“I must be missing something here because it looks to me like all roads lead to a referendum”
It looks like you are missing the elephant in the room. The elephant in the room is that the referendum is not the end point of any road, just a feature present in one of at least three diverging roads. To become independent Scotland can take any of those three roads. The one with the referendum happens to be also the one that has been overloaded with multiple and unnecessary stop signs, road works and traffic lights with a permanent red light on them.
Until 2007 the SNP (and the England parties and their leaders including Thatcher) accepted a majority of SNP MPs as a mandate to terminate the union. Not to terminate the union of crowns, but to terminate the political union that emerged from the Treaty of Union. In other words, a majority of SnP MPs was seen as a mandate to repeal the Treaty of union. It is crystal clear that if Scotland repeals the treaty of union and act of union with England, the union ceases to exist and obviously Scotland automatically regains its statehood and independence.
A referendum has only relatively recently been added as a feature in the road to independence. For the last 8 years it has been continuously used as a smokescreen to fool the people of Scotland and as a way to dodge Scotland’s right to terminate the treaty of union.
As a matter of fact, that referendum has been used for the last 8 years incessantly by Sturgeon and her masters down south as a tool to deny us our exercise in self determination, despite Scotland having sent to Westminster majorities of SNP MPs for the last 7 years. You will agree with me that such a blatant abuse of the concept of a referendum totally surpasses any potential benefit it could have been seen to have brought.
The question we should be asking ourselves is not when we are going to have a referendum. The questions we should be asking ourselves are three:
1. if a referendum is and never has been necessary to terminate the treaty of union, why is it being imposed on us now?
2. what is hiding behind that referendum, what will Sturgeon’s SNP referendum be leading to, and
3. why, despite having multiple elections at UK, Holyrood and council level in the last 8 years, we haven’t been offered ever the opportunity to decide what road we want to follow to achieve our independence?
We have been fooled and distracted from the main subject for 8 years. The main subject being WHAT ROUTE should Scotland take to become independent. By deliberately avoiding to give us a date and confusing us with the S30, they have created a fog that has been distracting us from the main point, which is what is actually hiding behind that referendum. We have been asked repeatedly for mandates for the smokescreen (“a referendum”), but at no point it has been made clear to us in those 8 years what it is that this referendum is leading to. What path will we be following if yes wins in that referendum.
Sturgeon, Blackford, the England parties’ leaders, their branch managers in Scotland and other England MPs keep talking about a referendum as if it was the final step in the road to independence. Well, it is not. What route will Scotland be taking towards independence after such referendum has been won? We are not being told. We are expected to have blind faith in the foul judgement of an individual who has already wasted 8 years of our time, has let expire many democratic mandates without even making an effort to deliver one, has removed the wheels of the SNP as the vehicle for independence when it was predicted a landslide win which should have signalled the end of the treaty of union, and has handed over to England MPs control over our assets and our domestic legislation.
Why should we have to trust the flawed judgement of such individual?
Scotland can achieve its independence through at least three very different routes:
Scotland issues a new claim of right and either declares itself a republic or removes the crown from the incumbent monarch. Without a union of crowns, the treaty of union loses its main foundation and reason to be.
I am sure we all will be in agreement that this without doubt the path of biggest resistance.
by repealing the Treaty of Union and Act of Union with England – through this route, Scotland simply exercises its legitimate right as an equal partner in a bipartite union to terminate the political union. Through this route it is not for England or England representatives to establish the path, the conditions or the timeframe of the process. It is for Scotland and Scotland’s representatives and them only to do so. England can take its own route and end the treaty on its own right if it wishes. The outcome, that is, the goodies Scotland walks away with, will be determined by a negotiation between the two equal partners. On this path, Scotland’s participation is active and it has as louder a voice as England. To take this path we need politicians with serious balls and backbone and with serious commitment to Scotland’s sovereignty and independence. We don’t have any of those at present neither in that entity that passes for “Scotland’s government”, nor among all those amoebas sitting in the so called Scotland’s parliament and there is only 2 or 3 Scottish MPs fitting that description in Westminster. This path puts under serious question the blind acceptance that England will be the de-facto continuator state of the UK (this only will happen if Scotland agrees to it). It also presents the risk for the Kingdom of England that if Scotland is given its legitimate volume of voice to represent itself as an equal partner as it should be, England stands to lose the NATO and UN seats among many other things like control over Scotland’s internal market and exports, if Scotland perceives it is being disadvantaged during the negotiations in any way. Because of this, this path will be resisted fiercely by our equal partner.
by Scotland renouncing to its legitimate right as an equal partner in a bipartite political union and instead demoting itself to the status of a region of the Kingdom of England acting as the UK of Great Britain.
Under this path, England will determine the procedure, the conditions, the political and administrative structures in Scotland, Scotland’s trading partners and economic theory (neoliberalism, of course), the outcome and the timeframe. Scotland will become a mere a passenger in its own bus, a bus that England will be driving for its own benefit. At some point of this driver choosing, the door of the bus will be opened and Scotland will be kicked out of its own bus with an amount of luggage that will be also decided by the driver. The driver of course will run away with the bus, Scotland’s luggage and all the petrol in the tank. This is the path of least resistance because it is the path that favours England the most – it gives it full control. But it is potentially the worse for Scotland.
So, having three possibilities, which one is the one Nicola Sturgeon’s unicorn referendum is leading us to?
Giving credence to the English convention of “Westminster parliament sovereignty” by allowing the Withdrawal bill, that put English convention in law pass, allowing England MPs to trigger A50 in contravention of Scotland’s constitutional rights and allowing them to unilaterally re-write Scotland’s laws to push us away from the EU are hints that either Nicola Sturgeon’s government and party are forcing us to remain in the UK or they are forcing us through route c). This is the route that leaves Scotland without a voice and without assets and the route that leaves the Kingdom of England as the indisputable continuator state with all the goodies this brings.
The referendum has been a convenient tool in that route, because it has been used on demand as a stop sign or a red light for the indy bus during the last 7 years. The S30, for example, is a red light to give England time to close trade deals and re-write our laws. The continuous stops and red lights in this route are helping paint in our minds the idea that we are so insignificant that we have to ask permission from England MPs to board our own bus and must be grateful for being kicked out of our own bus in a place of our partner’s choosing, but only after they stole our petrol, our luggage, our shoes, our map and our purse. For Scotland to take willingly this toxic route, the idea that Westminster is superior to Scotland has to be imprinted in our minds to remove reality: Westminster is only a byproduct of the political union that will cease to exist if Scotland unilaterally repeals the treaty of union and Act of union with England, which she is perfectly entitled to do. This idea can only be imprinted in our minds by a political party that pretends to seek independence because any attempt by a colonial party to do so will be faced with even more resistance.
The idea of a referendum is just the smokescreen that has been used by Sturgeon and her masters down south for 8 years to hide the fact we have a choice of path to independence. What we need to look, and look very, very carefully is to what is hiding behind that smokescreen and behind the question in the ballot. Is it actual independence, full sovereignty and statehood, which will be what paths a) or b) would lead us to, or it is just pretend autonomy and being left without control over our main assets, internal market, policies , future trade trade partners and democratic and administrative structures, which is what path c) will be leading us to?
What kind of independence do we want and how much luggage and pocket money we want to leave this union with? Do we want to take our own bus with a tank full of fuel or are we happy with being dumped in the middle of nowhere and unable to walk far because we have been left with no shoes?
I would not give much credence to Blackford’s words. It is action what counts, not waffle. The actions which would have counted were Blackford leading the SNP MPs out of parliament to remove legitimacy from Westminster to act on behalf of Scotland during the A50 vote in parliament, the vote on the Withdrawal bill that saw England MPs giving supremacy to English convention over Scotland’s one, and the vote on the power grab. THOSE are the actions that would have counted. Some waffle now, years after the withdrawal bill was passed, acknowledging, too late in the day that Westminster parliamentary sovereignty is an English concept that does not apply to Scotland, frankly, are nothing but meaningless words.
Blackford, the same as Sturgeon, have had many years and many opportunities to prove with actions that parliamentary sovereignty does not apply to Scotland. He has let every single one pass us by. So why should we now trust he means what he says when his words are not accompanied by meaningful actions to prove it?
I will start trusting Mr Blackford believes a word of what his says regarding parliamentary sovereignty the day he finds he backbone to lead the SNP Mps back to Edinburgh to vote for the repeal of the treaty of union and the Act of Union with England. Until then, every time Mr Blackford opens his mouth, the only thing I hear is vacuous waffle and platitudes.
I enjoy Mia’s regular contributions. She raises questions that need answers and exposes the less than stellar performance of those elected, repeatedly, to take forward Scotland’s road to Independence. When I get my hands on a hot poker I am going to give it to Mia to operate.. I think it will be safe to guarantee a much greater level of effort and progress at that stage.
I am, as always
Yours for Scotland.
BEAT THE CENSORS
Sadly some sites had given up on being pro Indy sites and have decided to become merely pro SNP sites where any criticism of the Party Leader or opposition to the latest policy extremes, results in censorship being applied. This, in the rather over optimistic belief that this will suppress public discussion on such topics. My regular readers have expertly worked out that by regularly sharing articles on this site defeats that censorship and makes it all rather pointless. I really do appreciate such support and free speech in Scotland is remaining unaffected by their juvenile censorship. Indeed it is has become a symptom of weakness and guilt. Quite encouraging really.
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