Scottish democracy is not a serving suggestion

Davie Cameron, the balloon faced Tory who enjoys the support of a single Scottish MP, has slapped down us little Scottish people who were labouring under the misapprehension that we lived in a democracy. He’s done this in various ways. He’s done it by giving us that nonentity striving for a purpose David Mundell, who in a normal universe would be a traffic warden, as Scotland’s voice in the cabinet. He’s done it by giving us a Scottish affairs committee in which Scottish MPs are outnumbers two to one by non-Scottish MPs. He’s done it by refusing to recognise that the outcome of the General Election superseded the pathetic inadequacy of the Smith Commission and was a clear demand from Scotland for the substantial devolution that Davie and his pals promised us last year. But now he’s also done it in another way.

This week Davie told Scotland that there’s going to be no second independence referendum for 30 years. So, that’s us telt then. Any time between now and 2044, it matters not a mundell if Scotland’s voters overwhelmingly elect parties in favour of another referendum, parties who pledge in their manifestos to introduce a bill in Holyrood bringing forward a new referendum. For Davie and the Tories, Scottish democracy is merely a serving suggestion. You may select tender Scottish sovereignty in a rich creamy sauce with the roasted potatoes of representation, but what you’re going to get is whatever mouldy instant noodles that Davie can dig out of the back of the cupboard where they keep the MI5 files on paedophile MPs.

But we shouldn’t be disheartened. Westminster consented to the last referendum because they were convinced that the pro-independence cause would be lucky to get 25% of the vote, and the Union would win by such a crushing majority that the topic would be off the table for ever. As we all know, that’s not what happened. Ha ha. The Union was saved by the skin of its teeth and only by making some very vague promises of sooper dooper extra powers for Scotland fronted by Saviour of the Union Gordie Broon. But the superpowers which Westminster never had any intention of delivering were always as imaginary as Gordie’s superstatesman powers. The only people who ever believed in them were the editor of the Daily Record and BBC Scotland news.

The failure of the superpowers to arrive is stoking up increasing resentment in Scotland, only a small minority believe the oft repeated claim that the Union has delivered. But let’s the honest here, this Union couldn’t even deliver a pig in a poke. If David Cameron promised us a pig in a poke we’d end up with a packet of bacon flavour crisps that had long since gone as soggy as David Mundell. Meanwhile the saviour of the Union was so saved by his saving that he’s now buggered off to the other side of the Atlantic as there wasn’t a rock big enough in Scotland for him to hide under.

The reason that the Unionists are so keen to rule out a second referendum is because they are not at all certain that they’re going to win it.

Westminster opposition to another independence referendum is likely to increase over time. The more likely it is that Scots are disposed to vote in favour of independence, the less likely it is that Westminster will willingly consent to a referendum taking place. For every percentage point that an independence majority increases over support for the Union, Project Fear 2.0 will ratchet up even more. We went into the last referendum campaign with a clear majority in favour of saying in the Union, we’ll go into the next with a clear majority in favour of independence. Expect dirty tricks, underhand dealings, machinations and panicked bribes.

The only proper time for us to have a second referendum is when the opinion polls show that there is a large, clear and consistent majority in favour of Scotland becoming independent. That’s the best time for another vote, the only time, a time when the referendum is effectively a formality and will merely be a rubber stamping of what everyone already knows – that a large majority of the Scottish population want independence. A second referendum should be the formalisation of what will by then already be the settled will of the Scottish people for independence.

We can’t afford to lose a second independence referendum, because then it really will be off the table for thirty years to come. But the time when there’s a large and consistent majority in the polls for independence is also going to be the time when Westminster is least disposed to consent to one, because they’ll know they’re going to lose. They’ll be more embarrassed than a woman who has realised that she’s got the same taste in bras as Lord Sewel. This exactly what has been happening in Catalonia, only without the bras.

In Catalonia there’s never been much doubt about the outcome of an independence referendum. Opinion polls have consistently shown a large majority in favour of Catalan independence, and consequently the Madrid government has been vehement in its refusal to consent to a referendum.

The time is still not right for a second referendum. Before that happens we need a clear strategy for a Scottish currency, a prospectus that neutralises the economic attacks of the last referendum campaign, and a means of ensuring that the terms of the debate are not set by the London-centric media but by the people of Scotland and a Scottish media which is representative of them. But what we must do in the next Holyrood election is to vote for those parties which unambiguously and clearly spell out in their manifestos that the right to hold a second referendum is in the gift of the Scottish people, not David Cameron.

We are sovereign in this land, not Westminster. Westminster is only our parliament because we currently consent to allow it to be, and we can withdraw that consent at any time we choose. That’s the political reality, and politics trumps any legalistic machinations. David Cameron isn’t going to tell me when I can have a say on the future of my country. What Scotland’s people decide is not a serving suggestion for Cameron to ignore at his pleasure.

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36 comments on “Scottish democracy is not a serving suggestion

  1. […] Scottish democracy is not a serving suggestion […]

  2. James Morris says:

    For Unionist politicians, the bottom line is how poor the rumpUK will be when deprived of all the money they steal from Scotland, the exact annual total of which is covered by the official secrets act.

    • Oneironaut says:

      “For Unionist politicians, the bottom line is how poor their own personal tax-haven-based bank accounts will be when deprived of all the money they steal from Scotland, the exact annual total of which is covered by the official secrets act.”

      Fixed that for you! 😉

  3. I’m afraid you’re never going to get a debate which isn’t controlled by a London-centric media. And as for a Scottish media which is representative of the views of the people of Scotland, that isn’t going to happen, for the most part anyway.
    Maybe it’s just me, but I have always felt that the greatest obstacle to gaining our independence, isn’t the other political parties, but the M.S.M.
    The Westminster establishment hate losing, and they will use any means to block our right to independence.
    I agree with you entirely in your assessment of when we must go for a second referendum, but because of M.S.M opposition it’s still going to be difficult to attain.

  4. Jab says:

    Well said Paul

  5. macart763 says:

    Superb yet again Paul.

    GAP has a pretty good piece over on newsnet too and I’d say a reasonable take on the route of travel to boot.

    As for Davey? Oh he’s up to the erse of his gimp suit in bother. Y’see he set a very specific anti Scottish narrative in motion on September 19th last year. From that day forward we weren’t just the hapless basket case anymore, we were mad, bad and dangerous to know. The Tartan hordes coming to despoil the hallowed halls of Westminster and destroy true blue British (pronounced Brtsh) democracy. It said so in the Mail, Telegraph, Express, Mirror, Sun, New Statesman, Huff Post, Guardian etc, etc, etc, so it must be true. 😀

    We were going to cause chaos, crash the economy (wait whut?), probably ravish young virgins, eat babies and all sorts of unfortunate stuff.

    Now we all recall Davey boy’s save the union speech with the tear in his eye and the catch in his thrapple. His plea to the people of Scotland :

    “It’s only Great Britain because of the greatness of Scotland, and the thinkers, writers, artists, leaders, soldiers, and inventors who have made this country what it is. So a NO vote means faster, fairer, safer and better change. And this is a vital point: Scotland is not an observer in the affairs of this country. Scotland is shaping and changing the United Kingdom for the better … and will continue to shape the constitution.”

    Oh dang! 😮

    So after instigating all of the above, initiating the EVEL debate in an attempt to make Scots powerless second class citizens in their own homes and capping it with ideologically driven austerity measures… After all of that, he’s going to have to stand in front of the same people and tell us one more time just how much he lurves us.

    So lookin’ forward to that. 😀

  6. Just one question …. “How long, O Lord, how long?”

  7. diabloandco says:

    I don’t care what the pillock Cameron says ,or the other pillock Mundell – I just ain’t prepared to wait 30 years for my country to look after its own.
    Besides the distinctly awkward fact that I will be dead, I am no longer a willing party to Westminster misrule. Neither am I a willing buyer of the codswallop served up by the MSM and Scotland’s finest – the BBBC.
    I am learning to hate which has an adverse effect on my soul and my digestion.

  8. gavin says:

    Use their own words against them
    Have a manifesto commitment to
    A. A renegotiation of the Treaty of Union.
    B. Have an IN/OUT referendum on the result of the negotiations.
    Use the exact wording of the Tory manifesto, substituting Scotland for the UK, and the UK for the EU.
    The Unionists will have nowhere to hide.
    No more ‘vows’ or false promises.
    Constitutional sauce for the goose,…………

    • Janis says:

      Excellent idea. I would love to see this in action. I too cannot wait 30 years for independence. Let’s get on with it.

  9. Don Mc says:

    It used to be the case that Unionists would claim we didn’t need a referendum, we just had to elect a majority of independence supporting MPs then we could basically UDI. We elected a majority and now we’re told it doesn’t work like that (although, admittedly, Nicola conceded that). So our only democratic route to independence is another referendum. Is daft Dave really claiming that independence cannot be achieved via the ballot box while he is prime minister? That we’d need to take up arms in a fight that wouldn’t just tear Scotland apart but the rUK too? Surely not.
    Clot Cameron has repeatedly demonstrated that he doesn’t get Scotland but this latest colonial master routine is either very foolish or, like his antics with the Scotland Bill and Evel, a ploy to bounce the snp into an early referendum, the loss of which probably would kill off independence for a generation.

    • Deedee says:

      Pretty sure I read somewhere that the SNP removed the “majority SNP MPs in Westminster” from their constitution some years ago. “I wish I knew what I know now when I was younger”!

  10. “The time is still not right for a second referendum. Before that happens we need a clear strategy for a Scottish currency”; absolutely. Last time it seemed we should be negotiating with Bank of England, and Salmond couldn’t answer questions fully because that would have given away his negotiating positions; this was exploited by Project Fear. This time, after what happened to Greece, the idea of compromise with what will then be the central bank of a foreign country is not on the table.

  11. Dan Huil says:

    Our own currency, then, when [or if] the time is right, a referendum about EU membership.

  12. osakisushi says:

    On the subject of currency, I feel we were caught on the wrong end of a spin last time. The truth, I feel, is Westminster CANNOT afford Scotland to leave unless Scotland agrees to retain UK Pound. Without Scotland, sterling will crash dramatically as unless it is seen as backed by a Scottish asset base, it must devalue.

    Somehow or other, this detail was ignored – even by our side – with the result Project Fear was able to highlight currency as a terror tool.

    • hornygoloch says:

      No. Although an independent Scotland could continue to use the pound unilaterally (it’s an internationally traded currency) it would lose the right to issue sterling or control it in any way. The pound would be a foreign currency, and adopting a foreign currency means giving up control of monetary policy to a foreign state – rUK in this instance. Which isn’t independence in my book.

      The alternative – a currency union – would be advantageous to Scotland, but brings substantial obligations to rUK without any advantages. Why should rUK stand behind the actions of an independent state? In 2008, Westminster poured huge amounts of money into saving the Scottish banks. But if Scotland becomes independent, why would they bother in future?

      The idea that without Scotland sterling would crash is absurd. The pound is not backed by a Scottish asset base.

      But I’m already getting bored by my own post, so I’ll leave it there

      • osakisushi says:

        Lol. Know what you mean, I hate writing about numbers.

        My job is trend analysis and looking at what would happen to Sterling with a 8% weakness (which would be reasonable with a Scottish exit) is more than liable to knock over a big domino.

        If there’s any accuracy to my c**p, apparently Brent Crude should hit 42.5 USD fairly soon. It needs better 61.3 to escape the immediate path

  13. Gavin C Barrie says:

    56 SNP MPs of a total of 59; an SNP majority at Holyrood. I’d say that is a clear statement of the wishes of the Sotland and to ignore it should lead to a constitutional crisis. However the MSM and the BBC will feed the Better Togethers with adequate rations of comfortable nonsense to keep them content. Maybe we need to kickstart the Yes campaign again but with more assertive leaders prepared to speak out.

  14. arthur thomson says:

    Another referendum when the people demand one in order to retake independence.

    In the meantime we have to maintain our position of being the most active in the political process. There is so much to be done. The defeat of the dependence parties in the Holyrood election and then the vitally important task of removing them from political control at local level. Our young people need to be encouraged to follow Mhairi and take an active part in the process of government. They have to see that they have a choice of being valued in their own country or mere cannon fodder in someone else’s country. Being committed to independence has to become the norm, The Brit Nats need to be marginalised at every turn.

    It will be very difficult to overcome the monopoly of the msm. But I think there is clear evidence that their influence is waning rapidly. If we keep working at it I have every reason to think that they will be fully understood for what they are and they will be a liability rather than an asset to our opponents.

  15. Justin Fayre says:

    When they persecuted the disabled, I wasn’t concerned.
    I wasn’t disabled
    When they persecuted the mentally ill,. I wasn’t concerned.
    I wasn’t mentally ill
    When they persecuted the poor, I wasn’t concerned.
    I wasn’t poor
    When they persecuted the jobless, I wasn’t concerned.
    I worked full time
    When they persecuted the low paid
    Oh shit.

  16. Andrew Gallacher says:

    Brilliant article, as usual. Only thing I disagree with is your view on Catalonia. My wife of 18 years is from Barcelona, and I lived there for a couple of years. Most of my friends there are in favour of Catalan independence, but the majority of the people are not, and the numbers in favour are FALLING. Yes, the result of the vote they had was 80% in favour, but only a third of the electorate took part. I don’t believe independence will happen in Catalonia,(it has NEVER been an independent country)
    and I think it is a mistake for us to be seen to support the Catalans as when they vote no it will damage OUR credibility. More importantly, the Catalan government has actually failed to govern the region properly during the past 8 years, and has used the independence issue as a way to distract from this failure (an untrue accusation levelled at the SNP government). It may seem a selfish attitude, but I really believe that voicing our support for Catalonia can only damage our own cause.

  17. DinnaFash says:

    “David Mundell, who in a normal universe would be a traffic warden”

    Absolutely spot on.

  18. Coinneach says:

    If the pro-YES parties added UDI to their manifestos then elections would become referenda.

    • weegingerdug says:

      That’s more or less what is happening in Catalonia at the next Spanish national elections.

      • Andrew Gallacher says:

        Sorry to bang on about this, but continuing to reference Catalonia is, IMO, a big mistake.Lots of yes voters also made a lot of noise about Greece when they voted no in their referendum, the Greek govt. then capitulated, and unionists started comparing the SNP to Syriza. Again, may sound selfish, but we should avoid comparisons with what is happening in Catalonia and focus on our own fight. I also think UDI would cause massive division in Scotland unless the majority in favour was overwhelming.

        • Coinneach says:

          I agree with you on the massive division. UDI could *only* be used if the majority in favour was overwhelming, and we are some years off that yet.

          The point of raising it is that we are not without options.

          The Brits are obviously hell-bent on blocking Indyref II, but we can and will outflank them.

  19. Rhisiart Gwilym says:

    That’s a bit of an insult to traffic wardens, wee dug. And following on your insult to balloons, too. Naughty hand-biting dug!

  20. Cloggins says:

    High time to set up a shadow central bank and talk to friendly neighbours such as Iceland, Denmark, Norway and to EFTA and the IMF. Don’t get caught in the same trap twice.
    Address the fears of the no voters, and make sure the message gets there.caiv

  21. Grizzle McPuss says:

    Back on the subject of twitter again (which is as good a reference for the pulse of Unionist thinking as any)…

    If you should encounter any of the SNPout or ‘fou femme de l’histoire’ then you are constantly harangued with the same attacks as have always caused a mere mortal like me to stumble on, or even admit… “they have a point”.

    The most pressing subject as Paul alludes to is the economy. In fact, all summed up as “Scotland’s post-independence prosperity, both intermediate and long-term”.

    I try to approach these particular issues as I would my daily job…

    In my line of work, whenever a new design is presented, you attempt to answer all the questions before they get asked. In the case of Scottish independence, we now already know many of the questions in advance to our advantage (post-Sep 2014)…summed up as “what’s your plan B?”

    To validate any new design, you provide as much supporting evidence as possible in presenting your proposal. You will have already ensured that both you and your proposal have been thoroughly tested and appraised by as many ‘neutral’ eyes as possible. Only once you know that you can answer your chief critics and present a valid response do you then proceed.

    (Personally, I fear the ‘White Paper’ fell short on this matter, hence the reason it could be taken apart with apparent ease by its detractors. The emphasis & presentation was also lacking in promoting the aspects that had been thoroughly researched)

    The end goal of any new design is always to state with confidence “here is the best and most efficient short-to medium term design appraisal…but without access to a crystal ball, here is also the best available forecast, based upon both known data and perceived influencing factors for the long-term benefit”

    Designing for the ‘now’ is always considered as your worst case scenario as this is the reason that the design has been proposed in the first place. In respect to the long-term, and with a touch of developing hindsight, you acknowledge that as the new design is progressed, you can adjust and make improvements to the situation. Common sense states that as ‘adapting to the changing circumstances that cannot be projected or confirmed due to external factors beyond our control’.

    (My industry, just as in the political world, does not employ mystics who possess the powers of absolute foresight. We, like good politicians are engaged on our professional abilities to best gauge potential and mitigate as best we can against failure in order to achieve success)

    With respect to independence politics; what too many Unionista’s focus upon is the short-term status, never making allowances for the fact that Scotland could, and would have to ‘adapt to changing circumstances’ that she found herself in.

    Fundamental and the greatest failure of the Unionists stance in my eyes is that their argument against independence is centred on the spending, investment and policies of the current Westminster government as it is now. No credit is ever given to the fact that Scotland, with its own economic & policy controls can design consensus government around its own priorities and not that of a right-wing, neoliberal dogma that has been shown time and time again to be at odds with the majority of ordinary Scots.

    As yet, and as a committed independence supporter, I await a full armoury of answers from my political betters that I and any combatant can use to defend the arguments. Once we are equipped with that I feel many a doubter will soon start to disengage from the faux economic arguments and perhaps start to debate a little more confidently with us in Scotland going it alone.

  22. arthur thomson says:

    Grizzle McPuss, I like your reasoning and I agree it has to be a strand of the approach to the next referendum. However, I think we make a mistake if we imagine that rational thought alone will win through. We need to do as you say but we need also to understand that this will only show that we have a rational perspective.

    What operates right now in our daily lives is a system which, through the media, presents irrational thought as rational thought eg a largely uninformed, poorly educated population have been deceived into thinking that the impoverishment of a large section of the population – euphemistically referred to as ‘austerity’ – is a rational thing to do. People have been literally brainwashed into suspending belief in their own critical faculties. People have had their self-confidence systematically undermined.

    We have to systematically reverse that process and that is what is happening at the moment thanks to the work of the Dug, Wings, Bella, the 56, SNP and the Scottish Government etc.

    The work you are promoting needs to be done primarily to show people that the movement for independence is pragmatic as well as emotional. But we can never prove to people that they will forever be economically better off in an independent Scotland. We can’t offer utopia.

    We can prove by our actions between now and the referendum that the citizens of Scotland have the ability needed to govern their own country, that we have the talent, the inegenuity and the will to create a ‘good enough’ Scotland for all its people by contrast with the neglect that has afflicted Scotland for 300 years. We have to enable people who have not dared to hope to see that they can believe in themselves, set aside their fears and create a better life for themselves and their family. We can do that if we just keep going and keep working at it.

  23. Guga says:

    David Camoron and his ilk prattle on about “The Constitution”. However, they conveniently forget that neither the so-called UK, nor Scotland, has a constitution. Of course, Camoron and the like try getting around this incovenient fact by saying that it is an “unwritten Constitution”; which is utter garbage. What they actually mean is that because their “Unwritten Constitution” has no legal status, it can mean whatever they want it to mean.

    Camoron, and the rest of the English parliament also claim to have total sovereignity over the so-called UK. They may have sovereignity over England but this is not the case with Scotland. In Scotland the people are sovereign, a fact which was acknowledged by Lord Cooper as Lord President at the Court of Session in 1953 when he stated that the supreme authority in Scotland is the Scottish people, and that “The unlimited sovereignty of Parliament has no counterpart in Scottish Constitutional Law”.

    As to the question of self-determination, Camoron, in accordance with international law, has no authority to attempt to block the self-determination of the Scottish people. The principle of self-determination is guaranteed by, among other things, Article 1 (2) of the UN Charter and by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The so-called UK is a signatory to both the UN Charter and the Covenant. They fail to realise that the whole structure and integrity of their government collapses if they attempt to ignore international law.

    We know, of course, that the English government, especially that presided over by Bliar and his cabinet, regularly breached international law, which is why they are all war criminals. Moreover, Camoron and his cabinet are in the same boat with their illegal wars in Afghanistan, Libya and now Syria. They brand the referendum in Crimea as an annexation by Russia, which is was not, but support the overthrow of a legal (if corrupt) government in Ukraine by supporting, financing and arming Nazis and neo-Nazis like Pravy Sektor and Svoboda.

    This type of behaviour by the English government is all the more reason for the people of Scotland to regain its independence and to break the shackles of the English with their House of Common Thieves and their war criminal

  24. mealer says:

    Good article and one which I broadly agree with.

  25. […] Wee Ginger Dug notes the democratic deficit, even though he also seems to be of the opinion the time isn’t right: […]

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