No Justification? Aye Right!

A guest post by Samuel Miller

There’s an itch I’ve been meaning to scratch since I first heard the phrase ‘there is no justification’ malarkey for another referendum on Scottish independence and its about time sandpaper was applied to that itch.

“As far as I’m concerned the Scottish people had their vote, and a very clear message came through, both the United Kingdom and the Scottish Government said they would abide by that.” Theresa May, July 2016

The Scottish Conservative leader insisted there are no “so-called indyref triggers that justify another referendum”, as her party’s manifesto vowed to support a “fresh positive drive to promote the Union”. Ruth Davidson, April 2016

“Now is the time for calm heads. Labour’s manifesto ruled out a second referendum in the lifetime of this Parliament and we won’t be changing our minds any time soon.” Kezia Dugdale, June 2016

I’d thought of looking for something Willie Rennie or Alistair Carmichael might have said, but frankly life is too short to deal with anything either he or Scotland’s most infamous fibber might have to say on the current crisis, pro or contra. Their encouragement along with the contributions of the more relevant parties above, are kinda why we’re here enjoying all this better togetherness currently.

So when is it justified then? I mean that’s the first question that pops into my mind. Just what would or could possibly justify a referendum on Scottish independence in the minds of Westminster leadership or Scottish branch office leadership? The answer is apparently – Nothing.

There appears to be no argument, no circumstance, no hardship, no democratic deficit, no catastrophic failure of government or constitution, no need great enough within Scotland’s population which would motivate or move their support toward an independence ballot. Why, you might ask? Well, basically any number of reasons in my opinion. Most importantly though, they appear fully invested and committed to their party ideologies and decades of party narrative. Who knew?

I’d hazard that some may actually BELIEVE in the UK experiment and the established order in society. Some may wholeheartedly accept the UK parliament’s concept of ‘British identity’. It’s also entirely possible that some simply may be far more mercenary in their world view. Political machines with only a limited sense of identity, but a whole lot of investment in their career trajectory. Believers in a UK where the parochial ‘region’ of Scotland is a starting point, but the end game is in big lights elsewhere. Come hell or high water though, these politicians and their parties believe in a crown and parliamentary sovereignty. Worse in the case of the branch office management. The local franchise put the parliamentary sovereignty of the UK before the accepted popular sovereignty of Scottish tradition. Essentially they like the idea of the public servants telling you how the country will be run and only require your input once every five years to sign the cheques they write in your name. No change there then for the Conservatives, but as for signatories of the Claim of Right such as Labour or the Libdems?

Here’s the thing though. We live in a modern, western parliamentary democracy (such as it is) and as in any democracy, there exists a covenant between government and the people in its care. A party of government or system of government makes promises, pledges, assurances n’ such through manifestos. The electorate then vote yea or nay on these statements and the party/government of the day gets the opportunity to deliver. If said government does not live up to, or deliver on, the majority of those pledges then there are inevitable electoral ‘consequences’ for such failure. We do live in a democracy, yes? People do have an inalienable right in our democracy to expect that their governments honour their commitments to and their covenant with the population, right?

Now, you kind of expect that no party of government will live up to 100% of its pledges and assurances in any given election. Some will be pie in the sky wishful thinking, or simply poorly thought out and unworkable. Some will be overtaken by events and circumstances beyond the control of the party/government in question. Most, if the party are any good at the day job of governing (and they have any sense), will be kept. Such is day to day politics. How and ever we’re not talking about an election here. We’re talking about referendums past and future. We’re talking about systems of government and their covenant with their population, ALL of their population. So what should happen when there is a catastrophic failure to deliver on core pledges and assurances made to your population during a referendum?

Do the electorate say ‘c’est la vie’ and walk away? Do they say, ah well, their heart was in the right place, let’s just forgive and forget? Or and this may be more likely, do the electorate look for redress, for answers from those who led them to believe one thing, but delivered a significantly different other?

Maybe just me, but I reckon people do have somewhere to go with that last viewpoint.

The list of those failures to deliver on pledges and assurances made during Scotland’s 2014 indyref are pretty damning by this point and have been highlighted or catalogued extensively by this site and others over the past twenty three months, so I’m not going to bore people to death going over what is already common knowledge. I am however going to drop in a couple of links to what I consider some ‘must have’ reading on the subject and let the reader decide for themselves.

Business for Scotland

Wee Black Book

Almost two years ago 55% of our electorate voted to retain a political union based on a particular vision. Is there a significant percentage of that vote who believe in the UK experiment right or wrong? Who have no problem with their victory of two years ago? Absolutely, no question and that is, of course, their right.

How and ever, I don’t believe for an instant that 55% of the electorate were deceiving each other or anyone else on the future of the UK. I’d reckon that for many, their beliefs, their uncertainties and their votes were exploited and abused by those who led and backed that winning campaign. The UK they voted for, the Better Togetherness they helped campaign for, simply has not materialized. The state construct they helped to maintain and its system of party politics, is solely responsible for the current constitutional and economic crisis. It is also then surely responsible for the other pledges and assurances it made to Scotland’s population back in September 2014.

At the end of the day this isn’t wordplay in some political debate, a joust where clever semantics and faddling with figures scores points and wins a prize against an opponent.  Oh and no, it’s not acceptable for some rent a quote MP to say ‘ well that’s politics’ either. This is our lives, our futures, our most basic rights and freedoms we’re talking about here and no policy wonk, no MP, no public SERVANT has the right to say to the population ‘thus far shall you come, but no farther’. If anyone sets the boundaries of a nation and its governance, it is the population of that nation and it is their right to hold their representatives and public servants to account. It is their right to hold them… to their word.

THAT, you would think, should be justification enough.

Audio version of this blog article, courtesy of @lumi_1984

27 comments on “No Justification? Aye Right!

  1. […] Wee Ginger Dug No Justification? Aye Right! […]

  2. shemorvena says:

    Well said Samuel. I am sickened by the
    Iies of the Unionist parties and their subsequent belittling and patronising disdain of Scottish folk. Independence cannot come soon enough as Fracking is the next ‘must have’ rape the Tories intend to impose. A step too far!

  3. says:

    Reblogged this on Bampots Utd.

  4. diabloandco says:

    I’m glad you didn’t bother looking for quotes from the liar and the bus conductor – neither would have been credible ,more likely laughable.

    I am constantly saddened by the media of Scotland and its party press releases .

    Is there a journalist worthy of the name in Scotland? One who asks awkward questions and queries statements?

  5. David Agnew says:

    Darling claimed that the only reason that Scotland could take part in British culture or sport, was that Britain was there to show us how. George Robertson waxing lyrical about Scotland having no language, culture or history to call its own. Osbornes sermon on the pound where a 300 year old union was reduced to an act of charity to a miserable race of underachievers known as Scots. That was the moment that Scotland was reduced to the status of a beggar in the eyes of England and the rest of the rUK and indeed the world. That was the achievement of Better together. they made it all but impossible for themselves and indeed the rest of Scotland to “stand tall” within the UK. Indeed, our very sense of Britishness is bought and paid for. The GERS report proves that and its that sense of dependency that makes the Proud Scot..But voter extremely happy.

    Every argument they make, or pie chart they show is to prove to us, how shite it is to be Scottish. This is what makes them happy to be British. Its like a magic cloak that lets them hide how truly wretched it is to be a Scot.

    We lost to these people. We can’t lose again.

  6. WRH2 says:

    Well said Macart. What I’m also fed up with is the constant use of “so-called” trigger for indyref2. Apart from being meaningless from overuse, if I or anyone else decide that the economic and democratic consequences of the EU referendum are enough to be considered good reason for indyref2 there’s nothing “so-called” about it. I find this condescending nonsense very grating.

  7. Illy says:

    Something I think needs saying, is that, as far as Westminster is concerned, they’ve never been in a situation where they actually have to follow through on their promises.

    The SNP in Hollyrood is showing them up for their inability to do what they said they’d do, and that’s almost more scary for them than the concept of losing Scotland.

  8. Pipe Major Robert McDonald says:

    Superb last paragraph Samuel. Powerful stuff.Thanks.

  9. Thepnr says:

    Back on the 19th September 2014 I really believed that my dream of Independence was over, at least in my lifetime. It would surely be decades before another opportunity came around and there was no possibility of me being around to see that second chance.

    Yet here we are less than 2 years later almost certainly looking at another one more opportunity for Scotland to achieve Independence.

    I never believed that the victors could have made such a hash of their victory in that referendum, there have been more triggers for another go at it than could possibly have been imagined, what previously was thought of as normal and the way things are in the UK has been turned upside down by a grassroots movement that said Yes to change, that we can do better.

    The government now is in crisis and so too is the media, people have found their voice and are not afraid of letting it be heard, for too long there was an acceptance of government policies that rejected the good for the majority in favour of the minority. A powerful minority educated in our elitist schools and universities who absolutely believe in their entitlement.

    Those days now look to be coming to an end and I sense the panic and smell their fear, taking back what is rightfully ours is within our grasp and we cannot buckle now. Stand strong for that final push, it is in all our interests if we want a better, fairer and more decent society.

  10. I now refer to Willie Rennie as the Swineherd.

  11. Selkie says:

    The UK doesn’t DESERVE Scotland!

  12. ROBBO says:

    I have a problem. We can and often do wholeheartedly express our support for these views but the few (and I mean few) who bothered to turn out to spread the Indy message last time door to door there was little support on the ground and I’m not sure if there is yet. With Westminster, the MSM, Unionist Politicians from the other parties lining up already on one side to defend the Union we need far more educated (and I mean by that people who are well versed in these matters) to put up a strong case to doubters on the door step- There is simply no other way. The MSM will not allow SNP enough air time to put across the message and it is up to these volunteers to get this message across. When the time comes we need feet on the ground folks.

    • Absolutely Robbo I came late to the last ref campaign did some door chapping lots of leaflets and the street stalls .I firmly believe direct engagement will be the big factor in persuading people to finally believe Scotland can be independent .

  13. Macart says:

    If ever there was a case of QED, this is it.

  14. Mirl says:

    Samuel, thanks for this. Could you say more about the Claim of Right? I know that it originated in the 1689 Act passed by the Scottish Parliament as a means of deposing James VII. But sounds as if there is a modern version? A link to more info would be very useful.

  15. FM says:

    Outstanding! Liked the writing style. Many thanks.

  16. Robert Graham says:

    Excellent first post from a very able sub in my opinion.
    I consider the result of September 2014 to be null and void as nothing promised has so far been delivered and the SNP should have stated at the time if all promised was not speedily delivered they would immediately call a second vote , the NO thanks side won by lies and a definite fraud so invalidates the result.

  17. Dan Huil says:

    Good article.

    Just when I think I can’t be more disgusted by sickening scum spouted by britnat politcians and the Cringeratti of the media they invariably come out with something new to do down Scotland.Thank god for sites like this one.

  18. arthur thomson says:

    Ultimately, independence is going to depend on a sufficient number of individual Scots reaching the conclusion that it is the only practicable course of action. That is, of course, patently obvious but I think that perhaps we get unnecessarily disheartened by the horrors perpetrated by Westminster and its chums. We, the increasing number of Scots (regardless of origin) who support independence, would not be swayed from independence by the malign influence of others. In fact, I think most of us, however long ago it was that we reached our conclusion, probably concluded the necessity for independence precisely because of that malign influence. We understood that we, our offspring and those who came before us were treated with contempt and made the decision to face up those who would use and abuse us rather than submit numbly to their contempt.

    The circumstances of today are, I believe, much more positive than ever before. Being committed to independence is no longer a minority viewpoint. We have a Scottish Government that is evidently more competent than any before it and that is improving the conditions of life in Scotland – contrasting with the shambles that is emerging in rUK. We have internet communication. We have swept away two levels of Slab politicians and have the opportunity to remove some more at the local elections come May.

    Of course we are confronted by a malignant media that drenches Scotland with effluence that they are convinced is equal to influence but I believe that they are failing abjectly in their attempts to undermine us. On the contrary I see them as one of our greatest assets – not as great as a genuinely objective media would be but that is not an alternative that is open to us..I think the trick for us is to embrace their folly. Keep telling them that it isn’t working, in the hope that they will keep raising the volume – just like Slab – until no-one with any sense is listening to them – just like Slab.

    I don’t believe we can ‘persuade’ those who don’t want to be persuaded. They will readily swallow the effluent put out by the media and any attempts to convince them otherwise will be met with anger. Instead, I think we have to have the confidence now to be firmly assertive (not aggressive) towards those who are antagonistic. To those who are open to discussion we need to politely make it clear that we are people who reject the cringe and the lies that are peddled about us and our country. We need to have a guid conceit of ourselves. In response to rubbish about GERS etc. we need to develop the stock response ‘they would say that wouldn’t they’. The SNP leadership have to engage effectively in discussions of economics for obvious reasons. Punters on the ground don’t. What we have to engage in is making it clear that we aren’t swallowing any of the crap put out by the unionists, that we are never going away and that there is safety in our ranks for anyone who has had enough of being put upon..

  19. Saor Alba says:

    The Iron Lady herself, Margaret Hatchet said that Scottish Independence would be justified when we got a majority of Independence MP’s from Scotland in Wastemonster. Well, I think that 56 out of 59 is a majority. Another promise not kept and ignored.

    Unionism is vile, evil and corrupt in my opinion. That’s as positive as I can be about it.

  20. Maria F says:

    Thank you Mr Miller for this article.

    I also find infuriating those comments. It is the sense of entitlement that they appear to believe they have and the lecturing tone adopted, what I find most offensive.

    Ms May’s comment
    “As far as I’m concerned the Scottish people had their vote, and a very clear message came through, both the United Kingdom and the Scottish Government said they would abide by that.”

    This comment comes from the person who has just became PM of the UK through the back door, that is, without having to prove her popularity on a general election or even an election by the members of her political party. The Scottish people may have had a vote in indiref1, but certainly didn’t have a vote on her.

    And if this was not enough, Ms May’s political party is in power after achieving the shameful representation of just one MP from Scotland. The truth is that the Conservative party may have a majority of MPs in Westminster but the electorate in Scotland has not given them mandate to govern Scotland.

    The UK government may have said they would abide by the ‘vote’, but they certainly devalued that vote with EVEL, the delivery of a vow that is not even a shadow of the devo max that was insinuated and the ignorance of the position of Scotland with respect to Trident or the Syrian war.

    I think these interesting facts are what should Ms May be as far as to be concerned about and leave the matters of independence of Scotland to those that are lawfully concerned by it: that is the people living in Scotland and the people elected by the Scottish electorate to represent them. It is for the people of Scotland to decide if they want another indiref vote, two or or one hundred more.

    Ms Davidson’s comment
    there are no “so-called indyref triggers that justify another referendum”

    I believe it is not for Ms Davidson to decide if there are indiref triggers or not: This is for the electorate of Scotland to decide. Among the Scottish electorate much more people voted for the SNP than they did for Davidson’s party, so her words are simply the representation of those that voted for her, not the majority of the Scottish electorate.

    Brexit changes everything and most importantly, destroys most of the pillars on what ‘better together’ stood. The Frigates and the HMRC jobs are just two examples. If Ms Davidson is not too shortsighted to see this, then she surely cannot have the arrogance of expecting the portion of the electorate that didn’t vote for her party to obediently close their eyes and put up with the crap her party at Westminster is sending our way.

    I however would kindly recommend to Ms Davidson that if she truly ‘cannot see the triggers’, she should better visit one of the reputable opticians around and get sorted asap: otherwise she may miss a bull(sht) or two racing our way from Westminster.

    Kezia’s comment
    “Now is the time for calm heads. Labour’s manifesto ruled out a second referendum in the lifetime of this Parliament and we won’t be changing our minds any time soon.” Kezia Dugdale, June 2016

    I do fully agree with Ms Dugdale: SHE indeed needs to maintain her head calm in order to work out what is it what she actually wants: a political party that works from Scotland and for the good of the people of Scotland or rather the wishful thinking of an electorate in Scotland that (in her mind) could still be available to pump up the numbers of her derelict party in London, even if the latter means dragging Scotland, the Scottish people and what is left of the Scottish Lab branch to hell.

    However, I don’t think she is in any position to lecture us and tell us that we have to keep cool heads when we are being bombarded with the crap that others are producing, and all because the unionist party she represents used any trick in the book to stop independence.

    As for her Labour’s precious manifesto, well, the fact that the Labour party has been demoted to being the third party at Holyrood perhaps could send Ms Dugdale’s cooling head a strong hint of how well received and regarded that manifesto has been.

    After breaking every promise made during the BT campaign, I think it is high times the unionist parties’ political representatives adopted a more humble and appropriate attitude to their current position and rather than spouting nonsense from their mouths, shut up for once and listen to what electorate actually wants. At the end of the day that is what they are elected to: to represent the electorate in Scotland and not the HQ of their parties in London.

  21. Excellent article as usual Sam and Marie F didn’t miss and hit the wall either.

    My feeling is that Trident being forced on an objecting Scotland would be the most important so-called trigger.

    Followed by Brexit and thirdly but no less relevant the broken Vow and promises from BT in 2014.

    The fact that all have come along like buses-nothing then all 3 come along at the same time is gotta be karma for Scotland’s Indy aspirations.

    Sound the alarm and let’s get this party started.

    Waitng too long could be far worse than going for it too late.

    No army can stop the march of an idea whose time has come.

    We need to go for it soon.

    Not long now.

  22. Oops ‘waiting too long could be far worse than going for it too early’.

    Wee correction 🤔

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