Break the rules to break the Union!

The British parties do not have to decide their stance on a new referendum. That is decided for them by the fact that they are British. They serve and are served by the structures of power, privilege and patronage which define the British state. They can do no other than seek to preserve the Union at whatever cost to Scotland and its people, never mind decency and democracy.

It’s what they do

At first glance, the Brits would seem to be inviting the displeasure of the politically aware part of Scotland that isn't so easily manipulated by the British media. But from the British perspective that's a good thing. As with defying the unanimity of the Scottish Parliament, going against popularity with the public in Scotland makes this a better demonstration of power.

The limits of oppression

One of democracy's imperfections is its fragility combined with its appearance of robustness and resilience. Those whose direct personal experience is confined to a broadly democratic society do not easily imagine anything other. The corollary being a tendency to take democracy for granted. If only they realised how tenuous is our grip on the freedoms we assume to be ours by dint of nature, they would fear for those freedoms.

It’s all relative

Douglas Lumsden has come up with a wizard wheeze. I say Lumsden has come up with this wizard wheeze, but there's a better than good chance that he didn't. It's likely that the idea first hatched in the mind of some lowly aide or assistant who, lowly as they might be, was still closer to the hierarchy than Douglas Lumsden and therefore able to inveigle their wizard wheeze into the party's decision-making contraption. The wizard wheeze may well have come to Douglas Lumsden in the guise of a boon bestowed from above. A gift Douglas Lumsden knows he can't refuse lest the British patronage spigot be turned off and his career in British politics ended prematurely.