On being misrepresented

The following was originally written as a Facebook comment responding to being accused of cheerleading for the SNP. I reproduce it here so I can refer others who spout such drivel to an explanation of Scotland’s present political reality.

You lost my attention in the first paragraph with your first lie. I do not “advocate continuing to support the SNP in the hope that it will mend its ways”. You have failed abysmally to grasp the point. Which surprises me not in the slightest, since the point concerns a reality you are unwilling to face. For the benefit of those who, unlike your dopey self, might be prepared to deal with reality, I shall describe that reality one more time.

The SNP is the party of government in Scotland. Quite how anyone can deny this is something only a psychologist might explain. Nonetheless, many seem to manage.

Scotland’s independence cannot be restored absent the active involvement of the Scottish Government. To understand why this is so one need only appreciate that there is no such thing as magic. For constitutional change to take place it must be by a process that takes an appropriate measure through the Scottish Parliament. Only the Scottish Government can initiate and drive this process.

Time to remind you once again that the party of government in Scotland is the SNP.

It might also be worth mentioning at this point that my “support” is not required for the SNP to be the party of government, as you seem to suppose. The SNP is the party of government because it has the electoral support of an extraordinary percentage of Scotland’s voters. This too is an objective fact which might only be denied by a disordered mind.

Furthermore, the SNP is going to be the party of government in Scotland for the whole of that part of the future which is relevant to this discussion. There is no simple democratic way for the SNP to cease being the party of government before the next Scottish Parliament election ─ which is in 2026. So, according to a combination of objective fact and evidenced probability, we must assume that the SNP will be the party of government for at least the next three years and almost certainly the next eight years. Again, this is true regardless of whether or not the party has my support. It’s just the cold hard reality that I am prepared to face, and you are not.

This is where things get very tricky for you as it requires taking a broader view of political reality than is permitted by your evident prejudices. We must consider what is likely to happen in relation to Scotland’s constitutional issue during this period of 3 to 8 years when the SNP will be the party of government in Scotland ─ whether I “support” it or not.

The most significant pertinent event that is known to fall within this period is the next UK general election ─ which must take place before the end of January 2025 and so will all but certainly happen no later than autumn 2024. (Unless a low turnout suits the Tories. In which case the election could be in the depths of winter.)

Had you been paying attention to developments in politics south of the border, you would be aware that there has been a marked shift to the right and the rise of a much more aggressive form of British Nationalism. Were you at all aware of these developments you would also know that this rightward shift and embracing of aggressive British Nationalism affects both the main British parties as well as the third party which might be required to form a government depending on the parliamentary arithmetic after the election.

More astute readers will already have worked out the implications of the foregoing. Regardless of how the voting goes, the next British government will be right-wing and British Nationalist in character. Quite decidedly so. This is because of the way British politics works. In campaigning for the next Westminster election both (all) the British parties will be vying to be the most right-wing and British Nationalist. The British state is a Tory state. The Tories can be voted out of office, but they cannot be voted out of power. What this means is that increasingly over the decades since the mid-20th century, the British Conservative Party dictates the political agenda. Whatever the Tories campaign on at elections, British Labour must respond to in kind. Hence, the relentless drift to the right and the increasing aggressiveness of British Nationalism. (I’m keeping this as simple as possible, for obvious reasons.)

British Nationalism requires an ‘enemy’. It justifies its increasing aggressiveness by reference to a growing threat to the British state ─ real or confected. What is the most obvious threat of this kind now that the EU can no longer be made to play the part? Scotland! More specifically, Scotland’s independence movement. It is more than reasonable to suppose, therefore, that the campaign for the next UK general election will feature a ramping up of promised measures to counter this threat as the parties strive to outdo one another to be perceived as the saviours of the Union.

At least some of those promised measures will have to be implemented whichever party wins the election. Quite what they will be we can’t know for certain. What we can be sure of is that they will create further impediments to the restoration of Scotland’s independence. Considering that the existing impediments have prevented the Scottish Government acting for more than eight years, this can hardly be other than bad news for Scotland’s cause.

The only way this situation can be averted is if the Scottish Government acts BEFORE the next British government takes power. Preferably before the election is called.

Time for another reminder that the party of government in Scotland is the SNP. And that it will be the party of government for the entirety of the critical period up to the next Westminster election.

Following the facts, reasoned assumptions and logic, we arrive inevitably at the conclusion that the SNP, as both party of independence and party of government, is crucial to any possibility of saving Scotland from the coming British Nationalist onslaught. Sane, sober and sensible people will see that this is a statement of fact and not a statement of “support”.

Dispassionate, calculating, thoughtful analysis leads to only one conclusion. Either independence activists force the SNP to do what needs to be done, or what needs to be done won’t be. Again, this is NOT cheerleading for the SNP and only a total fuckwit would see it as such. It is no more than a purely pragmatic assessment of the situation unaffected by partisan prejudice.

Neither does this in any way suggest waiting. The action to force the SNP/Scottish Government to act should be happening now. It should have happened in 2020, prior to the 2021 Scottish Parliament election. But between the mindless SNP loyalists and the ones who, like yourself, believe in some magical way of restoring independence without involving the Scottish Government, almost the entire Yes movement declined to do the only thing that could have made a difference.

Learn this, fool! I am not a participant in your petty tribal war. I watch your antics from as great a distance as can be achieved lest I be infected with the idiocy that afflicts SNP loyalists and Alba devotees alike. Judge me by your own abysmal standards and you will always be wrong.

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33 thoughts on “On being misrepresented

  1. ‘Scotland’s independence cannot be restored absent the active involvement of the Scottish Government. To understand why this is so one need only appreciate that there is no such thing as magic. For constitutional change to take place it must be by a process that takes an appropriate measure through the Scottish Parliament. Only the Scottish Government can initiate and drive this process.’

    And here was me thinking the Scottish people are sovereign… So, Peter, if a Convention of the Estates were to be set up, could that body, representing the sovereignty of the Scottish people, not bring about independence? Just asking…

    Can constitutional change not happen if the Scottish people decide there is no point in pursuing a process that takes an appropriate measure (?) through the Scottish devolved parliament.

    If we are to rely on Holyrood to deliver independence we will have a long wait. There must be another way – many other countries have succeeded.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is so wearying being obliged to incessantly repeat explanations which would be obvious to anybody if they were just to use the intellect they possess as human beings. So wearying!

      You make a smart-arse remark about the people of Scotland being sovereign. It doesn’t matter that nothing in what I wrote ─ nothing I have ever written ─ does anything other than affirm the sovereignty of Scotland’s people. The remark was just too clever-sounding for you to resist. clever-sounding. But, given the facts, not clever in any way at all. But glib jibes are just so very much easier than considered comment, aren’t they?

      The people of Scotland are sovereign. (Although I anticipate you will read that as a denial of popular sovereignty. There’s no cure.) The people of Scotland are sovereign. But as is amply evidenced by our situation, the people of Scotland are prevented from enjoying the full and proper exercise of that sovereignty. Ultimately, the obstacle is the Union. Some will blame the British government. Some will blame the SNP. Some will blame No voters in 2014. But to whatever extent these people may be correct, they identify only proximate causes. The ultimate obstacle to the full and proper exercise of our sovereignty is a grotesquely asymmetrical political union that imposes on Scotland the sovereignty of the parliament of England-as-Britain.

      The sovereignty of the people of Scotland is not in question. The full and proper exercise of that sovereignty is. Only the shallowest of shallow-thinkers see a reference to the exercise of our sovereignty being impeded as a denial of that sovereignty.

      In practical terms, the exercise our sovereignty in the realm of politics ─ as this is generally understood ─ by way of democratic structures, institutions and procedures. People do not have effective political power. Those shallow-thinkers confuse sovereignty with effective political power. In reality, sovereignty remains even in the total absence of the ability to act as a sovereign person. To illustrate, every individual is sovereign in terms of their own physical and intellectual existence. They remain so even if enslaved and denied access to effective power over their lives and ─ to a lesser but still real extent ─ their minds. The people of Scotland are hardly enslaved by the Union. But we are denied the full and proper exercise of our sovereignty because the British state controls ─ in diverse ways ─ our access to effective political power. Effective political power being defined as the ability to effect change at a national or community level. A nation being defined as a community of communities.

      Considered as an entity, ‘The People’ have no power. ‘The People’ has strength. ‘The People’ cannot directly effect change. ‘The People’ requires an agency that will convert their strength into effective political power. Political parties are the principal agencies although various types of campaign, lobbying and/or representative organisations also fall into this category. ‘The People’ uses its strength in numbers to select a particular agency to exercise the power that derives from their sovereignty. We call this the parliament and government. ‘The People’ remains sovereign. But being sovereign doesn’t get things done. ‘The People’ gets things done by using the tools afforded it by a democratic system.

      The character of that democratic system is determined by the constitution. The constitution is controlled by the British state. The British state creates and maintains a constitution which limits or constrains ‘The People’s’ access to democratic tools. The Union is what empowers them to do this. It empowers the British state to use the constitution in any way it finds expedient for the purpose of keeping possession of Scotland. Keeping possession of Scotland is arguably the number one imperative of the British state, for reasons which are explained in this article https://peterabell.scot/2020/12/13/an-existential-battle/.

      The people of Scotland are sovereign. But we cannot act as a sovereign people because the Union disallows this. We may only act as a sovereign people if we end the Union. But the Union disallows this too. That, stated as simply as might be, is the bind that Scotland is in. Scotland’s cause is about getting us out of that bind. In order to do so, we have to understand the knot and the actions required to unravel it.

      If you think a “Convention of the Estates” might bring about independence then you are trying to untie a different knot. Such a body would have to possess democratic legitimacy. Not only that, it would have to possess greater democratic legitimacy than the parliament and government. How the Convention of the Estates might acquire this democratic legitimacy is not at all clear. The sovereign people of Scotland are the ultimate source of all legitimate political authority. The sovereign people have vested that authority in the government and parliament. Sovereignty is indivisible. There cannot be two sovereignties. So, whence the democratic legitimacy of Convention of the Estates?

      We might also ask why. Why create a Convention of the Estates and somehow provide it with greater democratic legitimacy than the elected parliament (which on the face of it is impossible) when you already have the agency you’re trying to create ─ the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government? Why not use this agency? It’s there! ‘The People’, on account of being sovereign, has absolute authority over this agency. It owns it, in the most complete sense of that term. So, why not use the strength that ‘The People’ possesses to command the Scottish Government and Parliament to do what is required in order to restore Scotland’s independence? The British state has, of course, made the constitutional rules such that the Scottish Government and Parliament are prohibited from doing what needs to be done. But the people of Scotland are sovereign. ‘The People’ cannot be overruled by the British state or anyone else. What ‘The People’ commands, so must it be regardless of any and all considerations other than that the people of Scotland are sovereign.

      What is the one thing the Yes movement is NOT doing right now? It is NOT commanding the Scottish Government and Parliament. ‘The People’ is not using its strength. That strength is being dissipated and squandered on countless campaigns and projects. Just NOT the one thing that can can possibly be effective.


  2. I have to agree with you Robert, it is the people that are sovereign not the English monarch, nor the government at Holyrood or the foreign government at Westminster.

    If Ash Regan hadn’t been cheated our of her win in the SNP leadership contest, she wanted to set up a convention to deal will all things related to dissolving the union whilst the government got on with running the country.

    I suppose then it comes down to do we need a government at Holyrood to implement our exit or could a people led convention see to it, its a difficult one to answer, I suppose an indy majority of MSPs would help rubber stamp it so to speak.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Peter, have you considered a scenario where the SNP does not actually exist as a political party, having been de-listed by the electoral commission, or simply through bankruptcy ?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Of course. But how likely is that? And how would it help Scotland’s cause? The British response would almost certainly be to seize the excuse to ‘suspend’ the Scottish Parliament. Special measures. There’d be no way back from that. Be careful what you wish for.

      You don’t have to like a fact for it to be true. And the fact is that however shit it might have become, the SNP is the only thing that stands between us and a future decided by Alister “Union” Jack.

      Of course, you could gamble that I’m wrong. You could take a chance on removing the SNP from the board just to see how things play out. But that’s a mighty bold bet considering the stakes.

      Either the SNP/Scottish Government get fixed, or we get fucked. The way things look at present, history will record that the former nation of Scotland turned its back on the one thing that might have prevent it being subsumed in ‘Greater England’.


      1. I’m certainly not willing the collapse & disappearance of the SNP, far from it. But the SNP is bringing this situation upon itself either through incompetence or deliberate self-destruction. But I’m looking at the current facts, and very unusually you seem to be ignoring the facts and the possibility that this looks like happening. I’m trying to work out how Holyrood would look with the current contingent of MSPs still sitting, but not as members of the SNP. Would they be independents ? Would some join Alba ? Would some create a new party ? Would some join the Scottish Greens ? How would this affect the viability of Holyrood ? Who would be FM ? Who would make up the Scottish Government ? Could it force co-operation between independence supporting parties ?


        1. It seems that if the SNP don’t submit their accounts on time the Electoral Commission can audit the SNP using their own people. Which prolongs any collapse. But if the SNP do go bust there are 100 politicians all giving 10% of their salaries to the SNP, so they could jointly start another party and give that 10% to it instead. Some have already threatened to withhold that 10% apparently after the police thing.

          That means the SNIP (Scottish National Independence Party) are instantly funded to the tune of about £700,000 a year – plus whatever membership subs it can get. Some wouldn’t join because perhaps the SNP is more important than Indy (14% of SNP voters as opposed to members voted NO in 2014). But I’d be surprised if the SNIP with sitting politicians wouldn’t instantly get 50,000 members plus, for another £600,000 plus donations and future money-raising.

          And there’s nothing the electoral commission can do about sitting MPs and MSPs leaving the party they were elected for, joining another party – or forming their own. It’s completely legal and democratic.

          I think the SNP could be replaced almost overnight as a viable entity for Indy – and at least we’d all know Independence was its number 1 aim.


          1. What you mean is you can IMAGINE the SNP being “replaced overnight”. So can I. I can also imagine being able to fly, but I’m not jumping off any tall buildings. At some point we have to stop imagining scenarios and start dealing with the scenario we actually have.


            1. The scenario we have is that the SNP have no auditors; apparently auditors generally have got rid of a few clients as they only want straightforward audits; the SNP is apparently not a straight audit as a couple of warnings in the last accounts pointed out inadequacy of fraud prevention; for more than 6 months the SNP have been trying to get new auditors; without auditors the SNP will eventually cease to be a viable entity.

              That’s the scenario we have. The SDP started virtually overnight, but in its case the labour party remained so ultimately it merged with the liberals. The SNIP on the other hand would be filling the empty space left behind by the SNP, formed while the SNP was in its dying thrashes.

              Where there’s a will, there’s a way.


              1. There is no will. SNP MSPs are not queuing and clamouring to join a party which to the best of my knowledge doesn’t exist. You are still imagining that because you can imagine something that something is entirely possible, if not probable. It is actually very unlikely. And, as I have explained, would make no difference even if it did happen. To be more precise, it would not alter in any way what the independence movement must do.

                You also seem to have the rather simplistic belief that because something is different it must be better. In fact, that is seldom true and almost never as true as was imagined by people like yourself beforehand. Most political campaigning leads to disappoint ─ by a massive margin. Being a rational human being, I look for the reasons to believe the likes of Alba or your imaginary (?) party might be better. To date, I have been given no such reason in relation to either Alba or any other entity that is supposedly on the verge of replacing the SNP much as a man might slip into a different jacket.

                I KNOW (important word) what we have. I KNOW that it is broken. I KNOW that there is no ready replacement and certainly none that is guaranteed to be any less broken than what we have. Remember, while you are busy building your candy-floss castles in mid air, the reality is that whatever replaced the SNP would face exactly the same legal and constitutional roadblocks as have stymied the SNP. No ‘alternative’ to the SNP has as yet even tried to convince me it can overcome those roadblock. Alba, for example, thinks I’m stupid enough to fall for glittering generalities and anti-SNP rhetoric which it is hoped will conceal a paucity of strategic planning all but identical to the paucity of strategic planning we find in the SNP.

                Different is not necessarily better. Very often, it isn’t even different.


                1. You are still imagining.
                  You don’t know what I’m imagining.

                  You also seem to have the rather simplistic belief
                  You don’t know what I believe.

                  while you are busy building your candy-floss castles in mid air,
                  I’m not building anything.

                  What was the ironic title of this article again? Ah yes:

                  “On being misrepresented”.

                  However, that’s by the way, what you did miss which makes your reply a total non-sequitor is this from my reply:

                  “without auditors the SNP will eventually cease to be a viable entity.”

                  To translate, that means the SNP could cease to exist. What are YOU going to do in that case? Call Ghost Busters?


            2. Oh, and thanks for that other thing by the way. Bit frustrating when you can’t get a message across, even for it to be optionally ignored! Different strokes for, errr, different people. As long as the destination is a little country called Independence.


        2. I AM looking at the current facts. I am NOT fantasising about a mass defection of SNP MSPs to Alba Party. Neither am I fantasising about Alba Party being prepared to do what the SNP has not done. It’s all very well ‘gaming’ a variety of scenarios. But some contact with reality has to be maintained. As things stand (always an essential caveat) there are precisely no SNP MSP’s who look like candidates for defection. Not even Ash Regan ─ who might be thought the most likely candidate ─ has shown any sign that she might be thinking about defection.

          So, the scenario you envisage is (as things stand) looking mighty unlikely. I know that things can change. But some change is more likely than other change. If you’re not controlling the change then you can have no confidence that the change that happens will be the change that you want. Right now, the Yes movement is choosing not to even try to control change affecting the Scottish Government and Parliament. Most ─ strike that and substitute a vary large part ─ of the Yes movement has turned its back on the SNP/Scottish Government. They have concluded it is not possible to control the change and so they don’t even try, thus creating a self-fulfilling conclusion. They are not acting like sovereign people at all.

          And suppose the fantasy scenario was somehow realised despite the fact that nobody is actually doing anything to make it happen. Suppose the current SNP Scottish Government were to become the not-SNP Scottish Government. What guarantee is there that this not-SNP Scottish Government will do what the SNP Scottish Government has to date failed to do? Or chosen not to do? We would be left with exactly the same problem as we have at the moment. The problem or forcing/authorising the Scottish Government to do something the British rules say it may not do. Precisely the thing you and others are saying can’t be done.

          Even if the not-SNP government is more amenable to doing what must be done, it still has to be forced to do. Or authorised. The optics are the same either way. Both require a mass demand. Or command. Both require the ‘unity’ everybody is talking about but nobody is achieving. We have, as Alexis de Tocqueville puts it, lost the knowledge of how to combine. We have NOT lost the ability to combine. We have merely lost the knowledge of how to do it.

          For many years I have been trying to disseminate the knowledge of how to combine. It is not a process of pushing together. It is a process of pulling together. It is not pushing people into some alliance that is inevitably fragile because of its terms. It is about pulling together around an idea that is fundamental and abiding and a purpose that is both simple and unchanging.

          On Thursday 20 April I will be speaking at a small demonstration outside the Scottish Parliament. The people attending will all stand behind the same banner. A banner that says ‘END THE UNION’. That is it. The idea is the restoration of Scotland’s independence. The purpose is to end the Union which denies us the full and proper exercise of our sovereignty. THAT is what people will combine around. Just that. Nothing added. No other agenda. End the Union! Restore independence! That’s it!

          Once we are combined, we can set about exercising the rightful power of the sovereign people of Scotland to COMMAND that the Scottish Government and Parliament embrace the restoration of Scotland’s independence an act for the purpose of ending the Union.

          Liked by 1 person

            1. I won’t be there in body, but I will be in spirit.

              Nothing added. No other agenda. End the Union! Restore independence! That’s it!

              It would redefine the meaning of the word “irony” if it turned out that Peter A Bell led Scotland to Independence.

              Anyways, having got a job done which could have taken 5 days with my injured shoulder tendons, done in 3, it’s back to my day of rest doing whatever I feel like doing, whatever that is. Probably contemplating the whichness of why, or my navel.


            2. It’s at 11:30, Mike. I’m advised that it is intended that it should be a small demo the better to make the single point that we need to end the Union absent all the other agendas that invariable attend larger events. A small crowd and some forceful speeches and, hopefully, some media attention.

              It would be good to see you there. It would be good to see anybody who isn’t carrying a ‘Stop Oil’ placard and chanting ‘Tory! Tory! Tory! Out! Out! out!’. One message for all our politicians – END THE UNION!


  4. Does not the Claim of Right override all these considerations? If the ultimate authority in Scotland is the Scottish people why are we so fixated on what Westminster or Holyrood is doing or not doing? Either the Claim of Right gives us , the people of Scotland, the right to decide out own future; to decide our own government that governs for the common good, or it does not.


    1. The Scottish People are 5.4 million individuals, 4.1 million individuals of voting age. And that’s the problem – we’re all individuals.

      It needs some collective to actually use that “Sovereignty”, and “Claim our Right”. Without that, these are toothless abstract notions, not a road map to Indy. We can mutter about “Sovereignty”, we can even should it to the stars – it achieves precisely nothing. Except for a few complaints from the neibours!


      1. I quite agree Peter: It does needs some collective to actually use that ‘sovereignty’. The question then is what this collective is. Is it a political Party in the devolved ‘Parliament’ in Edinburgh, or is it a new, or more accurately, a reconvened, Convention of the Realm? I would be happy if either would/could engineer our withdrawal from the Treaty of Union. Or any other ‘collective ‘ for that matter…

        However there is a major problem. Everyone and his dog must now surely see that Holyrood will not deliver independence. The SNP certainly will not and by the time any other independence Party such as Alba might possibly form a Scottish ‘government’, the influx of English, and the rewriting of the devolution settlement by Westminster, will ensure we, North Britain, will never be free from colonial rule.

        The Claim of Right is not an abstract notion: It only needs to be applied. So let us try to agree on ‘some collective’. I can only see a Convention of the Realm (Estates)
        being able to enforce this. This would not need the final approval of MSP’s. It is not in their gift to approve or disapprove if they are not the final authority.

        If the Scottish people are not sovereign and cannot come together and withdraw from the Treaty of Union then we are indeed slaves in an English colony.

        We do not have the luxury of time to debate all this. We are in extra time already and the whistle will blow soon.


        1. On the contrary. ONLY Holyrood CAN “deliver independence”. Only the Scottish Government can initiate the process by which Scotland’s independence is restored. That’s because there is no such thing as magic ─ which would be the only plausible alternative. If you’ve given up on the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government, you’ve given up on restoring Scotland’s independence. You will not ADMIT that you’ve given up. Rather than admit it you may talk of some fantastical alternative that involves electoral miracles, phantom parties and/or magic messages than transform No voters into Yes voters. You probably won’t even realise that you’re talking about these things for your own psychological comfort rather than as a genuine attempt to devise a way forward for Scotland’s cause. So long as the fantasies, miracles and magic work for you, it doesn’t matter whether the ‘alternative’ is likely to work in the real world.

          I feel it’s a mistake to think in terms of a “collective”. That suggests to me something that is created. What is required is something that forms. We will not combine by being pushed together regardless of our differences. We will combine by coming together in a place where we are comfortable leaving our agendas behind. The Yes movement wasn’t created. It formed almost spontaneously. It was able to do so because of the word ‘Yes’. Nobody could possibly disagree with that. And originally, that was all the Yes movement was about.

          The Yes movement formed because Alex Salmond launched a campaign to secure a Yes vote in a referendum that we knew was happening and believed (however wrongly) would lead to the restoration of Scotland’s independence if we could just get enough Yes votes. It was that simple. One word. One idea. One purpose. No baggage. And it was a beautiful thing to behold.

          Because I have taken the trouble to learn the lessons of the 2014 referendum and associated campaigns, I have a good grasp of what we should and should not do in the next referendum. Mostly, what we shouldn’t do. But that move by Alex Salmond to launch a real campaign is one of the things we definitely should do. Not the same campaign. Not even similar. But a formal campaign, nonetheless. Something everybody can see and touch and interact with.

          I am firmly persuaded that this campaign ─ if done properly ─ would form the core around which the Yes movement would coalesce. The crucial thing is the campaign should have one objective. And that this objective should be straightforward enough to be fully explained in 20 words or less. It must be an idea and purpose so uncomplicated that it speaks to every part of the Yes movement alike.

          Initially, the objective would have to be forcing the Scottish Government to act. The worry is that so many people in the Yes movement are not prepared to work for that objective. It’s almost as if they are proud of not doing the one thing which above all else must be done. People actually boast about having given up on the Scottish Government and Parliament. So be it. Those of us who stand ready to do the difficult stuff will just have to get on with it and ignore the folk telling us we’re essaying the impossible and should instead buy their magical powders and potions.

          There is a way to do this. It’s just that very few people actually seem to want to do it.

          BTW – The notion of a Convention of the Estates that has greater democratic legitimacy than the Scottish Parliament is beyond nonsensical. If we are not prepared to accept the sovereignty of the British parliament, why the hell would we accept the sovereignty of some ‘committee’? You may retort that this Convention of the Estates will derive democratic legitimacy from including Scotland’s elected representatives. But if our MSPs were prepared to act then there would be no need for a Convention of the Estates. If our elected representatives were minded to act as this Convention of the Estates is envisaged acting then they’d only be doing what they could be doing anyway.

          And, of course, the competence issue remains.


    2. The Claim of Right merely states what the people have the rightful authority to do. It doesn’t do anything. We have to do the doing. And to do the doing we must combine. We must have unity of purpose. That purpose is NOT to save the environment or end poverty of deploy the principle of universality in every aspect of our existence as a society. All worthy purposes in themselves. But NOT the purpose of the Yes movement. The purpose of the Yes movement is to end the Union and restore Scotland’s independence. That is all. That is the common purpose behind which we must combine in order to give force to the Claim of Right.

      The Claim of Right means fuck all when it exists only in writing on a piece of paper. The Claim of Right is only meaningful when it is in the hearts and voices of the people.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s the problem.

        All these marches and rallies are dual purpose these days, with Indy second in importance. The AUOB march on coronation day would probably proclaim that according a survey only 27% are interested in doing something for the coronation, including some who’d use any excuse to go to the pub.

        Problem is that that’s 27% who won’t be involved in the march, plus probably some more say 10% who have partners or family who at least don’t want to antagonise those who respect the carnation thing.

        Just about every march or rally these days is divisive rather than inclusive, and that’s the same for much of the Yes movement.

        After so much waiting the previously united Yes movement is more like a cross between Irritable Bowel Syndrome and diarrhoea – it’s going nowhere and all over the place at the same time.


  5. Peter – your aggressive and mocking attitude to some of the posters on here turn me off. I can see you are sincere in wanting Scotland to be once again an independent country. We, who similarly are tired and angry of being treated as North Britain, are looking at all this stramash and despairing we will ever see the day we are free from colonial rule. We will not come together by mocking and deriding each other.

    My last post here you will be pleased to know.


    1. Some people have what’s called a “passive aggressive” approach.

      On the other hand, some people are just aggressive aggressive.

      Doesn’t make them bad people 😉


    2. I’m not even reading posts whining about my attitude or the way I express myself. I do not fucking care if you don’t fucking like it! I genuinely do not care! What I write is what comes from my head and my heart. I am NOT about to have others moderating my words for their own comfort. Address the fucking point and not the way it is made. Or don’t! Just don’t bleat about how awful it is that I don’t pander to every possible sensibility.


  6. The people are sovereign and the people don’t agree with each other on a lot of stuff. A self-cancelling sovereignty.


    1. The democratic process is the way we resolve our political differences and decide upon a particular course of action. Democracy is, in essence, a pooling of sovereignty. Sovereignty is not diminished by being pooled. Nor is it made ‘more sovereign’ ─ a nonsensical concept given the nature of sovereignty. Pooling sovereignty simply makes it possible for large and complex societies to function.


  7. The people are sovereign and the people don’t agree with each other on a lot of stuff.

    Indeed. It’s inherent in the word “sovereignty”: supreme power or authority

    A self-cancelling sovereignty.

    That can only happen if the people agree.

    I’m afraid you made a self-defeating posting. Nice one!


  8. ‘The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil’ by George Saunders is a very enjoyable and brief book based on the concept of popular sovereinty (where the people all agree).

    Nevermind, ‘the (5 million) people are (all) sovereign(s)’ is a mindless oversimplification punted by zombies, and it equates to the term ‘the people are anarchy’.


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