I have squandered my resistancefor a pocket full of mumbles such are promisesAll lies and jests These lines from the Simon & Garfunkel song The Boxer were playing on a loop in my head when I awoke this morning. I dismissed it as just one of those 'earworms' that we all get from time to … Continue reading A pocket full of mumbles
The Scots Government should in the court action challenge the very existence of the legal power of Westminster to say no to indyref2, by plainly asserting that the democratic legitimacy of Holyrood trumps that of the Westminster Parliament over Scots affairs, giving it Holyrood the legal authority to hold an independence referendum.Scott Crichton Styles This … Continue reading The legal and the political
My heart lifted slightly when I caught sight of Richard Walker's latest column in The National. For a moment I thought he was about to break ranks and suggest a change of approach to the constitutional issue by Nicola Sturgeon. Perhaps I fooled myself in my eagerness to have someone of Richard's standing add their … Continue reading Bombarded!
This morning online, Westminster journalists are making it *pretty* clear that anything less than an SNP majority will not be seen as a mandate for indyref2The National Election Live Blog We always knew this. Or should I say, this was always knowable. If somebody didn't know it, this could only be because they had only … Continue reading ‘Twas brillig, and the slithy Gove…
The SNP has no intention of moving to resolve the constitutional issue with the urgency which Salmond at least recognises. But the notion that Alba will be in any position to force the pace is fantastical. There almost certainly won't be a supermajority and there definitely won't be a supermajority that works the way Alba claims it will. The reality is that regardless of how many seats Alba Party wins it will have no leverage over an SNP/SG Scottish Government. Absolutely none.
I try not to grudge Alba Party supporters the excitement they feel. But I do resent their tendency to castigate as trolls, Tories and traitors anyone who doesn't share that feeling. The adrenaline jolt of political battle is harmless so long as it doesn't come at significant cost to rationality. For all too many Alba Party supporters that cost has evidently been very significant indeed.
The cold, hard political reality is that only the SNP is placed to provide the effective political power that Scotland's cause absolutely requires.
Without some way of defining the criteria for the crisis being over the decision as to whether or when the referendum takes place is entirely in Nicola Sturgeon's hands. Entirely in the hands of the person who has spent the last six years finding excuses to delay a referendum. So that's not promising. But then, there is no promise. There is no actual undertaking to do anything - ever!
The truth is that the Union gives the British state such overwhelming power that the makeup of the Scottish Parliament hardly matters at all. The British parties being ousted in 2007 was a matter of considerable concern to the British establishment. This was not supposed to happen. But the SNP in government has turned out to be far less of a threat to the Union than it was thought it might be.
We are all aware of how that fateful phrase 'once in a generation' has come to haunt Scotland's cause. I don't doubt there are times when both Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon wish they'd never offered up that particular hostage to fortune. What makes it truly regrettable is that they could easily have left it out. It wasn't essential. There are other ways of saying the same thing. Not so with the word 'supermajority'. It's not a throwaway remark. It refers to a very specific concept. A concept which is very much part of this election campaign. There isn't really an alternative. There may be other ways of saying the same thing. But none, I suspect, that wouldn't sound painfully contrived. We're stuck with it now.