A question of respect

Having won an EU referendum on the basis of preserving the absolute sovereignty of the Westminster Parliament, Brexiteers are now doing a happy dance at the news that MPs aren’t going to have a say on Brexit after all. Our entirely unelected Prime Minister has announced this week that she’s going to press the Brexit button without going to the bother of getting the consent of Parliament after all. According to legal advice, the referendum result is the only authority required.

A Scotland which voted to remain a member of the EU by a much larger margin than it voted to remain a part of the UK isn’t doing a happy dance because our MPs will have no opportunity to voice their protests or influence the Brexit negotiations, even though we’ve got a much better sense of rhythm than Nigel Farage. Although to be fair there are arthritic dads at weddings with more rhythm than Nigel. Scotland’s MPs will not be able to make Scotland’s case for remaining a part of the EU, nor to argue for the admittedly distant prospect of a Scotland that can remain a part of the EU while also remaining a part of the UK.

The reason for the announcement is to pull the rug out from under the Labour leadership contender Owen Thingummy who has been arguing that Brexit can be blocked by a vote in Westminster. With a tiny majority, the Conservatives can’t be certain that some of their more EU inclined MPs, and they do exist, might vote with the opposition or abstain.

So because of a short term party political difficulty, the arch-Unionist party has yet again grievously weakened the Union that they claim to defend. It’s all about short-termism and putting the interests of the party before the interests of the country with Westminster. It always is, it always has been. It was Cameron’s short-termism that got us all into this mess to begin with, and now May is repeating the same shoddy tricks. And this is the bunch of chancers who know nothing about Scotland and who care even less who tell us that they can govern Scotland better than people who live in this country and love it.

But we shouldn’t be too upset. In order to get Theresa May out of the short term difficulty that there’s a majority of pro-remain MPs in Westminster, our Tory masters have now established the principle that a referendum result is binding and cannot be contradicted by Westminster. They’ve also taken another step towards ruling out definitively any possibility that Scotland might be able to do the so-called reverse Greenland, a dance step requiring far more rhythm than Westminster possesses, and stay in the EU without a second independence referendum. All the Strictly Come Dancing appearances in the world by Labour politicians won’t teach them the deftness of foot they require to pull that one off.

May’s decision to go ahead with Brexit without bothering with a Parliamentary debate brings another Scottish independence referendum closer. Without any ability to argue for a special deal for Scotland allowing us to preserve our EU membership within the UK, the only way that we can remain an EU member is by becoming an independent country. And since the Tory government has just decided that the result of the EU referendum is binding and it doesn’t require parliamentary consent in order to go ahead with Brexit negotiations, then it’s going to be far more difficult for them to argue that negotiations following a Yes vote in a future Scottish referendum can be blocked by Westminster.

The Scottish Government’s long awaited Initiative for Independence is going to begin next week. Between now and sometime before the Brexit negotiations conclude, independence supporters from the SNP, the Greens, RISE, Labour supporters who are pro-indy, and non-party groups need to address the shortcomings in the previous campaign for independence, and build cross party support for a Scotland that decides its own place in the world.

Right now we’re in a phoney war. Brexit hasn’t started yet, and a second independence campaign hasn’t begun either. As the real consequences of Brexit begin to be realised, as businesses seek to relocate to EU countries, as agriculture and other sectors see the end of EU subsidies, it’s going to become easier to make an economic argument for an independent Scotland. That’s vital, because Better Together chose to fight the last independence campaign almost entirely on economic grounds. They did that because the political, cultural and social arguments for independence were unanswerable last time, and that’s even more the case now. There’s no longer a strong Labour party in Scotland that’s going to be able to do the Tories’ job for them and hide a reactionary and conservative union behind the fig leaves of promises of progressiveness. After they won the indyref in 2014 the fig leaves were dropped and we saw the pricks beneath.

Now it’s independence supporters who will be able to argue that it’s independence which will preserve and create jobs, it’s independence which provides security, and it’s remaining a part of the UK that will cause uncertainty and job losses. It’s independence which is the outward looking and internationalist choice, it’s remaining in the UK which is the narrow parochial nationalism. The arguments of the last independence referendum campaign will be stood on their head.

Meanwhile each and every promise and commitment which is made by the Unionist parties in the next referendum campaign can be countered by the simple statement – but you said that the last time and it turned out to be a lie. Preserving our EU membership? A lie. The most powerful devolved parliament in the world? A lie. Ship building on the Clyde? A lie. Scotland being a valued and respected part of the UK? A big fat ugly lie. The Unionists demand that the result of 2014 must be respected, but they demonstrate no respect for the people of Scotland.

The next independence referendum is going to be a stark choice between a progressive outward looking Scotland that wants maintain its connections with the rest of the world, and a reactionary Conservative party with minority support in this country which harks back to a nostalgic golden age of a Britain that never existed. We can have the fantasy of the Tories, or we can have a reality that we build for ourselves. That’s the choice that’s going to face Scotland. We can remain under the thumb of those who have no respect for us, or we can have the self-respect to do things for ourselves. If Scotland wants respect, we’re going to have to take it. That’s what the next referendum is really about. It’s a question of respect.

Audio link to this blog post, courtesy of @lumi_1984 https://soundcloud.com/occamshaver/a-question-of-respect-28th-august-2016

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25 comments on “A question of respect

  1. […] Wee Ginger Dug A question of respect […]

  2. Macart says:

    Does explain ‘GERSMAGGEDON’ still doing the rounds, even though the premise is the most complete load of bollox. Aye, apparently Scotland is an oil reliant economy running the most mahoosive deficit. Course the fact that the economy has suffered only a drop of less than 1% over the year where the oil price fell off a cliff and that the figures which form the basis of the GERS farago are sourced from the ONS and based on a model of Scotland’s economy as part of the union never bothers the usual suspects when they wax lyrical. Or indeed that GERS does NOT reflect or represent the financial status of an independent Scotland’s economy as run by a Scottish government in full control of all economic levers.

    Never occurs to the wee souls to reverse the question either, as in ‘wait now, if you lot are in charge of the economy, just why are these figures so bad? Didn’t you promise broad shooders in times of economic hardship or some such?’

    In short? Definitely getting a whiff of a very panicked look over here, not over there strategy. Brexit is looming and pooh is about to hit the fan big time on two fronts for the Westminster government. Time to unleash the meeja attack dogs on the northern barbarians…. again. (sigh)

  3. Davy says:

    No one is going to offer us independence, we have to take it.

    Remember those who stand in the role of the Nobles of yester-year are just as big a bunch of tractors and quizmasters as the Nobles of centaury’s back. Stabbing their country in the back to suit there own party needs is just second nature to them.

    Westminster will never give us respect, BUT WE CAN TAKE IT.

  4. Brian Powell says:

    Then there’s the press.
    The people’s paper, the daily record, is going to spend the next while saying the NHS is crap. Not that Brexit could bring about its collapse, not that Scots and people across the UK will be screwed by Brexit, but that the SNP is bad at running the NHS.

  5. Dan Huil says:

    Things are moving along nicely. May really thinks if she says no to IndyRef2 the people of Scotland will supinely obey. She hasn’t a clue about Scotland.

  6. Bill Dale says:

    Interesting precedent. The EU referendum is binding. That means that the result in Scotland, where all council areas voted to remain, can be considered binding. Ergo, when May triggers Brexit, then Scotland has the basis to declare the Union dissolved.

    I know, the more timid souls say that this is not democratic, we need a referendum, but we already had one where we had 62% to 38% in favour of remaining in the EU. Cut the Gordian knot, dissolve the Union, do not declare UDI, just dissolve it.

    Carpe diem!

  7. Veronique says:

    May knows that she probably wouldn’t win if she went for a parliamentary vote to initiate Art.50. So she won’t go down that route unless forced. I hope she is forced. The referendum is NOT binding but she wants to stay as PM.

    We need a comprehensive and rational set for us to demand independence before this Mayhem decides to invoke Art.50 without Parliamentary debate – that would see her in a minority. God damn. This requires tactics and strategies.

  8. Pat says:

    I thought she was hanging off from invoking artical 50 until after this court case where she might have no choice but put it to a parliamentary vote , saving her face and her Union in the process.

  9. Andy in Germany says:

    They really do make up the rules as they go along…
    My application for German naturalisation goes in tomorrow. Just in time by the looks of it…

    This could leave me in the ironic position of being an EU national and therefore technically allowed tolive in Scotland, when British people need a visa…

  10. 2p3rf3ct says:

    The fact that the MSM have taken up their stance, moved their main pieces to the table, and basically admitted there is little to argue over.

    GERS: a joke taken apart by a 10 year old.
    Oil: little effect when on the floor, amazing if up high.
    #bettertogether: who? What would the be, what could they say. Big beasts?
    Vow:Ha Ha Ha., EVEL: Natch.
    EU: Sorted.
    Trident: Theirs🙂

    I’m actually struggling to think how they can develop a case. Not how Yes can.

  11. Alex K says:

    I agree entirely with this but wonder how ti get past a biased medai that will ignore it all and peddle the unionist lies as fast and hard as they can.

  12. I struggle to add anything to this excellent piece, Paul.
    It is clear that you had the Full Scottish Breakfast every morning during your holidays, with thick stand-a-spoon-up-in-the-pot porridge as a starter.

    (as usual my typing accuracy deserted me momentarily. I accidentally typed ‘Fukk’, initially, and was tempted to leave it. Have my fingers had an attack of the Freuds ? There is no such thing as an ‘accidental’ slip of the tongue, or keyboard? Anyhoo.)

    Their tired old Project Fear lies and distortions won’t work this time. The dinosaurs have trundled off to reap their rewards from the Money Men and the Masters of the Universe.

    May and her husband are part of the London Oligarchy: Wealth money and power run the Tory Party , and the Red and Yellow Tory parties for that matter.

    Our banks will talk to their banks, then tell the politicians how they get round this pesky Brexit nonsense.
    The people decided, in England and Wales anyway. Aye,right.

    They are not going to let the 650 representatives of the people anywhere near this EU debacle. Unelected Lords, Bank Chiefs, senior Civil Servants, and the Queen will tell us what’s what from now on in.

    Scotland, to use the technical term, can go and fuck itself.

    We must take our Independence. It is not within the purview of 591 foreign MP#s to ‘grant’ us Self Determination.
    Mundell, Davidson, WATP Two Jobs Professor Tomkins, the eternally ruddy Jackson Carlaw, The Queen’s Eleven Murdo Fraser ( the scourge of the Selfies) or the Hounds of Hell, to ‘permit’ or bar Independence.
    We are taking our country back.
    Even when there is a resounding YES this time around, the Iron Heel Oligarchy may despatch an expedition Force North.under the command of Major General Johnson, to retake the colony for the Motherland.
    Time to set our fazers (?) to ‘paper cut’?

    Three points from the opening game of the new season, Paul. Go to the top of the table.
    A lot of words from someone with nothing to add to this insightful piece.

  13. From the get go.
    Scottish Pensioners: it should be shouted from the rooftops that they will still be guaranteed their State pension in full. It is a legal obligation by rUK to continue paying UK State pensions to those who contributed to the NI scheme. It must be repeated loudly, on TV Debates, billboards, ,paid space in the pages of the Union Dead Tree Scrolls.

    Your Pensions are safe, guaranteed, gilt edged. In fact as Scotland develops its own economy within the EU, and in fact UK State Pensions may be supplemented by a Scottish Top Up to reflect the more generous pensions paid within the EU. Think of the Silver UK Swallows in Spain France and Italy. They still get paid their UK Pensions. And so on. Every day, every week, until Freedom Day.

    Passports: There will be a Scottish EU Passport for all those eligible. Scottish citizens who wish to retain their former UK Passport can do so, and indeed can have ‘dual nationality’, being entitled to both Scottish and UK Passports.(three, if they have an irish grandparent.

    Trade with rUK will not cease, nor will it be subject to prohibitive tariffs. It was and remains an absolute nonsense that England would cease to trade with an Independent Scotland, yet idiots like Davidson and Rowley are afforded uncritical columns and air time to spout this pusillanimous crap.
    From where do they get the 64% figure ?
    the rUK and May’s Three Brexiteers,Joihnson, Fox, and Davis, will not be allowed to jeopardise rUK exports and start a trade war by imposing trade tariffs on EU goods, and we’ll be part of the EU, given a fair wind.
    Ireland’s in the same boat as we are. , or rather will be, when England takes its bat and ball back.

    The Scottish Defence Force:-Compare and contrast with the Defence Forces of similar sized nations like Norway Sweden Denmark Ireland, which strangely enough have fended off invasions from Russia and North Korea.. Emphasis may be given to the overall £1 billion ‘savings in a dedicated Scottish Force.
    Set out a feasible Transitional Hand over Programme. Ten years,say, for complete removal and set in stone proposals for Faslane’ s Defence role in Independent Scotland, including numbers, workers, MOD staff, mariners and so on.
    The case for ‘continuer state’ status within the EU. This is a biggy. As Brexit negotiations get underway, the Scottish Government must be seen to be holding parallel Remain talks with the EU, and Brussels be seen to be treating Scotland’s bid seriously.
    I doubt that many, if any of the 27 will want to do rUK any favours like last time, by avoiding the issue of Scotland’s membership following a Yes vote.
    The Currency.
    Feck the pound. We form our own Scottish bank, and our own currency. I’d imagine that this act of defiance given all the ‘you can’t keep the pound’ nonsense from Osborne Balls and Danny Boy last time, which of course was a big fib, would turn the tables. It would cost the Asdas, Tescos, and Barrhead Travels of this world a fortune to trade in two currencies.
    Nor would they be able to pass on the costs to us. We’d just patronise Aldi or Lidl. Many are doing that now.
    Share of the assets for share of the debts. Get it out into the public domain. Embassies, BoE assets. and so on. WE own and will ‘repatriate’ 8/9% of all the UK’s assets throughout the world.
    The oil…
    I’ll stop now. The list is not exhaustive, as they say. In fact the list is endless. Come Independence we hardly start with the proverbial ‘blank bit of paper’, white or otherwise. We a First World economically sound, tremendously wealthy country.
    But this time we must get our retaliation in first.

  14. Every move you make, BBC.
    I just dipped into BBC News Where You Are’s 2 1/2 minutes during the 3 1/4 hours Breakfast TV hegemony from Salford.
    Edinburgh University scientists have developed a technique to detect molecules in spinal fluid, that detect early signs of Parkinson’s disease, therefore offering some hope of early treatment for sufferers.
    The story is repeated in the .national’ News Where They Are, but ‘Edinburgh University’. is deleted from the Brit script. Not on ‘Scotland is shite’ message is it? Scotland is now part of ‘Britain once more.
    Also the ‘British’ Medical Association reports that ‘British’ GP’s are being forced to deal with complicated appointments, seeing 60 patients a day. If Murray loses the US Open, then will he be ‘Scottish’ again?
    Where’s Eleanor Bradford when you need her?
    I forgot, she’s now something in communications in a British Health Board in North East Northern Britain, I believe.
    BBC TV ‘News Where You Are’ s ‘ 2 1/2 minutes did not have time , as their radio version did, to
    anguish over the sharp decline in numbers of the small tortoiseshell butterfly population this summer.
    Numbers have dropped by 73%. Had me reaching for my inhaler that shocking fact.
    Various theories were mooted. Wet windy winters, mould (?), lack of high pollen plants, pesticides, Nicola Sturgeon, (couldn’t resist it), and so on.
    I know what’s happened to the missing 73%. They’ve all effed off to Ireland and France following the Brexit vote.
    Every breath you take, BBC Propag Team.
    WE have scientists up here too, and they are clever wee buggers.
    We also have a state funded Scottish Health Service, which won’t end up in the Private Hands of Owen Smith’s, and Ed Balls privateer pals.

  15. Jan Cowan says:

    Thoroughly enjoyed your comments, Jack, though I too have noticed the gradual use of “Britain” in place of “Scotland” on BBC radio. But they’re too late. As Paul says, Better Together arguments have been destroyed completely. This time we win hands down.

  16. mogabee says:

    Surely, if May decides not to allow the MP’s a chance to debate and discuss “Brexit” we are now living in an absolute dictatorship?🙂

  17. Macart says:

    Oh you need to see this to believe it.


    • RabMacPhoto says:

      I did rather well, I think, getting almost half way through before throwing the phone down in disgust.

      Who the f*ck is he trying to kid (apart from himself of course, thinking anything he has to say is of any relevance)?

  18. Jan Cowan says:

    Sam, the man is a comedian.

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