The fallacy of received wisdom

THE three questions we need most to focus on are the economic prospectus, our trading relationship with the rest of the UK post-Brexit and the route to accession to the EU. These are the questions which repeatedly come up on the doorstep, which are repeatedly put to our leaders and spokespersons and which they are … Continue reading The fallacy of received wisdom

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.

What’s causing the problem?

That's the whole story. The Scottish Government wants to address a situation in Scotland with measure tailored to the situation in Scotland. The British government doesn't want that. Not that they actively want more people to die. Just that they actively don't care if more people die. It is not a factor in their political calculations. Other than that it suits the British establishment's agenda if a situation worsens under an SNP administration. The situation worsening bit is a factor. The people dying bit isn't.

The Union abides

Union no more

The purpose of the Union is to give England-as-Britain a permanent and significant advantage in the management of its relations with Scotland. Or, to put it another way, the Union serves to keep Scotland at a disadvantage relative to England-as-Britain. It does this in a number of ways, not the least of which is denial of the sovereignty of the people of Scotland.

Know your power

One would therefore be forgiven for supposing that he'd be aware that power is relative. What matters in the context of the constitutional issue is not the "sheer might" of the UK in relation to the rest of the world, but the power relationship between the British state and Scotland. From that perspective, the might of the Union is as sheer as it needs to be.

A cancerous thing

Independence is normal. It is not normal that a nation such as Scotland should be purposefully and maliciously denied its rightful constitutional status. It is not normal that the people of Scotland should be denied the full and effective exercise of the sovereignty that is theirs by absolute right. It is not normal that Scotland should be forcefully prevented from freely negotiating the terms on which it associates with other nations.