Not even close

Stewart McDonald is correct when he says “A de facto referendum will not bring about Scottish independence.”. Unfortunately, neither will the Section 30 referendum that he commends. The reason being the very “power imbalance” that he identifies. Quite why he imagines the British state might give its willing and honest cooperation to a process intended to end the Union and thereby the very structures of power, privilege and patronage that they are determined to defend, is not something that Stewart McDonald deigns to explain.

He is also correct that support for independence needs to be increased. That is rather stating the obvious. The problem is that he has no suggestions as to how to achieve this increase in support beyond ding more of what has already failed to increase support for Yes.

What I see in this paper is not a serious attempt to devise a ‘solution’ but an effort to give the appearance of dissent from the Sturgeon doctrine while not departing from it in any meaningful way. I can think of two reasons why Stewart McDonald may have chosen to publish this paper ahead of the SNP’s special conference next month. It could be that he is trying to position himself for a stab at the leadership. More likely, however, is that his intervention is intended to attract critics of Sturgeon’s failed approach to the constitutional issue in order to neutralise them.

There is no fresh or (heaven forfend!) radical in this paper. There is nothing here which departs so much as a millimetre from the subservient, compliant mindset which has failed to achieve any progress towards restoring Scotland’s independence since 2014. That mindset needs to change from one which says the people of Scotland are sovereign BUT… to one which regards the sovereignty of Scotland’s people as genuine and therefore unconditional and subject to no veto.

Power is not given. Power is only taken. That is the starting point for any analysis of Scotland’s constitutional issue. Stewart McDonald doesn’t come close.

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15 thoughts on “Not even close

  1. Just been listening to MP Stewart McDonald on his wireless interview by BBC Radio Scotland.
    I was not impressed!
    He was full of the same contradictions, he set out before us in that stupid scribble we got in The NATIONAL, and it is depressingly uninspiring.
    He insists we are closer to Independence than ever, and yet at same time he insists we need London’s support and permission to get to Independence.
    Well, London is never, ever gonna give its permission, and certainly never its support.
    And of his absolute insistence we need just one more SNP victory at the polls to demand another Section 30, which is insulting.
    What point is there going to London to ask for something he must know by now, it will never allow?
    Where is the demand that Scotland is Sovereign?
    Where is the demand for Independence?

    I can’t understand why SNP will not go back to its previous policy of a majority of MPs being the grounds for Independence, and if London doesn’t want to accept that point, then those SNPs simply refuse to go to Westminster, and Scotland declares Independence.
    But as you point out above Peter, the will has to be there for such a policy and for such actions, and alas, it isn’t there.
    All we are getting is more of the London must be obeyed waffle. We must go with London rules and Laws, etc, etc, etc.
    Basically what SNP is telling us, is that Scotland is not Equal, and we are not partners, but are totally subservient to London.

    So what we are getting from SNP at present is a rehash of Donald Dewar’s Labour group of MPs all thru the Thatcher /Major years of the the 1980s and 90s
    They said and protested much, but did nothing of any use for Scotland.
    They did nothing while most of our Heavy Industries were being wiped and communities devastated, and our Local Government system destroyed.
    So too is SNP following that same path today.
    And we note the ever growing number of highly critical comments in The National comment pages from angry Independence supporters.
    The fact we see those comments fill the National pages these days is not unnoticed by SNP politicians. What they are prepared to do about it, is another matter, and as we see, they don’t have a clue what to do!

    ALBA, too, has been a disappointment.
    They have morphed into being simply a more enthusiastic advocate of Section30, which is no use to us. ALBA would do well to change its stance.
    And there will be a backlash from Independence supporters at some point.
    For we have been way too patient ’till now.
    That patience will not last too much longer!
    But how it pans out remains to be seen.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. You’d have to wonder why AS still follows the Section 30 route as whatever about him he’s no fool. Maybe its a red herring while there’s work going on around Salvo / Liberation. The public spat they had in Dunfermline could be another ruse?

      We can but hope!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. ALBA actually doesn’t support the S30 route as a preference, but they will not drop it while the SNP hails it. They are open to any and all routes, while stressing the political.


          1. I think there’s more to it than just asking for an S30, the idea is to bring the power to Holyrood, a no from Westminster will show those that don’t already know that Scotland, a country that’s treated like a cash cow colony, will hopefully see that it is when that rejection comes.

            I do agree with Hanvey that the power to exit this union lies at Holyrood, and I’d like Alba to push the collapsing of Holyrood as a route out of this union as their number one route.

            “Hanvey will propose amending the Scotland Act 1998 to transfer the Section 30 power from Westminster to Holyrood which can enable an independence referendum to be held.

            The Alba MP said it was vital to “use every avenue” to assert Scotland’s right to determine its own future.

            He said: “The decision to legislate for an independence referendum should rest with Holyrood not Westminster.”


            1. Well, what point is there asking Westminster’s “permission” then?
              It is still deferring to London.
              ALBA should not be asking London for anything. Not Section 30, Nothing!
              And SNP ought to be challenging London, not bowing down to London Laws, and insisting on English made “Legal” routes.

              We are mindful of where that policy has gotten us …. straight out of Europe!
              Despite all those grand promises to the contrary, that is wasn’t going to happen, and SNP would not allow it, etc, etc, etc.
              Well they did allow it, just as they quietly allowed Theresa May to say “No”, by her simply not so much as responding!

              The inconsistencies in this garbage from MP McDonald, is beyond ridiculous.
              It is quite insulting in fact, and as others have made clear, it is abject capitulation to English Rule over Scotland.
              ALBA seem to be following the very same line here.
              Just being a bit more vocal in their demands, does not change the fact they still bow before London, and beg “permission” to do this or that, and then girn off when London rejects their pleas!
              We shouldn’t be asking London for nothing, but making demands, and acting on those demands.
              That is the only to Independence.


              1. No we shouldn’t have to ask I agree, I guess Alba asking further highlights to those unaware of our position within this union, Hanvey does add exploiting every avenue in the article, and again I guess asking for the S30 is one of those routes even though we know the answer.

                The SNP under Sturgeon’s tenure will not secure Scottish independence, this leaves the door ajar at Holyrood for Alba to make inroads at Holyrood, I want Holyrood dissolved and for the MSPs to hold a vote on leaving the union at Holyrood and if the majority say aye then to declare independence, and if need be hold an indyref on our terms without Westminster’s interference after we’ve had the Holyrood vote, it should ours and our alone.

                Ideally Alba would get into government and hold the above vote, how long would it take for Alba to get into government? do we have the time? and would Alba after the Holyrood vote then give the vote to incomers from South of the border which their number has increased since 2014 when 72.1% of them voted no.

                Sturgeon appear to have kept the latest census hidden from us, so we cannot put an exact figure on how many more incomers from South of the border have gravitated to Scotland, but we can be sure its far more than in 2014.

                The dissolving Holyrood route is the way to go, if however you have a better idea lets have it.


                1. One way to help get things moving in the right direction, would be for the MPS to walk out of Westminster, and then the Scottish Parliament to declare it is withdrawing from the Union.
                  They should have done that after the Brexit vote in June 2015.
                  We would be Independent today.
                  But that action is too daring, it seems for the present set of SNP/ALBA politicians to go for.
                  They are incapable of challenging London in the way they should be doing.
                  We will not get Independence while they all try to be as nice and polite as possible and insist on deferring to London rules.

                  Liked by 1 person

  2. We either assert our sovereign supremacy over Westminster, or we can wait for ever. If we are sovereign as a people, then we need to remind those we elected, (Nicola) to assert that sovereignty and to hold a binding vote amongst ourselves, to stay or leave the UK.

    No UK law or legislation can ever override the right of a nation to decide its own governance and the locus of its power.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. He said that growing support for independence would increase the liklihood of WM granting a referendum.

    Anyone with half a brain knows the higher the polls go, the less likely WM would agree. They aren’t going to concede to a vote they know they will lose. It’s why asking permission is such failed strategy.

    Your enemy is not their to assist you. They exist to stop you in your tracks. Appealing to their sense of fair play is delusional and frankly insane.

    Liked by 1 person

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