Mhairi’s voice

If, as Mhairi Black states, the purpose of this Saturday’s rally is to “send a message to the Westminster establishment” then it will be a wasted effort. The Westminster establishment isn’t listening. The Westminster establishment doesn’t care.

Why should they care what Scotland says? The Union ensures that the Westminster establishment will always have the power to slap Scotland down. The No vote in 2014 gave the Westminster establishment a licence to do as it pleased with Scotland. The Nicola Sturgeon’s commitment to the Section 30 process allays any fears the Westminster establishment might have had that the Scottish Government intended to challenge its authority. The Westminster establishment has every reason to be confident that England-as-Britain’s grip on Scotland is secure.

Sending a message to the Westminster establishment will have no effect at all. If Mhairi Black and others want to shake things up, they should be addressing their speeches to Nicola Sturgeon. They should be urging her to take a more assertive approach to the constitutional issue. They should be telling her the time has come to challenge the power of the Westminster establishment. They should be insisting that she defend the principle of popular sovereignty. That she assert the authority of the Scottish Parliament. They should be demanding that she reject the alien concept of parliamentary sovereignty

They should press her to defy the authority of the British establishment. . Authority which may be ‘legal and constitutional’ in terms of British law and the British constitution, but which can never be just or rightful in terms of fundamental democratic principles.

Speakers at The National’s rally on Saturday should not waste their time talking to a British political elite which regards them with open contempt. They would do better to use the opportunity to remind our First Minister that where Scotland goes from here is up to her. It is the decisions she makes at this time which will determine Scotland’s future. It is her actions, and the actions of her government which matter; not the Westminster establishment.

They should be pointing out to the First Minister that, if she truly believes Scotland’s future should be in Scotland’s hands then she must accept that it will only get there if she wrests control from the Westminster establishment, rather than hoping that they might graciously give it up if she abides by their rules.

They should be emphasising that the overriding reason for seeking the restoration of Scotland’s independence is that it is right. The Union must be ended because it is wrong.

Mhairi Black’s is a powerful voice. A persuasive voice. She should not be wasting that voice talking to the Westminster establishment. She should be using it to inspire Nicola Sturgeon to be the bold, assertive leader Scotland needs.



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The nub of the matter


Fundamentally, I am sick and tired of Scotland’s future being dictated by governments we never voted for.

Characteristically, Mhairi Black gets to the nub of the matter. Having dealt with and dismissed the entire Brexit fiasco, she identifies the core issue. This is why we need to restore Scotland’s rightful constitutional status. Not for the sake of a desperate, last-ditch attempt to avoid the catastrophe of being dragged out of the EU against our will. Not for the potential prosperity of an independent Scotland. Not for the promise of a gentler, greener, fairer society free of the inequities and iniquities of the Tory British state. We need to normalise Scotland’s constitutional status because the present arrangement is wrong. In every sense of that term, the Union is wrong.

The political union which binds Scotland to the British state is fundamentally unjust. It is an affront to democracy and an insult to the people of this nation.

We need to break the Union, not because of Brexit, but because the Union is what facilitates Brexit. It is what give the British political elite the power to impose Brexit on an unwilling nation. It is what makes it inevitable that Scotland’s future is dictated by governments we never voted for. The gross injustice of Brexit merely exemplifies a condition of abusive subjection which is, not an unintended and incidental side-effect, but an inevitable product and purposeful function of the Union.

Brexit, like austerity and much else, is being inflicted on Scotland because of the Union. Because that is what the Union is for.

This Union that was contrived in a different age for purposes that were never relevant to us.

This Union that we, the people, had no part in creating or sanctioning.

This anachronistic, dysfunctional, corrupt Union which serves none of the people off these islands well.

This Union which was always intended to serve the purposes of the ruling elites of the British state.

This Union which, in that regard if no other, has not changed one iota in the last three centuries.

This Union that sucks the human and material resources out of our nation and in return gives us government by a British political elite that we have emphatically and repeatedly rejected at the polls.

This Union that imposes policies which are anathema to our people. Policies which, to whatever limited extent they have been permitted any say,  have been resolutely opposed by our democratically elected representatives.

This Union that is a plague on Scotland’s politics. A blight on Scotland’s society. A parasite on Scotland’s economy. This Union which is now a real and imminent threat to Scotland’s democracy.

Mhairi Black goes on to say,


I am tired of my country being treated like an irritation for demanding our vote is respected. I want to see a Scotland with enough confidence and self-respect to become truly accountable and independent.

I’m tired too. I want to see a Scotland which at last has enough confidence and self-respect to rid itself of the Union.


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A minimum of respect

then_whatMhairi Black observes that, when the ‘lead not leave’ platitude was being peddled, some people “maybe even believed that the UK Government would make a considered effort to take the Scottish view into account”. It should also be noted that some didn’t believe it, but didn’t care. They have important things to think about; like TV soaps, football matches and royal weddings. They can’t be expected to concern themselves with trivial matters such as the destruction of Scotland’s democracy.

Others were fully aware of the deception, but fully approved of it. Applauded it. Celebrated it. Scotland’s great tragedy is that it is home to a significant minority who rejoice in Scotland being demeaned and denigrated and diminished. It is a fundamental tenet of British Nationalist ideology that Scotland must be less if that is what is required in order that the British state may be more.

British Nationalists were never taken in by the ‘lead not leave’ plea because they regard the very idea of Scotland having any kind of lead role as unthinkable and faintly ridiculous. Belief in the primacy of the British ruling elites precludes Scotland being anything other than subordinate. Their can be no parity of status where one party is presumed to be ‘naturally’ preeminent.

For British Nationalists, who make up between 10 and 20 percent of the electorate, Scotland’s prosperity and dignity are things to be thoughtlessly sacrificed for the greater glory of the British state. They see nothing wrong in a requirement for consent that presumes consent to have been granted because they cannot conceive of circumstances in which it would be right to withhold consent from the British political elite.

They see nothing wrong in misleading, deceiving and lying to the people of Scotland in order to preserve their precious Union. On the contrary, they take great pride in doing so effectively. Liars and frauds are elevated to the status of heroes if their chicanery has been practised in the name of the British state.

No doubt people did believe that the British government would “make a considered effort to take the Scottish view into account”. But why would that be acceptable to anyone other than the British Nationalist fanatics just described? Why should the people of Scotland have to rely on a government they decisively rejected making an effort to consider their views?

Why would anyone with a modicum of respect for democracy and themselves accept anything less than that they be governed by people who take their views into account as a matter of course? Isn’t that a minimum requirement of any government? Isn’t it the very least that we’re entitled to expect?

Isn’t it about time we demanded that minimum?


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