Last week Graeme McCormick, a SNP NEC member posted a criticism of one of Mia’s articles on the basis that it did not respect the First Minister. What follows is Mia’s response.
“not helped by disrespect for the FM”
With all due respect to you, Graeme. My comment above does not contain “disrespect” for the FM. It contains very strong criticism as I believe it is deserved after almost 8 years of delivering nothing and, when you look retrospectively, every single action taken by this FM, and this submission of a draft to an English court is no different, has been in the direction of stopping independence rather than facilitating it.
As many contributors here have stated, respect is not given, it is earned and because of that it cannot be taken for granted.
Taking the wheels off the independence party to stop it being a vehicle of independence when you knew before hand there would be a landslide win in the next GE does not earn you respect, it loses it.
Handing over Scotland’s assets to England MPs when you have an absolute majority of Scotland’s seats and you can stop it by declaring independence, does not earn you respect, it loses it.
Keeping quiet while England MPs unilaterally butcher the Scotland Act to take control of our main assets, despite the SNP holding a majority of the seats in Westminster, does not earn you respect. It loses it.
Delivering a capitulation speech, acquiescing to England MPs and England’s government rule removing any choice from the hands of the people of Scotland when the people of Scotland sent a majority of SNP MPs to Westminster on a mandate to stop brexit and to exercise a choice , and when you have held a mandate to call a referendum since 2016, does not earn you respect, it loses it.
Giving precedence to England’s expressed democratic will when you were elected to enact Scotland’s expressed democratic will and for which you were handed a majority of the seats in Westminster, does not earn you respect. it loses it.
Dangling carrots for 7 years and hiding behind the excuse that an England government does not give “consent” for a referendum despite your controlling the majority of Scotland’s seats in Westminster and your controlling the Scottish executive and parliament, does not earn you respect, it loses it.
Looking the other way and letting the Withdrawal bill pass, when it is a direct assault on Scotland’s constitutional tradition of popular sovereignty and when you control the absolute majority of Scotland’s seats in Westminster and therefore you could have stopped it, and when even Carwyn Jones noted it in the parliament of Wales, does not earn you respect. It loses it.
Allowing the vote for triggering A50 to even take place in Westminster after Scotland refused consent for brexit and after the people of Scotland gave you control of a majority of Scotland’s seats in Westminster to stop it, does not earn you respect. It loses it.
Siding with unionist parties to stop a supermajority in the Holyrood election 2021 and stopping a plebiscite for the sake of either frustrating independence or stalling it, does not earn you respect. It loses it.
To abuse your position of power to discredit the decision of a jury does not earn you respect. it loses it.
Siding with a deeply corrupt UK civil service to create an unlawful complaints procedure and remove an opponent from active politics, costing millions to the taxpayer does not earn you respect. It loses it.
Presiding over a government that hides behind a court case to actively suppress information of public interest, does not earn you respect. It loses it.
Sending this draft bill to an English court when you have a perfectly functional and competent Supreme Court in Scotland which has recently dealt with the Keatings case, very similar in nature, and dealt with the more complex Cherry cases about prorogation and revoking A50 triggering, and when the matter of Scotland’s independence and Scotland’s parliament is above all, a matter for Scotland and Scotland only, does not earn you respect. It loses it.
“The Supreme Court is not English and follows on from the Judicial Committee of the House of Lords”
If English convention prevails over Scotland’s constitutional tradition, and English law prevails over Scots law, then it is not a “UK” court. It is an English court. Parliamentary sovereignty is usually the damage limitation tool of last resource used by this court. Parliamentary sovereignty is English convention, nothing to do with Scotland.
Regarding the House of lords, do you remember any recent case in the Judicial Committee of the House of lords where only Scottish Peers were present when debating a matter pertinent to Scotland? I don’t. There are always English peers/UK peers there. Only the Scottish Peers sat in the Old Scottish Parliament so they are the only ones that represent Scotland. UK peers are elected by a government, so they do not represent Scotland. They represent the government that elected them. Let me give you an example, the debate in 1999 regarding reducing the number of Scottish peers sitting in the HoL and therefore reducing Scotland’s representation in the UK parliament. This was considered by some of them a breach of the treaty of union and a breach of their constitutional rights. Lord Gray put a motion. Of those debating and deciding the outcome of the motion, which you can guess it was against the Scottish peers, there was only one Scottish peer. All the rest were either English peers or UK peers. What they were doing discussing the constitutional rights of the Scottish peers under Scots law, Scotland’s constitutional and parliamentary tradition, escapes me. But guess what? the intervention of English and Uk peers determined that the ultimate reason why Lord Gray’s motion was rejected was “Parliamentary sovereignty”. But England MPs and England’s lords do not have parliamentary sovereignty over Scotland’s MPs or Scotland’s lords and even less Scotland itself , Scotland’s law or Scotland’s old parliament. So how do you reconcile the supposed “parliamentary sovereignty” of England MPs with an article of the treaty of union that was ratified by the old parliament of Scotland to which the concept of parliamentary sovereignty did not apply?
From where I am standing it looks like a complete farce of cosmic proportions and just an excuse to silence Scotland at every turn, being that its MSPs, its MPs or its Peers, with the English principle of Parliamentary Sovereignty which, at some point or another in the last 300 years, England MPs and England’s peers/UK peers have unilaterally transferred to the whole UK parliament even when Scotland’s MPs and peers could not have done so because it did not apply to the old Scottish parliament.
“The FM is well aware of the Scottish Constitutional tradition”
Being aware of the Scottish Constitutional tradition when you are the FM of Scotland and the leader of a pro-independence party is nothing to be praised for, it is expected. Being aware does not earn you respect. Acting upon it so Scotland is not prejudiced and Scotland’s constitutional tradition is preserved and not undermined, is what does.
Letting for 7 years opportunity after opportunity to flex the muscles of that constitutional tradition to stop the abuse of Scotland at the hands of England/UK MPs and peers, to escape you does not earn you any respect. It loses it.
“it will be employed”
You might be believed when you say “it will be employed” after you have been for one month in the leadership position. After a year of lost opportunities, the majority may still give you the benefit of the doubt. But when you have been for almost eight years in the driving seat and for over 7 of those 8 years you have had control of the majority of Scotland’s seats in Westminster so you could have terminated the union, and yet you have let every single opportunity to employ that tradition escape you, then I am sorry to say but the only thing that such expression induces is laughter.
Graeme may not like Mia’s response but he must surely recognise she is providing specific reasons for why she criticises the First Minister. Readers can examine Mia’s specific examples and decide for themselves whether Mia is justified in holding that view.
I am, as always
YOURS FOR SCOTLAND.
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