WHICH WAY FORWARD AND WHY ?
So the SNP have dusted off the Plan A, section 30 option, given it a second coat of paint and relaunched it as an “eleven point plan” where at least five of the points have already passed, several of the remaining look like padding to get the number up and the key points are still to ask Westminster for a Section 30 order, with an added “warning” that they will legislate for a referendum then sit back waiting for the legal challenge. Really, is that it?
If it is, it really is unbelievably poor, laced with opportunities for our opponents to block, delay, frustrate and ultimately devalue any result. A “ result” that will take years to achieve and which will not achieve what we want. Let me go through each of those problems and outline why I think the way I do.
Just continue what they have being doing for years. Tellingly the SNP roadmap makes no mention of the many mandates they already have stored up unused in the big mandate cupboard at Party HQ, asking for another fails to explain how that changes a situation that is getting worse. The Tories are now talking about it being considered in perhaps forty years and Labour are moving to the right and becoming more Unionist with every step. Meanwhile Westminster strips powers and puts in place an alternative Civil Service. We sit and watch.
This “strategy” hands timescale to our opponents it lets them decide when and where to intervene. They can delay answering the S30 question to start with, they need not say no, they just need not to say yes. How long will the SNP be prepared to wait before going to court? Not sure how you do that if your case is built on them failing to say YES, rather than contesting a refusal. Not sure how that would go but you would certainly still be playing by their rules book rather than your own. A host of excuses would be available for failing to concede, not least the Covid situation. Any court action would be lengthy and no doubt subject to appeal. No matter where it was initially launched it would ultimately be likely to end up at the “supreme” Court. It could and would be a long road with an uncertain outcome. An obvious question about this is why the Scottish Government, through the Lord Advocate, acted so negatively throughout the Keating case, an action, if successful, that would clarify the referendum position once and for all. I await that judgement with interest and thank all those who funded the action. How embarrassing for the Scottish Government if it proves successful, especially given the Lord Advocate’s ridiculous protests against it. Protests based on there being no urgency because the Government had no plans, only to witness less than 24 hours after the end of the hearings, the SCOTTISH Government launching their 11 point plan! Confused? You should be!
Opportunities abound, local authorities can oppose the use of their schools etc. they can block the staff and facilities required for polling stations and counts. Individual actions can be organised using wide ranging objections for multi location cases all taking time to refute. Perhaps they might organise a boycott campaign where they urge the opponents of Independence to stay home on polling day. This would give them at least 25% of the electorate as a “start” because with a friendly media behind them everyone who does not vote Yes will be counted as a No, yes, even the dead. I have seen it all before, back in the 1970’s when such a tactic stopped the creation of the Scottish Parliament despite a majority of Scots voting Yes in the referendum. They called it the 40% rule then. Younger readers might like to check up on that tactic.
So if you ask me the “ the eleven point roadmap” is a road to delay and frustration with no certain outcome even with a large majority YES vote in actual votes cast, because a “low poll” is guaranteed by any boycott campaign.
Now here is the alternative, an alternative that is available to us now. It is to use the May election as a plebiscite. It is urgent because if we don’t the opportunity will have passed…for years!
NO WAY IT CAN BE BLOCKED
Westminster has no powers that allow it to interfere in a Scottish General Election. We just need the parties who support Independence to pledge clearly in their manifesto that all votes cast for them in the election are votes to support Scottish Independence and for the newly elected Scottish Government to declare Independence to the World and begin discussions with Westminster for an amicable and peaceful settlement. IF a majority of newly elected MSP’s vote for Independence that is that. This was SNP policy for years. It needs reintroduced.
IT CAN’T BE DELAYED
The decision will have been taken. On a date determined by the newly elected Scottish Parliament Scotland will become an Independent state and the applications for recognised status as such will be made internationally. Given that the method of achieving Independence is based on a democratic vote with access to all qualifying citizens to vote, being then followed by a majority vote in the Scottish Parliament the process will be above reproach being similar or even more democratic than the existing democratic members in both the EU AND UN used to achieve their own Independence. As an equal partner Scotland will renounce the Treaty of Union thereby bringing that International Treaty to an end.(its been breached countless times by the UK anyway).
WHY IT IS THE BEST OPTION.
- Westminster can’t stop it
- Unionists can’t boycott otherwise they will have no MSP’s in the Parliament.
- General Elections are recognised as democratic across the World.
- The powers to hold the election and ensure the venues,staff and budget are in place. It is immune to legal challenge.
- The results are transparent and the Scottish Government can ensure postal votes are counted properly and securely throughout.
- It can be organised quickly and inexpensively.
- Being in full control the Scottish Government can invite and organise international observers who can testify and witness to the veracity of the result.
- By giving months of notice of this intention it removes any charge of “springing” any vote on an unsuspecting electorate.
- The Westminster position is completely undermined having to argue against a democratic general election result that has supported Independence in the presence of a wide range of International observers.
- Much more difficult to argue against such a result rather than disputing opinion polls.Look how they continually argue Scots don’t want a referendum and Independence.They can do that if our only evidence is opinion polls. They can’t do that if Scotland has voted for independence in a General Election.They have to accept it or become a pariah state internationally.
- It is not the job of the SNP, or Scottish Government to erect barriers to Independence yet I could make a pretty good argument that this is exactly what they are engaged in at the moment. Folk watching or listening to the Keating trial got that impression as well.
This 11 point plan is better, more practical and effective that the round and round the Mulberry Bush “ strategy” being the current policy of the SNP. What is more it gives us the opportunity to put all these fantastic opinion polls to the test. Nicola’s supporters throw them in my face whenever I question the lack of progress on driving Independence forward, so let’s come together and put it to the test in May. We will soon find out how real they are! I hope and expect they will be. They are however useless if left untested. They have become the fig leaves of inactivity and lack of progress.
Many in our country are living in terrible conditions that Independence would give us the powers to resolve. It would be criminal to miss this opportunity. Independence is urgent. We need it now!
THE CHALLENGE TO OUR MP’s and MSP’s.
I challenge any SNP MP or MSP to explain why their 11 point plan is better than the above. I will give them a free day on my blog to publish their response (around 1000 words) which will be published without alteration. Have courage, if you really can make an argument that can stand up to scrutiny. There are I calculate some 108 MP/MSP’s so quoting the Declaration of Arbroath “if 100 of us remain alive” I will update readers on whether anybody rose to that challenge. To be fair I don’t know how many were consulted about the SNP 11 point plan, I certainly know a fair number who were not.
FINALLY none of the above can happen unless SNP and YES supporters find their voices and DEMAND it. Your choice. We have little time left!
I am, as always
Yours for Scotland.
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Craig Murray’s “trial” commences today. The most honest man at Alex Salmond’s trial, the man the jury agreed with, is being prosecuted while the people who caused all this remain hidden from public view protected by the Scottish Government and Crown Office. Let us hope he has a honest judge.