The guarantee of lies

Scotland and the British government are heading for your actual constitutional crisis, but according to certain sections of the media in Scotland it’s all very arcane, and people aren’t going to get very upset about it. Apparently it’s all about highly technical stuff to do with obscure agricultural standards, nothing that those of us who aren’t obsessed with the minutiae of policy wonkery in the food labelling industry need to worry our pretty little heads about. According to Iain McWhirter some Scottish journalists claim that they are bored by the whole affair. Oh look, Meghan Markle’s dad might not be going to the wedding. There’s some real proper British news there. That’s the news where we are and not the news where you are, so naturally it’s far more important. It’s got a crown on it and everything. Oooh the royal drama squirrel.

The truth, of course, is that there’s nothing technical and obscure about the current constitutional crisis. The reason that parts of the Scottish media are telling us that no one is interested in it is because they’re reporting it as an excercise in obscure constitutional technicalities involving even more arcane areas of public policy, and not what it really is. What it really is is a gross betrayal of a solemn commitment made by the British government to the people of Scotland. However the bulk of the Scottish press isn’t reporting it like that, and then having done their best to ensure that no one is going to be interested in the story, they tell us that no one is interested. I’m shocked and surprised I tell you. Never saw that one coming. Imagine that, the Scottish press doing their best to protect the British state from the consequences of its own mendacity.

It’s quite straightforward. In 2014 the British government promised the people of Scotland that the powers of Holyrood would be entrenched in law.  It was one of the key aspects of the Vow. The Scotland Act was changed in order to reflect that promise. We received a solemn vow that no Westminster government would ever meddle with the powers of the Scottish Parliament or change those powers without the express consent of Holyrood. Now Theresa May’s government is doing exactly that. Even though all the MSPs in the Scottish Parliament except the Tories have voted, by a huge margin, to resist any change to Holyrood’s powers, even though the key commitment of Westminster in order to win a No vote in 2014 was that Westminster wouldn’t tamper with Holyrood’s powers without Holyrood’s express consent, Westminster is going to press ahead and impose its changes on Holyrood anyway. That’s not technical or obscure. There’s nothing arcane about it. It’s perfectly simple. Scotland was lied to.

If that wasn’t enough, the British government is also taking the Scottish Parliament to court in order to challenge a bill which the Scottish Parliament has passed by a substantial margin, a bill which the Scottish Advocate General, the top legal officer in the land, has ruled within the competence of the devolved administration.  The British government is taking the Scottish Parliament to the same Supreme UK court which has already ruled that the provision in the Scotland Act that no changes could be made by Westminster to the powers of Holyrood without Holyrood’s consent has no legal validity. The British government hasn’t just lied to Scotland, it’s also suing Scotland in a court of law because Scotland objects to being lied to.

That’s what this crisis is about. It’s about Westminster lying. Again. It’s about Westminster arrogance. It’s about Westminster’s deception and breach of trust. If Scotland cannot have any faith or trust in the promises and commitments of the UK government, then what exactly is the point of us being in this so-called Union? If the legal commitments of the British government to the people of Scotland are meaningless, if Westminster reserves the right to tear them up as it sees fit, then Scotland is not in a Union. We are not a valued and equal partner in the families of nations of the UK. We are not leading the UK from within. We’re a subordinate part of a British unitary state with no more rights than an English county council, because all that we have we have on the sufferance of whatever government is in power on the banks of the Thames, and that government can dispose of Scotland’s powers exactly as it pleases.

Westminster promised us one thing, now they’re doing the exact opposite, and they are smugly informing us that there is nothing we can do about it. How’s that equal and valued partner in a family of nations working out for you all then? When you are told that the power of the Scottish parliament is going to be entrenched in law, when you get a solemn vow to that effect, when it’s written into law, you are supposed to take that as an absolute guarantee, and not as “Holyrood’s powers are guaranteed except when it’s inconvenient.”

If the guarantee of Holyrood’s powers means that they are not going to be guaranteed when they’re inconvenient to Westminster, what exactly is the point of the guarantee? A guarantee that tells you that you can have something as long as it suits the other party, and you get absolutely no input into deciding when it suits, is no guarantee at all. It’s no different in principle from putting out your hand and begging for alms. And that is precisely how Westminster sees us.

Meanwhile David Mundell, the man who is supposed to be Scotland’s voice in the UK government, whose job description, such as it is, entails defending and protecting the devolution settlement, is instead doing the exact opposite. Yet he is the sole representation that Scotland possesses at the highest levels of the UK government – a man who has been shut out of cabinet Brexit negotiations and who sees his job as being a messenger boy for Theresa May and not as a defender of Scotland’s rights and interests. He should resign, because he is every bit as useless as Westminster’s non-guarantee of Holyrood’s powers.

They tell us that Westminster will only co-opt Scotland’s powers for a limited period. Do you believe them? They have done nothing but lie, deceive, use weasel words, and been mendacious and underhand in their dealings with Scotland, and now they expect us to trust in their good faith. Their problem is that they have no good faith and no one trusts them, and that’s entirely due to their own bad behaviour.

The fact of the matter, no matter how much the British nationalist media in Scotland tries to obfuscate, is that this constitutional crisis only exists because the British government has lied to the people of Scotland, repeatedly. It’s that simple.  The only guarantee that Scotland gets from Westminster is the guarantee that they will lie to us.


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30 comments on “The guarantee of lies

  1. Malcolm says:

    This is absolutely disgusting. At the weekend I watched a film about Bechaanaland now Botswana and what the British Government done to Seretsi Khama is exactly what is being done to Scotland. We are being treated as another one of their colonies. The Empire has treated all their colonies exactly the same way. Its totally disgusting and although I am living in South Africa I am feeling gutted for all the people in Scotland. I hope that all the people who are living in Scotland can see through this disgusting tory government. By the way it’s ironic that this film is called United Kingdom. If you get a chance try and watch it.

  2. Davy says:

    I don’t care how we get independence, whether it be by UDI or a referendum, I just want my country to be independent.

    Surely we deserve to be served by better than the two legged rats at Westminster, how can anyone with an ounce of sense not want Scotland out of this foul mess of a union.

    I don’t often pray, but I am praying that Nicola gives us the green light “in some form or fashion” at our conference in June.

    ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

  3. […] Wee Ginger Dug The guarantee of lies Scotland and the British government are heading for your actual constitutional crisis, […]

  4. Macart says:

    “THEFT: In common usage, theft is the taking of another person’s property or services without that person’s permission or consent with the intent to deprive the lawful owner of it.” (Source Wikipedia)

    Not entirely shocked to be honest. Mr Mundell and his party aren’t particularly well known for protecting the interests of the people of Scotland. Actually, they’re not well known for protecting any interests but their own. (shrugs)

    Also pretty sure they’ll stick to the SNP endangering the devolution settlement because…reasons and indyref horseshit t’boot.

    This will NOT change the facts. David Cameron and his Conservative government called the EU ref regardless of constitutional concerns voiced and exception sought by Holyrood. Scotland’s population were not given a choice in the matter.

    The Scottish government put together a commission of EU experts in order to formulate a proposal which would protect the economic interests of Scotland’s population whilst honouring the result of a vote which they did not invite and did not want. THIS TOO has been ignored by Conservative government.

    When those powers exercised by the EU came onto the table for repatriation? Let’s also be clear on these. They weren’t covered by the devolution settlement and the agreement was, that any powers not specifically reserved by Westminster fell under the remit of the devolved legislature. Those powers BELONG to the people and parliament of Scotland. (Kinda why there’d been a negotiation process with both Scottish and Welsh governments. DUH!)

    If those powers are taken without specific permission sought and granted of Scotland’s electorate and our parliament, that is surely an act of THEFT (see definition above). Not an act of consensual partnership. Not an act of like minded unity, because clearly there is no agreement between the partners on either the EU or the nature of Brexit.

    In short? The EU referendum and the subsequent and ongoing Brexit omnishambles, not to mention the endangerment of standing agreements between UK partners and the devolution settlement, can be laid squarely at the feet of Conservative central government and their franchise cheerleaders north of the border. Their self centred power pissing contest has dropped the UK in a constitutional and economic mincer for no better reason than their own factions fell out about how best to fleece the population.

    But y’know… Tory is as Tory does.

  5. jamescaine709 says:

    This is not a Union of equals, it’s a Dominion. We are not partners we are subjugated.
    Am I being hyperbolic?
    Five years ago I would’ve thought so, now though, I have to say no.

  6. Bloody well said. I imagine my present feelings on our media must be very similar to the feelings many East Germans must have felt reading pre-Soviet collapse press stories when the whole nation (apart from the Soviet hird lackeys and East Germans must have had their Jackie Birds, and their Glen Campbells) knew it to be complete lies.

    • Andy in Germany says:

      To be fair the main difference was that in E. Germany you tended to find you hadn’t got a job,or flat (or you just vanished) if you dared write something like this.
      I wonder how long it will take for Westminster to start doing the same…

  7. paul mccormack says:

    ‘What’s that smell in this room? Didn’t you notice it, Brick? Didn’t you notice a powerful and obnoxious odor of mendacity in this room?… There ain’t nothin’ more powerful than the odor of mendacity… You can smell it. It smells like death.’

  8. Andy in Germany says:

    “They tell us that Westminster will only co-opt Scotland’s powers for a limited period. Do you believe them?”

    Actually I do. When they’ve removed all the resources they can sell, ie, the oil, and it gets too expensive to keep Scotland under heel, they’ll generously permit what is left of Scotland to become independent.

  9. Andy Anderson says:

    It is bad that London planed this two years ago but even worse that our lying media do not aggressively go for them and tell the truth. So very unbalanced it is pathetic. I hate them all, apart from the National.

  10. Robert Graham says:

    As an Indian politician once said we all know the British Lie it’s the nature of the beast, but do they have to continually prove it every day , a wise observation.

    I believe this politician could teach a few of our representatives the ways of the world, how many times does it have to be confirmed before it sinks in .

    An entirely different subject and a bit of a Groundhog Day that took me back to just before the referendum in 2014 , all the back and forth arguments about the EU the Euro could we join etc , this reminded me when out of the blue a comment I made about the Tory government and how it’s hamfisted power grab would in the end lead to the dissolution of the Union , no referendum required.

    Then as if a straight from the Daily Mail reply your wrong ,you need permission to hold a referendum, you won’t be allowed EU membership you would have to join the Euro , Christ I thought not this tripe again , I really couldn’t be bothered wasting time trying to convince a idiot , it looked like a cut and paste job because I never mentioned the EU once,

    What I am trying to get at is this looks like the start every site will get this generated junk in order to gum up the works and keep everyone occupied arguing with what could be machine generated bots using weird and wonderful names .

  11. Derek Millar says:

    Correction,Paul.You mean’t ” Lord Advocate” . Advocate General for Scotland represents the other lot (Fluffy). May’be should actually be titled Advocate General against Scotland along with Secretary of State against Scotland.

  12. Jane Russell says:

    It makes me so angry, and angrier yet because there’s not one damned thing I can do about it.
    We could see it coming a mile away, but there’s not one damned thing we can do to stop it.
    And there are still people who say, “That Essenpee cannae be trustit,” who still are thirled to the horror that is Westminster.
    Why, oh why, did we fail in 2014? It’s still the bitterest disappointment of my life.

  13. Gordon Park says:

    First Reply. Thank you Paul for all your fabulous work…and the dug…of course.
    It seems to me that yet again we are being drawn into adressing te establishments arguments about, technicality, inconsequence, minimal importance of westminsters requirement to bring these powers back into reserved status. We can easily argue why it should not happen and that it is against the rules and it’s lies etc. that is where they want us to focus our efforts. The real question is ….if this is just a technicality or it’s of little importance and that Scotland are being unreasonable in their grievance, then why does Westminster not simply change the wording to consent instead of consult. What does Westminster plan to do with these powers that they foresee that Scotland will not consent to?
    How can we change the debate to …Westminsters refusal to “consent” that they will not use these powers to disadvantage Scotland?

  14. Jason Smoothpiece says:

    Mundell is an arse useless, get me Gordon Brown and Tony Blair, if he has not been arrested yet.

    The vow folks at least we have the vow.

    Wait till the Unions get hold of whats going on, there will be trouble, right?.

  15. The Scottish Play says:

    ‘What is a traitor?

    Why, one that swears and lies.

    And be all traitors that do so?

    Every one that does so is a traitor, and must be hanged.

    And must they all be hanged that swear and lie?

    Every one.

    Who must hang them?

    Why, the honest men.

    Then the liars and swearers are fools,
    for there are liars and swearers enough to beat
    the honest men and hang up them.’

    Yes is Consent, Silence is Consent or No Consent … hovers through the fog and filthy air…

    ‘(3) A Minister of the Crown must not lay for approval before each House of Parliament of the United Kingdom a draft of any statutory instrument containing regulations under this section unless
    a) the Scottish Parliament has made a consent decision in relation to the laying of the draft or
    b) a 40 day period has ended without the Parliament having made such a decision.

    (4) For the purposes of subsection (3) a consent decision is

    a) a decision to agree a motion consenting to the laying of the draft,
    b) a decision not to agree a motion consenting to the laying of the draft, or
    c) a decision to agree a motion refusing to consent to the laying of a draft.’

    Who was the Author this particular piece of creative thinking? we can only ponder.. history will no doubt reveal all in due course. but it is unlikely to be forgotten.

    Your elected representatives, saw it for what it was and voted 93/30 against it (and presumably the ’30’ thought this was a ‘good deal’ for Scotland?).

    The Scottish Parliament did not provide their Consent.

  16. Iain Taylor says:

    We need to get this navel-gazing about Scotland’s democracy into perspective. This is 2018 and BBC News has just done us a great service and reminded us that this is à GREAT anniversary for democracy. Yes – we are celebrating the Dambusters.

    Just remember that and rejoice we are British.

    • Jan Cowan says:

      Iain, you need a blast of the pipes on youtube recommended by Jack. – “Marche des soldats de Robert Bruce” – best way to dismiss bad thoughts. Never fails. Be sure, now, and take Jack’s advice.

  17. “Wha will be a traitor knave? (Fluffy Mundell)
    Wha can fill a coward’s grave! (Dick Who?)
    Wha sae base as be a slave?” (Moothie Ruthie)

    If we don’t assert and claim our Independence sooner, rather than later, then we shall assuredly all be slaves! The Westminster Government cannot abide the idea that Britain no longer has an Empire and so it will seek always to keep the other nations of this septic isle as its colonies. If “now is not the time” then I don’t know when it will ever be time! I’m frothing at the mouth with anger and disgust … I must look like a BritNat Harrumpher!

    • We are in the midst of the 21st century Rough Wooing, Wendy.
      ‘Wha would be a traitor knave?’ indeed.
      Your take on Mundell, Dick and Ruth as enemies of the state immediately brought to mind Pelerinage des troupes de marine a Bazeilles’ version of ‘Scots Wha Hae’.
      ‘Marche des soldats de Robert Bruce’ is on youtube.
      Be warned, you’ll be sidetracked for an hour or so…
      I dare anyone not to be stirred when the bagpipes start up in verse two.
      We are in the midst of an illegal invasion of Scotland by our neighbour to the South.
      Act of Union finished.

  18. Leswilson013@sky.com says:

    Great article Paul, and said as it is, somehow we need to up the pressure on Westminster by a magnitude. We cannot fail this time around.
    Indy2 will be a hard fight, they will have the plans made for a while now, on how to cheat us, so we need to act accordingly.

    When we succeed, I suggest you write a book about it all, ” Freedom, THE LAST COLONY”

  19. Robert Graham says:

    A wee bit o/t but as if involves the dark side (Tory) not much.

    Regarding today’s and every FMQs ,a plea to Nicola Sturgeon ,STOP – STOP Giving any Tory MSP any kind of respect , any long detailed answers to their usually banal Questions ,

    They don’t respect the Scottish parliament they don’t really want to be there , their whole approach is to cause as much disruption and noise as possible , they don’t want to participate they want to be seen just like unruly children as being the defenders of their precious Union.

    Laughter and ridicule really really winds Davidson up , so get under her skin mock her questions pour scorn on every Tory MSP make sure the Tory governments actions at Westminster are directly linked to them , every distasteful policy is laid firmly at their door , make sure they own everything their government does .

  20. Referendum1707 says:

    Robert Graham 12.33

    I think probably more point in sending that message to NS rather than putting it on here. (Unless you’ve already done so).

  21. Robert Graham says:

    yep seeing her tonight thanks for the reminder anyway , i will pass on yer good wishes .

    • grumpydubai says:

      Yes Robert.

      I know we are very tough taking all the s*** they throw at us on the chin.

      I agree we have had more than enough and, as one of our tactics, we should belittle and laugh at those who sup at and do the bidding of Westminster.

  22. chicmac says:

    Lies, damned lies and state tactics.

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