MIA DEALS WITH THE SOVEREIGNTY DEBATE.

Put simply this is one of the best and most important articles I have read on the subject of Scottish sovereignty. It is a long read but it is written in the most readable and understandable form . It contains dynamite information. A truly great read! This debate on this blog is going to provide huge ammunition for the future.

Parliamentary sovereignty:

The modern rebranding of absolute power

We are expected to accept as gospel that parliamentary sovereignty is an established principle of the British constitution.

At first glance, if you interpret it as parliament being the main authority to create laws “parliamentary sovereignty”seems innocuous. The problem is that in unionists’ minds boundaries that should be applied to the meaning of this concept either do not exist or are more fluid than water. 

Ardent defenders of this theory presume parliament has unlimited legislative power.  In their minds, parliament cannot be restrained by international law, therefore it could legislate in violation of it at will (Blick, 2017).  Perhaps it is this interpretation what has led to our Treaty of Union being breached with impunity and to noises about breaking EU agreements emanating from that London circus called “The Cabinet”.

Colonialists presume this doctrine gives Westminster unlimited power to legislate in policy areas devolved to Scotland, even if this is done in contravention of Scotland’s own legislatures or against the will of the Scottish people. This supremacist vision is embedded in section 28 (7) of the Scotland Act 1998:

This section does not affect the power of the Parliament of the United Kingdom to make laws for Scotland

Judging by how England’s representatives saw fit to butcher Scotland’s Act of Union with England or repeal some of our laws, it seems obvious in their minds parliamentary sovereignty extends beyond the boundaries of parliament itself. Clearly they have assumed the right to retrospectively apply their “parliamentary sovereignty” doctrine to Scotland, even when it has been recognised by jurists the Act of Union with England does not confer the parliament of Great Britain unlimited legislative power (MacCormick v. Lord Advocate (1953)

You can even read entries from unionists in Hansard suggesting under this doctrine the UK parliament could revert Acts which granted freedom to colonies.  Perhaps the most humane way to bring these deluded colonial souls down from their world of Narnia, would be by encouraging them to test their preachings passing a statute to repeal USA’s colonies freedom. The experience might teach them a much needed lesson in humility.

Colonialists assume they can stretch parliamentary sovereignty to abolish Holyrood because they do not recognise entrenchment, that is, they think parliament cannot limit itself.  They claim no parliament can pass laws that future parliaments cannot change.

Well, this is an odd assumption to make.  Even if you chose to indulge colonial extremists who preach Scotland was extinguished and absorbed by England, the parliament of England ratified an statute (the Act of Union with Scotalnd) establishing fundamental conditions that should be followed in all times, therefore limiting its own sovereignty and that of the parliament of Great Britain. If the union continues after so many breaches of the Treaty of Union, it is not because Great Britain’s parliament had unlimited sovereignty and could do as it pleased. It is simply because Scotland’s representatives and courts have failed or not even attempted to correct those wrongs.

Dafoes’ views in his book “The History of the Union Between England and Scotland” published in 1786 were quoted by Scot, (1979, quoted in Hunter (2018) “Sovereignty and contemporary Scottish constitutional debate”. LL.M(R) thesis) as follows:

“the articles of the Treaty… cannot be touched by the Parliament of Great Britain; and the moment that they attempt it, they dissolve their own constitution; so it is a Union upon no other terms, and is expressly stipulated what shall, and what shall not, be alterable by the subsequent Parliaments. And, as the Parliaments of Great Britain are founded, not upon the original right of the people, as the separate Parliaments of England and Scotland were before, but upon the Treaty which is prior to the said Parliament, and consequently superior; so, for that reason, it cannot have power to alter its own foundation, or act against the power which formed it, since all constituted power is subordinate, and inferior to the power constituting”

So even the author and pro-union spy Daniel Defoe, thought in 1786 that the treaty of union was the constitution of the new united kingdom of Great Britain and because it was subordinated to the parliaments of England and Scotland, the new parliament could not touch that constitution without dissolving it and itself. This level of entrenchment does not fit at all with unlimited parliamentary sovereignty. Other signs of entrenchment are in Clauses 1 and 3 of part 2A of the Scotland Act 2016:

The Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government are a permanent part of the United Kingdom’s constitutional arrangements”

“In view of that commitment it is declared that the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government are not to be abolished except on the basis of a decision of the people of Scotland voting in a referendum.

Even stronger entrenchment is seen in clause 37 (Acts of Union) of the Scotland Act 1998:

The Union with Scotland Act 1706 and the Union with England Act 1707 have effect subject to this Act

So how to explain this incongruence between clear entrenchment and inability to entrench under this doctrine? I can think in four possible options: 

1. The principle of unlimited parliamentary sovereignty did not exist in 1707 nor in 1998 or in 2016

2. They accidentally broke their unlimited parliament sovereignty

3. With the referendum 1997, by demanding their own parliament, the people of Scotland might have broken Article III of the Act of Union with England and trashed the treaty, therefore the validity of those Acts of Union is now conditional to the Act of Scotland 1998. In other words, if they take away our parliament, the union is over.

4. The UK’s constitution is not worth the paper it is written on because the next executive controlling parliament might just repeal the whole darn thing.

So, where does this concept of parliamentary sovereignty come from?

It is seen as an English concept. Lord Cooper (MCormickvs Lord Advocate, 1953) said the concept of parliamentary sovereignty had not counterpart in the Scottish law and found strange the assumption that after both Scotland’s and England’s parliaments dissolved to form a new one, the new parliament inherited all characteristics from the old English parliament but none from the Scottish parliament.

Lord Russell (MCormick vs Lord Advocate, 1953)mentioned Scotland was in a politically unsettled and disturbed state two centuries before the union of crowns, therefore it is unlikely that by 1707 the framework of government had consolidated enough for Scotland’s parliament to have assumed unchallengeable sovereignty.

In a speech delivered in 2011, Lord Hope indicated article XIX preserves the Court of Session’s power and privileges. This is interpreted as special status and immunity to the new parliament, suggesting that when the treaty was drafted, Scotland’s parliament did not enjoy unlimited parliamentary sovereignty.

Interestingly, this concept of parliamentary sovereignty is conspicuous by its absence in the English Bill of Rights of 1688. The Acts of Union 1707 do not say the parliament of Great Britain will have unlimited power either. In fact, the articles of the treaty actively limit Great Britain’s parliamentary power.

Some believe this theory roots from Oxford academic AV Dicey in the 19th century.  Dicey’s words confirm this is an English concept associated to English law: 

“The principle of Parliamentary sovereignty means neither more nor less than this, namely, that Parliament thus defined has, under the English constitution, the right to make or unmake any law whatever and, further, that no person or body is recognised by the law of England as having a right to override or set aside the legislation of Parliament.”

So is parliamentary sovereignty really a thing?

Lord Hope of Craighead (WG Hart Legal Workshop 2011) wrote: “There is, as Lord Bingham says, no statute to which the principle can be ascribed. Parliament has not passed any law declaring, in so many words, its own sovereignty. It is because officials at the highest level, including the judges, have refrained from calling its sovereignty into question that the traditional view has grown up, which the judges have endorsed in the exercise of their common law powers, that it is a fundamental principle that Parliament’s sovereignty is absolute”

During his speech to the Welsh assembly in 2020 regarding clause 38 of the EU Withdrawall bill, Carwyn Jones raised doubts about the UK parliament being sovereign.

Mr Jones must have been onto something, because now the UK parliament website tells us parliamentary sovereignty is the most important part of the UKconstitution.  Well, you could knock me down with a feather. And that was me thinking the most important part of the constitution was…well, the constitutional statutes that determine what the state is and give parliament the legitimacy to create laws. It seems this doctrine is more concerned with power than with actual sovereignty.

If there is no statute backing this doctrine, why was so important to mention it the EU withdrawal bill? Mr Jones thought it could be because somebody realised Westminster did not have unlimited parliamentary sovereignty. Personally I think it is because after the people of Scotland voted against Brexit, after MSPs and Scotland’s MPs rejected A50 and the withdrawal bill, Westminster clearly did not have consent from Scotland to enter into and negotiate this international treaty on Scotland’s behalf.  A way to airbrush this would be by claiming for Westminster more sovereignty over Scotland than Scotland’s parliament and Scottish people themselves.  But we have never been asked which parliament we want to rest our sovereignty on, have we? 

The picture below shows how often since 1800 the expression “parliamentary sovereignty” was used in Hansard (for both HoC and HoL):

Well, look at that! It seems they did not care that much about “parliamentary sovereignty” until the 20th century in particular around the 70’s. 

A lot of things happened in the 70’s. The oil was discovered, the McCrone Report was commissioned, the SNP won 11 seats in the 1974 general election with 30% of the vote, the debate for the Scottish assembly and the devolution referendum intensified and the EU bill.  There is a huge peak in 2011 too.  But we all know what happened that year, don’t we?

So why did this doctrine becoame so important from the 70’s?

From a practical perspective, the concept of a parliament with unlimited legislative power in the wrong hands could become a tool to impose absolute rule disguised as democracy. We have four parliaments in the UK, so if parliameontary sovereignty really is a principle embedded in the British constitution and the constitution applies to all 4 parliaments the same, then it stands to the obvious that all four parliaments must enjoy the exact same parliamentary sovereignty, because the powers held by the devolved parliaments are not the same as those held by Westmisnter.

But colonialists insist parliamentary sovereignty can only apply to Westminster.  So what is the fundamental difference between Westminster and the parliaments of Scotland, Wales and NI?  England MPs only seat in Westminster.

Due to the large number of England MPs, from distance, making this “parliamentary sovereignty” exclusive to Westminster looks like a blunt instrument to legitimise handing England the power to control the other three nations. In other words, the concept of “parliament sovereignty” may have little to do with sovereignty and an awful lot to do with hoarding power.

The UK parliament is a hybrid parliament, with representatives from four different nations. So who is holding whose sovereignty? If we look at the composition of the UK Parliament, Engalnd holds around 85% of the seats. This means that under this exclusivity of Westminster’s “parliamentary sovereignty”, we would have to accept England is holding 85% of its own sovereignty plus 85% of everybody else’s.   When did England MPs get the right to steal 85% of our country’s sovereignty? Because when you look at the records of the parliament of Scotland for November 1706, the ratification of the first article of the treaty was conditional to a motion including these words:

therefore resolved that we are willling to enter into such a union with our neighbours in england as shall unite us entirely and after the most strict manner in all their and our interests of succesion, wars, alliances and trade, reserving to us the sovereignty and independency of our crown and monarchy and immunities of the kingdom and the constitution and frame of the government, both of church and state, as they stand now established by our fundamental constitution, by our claim of right and by our laws following there upon” (taken from the records of the parliaments of Scotland)

It does not sound like the old Scottish Parliament had any intention to hand unlimited sovereignty to England MPs, does it?

This is confirmed with article XXIV of the Act of Union reserving to Scotland in all time coming the crown, the scepter, the sword of state, warrants, parliamentary records and all other records, rolls and registers public and private, general and particular. So this “unlimited sovereignty” England MPs have been assuming “on our behalf” does not come from Scotland’s old parliament or the Treaty of union.

Popular sovereignty in Scotland can be tracked down to the Declaration of Arbroath, whose wording suggests people was above the crown because they had the right to sack a monarch and choose another one.  Boece (1527) in his book “Scotorum Historia” also describes the election of kings as the most ancient custom in Scotalnd about Kingship.

This principle described in the Declaration of Arbroath is what was put into practice in 1689 with the Claim of Right, confirming popular sovereignty.  The wording of the Claim of Right in 1689, referring how the monarch had broken the laws of the country as the reason to depose him might have been influenced by George Buchanan’s political writings around a century before.

Buchanan’s De Jure Regni apud Scotos Dialogus (1579), advocated for restricting royal power by the rule of law, in a way that if a monarch failed to adhere to Scotland’s fundamental laws, they could be deposed. This is in line with the Declaration of Arbroath. Buchanan goes further and writes that sovereignty derives from the people, herefore monarchs should rule following some form of social contract with the people.  In his book he suggested that when a decision had been reached, it should be put the people’s judgement, which some reviewers of his work interpreted as the rudiments of a modern referendum (Burns, 1951)

Popular sovereignty was also confirmed with the forming of a Scottish Constitutional Convention in 1989. This convention was not “called” by the prerogative of the crown or parliament. It was a beautiful example of popular sovereignty where Scottish political parties, churches and other civic groups gathered to created a new version of the Claim of Right asserting popular sovereignty by acknowledging “the sovereign right of the Scottish people to determine the form of Government best suited to their needs”. The principles of the Claim of Right agreed by the Constituional Convention in 1989 were endorsed by the Scotish Parliament in 2012 and the House of Commons in 2018. The conventions as advocated by Salvo may just be our best option yet to exit this union.

More endorsement of Scotland’s popular sovereignty is clause 3 of part 2A of the Scotland Act 2016 which says that Holyrood cannot be abolished except by choice of the people of Scotland in a referendum.

So where is the problem?

Power in the UK is represented by the crown in parliament.  This expression means fusion of legislative and executive powers. The “crown” represents the executive power, which is both, the monarch and the government. Royal prerogative, or “Henry VIII” clauses are a right of the crown.  It was under this prerogative that initially the Tory government wished to bypass parliamentto trigger A50.

Parliament is elected by the people, therefore in an ideal democratic scenario, this so called “parliamentary sovereignty” is a misnomer because it should represent popular sovereignty. In that scenario, parliament would be an expression of popular sovereignty. 

But for parliament to act as an expression of popular sovereignty, it has to be able to control the executive, aka the crown. And to be able to control the crown, MPs need to be free to make decisions and not being subjected to bribes, to coertion, blackmailing or partisanism via whips. What all those tools do is allowing the executive to control parliament, changing it from being an expression of popular sovereignty designed to control the executive, into an arm of the executive used to increase its own power. 

A fine example of this is the following quote from Mr Home Robertson in the HoC in May 1997:

“The quaint fiction that this Parliament can be an effective protector of the rights and interests of people in Scotland was finally exposed when this House of Commons voted overwhelmingly to impose the poll tax in Scotland in 1987. I have had private conversations with English Conservative Members of Parliament—some who are still in the House, and others who have departed—and I have asked them how they could possibly have voted to impose such an unfair and unworkable tax on my constituents in East Lothian which would not apply to their constituents south of the border. The reply was always the same—they did not know what they were voting for, but trusted the then Secretary of State for Scotland and voted in accordance with the Government Whip”

So it seems this fight for assertion of sovereignty is in reality a wrestling match for control of parliament and the balance of power between the crown and the people. Parliament is just the effector of that power, a legislative instrument. Therefore the expression “parliamentary sovereignty” is meaningless. The sovereignty is either held by the people who elects that parliament, or by the crown, who is using its executive arm to control it. 

This interesting quote taken from an intervention of Mr Salmond in the HoC in May 1997 seems to support this:

“All my political life I have been taught and have believed that there is a tension between the concept of popular sovereignty—sovereignty of the people—and the uniquely British concept of the sovereignty of the Queen in Parliament. The hon. Member for North Essex (Mr. Jenkin) started his speech by saying that there was no such tension, and finished it by saying that there was a tension between the Claim of Right asserting popular sovereignty in Scotland and the concept of the sovereignty of the Queen in Parliament…. Monarchy and popular sovereignty are not necessarily in conflict. The question is which has primacy, The hon. Member for Falkirk, West (Mr. Canavan) and I believe that the sovereignty of the people should have primacy.”

For the last 7 years, we have had foisted on us an executive elected by England. This executive has controlled the majority of parliament and completely silenced our anti-union MP majorities. 

In Scotland’s tradition, sovereignty lies with the people, not the crown. Our Claim of Right says it is unlawful to impose absolute rule on Scotland. Because the executive is the representation of the crown and it has been controlling parliament to silence our representation both in Westminster and Holyrood, indirectly this monarch has been imposing absolute rule on Scotland throughout control of parliament by its executive arm.

Let’s not forget the Scottish gov is the arm of the executive in Scotland, which has been controlling our parliament and parliamentary inquiries, with the help of that other arm of the crown, the COPFS, for its own advantage.

In 1661 Charles II, an absolute ruler, attempted to gag popular sovereignty in Scotland by annulling the Convention of Estates of 1643 and the parliaments of 1640, 41, 45, 46, 47 and 48, allegedly because they were called “without the warrand from the Kings Majesty”.  Move forward 350 years and we have crown, via its rogue executive arm, gagging Scotland’s popular sovereignty too, only this time by a combination of overruling Scotland’s parliament, abusing the UK parliament to pass retrospective laws and abusing an English court to uphold the rogue legislation and trash Scotland’s continuity bill.This is not “parliamentary sovereignty”.  This is absolute rule under a different name.

What political party that has most interest in controlling parliament for its own advantage?  That should be the party closer to the crown.  Which one is the political party with the highest number of people descending from the royals and aristocrats among its ranks? That will be the tories.  

This quote is from Mr Howard in the HoC in May1997:

“We Conservatives know that patriotism is not the same as parochialism. We are proud to stand as the party not only of the Union, but of the constitution and of parliamentary sovereignty”

Well, and how do you reconcile the concept of a permanent constitution with the doctrine of “parliamentary sovereignty” and its two tools – the principle of implied repeal and the non-entrenchment rule?  That is a difficult one.

This overbearing control of the parliament by the executive has not escaped jurists. The following quotes can be attributed to Lord Hope of Craighorn (2011):

“When we think of the sovereignty of Parliament we should really be thinking of what this means about the power that this gives to the executive. The executive is, of course, subject to the will of Parliament. But in practice, nowadays, between elections we have what Lord Hailsham famously described in his 1976 Dimbleby Lecture as an ‘elective dictatorship’ 

It seems to me that there is a very real question as to whether we can continue to rely on Parliament to control an abuse of its legislative authority by the executive”

So why have rogue executives successfully abused our popular sovereignty and been allowed for over 300 years to abuse our Act of Union with England and our Claim of Right?

The response is simple: a combination of ignorance, disinterest, acquiescence and self-servitude. The custodians of our rights are our representatives in parliament, the peers of the HoLs and ultimately the Scottish courts.  All three have failed Scotland.  

The Scottish courts should have been the ultimate gatekeepers of our Act of Union with England. Instead, they chose to make their life easy by hiding behind the principle of parliamentary sovereignty to avoid confrontation with the executive. These two quotes are from Lord Hope of Craighorn in 2011:

“In the past the courts did not prove themselves to be strong bulwarks against claims by the Crown under the prerogative. It was left to Parliament to do this by asserting its authority. But it is far from clear today, when it comes to providing a bulwark against an excess of the exercise of power by the executive, that Parliament can be relied upon in way that would make it unnecessary to look to the judges to do this for us”

“It was all too easy to find ways of dealing with the issue in some other way so as to avoid a confrontation with Parliament which, in truth, the judges would rather not have. It appears then to be the case that it is simply because of the apparent absence of limitations that the belief has grown up that Parliament may pass any law at all whatever without any limitation”

Lord Bingham of Cornhill in his book The Rule of Law(cited in Lord Hope, 2011) said:

“To my mind, it has been convincingly shown that the principle of parliamentary sovereignty has been recognised as a fundamental in this country not because the judges invented it but because it has for centuries been accepted as such by the judges and others officially concerned in the operation of our constitutional system. The judges did not by themselves, change it.

In other words the Scottish people are on their own Any idea that the UK Supreme Court is going to rule against an Act of Parliament because it breaches a previous one, never mind the Treaty of Union is a pipe dream.

.  We have already seen how the Uk Supreme court used the principle of popular sovereignty and implied repeal to legitimise the trashing of Article VI of the Treaty of Union with Ireland with the EU withdrawal bill. It will do the same with the Treaty of Union 1707.

We have been abandoned by the courts, which preferred to look the other way while the Act of Union with England was butchered. We were abandoned by the Scottish Peers, far more preoccupied by their concessions and standing than Scotland’s interests. And we have been abandoned by our MPs, who, bar very few, have been blinded by unionist partisanism, careerism and power greed. This has never been more obvious than with the SNP under Sturgeon.

MY COMMENTS

MIA has written a tour de force here. I hope readers recognise the time, effort and remarkable skill demonstrated. To take a potentially dry and complicated subject and marshall your arguments in such an effective way is a true gift. I recommend every pro Indy supporter copies this and keeps it handy. That way you can go forward in life hoping some Unionist will tell you Westminster’s Parliament has sovereignty over Scotland. THEN YOU CAN RIP THEM A NEW ONE!

I am, as always

Yours for Scotland

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49 thoughts on “MIA DEALS WITH THE SOVEREIGNTY DEBATE.

  1. While I agree with what Mia and Sara Salwar say about the Claim of rRght and the Scottish Constitutional position, we will get nowhere unless there are people willing to back the argument with Actions while Scotland continues to be plundered and the power we were given under the Devolution Settlement is being eroded.
    Words and arguments are fine but we weill not get out freedom from Westminster unless we take action. Who is going to initiate something we can all get behind? Demomstations, Protests, Civil Disobedience?

    Liked by 16 people

    1. It needs just one action. A congregation outside Bute House simply stating Scots denounce the treaty. A simple straightforward act. No dithering or requests for x,y,z to be held at some future time. It is an act demanding immediate action. It also requires the Scots to stay put until their demand has been met in full. Not just placated.

      Liked by 15 people

      1. I’m going to the UK Gov in Scitlsnd office off Edinburgh High Street Monday 8th at 11 but it may just be a one (old) woman protest I like the idea of Bute House too. Anyone like to organise something there?

        Liked by 11 people

      2. 7 days in the week, 8 regions in Scotland (roughly)

        Lothian and Border backfill (they have less travel)

        Grampian, Highlands and Islands and Dumfries and Galloway get the Friday, Saturday and Sunday – they travel the furthest.

        Fife, Tayside, Central and Strathclyde get Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday – one day each.

        That’s the rota for 7 day a week occupation.

        Friday becomes ceileigh night. And a stage for our speakers to voice concerns of the day.

        Initially we start this ball rolling on the Friday only. When a ballot box date (of some description) is about 3 months away, we increase to 7 day a week occupation.

        We need to decide the venue, Bute House, Holyrood, the New Civil Servant Building in Edinburgh.

        Liked by 8 people

    2. Update. one person joined me in a small protest outside the UK Government Office on last Monday morning. We were so threatening(!) that they sent for a couple of policemenn to come to see what we wre up to. They were very nice and firndly and di not seem concerned. One ven took a picture of us at our request which will appear on Twitter. While i was still on my own, a black employee came out and started chatting. We had a friendly conversation and i suggested that, given the colour of his skin, he or his family migh have experienced colonisation, he greed but was not convinced that scotland was treated as a colony, though when i mentioned plunder of resources eg oil gas and elecricity pus denigation of local culture he agree that seemed familiar.
      Would anyone like to suggest a time and date for Bute house? if so, i will try to join that.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I say to Sturgeon withdraw our MPs do not give Westminster any credibility next Election a Plebiscite for independence. This is Democracy one which the imperial power has no control over project our claim of right our Sovereignty This would be the action of a patriot this is why Sturgeon will continue to procrastinate and blame the Torys it’s all a sick game puppeteered by our colonial masters. The aim is to keep their puppet in power. Sturgeon and the SNP are selling us out daily ..Dissolve the Union.

    Liked by 20 people

    1. to Daisy Walker. i dont altogether understand what you are proposing , if it might be like the Vigil for a Scottish parliament, that might appeal to a lot of people but where? i would be up for something like that.

      Liked by 4 people

  3. Fantastic, exciting work. I am indeed excited by this, so much meat on the bones, so much valuable information, so much clarity. That graph was telling, wasn’t it? We’re very much on to something, and the more we understand the importance and clear advantages of this tack, the more more Scot gov is exposed as an evil, more dastardly arm of Westminster than previously imagined – if that is at all possible?

    I’m sure many from Scot gov will visit this site, as they continue to visit Stuart Campbell’s site, and I’m sure I hear the quaking in boots that comes with exposure and penalty?

    Exciting times.

    Liked by 14 people

      1. Thank you for a fascinating debate which requires lengthy reflection.Just one question We know who Neil King and Sara Salyers are but to my knowledge nothing about Mia – why not ? or have I missed it.?

        Liked by 2 people

      2. MIA has to keep her identity secret for her own personal reasons. I know her identity but at her request I will never reveal it. As you have already witnessed she is a superb asset to the Yes Movement.

        Liked by 12 people

      3. I’d have said Mia or Gayle or Sara should be the team that takes this whole thing to the United Nations. They all have such a firm grasp of the situation, the history behind the historical documents, the comments by various eminent constitutional writers… These ladies could, I believe, argue the WM team right out of the building!

        Sara is as good an orator as she is a writer on the subject so I’d love to see her argue the case. Mia & Gayle, well… I haven’t ever heard them speak. But they sure know their subject!! So I wouldn’t hesitate to have either speak on behalf of Scotland. I hope it will be possible by that point to have Mia able to take up a position in public.

        If not, she needs to get a well-deserved medal!

        Yes, there are many others here who are articulate and have a wonderful grasp of what has been done to Scotland through the years. And my apologies for not naming everyone.

        Liked by 8 people

  4. Mr Home Robertson re questioning Tory MPs over the unfair, unworkable Poll Tax imposed on Scots:

    ‘The reply was always the same—they did not know what they were voting for, but trusted the then Secretary of State for Scotland and voted in accordance with the Government Whip”’.

    That Sec of State for Scotland was Tory Malcolm Rifkind who ‘also agreed with the decision proposed by his predecessor, (Tory) George Younger, that the new tax should be introduced a year earlier in Scotland than in England’.
    These were the rogues of the day, voted in, as always, by English votes.
    We have exactly the same type of rogue in 2022, except Scotland now votes them in.

    Liked by 14 people

  5. Wee comment regarding the initial quote on the Scotland Act. Note it states Parliament NOT Government. There is a distinction. There is no government of GB in the treaty of Union despite their being a parliament. The treaty also forbids England to impose laws on Scotland and vice versa and that includes from the parliament of GB. It is why Scotland must sign off on any legislation drawn up for it to have legitimacy in Scotland. Thus when it says parliament it is not referring to the English (UK) government but the Scottish government that sits in the parliament of GB and is imbued with Scots sovereign authority.

    Liked by 11 people

  6. I would not dare to be presumptuous about having any part in it, but way back in 2012-14, on Wings and Newsnet, I remember banging on and on about sovereignty, and how much it mattered. I was often ridiculed by many, frequently schooled by Robert Peffers, and learned a lot from him, but somehow, the argument which to me was the focal point of everything, literally the nucleus of what Independence meant, just didn’t gain any traction.

    I remember ranting on that currency didn’t matter, it was having the power to choose your currency, and a hundred other dead end arguments that cropped up with whack-a-mole regularity.

    I’ll be honest with you, if I was to trawl back and re-read some of my comments, I might cringe a bit, because while the central pillar of sovereignty was true throughout, the detail was more than a little sketchy and my appreciation was often naive, (some would say it still is), and of course my own views have changed a lot too.

    But reading these last three posts, Neil King, Sara Salyers and Mia, for the first time in more than a decade, longer than that in fact, I have never felt more empowered, more enriched, or felt stronger camaraderie with people in the struggle for Scottish Independence. I’m actually quite emotional about it.

    We still have a way to go. There must be no room for complacency or reprieve for the Union until it is dead. We weren’t “there” in 2014. Nearly, but not quite. Our foundations were weak. But now, here in 2022, we are building on the solid bedrock of Auld Scotland, the Constitution of our homeland, the way of our people, and there is no finer foundation to have beneath our feet.

    Thank you both, Sara and Mia, for the hours of research, study and switched on analysis. A little bird tells me that Scotland herself is smiling down upon both of you, “finally”, somebody has got to the heart of the matter.

    I recently compared Scotland’s “lost” sovereignty to the demise of limework and lime based mortars which was once such commonplace knowledge and unremarkable science that literally nobody wrote anything down about so mundane an everyday thing. Knowledge was simply passed down from generation to generation, master to apprentice, as common and unremarkable craft. But after two world wars in record succession, and a “modernised” theory of Construction, suddenly, the old ways came within a whisker of extinction forever.

    I believe the same is true for Scotland, and the society of Auld Scotland which featured a common-Weal philosophy and attitude prevalent throughout our society which was fundamentally different to the Feudal methods which were much more common at the time, and which were forced upon Scotland as a consequence of the Union. Our Scottish society was so ubiquitous to us, so commonplace and unremarkable that it simply “was”. You didn’t think about it. You just woke up and lived it.

    I don’t want to use the wrong words here to paint false impressions, but I believe Scottish Society was as different to English Society as Communism is to Capitalism. Understand, I’m not comparing the two. Compare Islam to Christianity if you prefer, I’m simply arguing that the difference was “that” profound.

    I grew up confused that the Union must have been “inevitable” because Scotland and England were so alike, but these days I believe that’s a massive fallacy. The “likeness” has been forced upon us. It isn’t authentic, but contrived. We are not alike and trying to different. For 300 years we’ve been different people pretending we’re alike.

    Our Auld Society lives on, but bits of it are only in fragmented form, a line here, a precedent set there, where we are trying to piece together a jumbled up jigsaw which hasn’t been seen complete by anyone in over 315 years.

    My education pours scorn on the notion that our society is nature rather than nurture. It MUST be nurtured, because kids from other origins who grow up amongst us grow up thinking like we think, but I have never felt in my bones that UK style Tory capitalism, nor indeed the equilibrium of “left and right” wing politics was ever a good fit for my shoulders. It has always felt alien to me; not nurtured, but in my nature somehow. Undoubtedly the “Union” has tried very hard to make us think along those lines, but it has always felt like battering a round peg into a square hole. Are you left or right wing? Err, well, neither really. I don’t really fit in either.

    It doesn’t matter whether we are whales swimming beside dolphins, or dolphins swimming beside whales, Scottish Society and English Society are not the same the thing, and forcing them to share the same categorisation is missing something extremely profound, and does a disservice to both. We are not the same. We are not of common origin. Our ways are not your ways and your ways are not ours. The sum of the whole is NOT greater than the sum of it’s parts. (Certainly not for Scotland’s wealth anyway…)

    In 2013-14, I thought Scottish Sovereignty was everything. In 2022, ten years older, hopefully ten years wiser, I think Scottish Sovereignty is only the beginning for us, the tip of the iceberg, and we have a wonderful journey of rediscovery ahead of us “not” being “British”.

    The sad truth is while Scotland will thrive on its Independence and rediscovery, I’m not sure our friends in England face the same “buzz”. There’s not the same reward and uplift for throwing off an oppressive culture when your culture has been the one doing the oppressing. But the experience will be whatever you make it. But I think England has a harder journey ahead of itself than we Scots do… but they’ll get there.

    To Mia and Sara, and any “can do” people in the know, how can we get a TV program made about this?

    Liked by 15 people

    1. I cannot agree more, Breeks, everything you say I empathise with. There are many, many things you don’t mention that can be added, and are implied by what you do say.
      We must unite, and take ACTION

      Liked by 10 people

    2. Whatever happened to Robert Peffers, Breeks. He used to write screeds in Wings but was often disparaged and I think he just gave up;on Wings at least.
      In the last post I read from him in 2018 he wrote” Westminster is not only robbing us blind but has the temerity to tell us that they have overall sovereignty over us and are our masters when legally they have not and I believe that fact will soon be brought before the international courts.”
      I hope he lives to see that as do I. I’m not getting any younger.

      Liked by 8 people

  7. This has been a great debate and I see as promised Roddy Dunlop QC has given his opinion on the claim of right on twitter and he is not a big fan but points out this is his personal opinion. Some people will put a lot of weight behind the opinion of a high power QC forgetting the fact that in every legal case there is a lawyer on both sides of the argument and one of them loses. This whole thing needs tested in law.

    Liked by 10 people

    1. But not in the courts of the self-legitimising oppressor. The testing in international law of an argument – that we have a voluntary union in which the agreement that makes it voluntary has been extinguished by the superior standing of the ratifying statute of the dominant nation – is required. In a court where that argument would last as long as a snowball in hell. As for the ascendancy of the English Bill of Rights over the treaty guaranteed Claim if Right, that is a scandal deserving of international recognition. We can create the apparatus for international standing to test these colonising assertions and that is what we must now do. At the same time that we waken Scots to the life saving provisions of our own, extant and protected constitution! It will come from the people and we can and must ensure it is supported by the international community.

      Liked by 11 people

  8. The plebiscite elections needs to be a Scottish election in which OUR electorate includes 16 and 17 year olds as it impacts their future. It is a D’Hondt system so votes for all Indy supporting parties can be registered.

    It can be triggered by Holyrood at any point. This would include pulling all MPs from Westminster.

    Use what is in your power to control. You should choose the battlefield not your foe.

    Unfortunately we have a Marshall Philippe Pétain in Sturgeon instead of a Ghandi or an Arthur Griffith

    “It is the first treaty signed between the representatives of the Irish government and the representatives of the English government since 1172, signed on an equal footing”

    Arthur Griffith
    Chairman of the Irish delegation to negotiate a treaty with the British government

    Liked by 13 people

  9. When I first heard Sara Salywrs speak about this I was a complete ignorance on the facts but I remarked at the time that the hairs on my arms instantly stood up on end and had been there ever since. They just grew a other half an inch after reading this

    Liked by 12 people

  10. No words can express my admiration and gratitude for this tour de force, Mia. I would add a footnote for further elucidation, if any is necessary. The doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty became the constitutional bedrock of the U.K. constitution when Dicey took that argument from existing arguments (sources not at hand right now!) and formalised it at a time when he perceived the demands for Irish, and later Scottish home rule as representing a serious threat to the Union. This was the other period at which you would have seen a graph much like the one above, again underlining that this is a doctrine developed to consolidate power and not at all for the benefit of the component nations of the Union!

    The English doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty is derived from two lines in the Bill of Rights. It is reasonable to demand that the same methodology that separates principle from effect in the Bill of Rights, and establishes the continued standing in law of the constitutional principles thus derived, is applied to the Claim of Rights which is, like the Bill of Rights, a pre-Union, core constitutional document. And to expect that it’s provisions be regarded as having been violated and entitled to reinstatement and redress rather than in desuetude.

    Liked by 14 people

  11. Unfortunately, this arrangement seems to suit our Scottish executive and Judges too, and as for our comfy slipper brigade…crowbars required to get them up and out. How long are we going to accept this?

    Liked by 12 people

  12. Our constitution need not be tested in law. It is the law. We have no need of S30 referendums or plebiscites.
    Less talkin lets get walkin.

    Liked by 14 people

  13. I’ve often said on Twitter in response to ‘WM isn’t going to give you permission for a Ref. Suck it up’, that we don’t need WM permission & to please show me the Law, Act, Bill that says Scotland can be dictated to ‘ to do as she’s telt’. ‘Show me where it says England gets to be the boss courtesy of the ToU. Show me in the ToU where it says England gets to be boss by order of it’s larger population?’ Of course, it doesn’t! And I never get a reply.

    I’ve read modern copies of the Claim of Right & the Declaration of Arbroath so I’ve responded to those same comments (We’re not letting you go!’) with ‘Scots are Sovereign and they will decide’ but I don’t have the background, the history, the research to articulate my position. (My Degree is in Clinical Sciences). So I’m immensely grateful to see Mia, Gayle & Sara show me where I’ve gotten this idea & to prove that I’ve had the rights of it all along. I couldn’t prove it, not knowing the subject nearly well enough – but they could, they did – and they have! I’m really grateful to these ladies who have taken this subject (many would say ‘dry’ subject – I feel these ladies don’t think so!) and have converted all these Laws, Acts & Bill into easily read and easily understood format. It thus becomes a little easier to explain to others about the power we all have in this ‘union’.

    I think the next project is to get this ‘out there’. Get it out to the public & to harness the power we all have, to make significant changes. i LOVE Gayle’s choice of next move. Make it clear to Scotgov – THEY can be held to account, they can be removed & if they aren’t with us, they’re agin’ us! They might want to think on that.

    One thing I would say though, to these ladies, in light of David Llewelyn’s recent brush with the law – TAKE CARE OF YOURSELVES & WATCH YOUR BACKS! ANY INNOCENT USE OF SPEECH CAN & WILL BE TAKEN & USED as a threat against someone, someTHING. The law is on their side. 😡

    Liked by 13 people

    1. I am glad both Sara and Mia and yes Gayle, Lorna and others are getting the praise they deserve. I think any neutral observer to this blog who examines the content would hold the view that there is great knowledge and skill amongst the Scots and there is growing evidence they are beginning to put it to good purpose.

      Liked by 16 people

  14. Completely agree, arayner. In a word, acquiescence. That has been our bane for over three centuries. Make no mistake, Westminster knows perfectly well that it has no power to hold us. Whitehall is well aware that it lacks the power to hold us. The HoL intrigues behind our backs because it knows it has no power to hold us. The Supreme Court will take its cue from, and accept, the already subservient and supine Lord Advocate’s ‘mebbies, ay, mebbies naw’ attitude to the SNP’s case before it. Every stratum of Scottish society that is in any way establishment and allied to the power structure of the UK through the same in Scotland is decidedly pro Union, so expect no help or encouragement from any of those sources. The cry for independence always had to come from the people – always – with a political party, or several, picking up the mantle and carrying that cry forward. The SNP failed to do that after 2014, and it has done all in its power to delay and frustrate any attempts by anyone else to do so. It has become part of the establishment, neoliberal, neoconservative, militaristic – all in keeping with the UK/US world view.

    In Ireland, pre 1916, the Irish Party had done precisely what the SNP has done and sat on its hands for even longer that the SNP, and, initially, Sinn Fein made little ground in the mass of the population, fearful of a British backlash and even tighter controls. Britain overplayed its hand, just as the Tories are doing now, backed by Labour and the Lib Dem handmaidens. They will eventually sicken the mass of the population, but, until then, we have to create the conditions for a popular civil ‘uprising’, for want of a better word. Not a revolution, as Neil King would have it, but a sustained refusal to accept the conditions of our imposed subservience lightly. The SNP cannot speak for us in every instance because it has not our trust, having betrayed that long since. If ALBA had not arisen, if the SSRG and SALVO initiatives, Common Weal and others, had not spoken out, they would still be doing nothing but enjoying the fruits of their election. We can hardly accuse the British parliament of overstepping its remit when Holyrood does the same with policies like the GRA Reform. Never debated. Never voted on or for. If we have to amass outside anywhere, let it be Holyrood; perhaps we should even occupy it, and invite the world media along to witness our final act of non-acquiescence.

    Liked by 13 people

  15. Can anyone help me out with complimentary adjectives ? Feel like I’ve exhausted my own supply . Wait ! don’t think I’ve used ” magnificent ” yet .

    Magnificent , Mia .

    Gotta laugh , there was some gadje on WOS the other day sneering about Sara and Mia’s ( as he saw it ) lack of credentials ( ye olde academic snobbery ) . HA ! Read these recent – and previous – posts and weep ya bam .

    Intelligence , an enquiring mind desirous of knowledge and truthful insight is NOT the province solely of Academe or those with letters after their name . Q.E.D .

    This week on YFS has been a high water mark Iain . We are all being richly rewarded – educated , informed and enthused by the platform you provide .

    For which , many thanks

    Liked by 12 people

    1. Delighted you have found it beneficial. That was very much the intention but all the credit should go to those who created the articles, including Neil and the many intelligent and enjoyable contributions from readers.

      Liked by 7 people

  16. Not much to argue about that though the last sentence was gratuitous and unnecessary but as always the theory requires practical effect. Our government has to ensure more than half of us will vote yes. It all comes down to personal risk. Will I have a better quality of life with independence, and how will my life be affected through transition? That’s what the FM has to answer and timing is everything. She knows the legal position.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “It all comes down to personal risk. Will I have a better quality of life with independence, and how will my life be affected through transition?”

      That all sounds a wee bit ‘Anglo Saxon’, Graeme, bourgeoisie even, stressing the individual ‘me me me’, rather than the collective humanity, never mind a desire to eradicate entrenched inequality and poverty affecting the Scottish people due to longstanding colonial exploitation and subjugation. In any colonial environment the people, their culture and nation are perishing, as well as their resources plundered; is that not good enough reason to end oppression? You can’t really put a price on national liberation, freedom and self-determination, this is a priceless human right of ‘peoples’ who are subject to domination, exploitation and obliteration by another culture.

      As for “She knows the legal position”, I very much doubt that considering the ‘case’ now presented before the UK Supreme Court, never mind SG ‘neutrality’ concerning Keatings, or the lack of any approach even to UN C-24 or the coort o session regarding our unlawful brexit and treaty violations. The SNP elite are so far behind the pulse they are still to realise that independence and decolonisation are one and the same thing.

      If “timing is everything” what happened when successive Scotland majorities of supposedly ‘nationalist’ MPs took their oaths to serve the interests of the oppressor, lying down before an enforced Brexit and an imposed re-drafting of the Scotland Act, and anything else the colonial power decides to send our way – rather than asserting Scottish sovereignty?

      It is about time this FM answered her many critics in the independence movement, but all we hear from Bute House on the matter is silence.

      Liked by 13 people

  17. In her excellent article, Mia refers to George Buchanan (1506-1582). She writes:

    “Buchanan’s De Jure Regni apud Scotos Dialogus (1579), advocated for restricting royal power by the rule of law, in a way that if a monarch failed to adhere to Scotland’s fundamental laws, they could be deposed. This is in line with the Declaration of Arbroath. Buchanan goes further and writes that sovereignty derives from the people, herefore monarchs should rule following some form of social contract with the people.  In his book he suggested that when a decision had been reached, it should be put the people’s judgement, which some reviewers of his work interpreted as the rudiments of a modern referendum (Burns, 1951)”
    ————
    Perhaps it would be timely to take a quick glance at some other historic Scottish constitutional thinkers, noting their remarkable unanimity regarding the right, indeed the duty, of the people to oppose and if necessary depose overbearing government.

    GEORGE BUCHANAN (1506-1582), a Gaelic-speaker from Killearn near Loch Lomond, became a Europe-lauded Latin poet. His political writing influenced revolutionary thought in Britain, France and America. John Milton in his ‘Defence of the People of England’ wrote concerning just government: “For Scotland I refer you to Buchanan”. George Buchanan was a former pupil of John Mair —

    JOHN MAIR (Gleghornie, 1467-1550)
    John Mair became a highly significant professor at St Andrews University (lecturing to eg John Knox and Patrick Hamilton), and at the University of Paris (lecturing to eg John Calvin, George Buchanan, Ignatius Loyola, Francisco Vitoria, François Rabelais). Mair sought to curb the autocratic power of the Pope within the Catholic Church. This “Conciliar” theory held that a general council of the church has greater authority than the pope and may, if necessary, depose him (Britannica). Though he himself remained Catholic, his Conciliar Movement principles influenced the constitutional thinking of the Protestant Reformers of the 16th century, informing the disputes against absolute monarchies in Europe of the 17th century.

    Professor Alexander Broadie in his 1994 Gifford Lectures (‘The Shadow of Scotus: Philosophy and Faith in Pre-Reformation Scotland’) says:

    “Hugh MacDiarmid coined the slogan ‘Back to Dunbar’ as a rallying cry, hoping to persuade us to look back beyond Burns and the Enlightenment to the works of William Dunbar and the other poets of the Pre-Reformation period. In the light of work done recently on John Mair and his circle, and with MacDiarmid’s slogan in mind, George Davie [The Crisis of the Democratic Intellect] has coined the slogan ‘Back to John Mair’ as a rallying cry, hoping to persuade us to look back beyond Hume and the Enlightenment to the works of Mair and his colleagues.”

    Broadie then relates the thought of John Mair to that of John Duns Scotus —

    “In those late-medieval writings, Scotus’s shadow is clearly discernible, even when he is being directly contradicted, as sometimes he is, by members of Mair’s circle. Scotus is the presiding genius of Scottish philosophy, and he was assuredly in ghostly attendance upon those faithful men in the companionable circle of John Mair as they argued their way through the decades that preceded the Scottish Reformation and the establishment of a new order in this country.

    JOHN DUNS SCOTUS (Duns, Berwickshire, 1266-1308)
    In his 2010 Royal Society of Edinburgh lecture ‘The Past as Propaganda in The Declaration of Arbroath: Influence of John Duns Scotus’ (online audio), Prof Alexander Broadie makes the case that the thinking of John Duns Scotus permeated the Declaration of Arbroath (1320). See also Professor Broadie’s ‘John Duns Scotus and the Idea of Independence’ online article, in which he writes:

    “My conclusion is that while Wallace was fighting for Scottish independence, Scotus was developing precisely the intellectual framework that the Scots within a few years would deploy in the chief documents that defined that independence. I also believe it possible that the documents in question were compiled with Scotus in mind. There remains an intriguing thought, which I have not pursued, that Scotus was actively engaged in the development of Scottish thinking on the matter of Scottish independence through discussions that he might have had with Scots whom he met at the great centres where he worked. If such discussions did indeed take place, then my suggestion, made some years ago, that the relation of Scotus to the Wars of Independence was one of theory to practice, is false. Scotus may, after all, have been on the side of practice as well as theory by working to the same end as the Scottish military leaders even although by utterly different means.”

    Yet another Scottish constitutional thinker who had international influence was Samuel Rutherford —

    SAMUEL RUTHERFORD (Nisbet, Roxburghshire, 1600-1661)
    Presbyterian minister and St Andrews Professor, Samuel Rutherford in his ‘LEX, REX’ laid the foundation for the libertarian ideas of the US Declaration of Independence and Constitution.

    “You may know that Rutherford’s Lex, Rex (originally published in 1644) not only fueled the Covenanters’ armed resistance to King Charles I, but was also influential in justifying the French and American revolutions that would follow in the next century; you may know that many historians regard it as one of the most important contributions to political science in any age, that no less than 9 histories of early modern political thought examine it and its implications, and that it is still read and discussed in university level political science courses to this day.” (Guy M. Richard)

    [Lex Rex (“The Law is King”)] was a passionate but remorselessly logical protest against the pretensions of the Stewarts, who held themselves kings by divine right and sought to govern the church as popes and the land as tyrants. Rutherford made the classic case for limited monarchy: the king derived his power from the people. They bestowed it on whom they willed; they could as easily take it back; and if the king violated the law and turned on his own subjects then they had a divine right to take up defensive arms. (Professor Donald MacLeod)

    John Locke (‘Father of Classical Liberalism’) was himself much influenced by Rutherford’s ‘Lex, Rex’.

    Liked by 9 people

    1. Many thanks, Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh, for schooling me. You have given a timely resume of Early Modern Scottish thinkers that has extended my reach. I am reading ‘The Dawn of Everything’ Graeber and Wengrow, with the question of popular sovereignty to the fore, and your piece has opened me to continuity in many directions – to say the very least!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks Neil. Appreciated.

        Perhaps I’ll take the opportunity here to add the following youtube for folks. Professor Alexander Broadie is rather a low-key, slow-burning type of speaker, and this lecture has apparently been recorded by a ceiling CCTV camera. Nonetheless I am a long time fan of the man and think he is well worth listening carefully to, whatever the technical and presentational limitations.

        Professor Broadie is clearly a committed proponent of John Duns Scotus. The relevance to our present constitutional discussions becomes evident (to me anyway) as Broadie goes on to present Scotus as the champion of “Freedom and Will”. John Duns Scotus espouses activism. We are never trapped, not even by Logic. We can always choose to act.

        I believe Professor Broadie should be lauded for the extent to which he has pursued the study of Scottish philosophy within North British academia. We might ponder his (perhaps innocuous enough) cryptic black joke in the midst of this passage from about 8 mins in from the start:

        “In a way philosophy has been living in the shadow of [John Duns] Scotus since Scotus himself spoke. That’s my view. Certainly he had a vast influence, which I think is ongoing on Scottish philosophers even now. But I can certainly take the story well into the 20th century. And though I wish to take it no further in public – and I’ve said that in public – that’s because I don’t want to spend too much time commenting on my colleagues in case they kill me. So, across the whole range of philosophy, metaphysics, philosophy of mind, moral philosophy, we find Scotistic ideas at work. Thus he was the great philosopher of existence of the Middle Ages.“

        Professor Alexander Broadie (University of Glasgow), Keynote Address (Dec 2017):

        ‘FRANCO-SCOTTISH PHILOSOPHICAL EXCHANGES FROM THE MEDIEVAL PERIOD TO THE END OF THE 17th CENTURY’ —

        Liked by 1 person

  18. The catalyst for change is deep discomfort and an awareness that something better is possible. The former is coming, the latter is being hampered by our politicians. Excellent articles – well done!
    If only folk knew, Scots are the walking metaphor of the elephant tethered to a paperclip.

    Liked by 7 people

  19. Superlative, as Mia’s writing always is.

    In my opinion, due to the pernicious role of the English Crown in Scottish affairs, only by becoming a republic can we be truly independent.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. In my view, it is more urgent in the short term to curtail/stop its control of the democratic process and parliament.

      In Scotland, the first thing to do would be to completely ring-fence the crown arm COPFS from government, civil service, parliament and police, making it, in its entirety from top to bottom, fully accountable to Scotland’s parliament.

      Another thing would be to ditch the UK civil service and create a Scottish one, again, making it directly responsible, not to the executive, but to Scotland’s parliament. Needless to say the Prosecution Service and the Scottish government Civil Service must be kept separated from each other and any communication between them must be supervised by a third party.

      Civil service, Prosecution Service, Police and Secret Service cannot be allowed to be politicised under any circumstance. The way the civil service and COPFS was used to bring Mr Salmond and other independence supporters down, and the way the COPFS and Civil Service were allowed to suppress information and gag the parliamentary inquiry prove beyond doubt they are all politicised, the system is corrupt and upside down. Scotland’s parliament should control COPFS and the SGov civil service, not the other way round.

      In the case of parliament, both, Holyrood and Westminster, could move the focus of the swearing allegiance from the crown to the people. This was attempted in 1997 by trying to implement allegiance to the claim of right from MSPs, but colonial MPs rejected this.

      Also, declaring whipping, royal prerogatives, blackmailing or bribing Members of Parliament in any way to change their vote as unlawful, and also by forbidding MPs sitting in parliament to conduct ANY other job or receive any “incentives” while they are MPs. Of course this would not apply to those MPs/MSPs who, for political ideology, do not take their seats .

      But let’s be realistic, in the present scenario, none this is ever going to happen, so the first and most urgent thing is independence. Only then things can change. In the meantime, may be some of those things could for example be included in a draft for Scotland’s constitution?

      Liked by 8 people

  20. @Gayle Despite my anarchistic tendencies, I’ve always had to acknowledge the simple fact that all movements need leadership. We in Scotland, it gives me no joy to admit, haven’t got and never have had any leadership capable of even contemplating radical action such as leading the people on to the streets to demand our legitimate rights and freedoms outside the likes of Bute House, or anywhere else for that matter.

    On Sat, Aug 6, 2022 at 8:33 AM YOURS FOR SCOTLAND < comment-reply@wordpress.com> wrote:

    Post : MIA DEALS WITH THE SOVEREIGNTY DEBATE. > URL : > https://yoursforscotlandcom.wordpress.com/2022/08/06/mia-deals-with-the-sovereignty-debate/ > Posted : August 6, 2022 at 8:32 am > Author : iainlawson27 > Tags : #alba, #indy, #mia, #snp, #sovereignty > Categories : Uncategorized > > Put simply this is one of the best and most important articles I have read > on the subject of Scottish sovereignty. It is a long read but it is written > in the most readable and understandable form . It contains dynamite > information. A truly great read! This debate on this blog is going to > provide huge ammunition for the future. > > https://yoursforscotlandcom.files.wordpress.com/2022/07/image-4.jpeg?w=750 > Parliamentary sovereignty: > > The modern rebranding of absolute power > > We are expected to accept as gospel that parliamentary sovereignty is an > established principle of the British constitution. > > At first glance, if you interpret it as parliament being the main > authority to create laws “parliamentary sovereignty”seems > innocuous. The problem is that in unionists’ minds boundaries that should > be applied to the meaning of this concept either do not exist or are more > fluid than water. > > Ardent defenders of this theory presume parliament has > unlimited legislative power. In their minds, parliament cannot be > restrained by international law, therefore it could legislate in violation > of it at will (Blick, 2017). Perhaps it is this interpretation what has > led to our Treaty of Union being breached with impunity and to noises > about breaking EU agreements emanating from that London circus called “The > Cabinet”. > > Colonialists presume this doctrine gives Westminster unlimited power > to legislate in policy areas devolved to Scotland, even if this is done in > contravention of Scotland’s own legislatures or against the will of the > Scottish people. This supremacist vision is embedded in section 28 (7) of > the Scotland Act 1998: > > “This section does not affect the power of the Parliament of the United > Kingdom to make laws for Scotland”. > > Judging by how England’s representatives saw fit to butcher Scotland’s Act > of Union with England or repeal some of our laws, it seems obvious in their > minds parliamentary sovereignty extends beyond the boundaries of parliament > itself. Clearly they have assumed the right to retrospectively apply their > “parliamentary sovereignty” doctrine to Scotland, even when it has been > recognised by jurists the Act of Union with England does not confer the > parliament of Great Britain unlimited legislative power (MacCormick v. Lord > Advocate (1953) > > You can even read entries from unionists in Hansard suggesting under > this doctrine the UK parliament could revert Acts which granted freedom > to colonies. Perhaps the most humane way to bring these deluded colonial > souls down from their world of Narnia, would be by encouraging them to test > their preachings passing a statute to repeal USA’s colonies freedom. > The experience might teach them a much needed lesson in humility. > > Colonialists assume they can stretch parliamentary sovereignty to abolish > Holyrood because they do not recognise entrenchment, that is, they > think parliament cannot limit itself. They claim no parliament can pass > laws that future parliaments cannot change. > > Well, this is an odd assumption to make. Even if you chose > to indulge colonial extremists who preach Scotland was extinguished and > absorbed by England, the parliament of England ratified an statute (the Act > of Union with Scotalnd) establishing fundamental conditions that should be > followed in all times, therefore limiting its own sovereignty and that of > the parliament of Great Britain. If the union continues > after so many breaches of the Treaty of Union, it is not because Great > Britain’s parliament had unlimited sovereignty and could do as it pleased. > It is simply because Scotland’s representatives and courts have failed or > not even attempted to correct those wrongs. > > Dafoes’ views in his book “The History of the Union Between England and > Scotland” published in 1786 were quoted by Scot, (1979, quoted in > Hunter (2018) “Sovereignty and contemporary Scottish constitutional > debate”. LL.M(R) thesis) as follows: > > “the articles of the Treaty… cannot be touched by the Parliament of > Great Britain; and the moment that they attempt it, they dissolve their own > constitution; so it is a Union upon no other terms, and is expressly > stipulated what shall, and what shall not, be alterable by the subsequent > Parliaments. And, as the Parliaments of Great Britain are founded, not upon > the original right of the people, as the separate Parliaments of England > and Scotland were before, but upon the Treaty which is prior to the said > Parliament, and consequently superior; so, for that reason, it cannot have > power to alter its own foundation, or act against the power which formed > it, since all constituted power is subordinate, and inferior to the power > constituting” > > So even the author and pro-union spy Daniel Defoe, thought in 1786 that > the treaty of union was the constitution of the new united kingdom of Great > Britain and because it was subordinated to the parliaments of England and > Scotland, the new parliament could not touch that constitution without > dissolving it and itself. This level of entrenchment does not fit at all > with unlimited parliamentary sovereignty. Other signs of entrenchment are > in Clauses 1 and 3 of part 2A of the Scotland Act 2016: > > “The Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government are a permanent part > of the United Kingdom’s constitutional arrangements” > > “In view of that commitment it is declared that the Scottish Parliament > and the Scottish Government are not to be abolished except on the basis of > a decision of the people of Scotland voting in a referendum.” > > Even stronger entrenchment is seen in clause 37 (Acts of Union) of the > Scotland Act 1998: > > “The Union with Scotland Act 1706 and the Union with England Act 1707 have > effect subject to this Act” > > So how to explain this incongruence between clear entrenchment > and inability to entrench under this doctrine? I can think in > four possible options: > > 1. The principle of unlimited parliamentary sovereignty did not exist in > 1707 nor in 1998 or in 2016 > > 2. They accidentally broke their unlimited parliament sovereignty > > 3. With the referendum 1997, by demanding their own parliament, the people > of Scotland might have broken Article III of the Act of Union with England > and trashed the treaty, therefore the validity of those Acts of Union is > now conditional to the Act of Scotland 1998. In other words, if they take > away our parliament, the union is over. > > 4. The UK’s constitution is not worth the paper it is written on > because the next executive controlling parliament might just repeal the > whole darn thing. > > So, where does this concept of parliamentary sovereignty come from? > > It is seen as an English concept. Lord Cooper (MCormickvs Lord > Advocate, 1953) said the concept of parliamentary sovereignty had not > counterpart in the Scottish law and found strange the assumption that after > both Scotland’s and England’s parliaments dissolved to form a new one, > the new parliament inherited all characteristics from the old English > parliament but none from the Scottish parliament. > > Lord Russell (MCormick vs Lord Advocate, 1953)mentioned Scotland was in a > politically unsettled and disturbed state two centuries before the union of > crowns, therefore it is unlikely that by 1707 the framework of government > had consolidated enough for Scotland’s parliament to have > assumed unchallengeable sovereignty. > > In a speech delivered in 2011, Lord Hope indicated article > XIX preserves the Court of Session’s power and privileges. > This is interpreted as special status and immunity to the new parliament, > suggesting that when the treaty was drafted, Scotland’s parliament did not > enjoy unlimited parliamentary sovereignty. > > Interestingly, this concept of parliamentary sovereignty is conspicuous by > its absence in the English Bill of Rights of 1688. The Acts of Union > 1707 do not say the parliament of Great Britain will have > unlimited power either. In fact, the articles of the treaty actively limit > Great Britain’s parliamentary power. > > Some believe this theory roots from Oxford academic AV Dicey in the > 19th century. Dicey’s words confirm this is an English concept associated > to English law: > > “The principle of Parliamentary sovereignty means neither more nor less > than this, namely, that Parliament thus defined has, under the English > constitution, the right to make or unmake any law whatever and, further, > that no person or body is recognised by the law of England as having a > right to override or set aside the legislation of Parliament.” > > So is parliamentary sovereignty really a thing? > > Lord Hope of Craighead (WG Hart Legal Worksh

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