Three weeks ago I published an article under the title Not just any referendum! Not just any campaign! in which I warned - not for the first time - of the lack of fresh thinking on the constitutional issue among the SNP leadership and the need to ensure not only that we get a referendum, … Continue reading A failure of imagination
Protocol dictates that I congratulate Mike Russell on his appointment as political director of the SNP's independence unit. Honesty makes me wonder how long it will be until he resigns in doubtless well-concealed frustration and despair. The embittered facetiousness born of my own frustration and despair prompts the observation that if history is to be … Continue reading Speak softly and carry a white flag
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
Nobody in the SNP leadership appears to be asking that most obvious of questions: Why is this happening? Or, if they are, they're answering that question in the shallow, petty manner evidenced by Angus Robertson's initial response. Nobody, so far as can be determined from public statements and private rumours, is asking that question in a serious, thoughtful way. Not even Mike Russell.
Of course, the SNP's manifesto hasn't been published. It may not even have been written yet. But there are abundant clues as to its probable content in various statements from Nicola Sturgeon, Mike Russell and others. We also now have the draft Referendum Bill, which provides conclusive evidence of the SNP leadership's thinking on the constitutional issue.
In a fantasy world where our political leaders actually listen to the people, this person would tell them that the first thing they must do is repudiate the Section 30 process as an illegitimate constraint on Scotland’s right of self-determination.
The problem now facing Mike Russell, who presumably is overseeing the drafting of the Bill, is that he has to lay the groundwork for a referendum without a Section 30 order while the SNP's position is still that Section 30 is the "gold standard" and the only "legal and constitutional" way to have a referendum.
If Nicola Sturgeon is correct and the Section 30 process is the only "legal and constitutional" way to a new independence referendum, does this not mean that all other ways are 'illegal and unconstitutional'. And yet here we have two other very senior figures in the SNP saying, in effect, that what Nicola Sturgeon has identified as the only "legal and constitutional" way isn't in fact "legal and constitutional" at all!
Why is the SNP leadership so intent on silencing or sidelining anyone who asks this kind of highly pertinent question? Why are they propagandising against bloggers who do no more than insist that the SNP does what it is elected to do while pointing out the ways in which it is failing to fulfil its role as the political arm of the independence movement?
Plan C proposes that, having repudiated the Section 30 process as an affront to democracy, the SNP should include in the party's manifesto for the coming Holyrood elections a commitment that if elected an SNP Scottish Government will immediately assert the exclusive competence of the Scottish Parliament in all constitutional matters preparatory to proposing the dissolution of the Union subject to a referendum that shall be entirely made and managed in Scotland.