeatedly demonstrated their willingness to ignore votes that were intended to have effect. The mandates given to the SNP/Scottish Government were intended to have the effect of bringing about a proper constitutional referendum. Despite the unquestionable democratic legitimacy of these votes and that mandate, the British state effortlessly and with nary a blush dismissed them. What rational reason is there to suppose the British political elite will have better regard for a strictly advisory referendum than for a determinative election?



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38 thoughts on “Double the thinking! Half the sense!

  1. This is just getting sad now. It’s the same old shallow, naive, blinkered opinion that has been repeated ad nauseam on this blog since the Scottish govt announced their plans. It has to be remembered, It is only one rather jaundiced opinion. Not reality.

    The referendum proposed by the Scottish govt has the same standing as the referendums that took us into and out of the EU and denied us independence in 2014. Any claim that it does not is simply a lie that calls into question the motives and/or competence of whoever is making that claim.

    All that counts with the proposed referendum is the result. Contrary to Peter’s “colonised mind” opinion, the will of the Scottish people, as expressed in this proposed referendum, will be a powerful thing. If it is a Yes vote, it will become the key to independence. It does not matter if the UK govt decides to ignore it. It will become not so much the elephant as the lion in the room; they can try to ignore it all they like but, if they don’t address the problem, it’s going to do serious damage.

    That is why unionists so vociferously oppose it. Not because, as Peter would have us believe, they would find it awkward/embarrassing to consent to it. They have no problem flip-flopping on other key issues. They championed Brexit using arguments they contrarily decry as isolationist in respect of Scottish independence. If they thought granting this referendum to the Scottish govt would kill independence stone dead, we would not be in the Supreme Court now.

    A Yes vote would confirm the desire of the Scottish people to be independent. A powerful message that the international community would have to take note of, if only because it threatens the stability of a major European power. With that Yes vote, the Scottish govt can demand the UK govt respect the will of the Scottish people. If they continue to deny it, the Scottish govt will have carte Blanche to take it further. Whether that be a “real” UDI that takes us directly to the negotiation table, with a sympathetic international community at our back, or whatever else presents itself.

    I’ve no idea where Peter gets the idea the referendum would only result in a request for a now pointless S30 order. What would it be for. The referendum would have already happened. There would be no need for another one. It appears to be just another attempt to discredit the Indy supporting Scottish govt and the independence referendum. Why he believes this will be a good thing for the Indy cause is anyone’s guess.

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    1. Where did I claim that the proposed referendum doesn’t have the “same standing” as previous referendums? Although it is obviously not identical to any of those other referendums. Don’t give me your shit. Just give me the text authored by me, on which your assertion is based. It’s a simple copy/paste operation. Shouldn’t take but seconds.

      When you fail to provide that quote it will be plain to all that you are disputing with the voices in your silly wee head.

      I didn’t read any more of your comment. Let’s get this lie exposed first.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. From your “A Blancmange is not a Brick” article ….

        “I have yet to see any serious discussion of the distinction between the referendum being proposed and a genuine constitutional referendum.

        Mostly, the matter is discussed as if what we are (maybe) getting is an opportunity to decide. That’s what a real constitutional referendum is. It is the formal exercise of our inalienable right of self-determination. It is a statement of the will of the people. It produces a decision. The proposed referendum is and does none of this. It is a glorified opinion poll. That is not mere rhetoric. It is precisely what the First Minister and the Lord Advocate have said of the referendum – even if they didn’t use precisely those words. They have been at pains to stress that the referendum is NOT a formal exercise of our right of self-determination. It is NOT a statement of the will of Scotland’s people. It’s just them expressing an opinion – just like in an opinion poll. And just like an opinion poll, the referendum being proposed has no effect.

        No sane person would expect the restoration of Scotland’s independence to ensue from an opinion poll”.

        …. and cue semantics and abuse.

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        1. The UN has run numerous similar referendums, and calls them ‘consultations’. Non-binding referendums are completely normal.

          Mr Bell’s idea that the results of standard, legal, non-binding referendums are ignored is… let’s say misguided (more specifically – unguided). Even the EU take referendum results so seriously that if they don’t give their desired answer, they demand another one until they do. Same as us, really.

          I would be way more concerned about there not being any referendum at all on the results of negociations about Scotland leaving the UK (this would undoubtedly feature the SNP, who can’t negociate a bottle-return scheme with Asda). That would pertain to far more important stuff than what flag gets hoisted and sacking 50 MPs. You can add to that no referendums on a constitutional monarchy, or currency, or whether Holyrood gets a second house.

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        2. You claimed that I had said the proposed referendum doesn’t have the “same standing” as previous referendums, I ask for evidence that I ever said such a thing. You provide a quote that proves the opposite of what you claimed. You really are an idiot.

          The quote does not say I have yet to find discussion of the distinction between the referendum being proposed and previous referendums. You can see that, can’t you? It does not refer to previous referendums but to a “genuine constitutional referendum” ─ a term I define elsewhere as a referendum to determine the will of the people and not merely their view on a matter. A referendum with direct legal consequences.

          You’ve made a total arse of yourself again. You will continue to do so as long as you spend most of your time here lying about what I have said and the views that I hold.

          I shall now return to the post where you told the lie exposed above and proceed to embarrass you some more.

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    2. “The referendum proposed by the Scottish govt has the same standing as the referendums that took us into and out of the EU and denied us independence in 2014. Any claim that it does not is simply a lie that calls into question the motives and/or competence of whoever is making that claim.”

      You are an idiot. Of course the proposed referendum has the same standing. Contrary to your lie, I have never said otherwise. It has the same standing because, with the single exception of the voting reform referendum in 2011, none of them were proper constitutional referendums. None of them had direct legal consequences. None of them intended to determine the WILL of the people. All of them were intended merely to seek the opinion of the people. Exactly the same as the proposed referendum. So, your claim that I had said the proposed referendum was different is shown yet again to be an idiotic lie.

      As less shallow-minded individuals will immediately recognise, the difference in the ultimate outcomes of these previous referendum arose not from any essential difference in the nature and for of the referendum, but from the response of the relevant government to the result. The EU referendum had no effect. The effect was added by the British government. The effect came, not from the will of the people, but from the will of the government.

      My objection to the proposed referendum is not that it is different but that it isn’t different. You could not have got it more completely wrong. Which is the mark of an idiot. Especially given that you complain about how often I’ve set out my views before proceeding to demonstrate the despite this you still haven’t a fucking clue.

      I can tell you why that is. But what would be the point. You are obviously incapable of learning.

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    3. “The referendum proposed by the Scottish govt has the same standing as the referendums that took us into and out of the EU and denied us independence in 2014. Any claim that it does not is simply a lie that calls into question the motives and/or competence of whoever is making that claim.”

      You are an idiot. Of course the proposed referendum has the same standing. Contrary to your lie, I have never said otherwise. It has the same standing because, with the single exception of the voting reform referendum in 2011, none of them were proper constitutional referendums. None of them had direct legal consequences. None of them intended to determine the WILL of the people. All of them were intended merely to seek the opinion of the people. Exactly the same as the proposed referendum. So, your claim that I had said the proposed referendum was different is shown yet again to be an idiotic lie.

      As less shallow-minded individuals will immediately recognised, the difference in the ultimate outcomes of these previous referendum arose not from any essential difference in the nature and for of the referendum, but from the response of the relevant government to the result. The EU referendum had no effect. The effect was added by the British government. The effect came, not from the will of the people, but from the will of the government.

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    4. “All that counts with the proposed referendum is the result. Contrary to Peter’s “colonised mind” opinion, the will of the Scottish people, as expressed in this proposed referendum, will be a powerful thing. If it is a Yes vote, it will become the key to independence. It does not matter if the UK govt decides to ignore it. It will become not so much the elephant as the lion in the room; they can try to ignore it all they like but, if they don’t address the problem, it’s going to do serious damage.”

      Empty assertion. The proposed referendum is not a test of the will of Scotland’s people, it is merely a test of their opinion. It’s not me saying this, it’s the First Minister and the Lord Advocate and the lawyers who drew up the SNP’s submission and everybody who has taken the minimal trouble to read any of these things. It won’t be a “powerful thing” because if it happens ─ if it is deemed lawful by the UKSC ─ it will be on the basis that it has no power and no effect. That is the foundation of the Scottish Government’s case ─ the referendum is lawful because it is merely advisory and changes nothing. It is powerless by legal definition.

      I have explained why there is no rational reason to suppose a Yes vote in a referendum defined as having no consequences would affect the British government when votes that are determinative ─ several elections ─ have not affected it at all. Your response isn’t to present a counterargument but simply to assert that the referendum will have a huge impact despite being designed to have no impacted at all. You do not explain why or how the result of an advisory referendum would have such profound consequences. You simply say it will ─ probably pouting and stamping your foot as you do.

      How can it not matter if the UK government decides to ignore it? It has to matter given that subsequent to a Yes vote Nicola Sturgeon goes back to asking for a Section 30 order. The British government has already ignored several explicit election mandates. Why would it not ignore an advisory referendum? By definition, it is a referendum that the British government can ignore. So, they will. That has to be the default assumption if one is being guided by evidence rather than infantile wishful thinking.

      The British government will certainly “address the problem”. But there is absolutely no reason to suppose they will do what you want rather than what they want. They want to Union preserved. So, it is reasonable to suppose that they will “address the problem” in such a way as to preserve the Union. You claim that not doing what you want is “going to do serious damage” to the British government. Again, you offer no explanation, ne evidence, no reasoned argument. You offer only empty assertion.

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    5. “That is why unionists so vociferously oppose it. Not because, as Peter would have us believe, they would find it awkward/embarrassing to consent to it. They have no problem flip-flopping on other key issues. They championed Brexit using arguments they contrarily decry as isolationist in respect of Scottish independence. If they thought granting this referendum to the Scottish govt would kill independence stone dead, we would not be in the Supreme Court now.”

      You totally fail to address the main reason the British are opposing the proposed referendum. Because if they didn’t then even numpties like you might start to wonder why. Even die-hard Sturgeon/SNP loyalists might start to ask questions about a referendum the British were happy to have happen.

      In reality, the British would prefer that there was no referendum. But if there has to be one, the one proposed by Nicola Sturgeon is as good as they could hope for. If there’s a Yes vote, it can easily be ignored. If it’s a No vote, the Brits have a huge party. Idiots like you just don’t comprehend tht the proposed referendum is a gamble in which winning gains us nothing but losing costs us everything.

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    6. “A Yes vote would confirm the desire of the Scottish people to be independent. A powerful message that the international community would have to take note of, if only because it threatens the stability of a major European power. With that Yes vote, the Scottish govt can demand the UK govt respect the will of the Scottish people. If they continue to deny it, the Scottish govt will have carte Blanche to take it further. Whether that be a “real” UDI that takes us directly to the negotiation table, with a sympathetic international community at our back, or whatever else presents itself.”

      The Scottish Government has been demanding that the British political elite “respect the will of the Scottish people” for years. Nothing has changed. Once again, I have to point out to a monumentally slow learner that the proposed referendum does not determine the will of the Scottish people. It merely seeks their opinion. The difference is significant. Not least because in dismissing the result the British can argue ─ among numerous other things ─ that people might well have voted differently if they knew the referendum would have effect. This is the sort of thing you realise when you set aside your prejudices and think things through in a rational fashion.

      The stuff about the Scottish Government having “carte Blanche to take it further” is total pish. The Scottish Government has already stated what it will do if the referendum happens and the vote is Yes and if the British dismiss that Yes vote, as they surely will. And it’s not any kind of UDI. Had you bothered to read Nicola Sturgeon’s statement on the matter you’d know that the intention is to try and pretend the next UK general election is a Scottish referendum. Which is nonsense for all the reasons I have repeatedly explained but you have either not read or failed to comprehend.

      This ‘de facto’ referendum ─ even if it works precisely as Sturgeon imagines, which it won’t because it can’t ─ will produce a result which carries even less weight than the referendum. As ever, you fail to set out the process by which it would have an effect that accords with your wishful thinking.

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    7. “I’ve no idea where Peter gets the idea the referendum would only result in a request for a now pointless S30 order. What would it be for. The referendum would have already happened. There would be no need for another one. It appears to be just another attempt to discredit the Indy supporting Scottish govt and the independence referendum. Why he believes this will be a good thing for the Indy cause is anyone’s guess.”

      Again, you demonstrate your near-perfect ignorance of the situation. Nicola Sturgeon has never repudiated the Section 30 process. It remains her position that a referendum can only be ‘legal and constitutional’ with a Section 30 order. That has been here stated position all along. Had she moved away from that position those of us who keep abreast of such matters would be aware of it.

      You obviously didn’t bother to read Nicola Sturgeon’s full statement announcing the 2023 independence referendum. Here are a few extracts that may be short enough not to test your attention span.

      “The UK and Scottish governments should be sitting down together, responsibly agreeing a process, including a section 30 order, that allows the Scottish people to decide.”

      “In that letter I will also make clear that I am ready and willing to negotiate the terms of a section 30 order with him.”

      “For Scotland to become independent following a yes vote, legislation would have to be passed by the UK and Scottish Parliaments.”

      Those of us not blinded by the sun shining out Sturgeon’s arse see no indication there that Sturgeon has changed her position on the Section 30 process. In addition, we have the following from Mhairi Hunter. I don’t suppose you even know who that is. But better-informed individuals will be aware that she is known to be very close to Nicola Sturgeon having served as her election agent. She is also known to have considerable influence within the party. Do some research.

      Nicola Sturgeon made her announcement of 28 June 2022. The next day, Mhairi Hunter posted the following on Twitter.

      “If Supreme Court finds Scotland Act prevents Scotparl legislating for an indyref, and if there is no movement from UK Gov & allies (including Labour), pro indy parties will campaign in next GE for a mandate to start indy negotiations with UK Gov. It will be a de facto referendum.

      A successful outcome will not lead to a declaration of independence. There is no route to independence that does not involve the agreement of UK Gov. But it would be politically impossible to continue to deny a mandate for a second referendum in the face of a Yes win.”

      If we vote Yes in either the proposed referendum or the ‘de facto’ referendum we ae voting for Nicola Sturgeon to request a Section 30 order. Which is exactly where we are now. That is not my opinion. It is the reality as stated by Sturgeon and others who are privy to the ‘thinking’ behind Sturgeon’s ‘plan’.

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  2. I wrote ….

    “…. and cue semantics and abuse.”

    …. I wasn’t wrong 🙂 Peter wrote ….

    “a term I define elsewhere”

    As I said, all his own jaundiced opinion delivered in as obnoxious a manner as possible.

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      1. Whatever gets you through the day Peter. I think we should leave it to those who read the thread, should there be any, to decide who has been “found out”.

        But, as a parting shot, you wrote ….

        “The UK and Scottish governments should be sitting down together, responsibly agreeing a process, including a section 30 order, that allows the Scottish people to decide.”

        “In that letter I will also make clear that I am ready and willing to negotiate the terms of a section 30 order with him.”

        …. and, somehow, you thought it proved a point. However, the FM is talking about getting a S30 order before the referendum, not as a result of the referendum. Therefore, rendering the court case irrelevant in respect of the proposed referendum. Here is the full text ….

        “The UK and Scottish Governments should be sitting down together, responsibly agreeing a process, including a section 30 order, that allows the Scottish people to decide. That would be the democratic way to proceed.

        The issue of independence cannot be suppressed. It must be resolved democratically. And that must be through a process that is above reproach and commands confidence.

        That is why I am setting out today the actions the Scottish Government and the Lord Advocate will take, in the absence of a section 30 order, to secure Scotland’s right to choose.

        I can announce, first of all, that the Scottish Government is today publishing the ‘Scottish Independence Referendum Bill’.

        In common with the 2014 referendum – indeed, in common with the Brexit referendum and the referendum to establish this Parliament – the independence referendum proposed in the Bill will be consultative, not self-executing”.

        …. note the use of the word “should” in the first line and the phrase “in the absence of a section 30 order” in the third paragraph. Surely you read them. The idea the referendum is all about getting a S30 is plain laughable.

        Secondly, the fact the UK Parliament will have to pass legislation recognising the reality of Scottish Independence is just an unavoidable fact. It is simply admin. Their laws have to be reworded to take Scotland’s independence into account. Why is this a problem to you?

        Anyhoo, feel free to make stuff up again.

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          1. To effectively reduce yourself to a “yah boo sucks” level is a new low for you. As I said before, whatever gets you through the day.

            The sheer number, length and content of your highly subjective opinions/rantings to little me on this thread make me wonder if you need to take a step back from it all. To paraphrase Kipling, “If you’re losing your head when all about are keeping theirs …. perhaps you’ve misread the situation”.

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              1. I think a good friend should take you out for a few drinks and a laugh, with the old rules of no religion, no football – and no politics.

                You are in a maze of twistly little passages, all alike

                Light

                You see a pint glass full of a wonderful amber liquid

                Drink

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                  1. LOL

                    Good Grief, Peter A Bell DOES have a sense of humour!

                    There will be wailing and weeping and gnashing of teeth in the Unionist camp today: “Peter A Bell has a sense of humour, what do we do what do we do?”

                    And Pamela Nash and Alister Jack ask: “What’s a sense of Humour?”

                    And the Unionists go: “Well, it’s … oh nevermind, we’re on our own”.

                    And Pamela and Alister go: “You’ve got Liz Truss behind you”

                    And the Unionists are like: “Oh no we haven’t”.

                    And Pamela and Alister go: “Oh yes you have”.

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  3. https://www.ukpol.co.uk/nicola-sturgeon-2022-speech-on-the-roadmap-to-scottish-independence/

    I’ve used this URL rather than the SNP website one as I don’t actually trust any political party not to change its website quotes, anything basically. I got a lot of empathy with hostile undecideds during Indy Ref 1 when I agreed with them that BT “We’re all doomed” was mince, so was YES Scotland “It’ll be fine, fine”. Do your own research I said, and they nodded. And don’t believe assertions that are not backed up by direct quotes (not pretendy ones), and / or URLS’s.

    SAME GOES FOR THE MINCE IN THIS ARTICLE AND THE AUTHOR’S REPLIES.

    Sturgeon never ever ever said that the S30 route was the only legal and constitutional route, she said it was the gold standard. And indeed every constitutional expert agrees it’s the best route. Check out what she did say in her actual speech. Why believe me when you can check it out yourself? This is one small bit for the lazy:

    And it would put the legal basis of a referendum beyond any doubt.

    Anyone who has been following the news at all would know there was a court case this week to see if Holyrood could hold a Ref anyway. Check out what Sturgeon did say on 28th June – the URL is above. Why believe me when you can check it out yourself? This is one small bit for the lazy who can therefore be fooled by the ignorant or those with an agenda:

    That is why I am setting out today the actions the Scottish Government and the Lord Advocate will take, in the absence of a section 30 order, to secure Scotland’s right to choose.

    Sturgeon did not say after the GE she would ask for another S30, who in their right mind would actually believe such a thing or pretend they do? What she did say – and it’s in her actual speech as per the URL, you can check it out, why believe me or anyone else come to that specially the Unionist media when a little click and a little bit of reading you can find out for yourself – was this:

    If it does transpire that there is no lawful way for this parliament to give the people of Scotland the choice of independence in a referendum – and if the UK government continues to deny a section 30 order – my party will fight the UK general election on this single question –

    ‘Should Scotland be an independent country’.

    But if the law says that is not possible, the General Election will be a ‘de facto’ referendum.

    Only the gullible and the lazy will accept the unmitigated drivel of anyone else – Truss, Starmer, the LibDem guy, Ross, Sarwar, the LibDem guy AND Sturgeon herself – without checking it out for themselves.

    As for this ridiculous desperate agenda-driven myth that Mhairi Hunter speaks for Sturgeon, that’s Hunter who lost her re-election as councillor to the relief of many who thought she might be better to spend her time in the cause of Independence and getting a YES vote, rather than ATTACKING FELLOW INDEPENDENCE SUPPORTERS AS THIS BLOG DOES NON-STOP to the utter amusement and hilarity of Unionists such as Mr E or Mr X on the Herald who feed on it like vultures on a carcass of rotting and TB-infested meat – she is as likely to speak for Sturgeon as Sturgeon’s hairdresser – or mine come to that.

    Bye bye and thanks for all the mince, but it’s getting a bit tattie now …

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    1. “‘Should Scotland be an independent country’.”

      This really is the wrong question anyway, if you care to ‘think’ about it. The issue is about Scotland remaining in or leaving a political union/alliance with other nations. The question should therefore be the same as in the EU referendum:

      “Should Scotland remain a member of the United Kingdom Union or leave the United Kingdom Union?”

      Scots are already a sovereign people which means can be as independent or allied to any union a nation as we (the Scottish people) wish to be.

      The understanding of independence remains rudimentary, which explains why the national party is all over the place, lacking in strategy, on competence to hold a referendum, or even the ability to construct the right question on our exit from the UK union. Either that or the SNP has no intention to deliver independence.

      https://wp.towson.edu/iajournal/the-socio-political-determinants-of-scottish-independence/

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      1. Emeritus Professor ne Business Consultant to an Australian Bus Company thinks that sovereign Scots should bow down to the monarchy out of post colonial theory. Sereiously. With caterans, of course. And no aknologement that a naw port is being built. Because it’s being built in Aberdeen, rather than East Lothian.

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      2. My preference is that the vote be on a clearly set out proposition. The core question is should we dissolve the Union. This should form the basis of a proposition put to and presumably passed by the Scottish Parliament. The proposition should be drafted such as to allow that it be presented in three forms – long form, being the full proposition as put to Parliament; synopsis form, being a shorter plain-language version; and simplified form, being a one or two sentence statement of the proposition. That way, everybody can make an informed choice and know exactly what they are voting for. Also. The decision can’t be tampered with after the vote.

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      3. The question asked in 2014 is absolutely fine. It says all that needs to be said. It is also the question the people of Scotland are familiar with and know that Yes means independence and NO means Union. Fiddling with the wording for the sake of a philosophical point makes no sense. It’s just needless, pointless navel gazing and will do nothing to advance the cause of independence.

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          1. No Peter, it’s just common sense. However, I’ll be able to ask her opinion myself now that I seem to have taken up residence in the flat next to hers in your head.

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        1. Independence is straightforward, there are whatever, 196 Independent countries right now, Scotland would be the 197th.

          There are basically 3 legal and constitututional ways of achieiving Independence:

          1). Secession (i.e. “leave”)
          2). Dissolution (both parts revert to pre-union state)
          3). Separation (both parts agree to depart on agreed terms).

          Any question should avoid limiting those methods to just one, as achieving the desired end result will be by negotiation, and only a fool voluntarily restricts their own negotiation options.

          And contrary to opinions expressed elsewhere, it is unlikely it will be just the SNP (+ Greens) after a YES vote, it is likely it will be a cross-party and non-party negotiating team.

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  4. “Should Scotland remain a member of the United Kingdom Union or leave the United Kingdom Union?”

    That’s what Scotland in Union would really really like the question to be, as it regularly polls a few percentage points LESS for “Leave” than the straight “Should Scotland be an Independent Country YES / NO”.

    You should read Scot Goes Pop as he regularly looks at opinion polling, in for instance this article:

    https://scotgoespop.blogspot.com/2022/10/unionists-reel-in-horror-as-survations.html

    Incidentally, as Forsyth correctly said in the House of Lords:

    “If Scotland leaves the United Kingdom, the United Kingdom ceases to exist”.

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    1. ““If Scotland leaves the United Kingdom, the United Kingdom ceases to exist”.”

      Aye, leave or remain, that is (and should be) the question. Weel duin!

      Liked by 1 person

          1. Sounds like it will be a riveting rollercoaster of a read. Tell me, how many of the Scottish electorate do you think will read these? Probably far less than will even know of their existence. How many No voters will change their minds as a result of them? No doubt one or two …. literally …. but that is it. Analysing, the why’s and wherefor’s of independence is fine as an intellectual exercise for future study. It’s a good thing. However, it won’t win us independence anytime soon. What we need now is short, simple, straightforward, easily communicated reasons for people to vote for it. Not grand philosophical treatises on the nature of it.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I tend to agree with you, a brief publication on the true meaning of self-determination independence (i.e. decolonization and liberation from oppression) would be a step forward in the peoples’ understanding.

              Liked by 2 people

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