What are you prepared to do?

Shona Robison portrays Alister Jack’s intervention as if it was an outrage. The reality, of course, is that Jack has acted entirely within the law. So, it is not Jack’s intervention that is outrageous but the law which permits it. Under Section 35 of the Scotland Act 1998, the Secretary of State for Scotland needs only “reasonable grounds” to believe a Section 35 order prohibiting the submission of an Act of the Scottish Parliament for Royal Assent is warranted. He is the sole judge of what constitutes “reasonable grounds”. The most that might be expected of a British court is that it would politely ask the Minister to clarify the grounds he has deemed reasonable. The wording would be tweaked. The prohibition would remain.

The Secretary of State for Scotland and the British government he represents have precisely no obligation to assist the Scottish Government in its drafting of legislation. Indeed, had the British government sought to intervene in that process, I have not the slightest doubt that Shona Robison would have been among the first and most indignant of those protesting such ‘interference’ in the work of a devolved administration.

My point here is not to justify or rationalise Alister Jack’s issuing of a Section 35 order, but to point out that this intervention requires no justification or rationalisation. The Union gives the British state that kind of power. We can object all we like to Jack’s high-handed behaviour. But we can do absolutely nothing about it. In 2014, the people of Scotland chose the Union over themselves. The Scottish Government continues to concede the superiority of the British parliament. So long as this is the situation, the likes of Alister Jack can act as high-handedly as he wants.

The situation can be changed. But this would require that the First Minister and her government find a resolve that has not been in evidence over the eight years since Sturgeon’s elevation. The means to alter the situation are known and available. All that is lacking is the political will. Throwing questions at Alister Jack is pointless. The relevant question is for Shona Robison and Nicola Sturgeon and the whole of Scotland’s political elite. That question is,


If you find these articles interesting please consider a small donation to help support this site and my other activities on behalf of Scotland’s cause.

Buy me a Birra

16 thoughts on “What are you prepared to do?

  1. What is an outrage is that the Scottish Govt in cahoots with the Greens would not merely try to enact a law which is harmful to the interests of trans people, women and children. That it should do so knowingly and then to lie about it is the real outrage. The kind of behaviour we expect from WM not from the SG.
    Why did WM act to stop the GRRBill? It did so because the bill was so flawed and contradicted reserved matters so thoroughly it represents a threat to several contingent pieces of reserved legislation. This wasn’t an accident, and it has alienated the SNP from many of its traditional support – as noted by Alex Salmond: ‘30 years of building support to see 6% for independence list in a month, think about that: a month.’
    This is either a spectacular miscalculation or incompetence or bloody mindedness that comes with having been in power too long or from a leader who has become a believer in her own invulnerability for the same reason.
    Sadly, there is more to come. Sturgeon May have set back independence more than the few years she has spoken about recently, and clearly the Press sense there is blood in the water. There may be no option soon for Sturgeon.

    Sent from my iPhone

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Had thr Bill passed successfully, akmacgregor, it would certainly have harmed women and children, but ‘trans’? It would have been a huge coup for them.


  2. I tell you what I am doing Peter. Re-joined the SNP, for my sins. £1 per month, I recon I might last three. ONLY so I can attend conference with the absolute long shot of making a fraction of a difference. The Resolution put forward by the NEC for conference to vote on re paths to independence is a dogs dinner and designed to fail.
    Like going over the top from the trenches, pointless perhaps, but if you are not in them in the first place there is nothing you can do.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. The Equalities Act requires organisations to make reasonable adjustments to facilitate people with ‘disabilities’ (which includes those resulting from wear and tear of normal aging) to participate. Use it. And take inspiration from Jerry Fisher, who continues to get up onto the stage and take the mike, in spite of the ageist heckling noone would receive for any other ‘protected characteristic’.


        1. To be honest, it’s not just my knackered knees that are the problem. A legacy of my years of clinical obesity, now thankfully over. I don’t cope well with crowds. And I have no patience for fools. The former may not be the issue it once was at SNP conferences. The latter, however, has grown to be an insuperable difficulty. I don’t like getting angry in public. And I don’t see how I could be anything else at such an event.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I totally get that Peter. I’ve got Age-Related Tourettes (one thing about being an old-looking female is it mostly get ignored, but I guess you’ll have problems passing as a demented auld sweary lady). The older you get the more there is to get fecn angry about. The solution would be to form an ART support group. We metaphorically chain oorsels together to prevent anyone wondering off on a physical or mental detour (again, a perfectly normal phenomenon for those o independent mind who dont tend to fall into group behaviours) forming an entourage of tight-lipped human-shields/minders for yourself.


      2. No problem with the concept of being expelled. I intend to try and get on stage to speak at conference. I will choose my words wisely, rehearse my points, keep it sharp and punchy and hopefully make some sort of impact, but chances of me getting near a microphone are slim. I have no political agenda or political career to concern myself with, only the aim of getting the best chance of Scotland being independent on the table.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I doubt very much that an answer will be forthcoming.

    If it did the likelihood is that it would be ‘carry on complaining’ or some such.


  4. My membership is on a very shoogley peg. I am a Brummie lived in Scotland nearly 25 years SNP member for most of those SNP councillor for 15 of those years. I will attend this conference in March. Independence has to be the only goal to get away from the cluster f’k of Westminster. It also doesn’t help that the MSM, BBC are all in a foreign country.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. A cunning idea but the agenda items for the conference will be very carefully selected ,motions/amendments neutered
    and uncomfortable resolutions ignored by the party leaders .
    If you go , do something that will lead to your expulsion .

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The question is not just for Robison, Sturgeon, and the whole of the political elite. It is for the whole of the Scottish people to answer, At the moment more than half of them would say “nothing” in answer to the question. Which enables the Scottish Government to say ‘now is not the time’, and to do nothing.

    This obviously suits the Government, as they know a large majority will not vote Conservative or Labour so the SNP are guaranteed of getting back into office when there is an election, as there is no other choice ( apart from fringe parties who don’t count for much).

    The fact that they make a complete mess of governing the country enables the status quo to be maintained. If they were good at governance, the danger for them would be that more people would be likely to support independence, and they could not then fall back on the ‘now is not the time’ mantra.

    So it is a dream come true for the Wisharts of this world who are motivated by failure rather than success in order to maintain their comfortable lifestyles.

    They have shown how good they are at failure. In fact that seems to be the only thing they are good at, and it is that which keeps them in office and will do so for the foreseeable future. Just look at the people who have been appointed to run important departments, and what they have (not) achieved. The economy, health, education, transport, equalities, circular economy, and the rest.

    Numpties chosen to do their worst, which they have duly done. And they will be handsomely rewarded for their failures.

    Meanwhile, Westminster looks on with approval.


  7. I wonder why a westminster Labour government felt it necessary to include such a provision in the 1998 Scotland Act. Was lab and libs not supposedly meant to be in perpetual control of ‘ their ‘ parliament in Scotland killing independence forever? Were they afraid Labour in Scotland might one day find a backbone or go rogue?


  8. I believe it was agreed by all parties that it would be used only where a bill passed by Holyrood would have a pronounced effect on UK-wide legislation and where Holyrood was competent to pass that legislation. Most stuff that has been struck down has been around competence, but that would not have worked here. It was perfectly legal and necessary, and would never have arisen, and never had before, had the SNP/Greens not introduced this stuff under the radar. Westminster, or Jak, could not act before the Bill passed at Holyrood, which made it even more pressing that due diligence should have been done. The SNP/Greens have done great damage to independence.


  9. “this would require that the First Minister and her government find a resolve”

    Yes Peter, they certainly found plenty of resolve over the GRR nonsense, and cared nothing for the vast majority of the population who remain opposed to a warped ideology. But they can’t find any resolve for independence, despite democratic majorities in favour.

    Frantz Fanon explained the behaviour of the nationalist bourgeoisie thus:

    “We find intact in them the manners and forms of thought picked up during their association with the colonialist bourgeoisie. Spoilt children of yesterday’s colonialism and of today’s national governments, they organize the loot of whatever national resources exist. Without pity, they use today’s national distress as a means of getting on…. “


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.