An article from the Yours for Scotland regular columnist Mia.
I was one of the many who on 10th November 2021 read with excitement the open letter sent by the Scottish Sovereignty Research Group (SSRG) to Scotland’s pro-independence party leaders.
After the crushing disappointment of watching for 6 years some of those pro-independence leaders doing nothing to progress independence and instead proactively sending it to the bottom of their list of priorities, the brave initiative taken by the SSRG brought back the warm feeling that things may finally start to move forward. I agree with every word of that letter and their reason to send it.
For the last 6 years the corridors of power in Scotland have been making the yes movement feel like a hamster running on an exercise wheel searching for a carrot deliberately placed out of reach outside the cage. Running constantly and burning considerable amounts of energy and hope, but going nowhere.
Before the 2021 election we watched in despair how those in the corridors of power wasted our majorities and democratic mandates doing nothing to progress independence other than complaining about the Tories. Complaining about the Tories may be easy, cheap and handy to fill in pages in the National, but it is totally futile as strategy to pursue independence. Actions is what is required but action from Nicola’s political circle and followers comes none.
The thing is those Tories Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP spend most of their time complaining about are not sitting on their hands. For all those 6 years the Tories have been very busy at finding ways to regress our autonomy.
The most incongruous part of this situation is that Sturgeon and some of her SNP MPs keep telling us that the way to escape the damage the Tories are doing is by ending the union. But despite the electorate of Scotland having given Sturgeon and the SNP in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019 and 2021 the tools to do so, those tools have been locked in a cupboard somewhere and left to rust instead of being put to use.
6 years of stasis have taught us a bitter lesson. Scotland cannot trust Sturgeon or her SNP to do what needs to be done in order to escape the continuous abuse Scotland is subjected to within this union. And that is why this SSRG letter was so timely and so welcome.
Personally I think those pro-indy leaders who the letter was sent are just a section of the audience that should receive the letter. I think the letter should be distributed more widely because it is not only pro-indy leaders who are reluctant to accept the democratic will of the people of Scotland and to recognise the legitimacy of all those democratic mandates to terminate the union issued since 2015. The overt anti-independence leaders, their branch managers in Scotland and of course the crown are happy to brush the inconvenience of Scotland’s democratic will under the carpet.
I think SSRG’s powerful letter should be sent to each and every representative of Scotland in the Parliament of Scotland; in the Scottish councils and in the Parliament of the UK union. I think it should also be sent to the leaders of the main England’s parties in the UK union parliament; the leaders of NI parties in the UK union parliament; the leaders of Wales’ parties in the UK union parliament and the crown.
After 6 years of being led up and down the hill too many times and realising that Nicola Sturgeon is not up for it, it is time somebody else started the conversation that should have started on the 8th May 2015. I am delighted and thankful to the SSRG for having taken the initiative. Now it is up to us to continue that conversation and to give it the volume it deserves.
Scotland’s MSPs, MPs and Councillors were elected to represent the will and interests of Scotland. It is about time they started doing so. Sending them the letter should leave them with no doubts about what to do.
For quite some time, Her Majesty appears to have only acted as Elizabeth II Queen of England, not Elizabeth I Queen of Scots. Signing the prorogation of parliament, the theft of our powers, the trashing of our continuation bill after the ruling on the basis of English law in one of her courts in England, the withdrawal bill usurping our popular sovereignty and the Brexit bill directly against the expressed will of the people of Scotland, could all be interpreted as abuse of power and a direct attempt to impose absolute rule over Scotland. If I am not mistaken, this is in direct violation of Scotland’s Claim of Right 1689 which considers the imposition of absolute rule over Scotland unlawful.
Considering that Scotland’s Claim of Right 1689 is pretty much the main pillar over which the Treaty of Union and the union of crowns stands, one could argue that a violation of the Claim of Right implies a violation of the Treaty of Union too.
Blessing the use of English law in an English court to trash Scots law and stop our continuation bill in their tracks could be interpreted in itself as a direct breach of the Treaty of Union too. Signing all those laws without the consent of Scotland, bears as much responsibility as the actions of “her” government and “her” parliament, for this need of Scotland now to end a failed treaty. A treaty abused for 300 years as the justification to rob Scotland of its natural resources, to erode the rights of its population and to suppress its political will. That letter says Scotland has had enough.
Communication to the MPs of NI, Wales and England would be just an act of common courtesy. This should not be interpreted as asking them for their blessing. Scotland does not need anybody’s blessing to exercise its legitimate right to terminate a bilateral international treaty. The only blessing it needs is that from its own people and its people gave their blessing in 2015, 2017 and 2019.
I think it is important to start thinking in the next steps after sending the letter. Sturgeon and those who have altered the democratic structures of the SNP stopping the ability of its members to control the party have no apparent interest whatsoever in bringing forward the end of the union. Therefore we should expect that anything that may put pressure on them to deliver what they evidently have been deliberately avoiding since 2015, will be immediately targeted to go down in flames.
We might see how these people will quickly attempt to undermine the SSRG letter as if it was just a rant of a minority of Alba party supporters.
How can we counteract that? The more suggestions and ideas we can bring to the fore the better.
My own suggestion would be by having some supporting visual evidence that cannot be easily shut down, for example in the form of some sort of webpage that collects online signatures from people who rejects Nicola’s gold standard unicorn and instead supports the direct end of the union by means of a vote of our Scotland MPs.
What I mean is a purposely created website where the number of signatures (not necessarily the names of the people who signs) can be seen. Just like we can see for example in the website of the Norwegian’s oil fund how the value of the loot changes. I think this may focus some minds.
I think the signatures are a very important piece of evidence in support of this route. Written stuff cannot simply be dismissed as unimportant like the politicians love to dismiss things they are not keen on implementing. The signatures will go on to support the strength of this letter, the strength of the wish of the people of Scotland to move on from this unbearable statis and, at the same time, weakens the prospect of the gold standard unicorn as a credible option.
The other thing that I think we need is to find a way of ejecting the SNP MPs from our seats because for 6 years they have done nothing meaningful to progress independence with those seats.
And how do we do this? Your suggestions here are as good as mine. What crosses my mind is to find a common agreement among all non-establishment pro indy parties that from now on every single democratic election will be a plebiscite on independence. I do not include in this group neither the SNP nor the Greens because since 2016, SNP and Greens together have had a pro-indy majority in Holyrood. If they were the pro-indy parties they claim to be, they would not have wasted the last 5 years and would have already progressed independence.
I believe getting pro-indy parties other than the SNP and the Greens to declare openly they support the end of the union by simply majority of Scotland MPs voting for it, will bring the farce that is Sturgeon’s flawed approach right into direct scrutiny.
Until now Sturgeon and her SNP have got away with not progressing independence by using continuously the excuse that the unionist parties were pushing her in the opposite direction to independence. Well then, perhaps it is about time the yes movement started pushing (metaphorically speaking) her and our MPs towards independence to restore the balance.
Sturgeon and her New SNP only looks pro-indy when there is no real pro-indy party in the picture and when there are only staunch pro-union parties to compare them with. When confronted with real pro-indy parties, her unionist colours show, just as they did when she rejected point blank the supermajority strategy in the last election and instead with the SNP1 and 2 nonsense she opened the door wide for the unionist seat warmers to waltz back in.
I believe the threat of making each and every single election a plebiscite on independence denotes determination, sends a very powerful signal that this is not going away and cannot be easily brushed under the carpet in the long term with a dodgy franchise, a rigged election or the fabricated need of unnecessary permission form our equal partner to end the union.
But that threat does something else: it also rejects the official narrative that Sturgeon’s approach is acceptable to all indy supporters and the idea that Sturgeon’s toothless SNP is in any way representative of the Yes movement as a whole in Scotland.
It is expected that the unionist parties will attempt to throw their weight at this route to lock it down if they cannot ignore it. But if forced to do it for long, it will exhaust them and totally eviscerate their arguments and position. This is because it has now become impossible for those parties to hide anymore the fact that what they claim and what they do are diametrically opposed.
The unionist parties cannot fight on two opposite fronts. I think that we should find a way of separating those two fronts as much as possible, in an ideal scenario getting to the point where the unionist parties have to fight with themselves.
For example, they cannot pretend they will fight to keep Scotland happy in the union while being at the same time actively fighting against Scotland to keep England happy as they did with brexit – Scotland’s and England’s political interests and needs have diverged too much to become reconcilable again, so either Scotland is happy or England is. They have not been challenged sufficiently on this.
The unionist parties cannot continue openly obliterating Scotland’s democracy while at the same time pretending that Scotland and England can be governed by the same “democratic” parliament and “democratic” parties. If they are democrats, they must accept the democracy of both, Scotland and England, not just England. Again, despite the obvious elephant in the room, they have not been challenged enough on this.
The unionist parties cannot claim the union is good for Scotland while they continue to use it as an excuse to steal Scotland’s powers and assets, causing its continuous depopulation as collateral. Again, Sturgeon and the SNP directed all criticism for this to the tories, when the criticism should have been directed to the entire political and parliamentary structure of the UK., evidently designed to suppress Scotland’s expressed democratic will by having a disproportionally large number of England MPs in what should be the bipartite parliament of a bilateral political union if the treaty of union and the claim of right were respected. Labour and the Libdems were so keen on this theft of powers from Scotland as the tories were. So focusing only on the tories was clearly a distraction.
I also think that those non-establishment pro-indy parties should start campaigning for the next GE NOW and this campaigning should be done on an independence mandate by declaring that a vote for these parties is unconditionally, a mandate for independence. If the SNP and the Greens want to join on this approach, wonderful. If not, the threat should be that they will be bypassed and cast aside as charlatans and time-wasters.
If we do not get any pro-indy party that is prepared to campaign on an independence mandate as stated above, then I think a campaign committing us to spoil our ballots in the next GE in masse unless it is declared a plebiscite on independence should start. If the game is rigged to stop us expressing our will, as it appears to have been for the last 7 years, shouldn’t we think about refusing to continue participating in a game where we are continuously set to fail because the goalposts are being moved forward each time? Elections can only be sold as democratic if the electorate accepts them as such. For an election to be democratic it must present all the options, and not just the ones convenient to the politicians in power.
It is evident that the British establishment (and I include here Sturgeon and her metamorphosed SNP) do not want to end the union and the last thing in their minds is to end the union by the route of the MPs. This means that they will try everything to stop this route getting traction.
I imagine that to start with they will hit us back with a tsunami of propaganda attempting to float again the lead balloon of Nicola’s gold standard unicorn and will force down our throat tons of propaganda discrediting the route of the MPs by claiming Nicola’s unicorn is the only “democratic” option.
We need to be prepared for the continuous mentioning of the words “undemocratic”, “extreme nationalism”, “illegal” and “UDI” associated with this route (Scotland is in a bipartite political union, therefore it cannot UDI, just terminate the treaty).
I suspect the tsunami will come as a triple wave. The first wave will attempt to polish Nicola’s gold standard turd. The second wave will attempt to restore the confidence on their now demonstrably flawed franchise. I guess we will hear an awful lot of baaad “ethnic nationalism” associated to the MPs’ route and an awful lot of praise for “civic nationalism”, (whatever that means) associated with Nicola’s unicorn.
The third wave of course will be psychological blackmailing claiming that we are dividing the yes movement.
As long as we have the arguments in place to rebut this and the conviction to do it, we will be fine.
If we want Scotland to pursue this route of the majority of MPs, then persistence and no mercy is the key. We should not be moved by the pretend cries and rivers of crocodile tears the gradualists are going to flood us with claiming that we are responsible for dividing the yes movement. We are not. Sturgeon has already done that and started doing that on the 8th May 2015, the day she chose not to end the union and started using our pro indy votes to preserve the UK instead. That damage has already been done and hell should freeze before we take any responsibility for what this political fraud has done with our mandates, our votes, our movement and our political vehicle for independence.
As per the nonsense of “civic nationalism”, there is no country on earth other than Scotland that opens wide its franchise to be abused by newly arrived incomers whose loyalty is to another country, which is convenient for the domineering power.
Taking Murrell’s words from his infamous message:
To win this, “We need to have them firefighting in as many fronts as possible”
Divide and conquer has been the motto of England’s ruling elite to crush Scotland for 300 years. Divide and conquer is what Sturgeon, the gradualists and entrists have been doing for the last 6 years to stall independence. Divide and conquer is what the political lobby pretending to seek the destruction of women’s rights has been doing for the last few yearstoo. Divide and conquer is what the British state and their minions in Scotland have been doing with the complaints procedure, botched criminal case against Mr Salmond and the blackout of Alba.
Scotland has had 300 years to learn this tried and tested tactic. Isn’t about time we embraced it and our opponents got a taste of their own medicine?
Lets get the pro Union parties fighting on as many fronts to exhaust them. For example, let’s get them fighting actively against Scotland’s independence while still claiming Scotland does not want independence.
Let’s get them tying themselves in knots by proving to us Nicola’s gold standard unicorn is the only viable and credible route we have while they continue to make every possible effort to present it as non-achievable in the short term and while we continue to trash the flawed franchise.
Let’s get them proving to us the franchise is acceptable, while making them justify at the same time why can we not use the same franchise Cameron used in the EU referendum.
Let’s make them present a credible case for the union while forcing them to explain their claim that the union does not exist because Scotland was absorbed in the “kingdom of Great Britain”
Let’s make them demonstrate to the Scots how the Union can ever be democratic while they make every possible effort to undermine our many democratic mandates to end the union and to stop Brexit.
Let’s make them demonstrate how Scotland and England’s needs and wants can be satisfied in equal measure in this union while making them explain how it is that their actions every day show that the only way this union can survive is by totally obliterating Scotland’s will and by continuously ignoring Scotland’s needs
Let’s challenge them into showing how Scotland and England can be credibly governed with the same political parties and then make them explain why is it that if Scotland and England can be governed by the same parties, these parties still feel the need to create branches in Scotland and the illusion that those branches are autonomous by giving them a different name. We should demand constantly that those branches either cut their umbilical cord that keeps them afloat with the donations from England and become fully independent parties or ditch the “Scottish” from their names and present themselves as what they are: England parties. We should then demand that only parties funded in Scotland are allowed in our Scottish Parliament. It is unacceptable that parties funded by the money of other countries and serving the interests of those countries are sitting in our parliament. Then we sit back and watch how long they survive.
Let’s challenge them to show how those unionist parties respect the treaty of union and our claim of right and then make them explain why is it that they are actively encouraging the trashing of our claim of right and treaty of union for the sake of preserving this political union and the supremacy of England’s interests.
We learnt yesterday about how extensive the use of gaslighting is in politics to control opinion. So let’s get ready for their gaslighting because it will come.
Ending the union through our MPs leaves very little room for the powers that be to manoeuvre. If pushed to deliver, a referendum is the best option they have to manipulate the process and the result so we should expect offers of a referendum if we ditch the otheroption. In that case we need to be ready to reject it blankly unless it comes with a fixed dateof both referendum and delivery and unless they change the franchise in a way that the natives’ yes vote is not deliberately set to fail as it was in 2014.
Sturgeon has given us the excuse that unless we accept her gold standard unicorn, the no voters may boycott it. Well then, we should threat to boycott it ourselves unless the franchise is fair and unless every interference from outwith Scotland is eliminated. That of course will include to ban from taking part in the referendum campaigning every political party or organisation with headquarters outwith Scotland and funded by money that was not generated in Scotland, every rUK politician, parliamentarian, broadcasters and newspapers not having their HQ in Scotland, and even a monarch whose residence is not in Scotland. All of which could be interpreted as a deliberate interference from an external vested interest.
Sturgeon and her followers have been given all the consideration to the no voters. It is about time they start to consider the needs and wants of the yes voters.
“If you can’t fly, then run; if you can’t run then walk if you can’t walk then crawl; but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward”
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Yet again an outstanding article from Mia, would that some of our elected politicians have the same drive, sense and strategic ability as Mia. The need to continually apply pressure, on multiple fronts, is the key to driving Independence forward. Give them no rest, apply and test their defence continually, build a huge team effort and make the most of every opportunity. I suggest those reading this recognise that the recent burst of activity from the SNP to at least appear to be re-engaging with Independence again and the rather blatant efforts of the Woke dominated AIM organisation to try and take control of the Yes narrative is panic setting in that their position as being the main vehicle of Independence is now severely compromised, exactly as Mia forecasts. I am grateful Mia has become my regular columnist otherwise Mia would have been a shoe in for the Rangers job lol.
I am, as always
YOURS FOR SCOTLAND
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