On the eve of the Tory party conference in the picturesque UKIP voting village of Frothing-at-the-Mouth, Theresa May has graced Scotland with a few words. Well one word really, repeated several times. And that word is NO. No, Scotland, you shouldn’t have another independence referendum, said Theresa. The question, according to Theresa, isn’t whether there could be another indyref, but whether there should be. And her response is overwhelmingly no.
It doesn’t matter what Westminster does to you, it doesn’t matter how you vote, you’ll do as Theresa tells you. Because you had an independence referendum a couple of years ago in which you agreed to hoist your bare Caledonian arse in the air and allow the Conservative to skelp it. It’s a bit much now complaining that it hurts. So just shut up and take your nasty medicine, and we’re not even going to pretend that it’s for your own good. It’s for the good for the Tory party, and you’re just going to have to take their cheek on the cheeks. The Tories will decide what sort of Brexit we’re going to get, and Scotland will just have to accept it. That’s how things work in this perfect partnership of nations where Scotland leads and doesn’t leave. Estonia and Malta have more influence over the sort of Brexit we’re going to get than Scotland does.
The fact of the matter is that Scotland has every right to revisit the vote of 2014 because of the change in circumstances delivered by the Unionist parties. Not one of the promises and commitments that Better Together made has been kept. Because when we had that vote in 2014 it was not a vote to concede forever. It was a vote to give Westminster one last chance to prove itself. And they’ve proven that they are duplicitous mendacious liars who wouldn’t recognise a commitment if Beyoncé put a ring on it for them. Apparently what happened in September 2014 was that the people who lost the referendum are expected to keep to what Alicsammin said during it, but the people who won it can blithely ignore everything said by everyone in the Better Together campaign.
Strictly speaking … which is a phrase that’s impossible to utter now without thinking about that dance show on the telly. And strictly speaking the only real question is “Why, Ed? Just why?” Because now I’ll never be able to look at a Labour politician without thinking of an inbred banjo player. Although to be fair when you look at the Holyrood front bench it’s always been hard not to think of that anyway. Ed Balls did a very good impression of an inbred banjo player who’d overdosed on an eccy, a political performance even more cringeworthy than George Galloway’s cat impression. Although still not quite as embarrassing or cringeworthy as Kezia Dugdale’s attempts to get to the end of an interview with Gordon Brewer. But I digress.
Anyway, strictly speaking Theresa has the power to block a second indendepence referedum, but she’s not going to do it. Doing so would be a political performance even more stupid than anything that Kezia Dugdale has ever done. That’s how stupid it would be. Strictly speaking Theresa also has the power to pass a law saying that anything that comes out of the mouth of Liam Fox is as big a pile of steaming dung as the product of a herd of elephants with diarrhoea. She’s not going to do that either, even though it’s far more true than the claim that Scotland has no justification in seeking to maintain its membership of the EU by means of a second indyref if that’s what it’s going to take.
The simple fact of the matter is that Westminster has already conceded that Holyrood has the right to decide it wants an independence referendum. We currently have a Holyrood where there is a pro-independence majority and a ruling party which said in its manifesto that it would consider the situation of a Scotland being taken out of the EU against its will as a trigger for another independence referendum. And the SNP was returned to government by the people of Scotland on that manifesto.
If there is a majority in Holyrood for a second independence referendum, then it would be a travesty of democracy for a Westminster government which has a single solitary stuffed toy of a representative from Scotland to block it. But travesties of democracy don’t really bother Westminster. The real reason Theresa May won’t block it is because it would spark off a constitutional crisis of Brexshit proportions, and we’ve already got one of those. It would make the difficult and tricky negotiations with the EU on Brexit even more difficult and tricky than they’re already going to be. And it would pretty much guarantee a majority for independence in Scotland. If Westminster concedes that realpolitik demands that it shouldn’t block a second independence referendum then it can also console itself that it has a chance of winning it. Blocking a second independence referendum only delays the inevitable, and when the referendum is finally held Westminster is certain to lose.
This is the same as what happened the last time. The last time the Unionist press united in its determination to assure us that Alicsammin didn’t really want an independence referendum, and that he wouldn’t really bring a bill forward for it in Holyrood. Then when he did they told us that Westminster would surely block it if he was daft enough to press ahead. And then Westminster bowed to the inevitable and conceded that attempting to block it would be foolish and self-defeating. We’re getting a repetition of the same tired old scare stories as the last time. But the difference is that this time we all know that the scare stories are just stories, and the threats are a bluff.
The Unionist establishment is already howling in fear and anger, because they know that a second independence referendum is unavoidable, and they know that they’re going to lose it, overwhelmingly.
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