As things stand, Scotland falls

I realise Shona is trying to smile through the pain here. Using humour to cork her bottled anger. But I’m obliged to take her to task for a particular comment. She writes,

Perhaps Johnson imagines the MP for Orkney and Shetland is in fact in favour of bypassing the referendum process and going for UDI?

I can’t let that one slip by. It just isn’t the case that UDI means “bypassing the referendum”. UDI – or more precisely and to avoid just such confusion – Scottish UDI is simply another route to a referendum. An alternative to the Section 30 process which is so greatly admired by both our First Minister and any British Nationalist you might care to mention. The Section 30 process that Nicola Sturgeon refers to as the “gold standard”. She’s almost correct. The Section 30 is the BRITISH gold standard. That’s why it’s in the Act of the British parliament which serves to justify the withholding of powers which rightfully belong with the Scottish Parliament.

Section 30 of the Scotland Act 1998 is a constitutional catch-all in case anybody found a loophole elsewhere in the legislation by which Scotland might challenge the Union. It’s there to give the British Prime Minister authority to strip even more powers from the Scottish Parliament. It’s there as the British state’s safeguard against the Scottish Parliament becoming troublesome. It’s there to reassure those who thought devolution would put their precious Union in jeopardy.

It’s there to maintain the pretence of a democratic route out of the Union within the legal and constitutional framework of the British state. It’s actual purpose is to allow the British Prime Minister an effective veto over the right of self-determination which, according to international laws and conventions, cannot be denied or constrained.

Failing an outright veto, the Section 30 process (NOT the legislation but the established process) affords the British state a role in Scotland’s exercise of the right of self-determination such as is deprecated by international laws and conventions. A role which can all too readily be used to sabotage the entire exercise.

It’s easy to see why the Section 30 process might earn the “gold standard” accolade from those who are determined to formalise the 313-years of annexation by having Scotland subsumed into a ‘Greater England’ called Britain. It’s not so easy to see why the Section 30 process is so favoured by the de facto figurehead in the fight to restore Scotland’s independence. Not easy at all. Impossible, in fact.

A thought occurs. Nicola Sturgeon is reputed to be a smart lawyer. Given the true nature of the Section 30 process, I’m prepared to venture a small wager that had she been involved in the negotiations she would have fought tooth and nail to have Section 30 removed. Now, she all but signs a pledge to it in her own blood. Section 30 hasn’t changed. What has?

Maybe it’s the weight of the irony that’s getting me down. Or maybe it’s reading comments from within the Yes movement which help to feed and amplify and propagate the British Nationalist / Nicola Sturgeon line that Scotland pursuing withdrawal in the more normal way would be “illegal and unconstitutional”.

The Section 30 process will not work as a route to independence. That is not its purpose. That would be totally contrary to its purpose. It follows, therefore, that there must be an alternative process. A process entirely made and managed in Scotland under the auspices of the Scottish Parliament and other of Scotland’s democratic institutions – even if those institutions have to be created.

It is this alternative process – actually the ‘default’ process to the extent that there is such a thing – which is referred to as #ScottishUDI. At the very heart of that process lies a referendum. Far from #ScottishUDI bypassing or foregoing or excluding a referendum, it is entirely built around the principle of popular sovereignty. It is NOT as liars on both sides of the constitutional divide maintain, a means of preventing the people of Scotland from having the final say. #ScottishUDI is the only way the people of Scotland will have their say.

Section 30 is all about denying and curtailing democracy. #ScottishUDI is all about enabling and facilitating democracy.

It hardly matters. As we move into the end-game of the constitutional battle, the process of locking our ancient and once-proud nation into a Union which defines Scotland as an integral part and mere region of an indivisible and indissoluble British state, is considerable in advance of any moves towards independence. Which is inevitable because there are no moves towards independence. Nicola Sturgeon remains immovably wedded to the Section 30 process. Unless and until she and her party and her government explicitly vacate and renounce their absolute commitment to that process there can be no moves towards independence.

It appears that the lady is not for turning.

Things can change. As I’m sure someone will point out under the illusion that uttering such banalities makes them seem wise. But, as things stand, Nicola Sturgeon is not going to be persuaded from the folly of committing to a process which is critically dependent on the full, willing, unstinting and honest cooperation of the very people most determined to ensure that Scotland never regains her self-respect never mind her independence.

Those people are winning.

To prevent the British Nationalist juggernaut crushing Scotland out of existence, the Section 30 process must go! Or Nicola Sturgeon must go! But only if she is replaced by someone who is prepared to face up to the reality of Scotland’s predicament.

That is not going to happen.

It’s not going to happen because there is nothing and nobody to make it happen. The only possibility of ‘persuading’ Nicola Sturgeon to abandon the Section 30 process was a unified Yes movement. And there’s as much chance of that as there is of Nicola Sturgeon unilaterally declaring Scotland independent.

As things stand, Scotland falls.



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Break the rules

mundellDavid Mundell seems to have a knack for revealing the British state’s true purpose. He doesn’t appear able to conceal the British Nationalists’ contempt for Scotland – and for democracy. Or maybe he just doesn’t care who knows. Perhaps he and his associates are sufficiently confident of their power that they see no point any longer in subtlety or subterfuge. They are set upon rushing northwards to crush those rebellious Scots, and it doesn’t matter that we know they’re coming, because we can do nothing to stop them. Or we won’t even try.

One can understand this confidence. After all, Scotland has accepted British rule for centuries. We’ve let the British state use our wealth and our resources and our people and allowed ourselves to be convinced that we should be proud of our sacrifice, content with the impositions and grateful for the governance which, by the British state’s own account, has left us depleted and impoverished and stripped of the capacity to be a normal nation.

David Mundell feels perfectly justified in declaring that Scotland is “not a partner of the United Kingdom; Scotland is part of the United Kingdom”. He can readily claim that this is what we voted for in 2014. He can claim whatever he wants about the meaning of that No vote because it was a vote to give the British state licence to define what it meant. Thus, it was a vote to allow the British political elite to do whatever they want with Scotland. No wonder David Mundell thinks he needn’t take the trouble to sugar the pill. No wonder he doesn’t feel the need to try and persuade us we’re being embraced when, in fact, we’re being crushed.

The fate of the Scottish Parliament was sealed back in 2007. When Scotland’s voters took control of their Parliament from the British parties and handed it to the SNP, the British establishment realised that the devolution experiment had failed. Rather than killing the independence cause “stone dead”, it had enabled Scotland to develop a distinctive political culture. Rather than being an instrument of the British state, as was intended, the Scottish Parliament had become the locus of a new politics. Rather than serving British interests, Holyrood was finding and implementing measure tailored to Scotland’s needs. Rather than being slave to the British state, the Scottish Parliament had become the servant of Scotland’s people.

This could not be tolerated. If Holyrood could not be brought back under the control of the British parties, it would have to be crippled or destroyed.

Those who scoffed at warnings about the British state’s malign intent no longer have any reason to doubt it. David Mundell has been brazenly explicit about the fact that the British state already considers Scotland to have been absorbed into a ‘Greater England. He makes it perfectly plain that, even if Scotland wasn’t ‘extinguished’ by the Union, it has been massively diminished by the subsequent actions of the British political elite.

Now, in the face of a rising tide of democratic dissent, this British government has decided to finish the job and formalise Scotland’s status as part of a British state which is ‘indivisible and indissoluble’. To do this, they must first render the Scottish Parliament powerless. Or get rid of it altogether.

We know this because David Mundell and others are openly boasting about it as if there’s nothing we can do to stop them. But behind the facade of bluster and bravado and mach posturing, they know differently. They know that they only have the power we allow them. They realise that they only have authority over us so long as we recognise that authority.

The British establishment is very aware that, should we choose to challenge that power and defy that authority, the whole edifice will crumble. They are afraid. And well they might be. Because there are growing indications that the people of Scotland have had enough.

We will not rescue Scotland from this British Nationalist onslaught by adhering to rules devised to limit or entirely disable the exercise of our sovereignty. Their rules. The rules the British establishment devises and manipulates to keep us in line. The rules which David Mundell cites as if they were iron laws of nature.

If Scotland is to continue to exist as a nation, we need to break those rules. And we need to do it now.


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