Independence means independence

I’m not about to give a running commentary on what independence will mean, but let me be absolutely clear, independence means independence. We’re going to achieve an independence that will be a bespoke deal for the people of Scotland, not an off the shelf independence which might suit some nations which are not as great as ours. We have an ambitious vision for a Scotland which achieves a saltire style blue and white independence that’s in the interests of the whole country. A patriotic independence in which the whole country can pull together towards a glorious future in which we take back control. Make no mistake, we’re engaged in a historic process.

That’s the kind of meaningless verbiage we’d be getting if Theresa May was the leader of the SNP and was the Scottish Furst Meenister. A shapeless planless pitch which substitutes a content-free waffle for anything which approaches a route map for getting from A to B, or any explanation of what B actually consists of and why we should get there. But Theresa May isn’t the Furst Meenister, that would be Nicola Sturgeon, and she’s a very different kind of politician. She’s got a plan. It’s just that her plan is one that the Unionist media doesn’t like very much. Because it’s a plan to gain independence for Scotland, and a plan about what Scotland can do with that independence once it’s been achieved.

I was out yesterday evening, but got home just in time to see a pair of London based media commentators on Sky News press review metrosplaining Nicola Sturgeon’s supposed decision to give up on the entire idea of Scottish independence. Because when the Furst Meenister sets out exactly what she’s been saying since the very beginning, that she expects the British government to protect and defend the interests of Scotland within the EU and ensure our continuing membership of the single market with all that entails, this all of a sudden becomes an announcement that she doesn’t want independence after all.

There’s no demand in Scotland for independence, said the meedjasplainers whose experience of Scotland is limited to traipsing from one concert venue to another for a week or so during the Embra festival. But they did manage to read some headlines in the Telegraph and Severin’s reportage in the Guardian, so they’ve got their fingers on the pulse of the corpse of Unionism. I’m so glad they’ve cleared up that troubling issue of another referendum for us. And there was me thinking that ordinary Scottish people understand Scottish politics better than the metrocommentariat. How mad is that eh?

Despite the headlines in a Unionist media that’s desperate to hear what it wants to hear, absolutely nothing has changed since the day before yesterday, before Nicola had her wee conversation in the BBC Radio Scotlandshire studio. Scotland remains as much on course for a second independence referendum now as it was earlier this week, despite all the fond hopes of posh pundits. This is after all the same media that wants us to believe that the SNP doesn’t really want a independence.

That’s the same SNP that the same Unionist establishment would have us believe is entirely motivated by an atavistic hatred of England and the English. Although when those asserting this are asked for evidence of their claims they can only prove their case by insisting that words mean different things to what everyone else understands them to mean. You know, like when an independence supporter complains about the Westminster parliament, this is really a racist attack on the entire English population. Or when an independence supporter expresses support for the Gaelic language this becomes a coded instruction to take a machete to English monoglots. So when these people tell us that Nicola Sturgeon has given up on the idea of independence, we need to take it with a mine’s worth of salt. Oh God, I said “these people” and that is probably a coded racist slur against the English. I’ll go and flagellate myself with a copy of the Daily Mail just as soon as I’ve finished writing this diatribe.

The line taken by the Scottish government has always been that taking Scotland out of the EU and removing the rights and benefits that residents of Scotland – both UK and EU citizens – enjoy as a result of our EU membership would be a cause for a second independence referendum. In her interview on Friday what the Furst Meenister said was that if that scenario can be avoided, then there won’t be a second independence referendum because then there will be no cause for one. That’s exactly what she’s been saying all along.

The problem for the Unionists who claim that Nicola is backtracking is that she’s batted the ball very firmly back into their court. What she really did in her interview was to make it clear that the Scottish government is prepared to be reasonable, flexible and is open to sensible negotiations in order to protect the interests of the majority in Scotland who voted to remain a part of the EU. Nae other bugger is standing up for the interests of the remainers. If the Tory government refuses to play ball, which is as much of a certainty as Ruth Davidson passing by a tank and climbing on it for a photo-op, then the justification for a second independence referendum comes very clearly from the failure of May’s government to listen to Scotland. It means that after receiving a litany of rebuffs from recalcitrant reactionaries in Westminster, the Scottish government can go to the Scottish people and tell them in all honesty that there is no other option but a second independence referendum.

It’s not a Union if one important partner in that Union isn’t listened to. It’s not a Union if one important partner in that Union gets ordered what to do. It’s not a Union if one important partner in that Union has made repeated and reasonable attempts to negotiate and reach a mutually acceptable compromise but has been consistently ignored and insulted and treated like a child. So when a second independence referendum is called, it will be obvious to one and all that the only way in which Scotland’s voice can be heard, the only way in which Scotland’s wishes will be respected, will be for Scotland to stand as an independent nation. Because if Westminster refuses to allow Scotland to choose its own destiny, then Scotland will make its choices for itself. Theresa May will have no one to blame but herself, and no amount of her meaningless waffle will change it.

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23 comments on “Independence means independence

  1. punklin says:

    Perzactly, Paul.

    “They’ve got their fingers on the pulse of the corpse of unionism.” Or, to paraphrase the late great Groucho Marx, ‘either this union is dead or my watch has stopped!’

    “I’ll go and flagellate myself with a copy of the Daily Mail.” Wouldn’t you prefer, to paraphrase the late great Victoria Wood, to ‘beat yourself on the bottom with the Women’s Weekly?’

    😀

  2. Macart says:

    I don’t think the poor dears see what is right in front of their face. They’re so invested in looking for complex strategy, double speak and intrigue they’ve totally missed the most obvious conclusion.

    Sometimes what you see is what you get. 🙂

    Both the SNP government and the YES movement learned a long time ago that you don’t win independence by practising politics in the Westminster fashion. You win independence by allowing Westminster to be Westminster. All you need do is follow, to the absolute letter, your end of a bargain. The central government establishment and its inherent nature will do the rest.

    To put it another way. Nicola Sturgeon, the SNP Scottish government and the greater and wider YES movement have NOT broken their word. All of us have abided by the decision taken in September 2014.

    Agree with it? NO.

    Get back in our box? You wish.

    But live with it we have and for why? Because this is a democracy and that means we get to hold different views and argue our corner. It means when events occur and circumstances change, we get to revisit past decisions and reconsider positions in light of new evidence.

    The evidence to date is that since 2014 both HMG and Better Together have NOT lived up to their end of a bargain struck with the Scottish electorate. They’ve broken every pledge, reneged on every assurance given and finally have threatened the removal of 40 years of accrued EU rights, the over ruling of Scottish law and the complete dismissal of Scottish sovereignty which we were led to believe was only on loan to the parliament of the UK as part of our ‘partnership’. We were categorically assured that only by voting NO in 2014 could our continued membership of the EU be guaranteed. That was the deal, yes?

    Yet we are continually reminded to respect the result of one referendum whilst being told to ignore the result of another. All the first Minister has done to this point which holds the deceitful and disingenuous nature of the Westminster system to account is attempt to ‘respect’ and abide by the wishes of the electorate in both referendum results. A board of advisors was formed in the wake of the brexit result. Their remit to explore the routes by which BOTH unions could be retained. They came to a conclusion and a proposal was formed based on those conclusions. This proposal, a possible path to retain both unions, was presented to the UK Prime Minister and as it stands, has been duly binned out of hand/taken under advisement. Ms May might wish to revisit that decision in due course, but if not? That would be her choice, not ours.

    So the question is. When do you think Westminster should be held to account for a promise not merely broken, but shattered beyond redemption?

  3. Dan Huil says:

    Aye, it seems britnats desperately hope if they shout loud enough – as examplified by yesterday’s hilarious hysteria – they will be believed by the electorate in Scotland. Only their friends in the bbc believe it. Meanwhile time is running out for May and this so-called united kingdom.

  4. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    Nicola is backing May into a cul de sac which is narrowing rapidly between a soft Brexit SNP hard place and a hard Brexit of the fruitbatshitcrazy loonies in her cabinet.

    She is now serving her notice.

    Next

  5. The Prime Minister, and Westminster, by themselves, won’t stop Scotland becoming an independent country, but the grey and dark forces they conspire with just might.
    I refer of course to the M.S.M, led by our arch enemy, the B.B.C, ably assisted by the Security Services.
    If the U.K establishment doesn’t want something to happen, then they will move heaven and earth to make sure it doesn’t happen. And it’s patently obvious they don’t want Scotland to be an independent country.
    We are all aware it’s our wealth that they are determined to hold on to, and we are in for one heck of a fight to try to prise ourselves from their grasp.
    I had a false dawn on the 18th, September, 2014, mainly because of us doing so well in our constituency, and indeed our region,that I went to the count full of optimism that the country had voted Yes. Well, I don’t want that disappointment again, so I trust Nicola to call Indyref2 when the time is right, but it’s going to take a huge effort on our part to make sure this time we get the result we want, because make no mistake, the forces ranged against us are powerful indeed.

  6. If Brexit hadn’t happened and accelerated revisiting the Self Determination option, I have no doubt at all that 5 years of Blue Tory Ultra Right Wing neo liberal policies, the continuing sell off of public assets , the erosion of public services through austerity cuts and privatisation, and the ever widening gulf between Ruth Davidson’s Haves, and the rest of us the Have Nots who will have even less than ‘Not’ by 2020, would trigger the ‘material change’ needed for Scots to demand another Referendum by then.
    Dugdale Rennie and Davidson and the bought and paid for Unionist Propaganda Machine now know that Independence is inevitable.
    I will brook no argument that because ‘the UK’ voted to Leave, that I am to be dragged out of the EU against my wishes and the democratic will of my fellow citizens.
    Of course, May will reject NS’ Plan for Scotland in the EU.
    Hence the hysteria and frankly risible nonsense being spouted by the hacks this week.
    They know that May will barge ahead with the Blue Tory UKIP Brexit plan, which is no plan at all. Scotland does not come into it.
    I fear that there is an unsuspecting ungulate in a grazing meadow somewhere,minding its own business, happy with its lot,chewing the cud and enjoying the unseasonably mild weather, a ruminating ruminant, like the scarecrow, displaying outstanding work in its own field.
    Any minute now a gaggle of snappers, cameramen and hacks will emerge from the hedgerows, and Ruth will be lowered on to the poor unsuspecting coo, to grin chubbily and cheekily into the snapping and whirling lenses.
    Next week her baw face will be everywhere.
    Ruth Davidson Saviour of the Union. or..the beast with two backs, and faces.
    Remain! Leave! Soft Brexit Hard Brexit Red White and Blue Brexit.
    SNP Bad anyroads!
    The madness unfolds. All we have to do is sit and wait a wee while longer.
    The UK is finished.

  7. Bill McDermott says:

    Where did I read the other day- I think it was on Bella- that it would be a mistake to go for Independence as a last resort. What was being implied was that Independence should be a positive thing and not arising just because we have run out of options.

    I say, for those of us keen on Independence, we will take it in any form. For those who are swithering on the margins and have previously been soft ‘Nos’, anything to convince them that Westminster doesn’t take us seriously is surely ‘fair dos’

    For those like Alex Neil and Gordon Wilson who seem to be crying caution, I say go back to your starting point which is that nobody is better at governing ourselves than our own politicians in Edinburgh. I realise that we still have the problem of the media and especially the BBC, but the Westminster government just disregarding Scotland’s vote on the EU is the clincher.

    It is the democratic deficit writ large.

    • Illy says:

      Bella’s a bit insane in general, I find.

      • Alasdair Macdonald. says:

        A pretty sweeping and divisive statement, Illy. You are generalising from particulars, with which you disagree. There is much on Bella Caledonia which is very good.
        The key issue is independence. The political spectrum of supporters of independence is pretty wide, but the unifying aim is for Scotland to become an independent country. Once independence has been achieved, then the plurality of politics can emerge.
        For example, I am a republican, but, at this stage I am not going to fall out with a supporter of independence who wishes to retain the monarchy. That can be debated post independence.
        There is much which Michael Fry espouses with which I disagree, such as his most recent article in the National. However, he is a fine writer, he expresses himself clearly and succinctly, and he makes his case pretty robustly. By engaging with his arguments, we strengthen the general pro independence case and develop cogent responses to the counterarguments and mendacity of the unionist side. We have to accept that for many the unionist case is a good one. We have to stop believing our own propaganda about unionists.
        Too often over decades, centuries, the cases for radical change have been defeated by providing opportunities to be divided and ruled because of the vanity of small differences.

  8. The Lainster says:

    As always Paul, you say it like it is…it’s great to have you back…..#infyref2 here we come…

  9. Colin Lawson says:

    I’VE TRIED SEVERAL WAYS TO PRINT THIS FOR FUTURE REFENCE AND TO FORWARD BUT NOTHING HAPPENS. I WONDER WHY

  10. Robert Graham says:

    Yes Paul covered it all, as your blog among others is now our only means of promoting Independence every other means being in the hands and control of people who don’t have our best interests in the forefront of their minds expect interference from and by more than a few strange visitors .
    Remember the Twilight Zone and its introduction ” we control the vertical we control the horizontal ” it’s going to be a busy year ahead for all here so get ready for the incoming shit storm you think it was bad before we ain’t seen nothing yet.

  11. Clive Scott says:

    Everyone please be sure to get out on the sheets any way you can in the run up to May 17 council elections and ensure the total SNP vote exceeds all other parties combined.

  12. John Edgar says:

    May must be going for a complete Brexit. A quick quit! The four freedoms are either in it they are out. The EU and the 27 will not accept less. No 10 us “negotiating” from the outside. May said she would “fight” for the remainder’s as well. Fighting talk is not appropriate after you leave an organisation having insulted and traduced it. May claims our as yet unknown proposals will be good for the EU as well as the UK! Condescension and hubris do not augur well when you are asking to be let back in a wee bit from an organisation where you had full rights and the option of veto. The only veto lies with the EU now. It will dispose any proposals from the Tory-Kippers.
    Indyref2 only way out of MayHem left.

  13. Geach says:

    “She’s got a plan. It’s just that her plan…………… it’s a plan to gain independence for Scotland.”
    Foolishly I thought she was First Minister for Scotland and her job was to do her best for the Scottish people, and not just the separatist movement. Silly me.

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