Telling Theresa the time

According to an article in The Times today, Theresa May will refuse to agree to any request from the Scottish government to hold another independence referendum. Well that’s a relief, because no one in Scotland has the slightest intention of requesting anything from Theresa May. Scotland will be informing Theresa May that it’s going to have a vote on independence, that will be at a time which suits Scotland, and Theresa May’s permission is not required.

I’ve laid out the points in this blog article before, but they are worth restating, given the willingness of the media in this country to go along with the mistaken notion that Scotland requires the permission of the Prime Minister before it can have a vote on independence.

The reality is that if Theresa May really believes that the UK is a “precious Union”, then she has no moral grounds for refusing to allow Scotland to vote. Either this is a Union and Scotland is a constituent part of it where the people possess the absolute right to determine the form of government best suited to their needs, or this is a unitary state and Scotland has no more rights than an English region. Either the people of Scotland really do have an absolute right to determine the form of government best suited to their needs, or we don’t. Because if it’s up to a UK Prime Minister to decide whether Scotland can have a vote on independence, if it’s up to a UK Prime Minister to unilaterally override a mandate given to the Scottish Parliament by the people of Scotland, then clearly we don’t. If we don’t, then Westminster was lying when it approved the Scottish Claim of Right and this isn’t really a Union, precious or otherwise. And if this is not a Union, Scotland is a part of the UK under false pretenses. That all by itself is a reason for an independence vote.

What’s it to be Theresa? Because you can’t have it both ways. The word Union, if it is to be used, must have some actual semantic content. It must mean something. But then we are dealing with a government for which black is white and up is down. This government of incompetents, swivel eyed ideologues, greed driven bloodsuckers, and money grubbers on the make is only good at one thing, and that’s hypocrisy.

Let us, for the sake of argument, imagine that the SNP wins a snap general election by a massive amount and wins all but a handful of seats in Scotland, yet Theresa May manages to cling on to power. Or, let us imagine that there’s been a snap Scottish election and pro-independence parties are returned to the Scottish Parliament with an increased majority and a renewed mandate for a referendum, yet Theresa May is still clinging onto power in Westminster. Or, let us imagine that the opinion polls are showing a consistent and significant majority for Scottish independence way beyond the 3% margin of error typical for opinion polls. Do you think that Theresa May would be more likely to consent to another independence referendum than she is just now? No. Of course not. She’d be even less disposed to agree to one than she is just now because the chances of her losing it would be even greater than her current chances of losing it, chances which are already pretty high.

The greater the support is for Scottish independence, the more support there is for it in the Scottish Parliament or in Westminster, the less likely that it becomes that any UK Prime Minister is going to consent to a Section 30 order. No UK Prime Minister is going to willingly agree to a political course of action that spells the end of the UK because that would also spell the end of that Prime Minister’s career. Theresa, or whoever happens to be the UK Prime Minister next month, would just repeat the now is not the time mantra.

The obvious answer to this condundrum is that we don’t ask her permission. Scotland should just tell her how things are going to be. Scotland determines when the time is. And Scotland can do that.

What Scotland and the Scottish government ought to be doing with Theresa May right now is reminding her that one way or another, Scotland will have its vote with or without Theresa’s permission. Yes, it would be all lovely and fluffy if Westminster agreed to a Section 30 order, but a Section 30 order is not the only way a Scottish ballot on independence can occur. This is not Spain, there is no constitutional bar on independence referendums in the UK. There is no law which says that a party or a coalition of parties cannot stand for election on a platform of seeking a mandate for independence for Scotland. In other words, Theresa’s permission is not required for a Scotland to have a vote on independence. It’s only required for one route to that vote. If that route is blocked, other routes are available.

Scotland can have a consultative referendum without Westminster’s permission. It might be the subject of a legal challenge, but if it was worded appropriately it is likely to be legal. And as we have seen from the consultative referendum that led to Brexit, the political difference between a binding referendum and a consultative one is about as deep as the intellectual heft of the Scottish Conservative party. Theresa would then find herself facing an independence campaign being fought against a backdrop of her party legally challenging Scotland’s right to be listened to, and all the while her and her anti-indy pals are trying to persuade Scotland that we’re respected and listened to within the UK. That’s not going to play well for them.

Or Scotland can convert any election held in Scotland into a plebiscite election on independence. The Scottish Parliament already possesses a mandate for a referendum, there is no need to campaign for another one. The next vote on the subject should be a direct vote on independence itself. Theresa May’s permission is not required for Scotland to have a plebiscite election, and the anti-independence parties can’t realistically boycott it. They’ll still be forced to fight an independence vote, trying to persuade Scotland that it’s loved and wanted and respected, while they themselves will be seen to have fought to reject Scotland’s right to a voice. So much for a precious Union. That’s not going to play well for them.

If opponents of independence have a modicum of sense, they will consent to a Section 30 order, because that is the only way that they can maintain the fiction that Scotland is a part of a Union and not an ignored and sidelined province in a unitary state. But then we’re talking here about the likes of Theresa May, Ross Thomson, and David Mundell, expecting a modicum of sense is a very big ask. The real reason that they’re terrified of another independence vote is because they know that they’re likely to lose it, and they know that they have nothing to offer Scotland except scare stories, threats, bullying, and intimidation.

But we must not forget that the bottom line is that one way or another, Scotland can have a vote and Theresa May’s permission is not required. We need to shout that from the rooftops. That’s a line that gets lost in Scotland’s overwhelmingly anti-independence media, and that’s why it’s all the more important that the Scottish Government needs to assert it loud and proud. It’s not for Theresa May to tell the people of Scotland what we can or cannot vote on. It’s not for Theresa May to give permission for a vote on Scottish independence. The only permission required is the permission of the Scottish people. There is already a mandate in place for another independence referendum. The people have already spoken on that question.

Theresa May is a bully. You don’t beg for concessions from bullies, you stand up to them. Theresa May refuses to listen. You don’t ask nicely of people who don’t listen to you, you tell them what you’re going to do. Theresa May is a control freak. You don’t seek permission from a control freak, you present them with a fait accompli. We are not asking Theresa what the time is. We’ll tell her. And the clock is ticking.


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67 comments on “Telling Theresa the time

  1. Cloggins says:

    Driven into a corner, faced with the prospect of indepenence for Scotland which the rUK would not survive, kicking and screaming, bullying and lying are the only instruments available.

    • Just a wee nagging thought !
      Google ” Vienna convention on the conduct of treaties ” ?
      Scroll down to ” provisions for unilateral withdrawal on a material change of circumstances ” ?
      Just a thought !

      • Gordon, I don’t see your reference. Do you mean the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties of 1969? You can find that at – I haven’t checked for later texts including possible amendments since 2005, though.

        I suspect you’d be looking at article 60 or thereafter – I can’t find your “provisions for unilateral withdrawal”, though, not in so many words.

        I’m tired and it’s late, so I may just not be seeing something right in front of my nose, but would you mind providing a URL if at all possible?

  2. orri says:

    A Section 30 order merely transfers the power to enact unopposed legislation on a reserved matter to Holyrood. In the case of an independence referendum that would allow them to include a clause to be activated on a Yes vote that would redraw the boundaries of Westminster’s legislative territory so as to exclude Scotland. A similar clause was included in the AV referendum legislation.

    The thing is that no such clause was in the Brexit referendum which was why Gina Miller, and others, forced the issue. Holyrood already has the power to hold consultative referenda. May’s problem is that should Yes win Westminster would be faced with denying that the will of the people mattered.

    Long story short. S30 would help but not needed.

  3. Son of Perth says:

    Paul, I really don’t know what we would do without you. I am so glad you and your American husband are going to make Scotland your home. If you had gone to the USA we would have lost, in my opinion, the most eloquent voice in the independence movement.

    We are getting close Paul. Saor Alba!

    • Cubby says:

      I agree that we would have lost an eloquent voice but as Paul himself said about possibly losing A. Salmond the independence movement is more than any one individual no matter how tall they stand.

  4. Andy Anderson says:

    Nothing wrong with repeating this tale Paul.

    We are going to win. Apart from two friends of mine who are very strongly Brit Nats all the people I know have switched to Yes or are seriously considering it. Even a guy who was here fitting a new satellite dish yesterday in the pouring rain has moved to Yes from being a Labour fanatic, his words.

    I am really looking forward to us winning an Indy vote, any type of vote and then watching the reaction. We must not be complacent though, all of us must convert people to Yes.

  5. Luigi says:

    There is no union. After the way we have been treated since 2014? I refuse to use that word now – it merely serves as a comfort blanket, a perception of respectability that the BritNats and anglophiles conveniently hide under. They are BritNats and should be consistently addressed as such. I do wish the SNP politicians would start doing this, instead of calling them unionists and making them feel good.

    The irony of Theresa’s great “deal” with the EU is that with the backstop, when the UK wants out, the EU can tell the UK “now is not the time” indefinitely. Ho Ho. What goes around, comes around, eh Theresa?

    • Guga says:

      Never mind about how Scotland has been treated since 2014. Just think about how Scotland has been treated ever since the Angles, Saxons and Jutes came here from Germany, right through to the present day. I would suggest that they should go back to where they came from, but the trouble is that even the Germans don’t want anything to do with them.

  6. P Galloway says:

    Fine words but the problem may be Nicola Sturgeon rather than Theresa May. Nicola Sturgeon has already said that if Theresa says ‘no’ again she might seek another mandate for a referendum in another election. This is what worries me more than anything Theresa May threatens.

    • Andy Anderson says:

      Agreed, as Paul confirms we have a mandate now.

    • Cubby says:

      “She might seek” not will seek. I think we need to give her the space to let her do what she believes is correct.

      • Yes. The Other Side will try hard enough already to hem her in without her helping them by restricting her own freedom of action.

        May and her jolly band of Brexiteers made the mistake of defining “Europe” as the Other Side rather than as a negotiating partner, and then proceeded to tie themselves in knots laying out red lines for themselves with no reference to the principles underlying the EU – on which the EU simply could not move without destroying its own raison d’être – or even reality generally.

        Between the First Minister, the Scottish Government and Parliament, and the Westminster Regime, it is already plain that May & Co. define Scotland’s democratic institutions in general and the FM and the SNP in particular as not just the Other Side but as the Enemy. May & Co. have already, on many occasions, shown that they are incapable of negotiating in good faith – and not just with the Scottish Government, look how they reneged on their initial commitments to the Republic of Ireland, which Leo Varadkar and the EU thought they had got nailed down because they had got the Westminster to put it down on paper in black and white.

        Nicola Sturgeon knows exactly what and who she is dealing with. She may decide that even though she knows there is no actual need in law for that §30 order, there are better battlegrounds to fight on: she knows she will get a renewed mandate anyway, if such is needed – but she must also be seen to try to get that order out of the UK Government and Parliament, so that our BritNat compatriots cannot say that she left any stones unturned or did not try hard enough.

        There’s no point either in trying to show the yahoos at Westminster that their intellectually lazy and congenitally vague assumptions about Scotland vis-à-vis England, and the implications of the Claim or Right, are false: they have over and over again proved that they are ineducable when it comes to matters Scottish. A lot of time and effort would be wasted in trying to debate them while they honk and bray that we cannot be “allowed” to have a referendum if they say we can’t.

  7. […] Wee Ginger Dug Telling Theresa the time According to an article in The Times today, Theresa May will refuse to agree to any […]

  8. What I found alarming yesterday was that May had her ‘hide tanned’ by Pete Wishart during her stint with the Select Committee.
    She genuinely didn’t seem to grasp that by ending Freedom of Movement, this also meant that Brits would not be free to work, visit,or settle on the Continent.
    I’m fairly good at reading NV clues; she really faltered for a second, waffling on about young people, erm, Erasmus, erm, while her brain whirred audibly, wrestling with the dreadful notion that perhaps English Exceptionalism died with Somerset Maugham and the days of wandering the Empire on a Cook’s Tour have gone.
    Of course May and her rich pals can buy their way into any country, not so much the ‘Just About Managing’.
    Last night’s QT audience in Penzance, seemed split down the middle.
    I have observed before, London will revolt first.
    We ask no outsider’s permission to conduct a plebiscite, Paul, especially an English Far Right Dictatorial Oligarchy.
    It is the enemy within we need to caution against.
    Our ProudScotsBut Lords and Landlords, the Money Men, the Old Guard, the Gordon Browns and the George Robertsons, will do all in their power to keep us under the WM thumb.
    They made vast fortunes selling us down the Thames.

    • Andy Anderson says:

      I thinks the Brexiteers that are wealthy are putting this through and created Brexit so that they can escape a new law that comes into force on 1/1/2019 accross the EU to stop funds leaving a country to avoid tax.

    • Jason Smoothpiece says:

      You are correct Jack the enemies of Scotland who live amongst us, the non-patriots are the danger not the Regime.

      Paul is of course right when he says we do not need the permission of our custodiers to call a vote.

      The well off and the land owners the greedy but most of all the shameful non-patriots are the only obstacle.

      The thing we must remember is we all only need to convert one soft no to yes and we are there.

      The Regime darn sarf are also aware of this, prepare for more outrageous conduct from the Regime as they slowly lose their last main colony.

  9. orri says:

    Another thought. The timing of this rumour to coincide with St Andrew’s Day has to be calculated to cause offence. The equivalent would be an announcement that England were going to be telt getae on St George’s Day.

  10. Macart says:

    *CHEERS* Also? Pretty much. 😀

    All the current Scottish government requires is the permission of a majority of Scotland’s population. It is ALL they have ever required. Specific mandate sought and granted.

    As Paul notes, an S30 would be nice (it avoids various squabbles), but it is not and never has been necessary. The current mandate sought by the SG in the wake of 2014 was to revisit a referendum specific to a certain circumstance. The circumstance (though very likely) has not yet occurred.

    In the interim, yer Westminster government, their hangers on and their support haven’t exactly covered themselves in glory or endeared themselves to Scotland’s electorate. No one forced them to renege on their promises. No one forced them to hold an EU referendum endangering constitutional settlements. No one forced them to marginalise, ignore or insult constituent parts of the (not so) United Kingdom. Their arrogance. Their greed. Their actions. Their choice.

    As and when the current SG seeks a specific permission/mandate? All you need do is grant it.

    Self determination is exactly what it says on the tin.

    Seems fairly logical t’me. 🙂

    • It’s worth reminding Ms. May that paragraph 2 of article 1 of the United Nations Charter reads: “[The Purposes of the United Nations are] … To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace”.

      The UK helped draft that, and put its name to it way back on 26 June 1945.

      Let May try to deny that we Scots are a people – that should be good for a laugh…

      • Macart says:

        Not entirely sure UK gov are on best terms with the UN right now (cough).

      • Jason Smoothpiece says:

        The UN also said there should be no interference in the process of self determination like we didn’t have interference during indy 1.

        The UN also said:

        Inadequacy of political, economic, social or educational preparedness should never serve as a pretext for delaying independence.

        I like that bit.

        • Orri says:

          The bit that says in order to comply with the UN charter that the UK has signed up to and needs to adhere to in order to keep their seat in the Security Council that in saying “Now is not the time” May is simply stating a personal opinion rather than the official position of the Westminster government. As such Holyrood are well within their rights to go ahead give May has acknowledged that they have that right by not outright refusing or even hinting at denying us the right to self determination.

  11. […] via Telling Theresa the time […]

  12. Marconatrix says:

    “The word Union, if it is to be used, must have some actual semantic content.”
    Having recently listened to the whole of TM’s session in front of the HoC Brexit committee, I’m seriously coming to doubt if anything at all that comes out of the English PM’s mouth has any ‘actual semantic content’ at all!

    • Robert Harrison says:

      English like may are always the same the English version of hitlers nazis thinking they can do what they want and everyone else is supposed to like it hell no if London burns leave them they most likely caused it.

  13. Les Bremner says:

    Please forgive me, for I am confused.

    I keep hearing about “a deal”, but all I can see is a wish list from Westminster. What has been formally agreed between Westminster and the EU?

    • benmadigan says:

      The Withdrawal Agreement sets out the money the UK has to pay for its liabilities, UK-EU citizens rights, the NI backstop.
      All this has been agreed and cannot be changed as the EU will not re-open negotiations. The WA, once ratified, will become an International Treaty.

      The UK has also signed up to the Framework Agreement (Political Declaration) – general principles about the future, all of which has to be negotiated and nailed down in legal terminology, so negotiations will continue during the transition/Implementation period which lasts until Dec 2020 but may be extended for another 1-2 years.

      If Westminster does not vote Yes on these documents – all hell will break loose – No WA = No transition/Implementation period = crash out on WTO terms, which everybody is convinced is a disaster course.

  14. Jab64000 says:

    Well said Paul

    Best Regards Jeff Brunton


  15. Stuart Mcnicoll says:

    If the right wing lunatics in Westminster demand a section 30 order, the FM should publish Scotland’s terms.
    No more Vows
    No more Smith Commissions
    No more Evel
    No more fake news.
    No more London parties in Scotland.
    No more foreign owned media.
    No more London centric broadcasters
    No more selling licences for Scottish oil and gas.
    No more ex regio territories
    No more subsidies from Scotland
    No more GERS
    No more selling Fracking licences in Scotland.
    No more Nuclear weapons in Scotland.
    No more negotiations using Scottish assets.
    No more dumping obsolete munitions on land and in our seas.
    No more Nuclear convoys in Scotland
    No more union flegs on our produce.
    No more power subsidies from Scotland.
    No more insults and disrespect.
    No more lies and threats.
    No more great British shit

    They wouldn’t agree of course, but a great way of getting over to the hard of hearing in Scotland just how much Scotland has had to put with
    I’m sure there’s much more we could add to the list.

    • Guga says:

      There is:

      No foreign monarchies.
      No other monarchies without a referendum of the Scottish people.
      No membership of NATO without a referendum of the Scottish people.

      There are, as you say, many others that we should add to the list.

  16. Cubby says:

    Do we need a Sect 30 – most certainly not. In fact it may be better if there was not one. They never honoured the last one in 2014. Cameron only agreed to a sect 30 because he was advised he would win it easily.

    In practical terms Scotland is treated like a colony. This only happens because the people of Scotland allow it to happen. The prison door is not locked, its just that some lack the confidence to try and check if the door is unlocked and then escape. Others, of course, have been so conditioned to prison life they cannot see any other future and it does not enter their mind that the door may be unlocked. They no longer see it as a prison.

    In legal terms Scotland is an equal partner in the Treaty of Union. This Treaty specifies no process for termination. The Union can be ended by either Scotland or England terminating the Treaty. It is a bi- partite international treaty and like any such treaty can be terminated by the parties signed up to the treaty. The 1706/7 union has no prescriptive measures that must be taken for termination. No process. It just needs the will of the people and its poltical representatives to do so when the Union is no longer meeting the needs and is not wanted by the people of Scotland.

    As Scotland is a sovereign nation that signed up to a legal treaty the termination of that treaty is not UDI ( whether or not there is a referendum). There is nothing IMO to stop a majority of the Westminster MP’s declaring the Treaty is Terminated.

    • That’s a nice metaphor, Cubby: “the prison door is not locked”. I too believe that being Scottish, and being free, are states of mind – and far too many of our compatriots have become institutionalized, by the Cringe, by the propaganda and by habit, unable to conceive of life outside the prison we are in, a prison where conditions are about to become a whole lot worse – unless we mount a mass prison break – which is well within our power and well within our ability – whether we realize it or not! No more slopping out because of England’s grim, unpleasant land!

      • Cubby says:

        The Britannia box.

        Westminster may want to keep Scotland in its box but some of the people of Scotland have found there is no padlock holding the lid of the box closed, have pushed the lid away and have jumped out the box. At the same time others are peeking out from the top of the box, looking at the possibility of a new better future, then casting a backwards glance to those at the bottom of the box still singing Rule Britannia who do not seem to realise they are in a box.

  17. Brian Powell says:

    The LibLabCons ran in 2017 GE on no independence and lost by a large margin.

  18. Jan Cowan says:

    May needs to be told that the people of Scotland were very much against her precious union right from the start. Does she know that the Edinburgh mob were out for the kill? Does she know that the lord (forgotten his name) whose house is now part of the present day Parliament only escaped by the skin of his teeth. Every parish in Scotland was solidly behind the retention of our Parliament. But as Burns made clear in “A Parcel of Rogues” we were “bought and sold for English gold” by a few members of the ruling class. And now May and her pals are attempting their own corrupt version. And we know whose paws are grasping for the gold this time……….only it’s not going to happen. Scotland is most certainly heading towards self rule once more. And as far as I’m concerned it can’t come soon enough.

    • Jan Cowan says:

      New day = new energy. The Duke of Queensberry had to run for his life, leaving his “mad” son behind who, while able to do as he pleased in the otherwise empty Queensberry House, roasted and ate the kitchen boy. The fireplace where this horror took place is still there. No wonder, the kitchen boy’s ghost walks. Good, though, to think that the poor boy will always be remembered as part of our modern Scottish Parliament.

  19. Gavin C Barrie says:

    Easier to get forgiveness than permission – Scotland’s parliament decides to enact it’s mandate for a referendum and does it. England/Westminster may complain/may try to block, and so what?
    Are we really going to accept the dictate of insipid May and Westminster? Get a life folks.

    Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of the wise.

    It really is time to wise up.We are dealing with liars and cheats.

    Discussing football with my Dad, so many years back, “No point in wearing sannies Gavin if the other side are wearing tacky boots, get stuck in”.

    Another of his gems, “Gavin, bring your own referee” – meaning in boxing terms, have a knock out punch.

    As reported elsewhere in a TV article, If Scotland leaves the Uk there will be a UK reduction of £200 billion in UK GDP. Really?

  20. Douglas Deans says:

    Paul, I agree with your analysis completely but one option is missing.

    My concern is that Scotland’s resources are so essential for keep rUK afloat that Mrs May will do anything to avoid loosing us. A manufactured crisis with critical supplies delayed would be a handy pretext for declaring a state of emergency and suspending devolved institutions (possibly Westminister but that is much less likely).

    Oil is in some ways a curse. If we really were the economic basket case depicted by the British, they would only be fighting for their pride. Their whole tone is much more fearful than that.

    It would be an act of high desperation and extremely dangerous but the stakes are so very high for rUK. Thatcher used the Police, May could use the armed forces.

    I hope I’m wrong

    • Andy Anderson says:

      This may be a reality especially if we get a No Deal crash out off Brexit. They would be dealing with fraught social and economic effects which if we say Yes with a good majority would scare them. The Army and police have many Scots in their ranks. Such an action could cause issues here.

      I think this is very unlikely but possible. Read I fictional novel by Mike Herd on this very issue.

  21. Welsh Sion says:

    On St Andrew’s Day, and dedicated to my Scottish friends here and “in the real world”, I submit the following, with my acknowledgements to the original.

    15. (of 20.)

    Scots Wha Hae – Reprise

    Scots, wha hae wi’ Salmond bled,
    Scots, wham Sturgeon aften led,
    Welcome tae yer gory bed
    Or tae destiny.

    Now’s the day, an’ now’s the hour:
    Seize oor chance a’ last fir power.
    See the fearties start tae cower.
    Scotland will be free!

    Wha will be a low appeaser?
    Wha will bow tae Lunnon’s Th’resa?
    Wha sae base as be a greaser?
    Let him turn an’ flee.

    Wha fir Scotland’s Pride an’ Aw’
    Freedom’s sword will strongly draw?
    Bondsman stand or Freeman fa’:
    Let him follow me.

    By th’ oppressive woes and pains,
    Of oor sons in servile chains,
    We will drain oor dearest veins
    But we shall be free!

    Lay Westminster oh so low.
    Traitors fall – like every foe.
    Liberty’s oors wi’ every blow!
    Let us vote fir SNP!

    Songs for the New Politics

  22. Patience is a Virtue says:

    23rd June 2016: Scotland voted in favour ot the UK staying in the EU by 62% to 38%

    28th March 2017: The Scottish Parliament backs second Independence Referendum (Members of the Scottish Parliament voted 69 to 59 in favour).

    1706/7 Treaty of Union: Article XVIII. ‘That the Laws concerning Regulation of Trade, Customs, and such Excises, to which Scotland is, by virtue of this Treaty, to be liable, be the same in Scotland, from and after the Union, as in England; and that all other laws in use, within the Kingdom of Scotland, do, after the Union, and notwithstanding thereof, remain in the same Force as before, (except such as are contrary to, or inconsistent with this Treaty) but alterable by the Parliament of Great-Britain, with this Difference betwixt the Laws concerning public Right, Polity, and Civil Government, and those which concern private Right; that the Laws which concern
    public Right, Polity, and Civil Government, may be made the same throughout the whole
    united Kingdom;
    but that no Alteration be made in Laws which concern private Right, except
    for evident Utility of the Subjects within Scotland.

    …except for the evident Utility of the Subjects within Scotland.

    • But the Filthy Rich,people like JK Rowling said No. Patience.,
      They rule the world, not the Great Unwashed.

    • Macart says:

      Seems the Times is slowly catching onto the fact that there’s more than one way to achieve independence. Though in their weird world it’s considered a plot.

      Which leaves them in a bit of a panic.

      They still like to use that word ‘secession’ I see.

      They don’t see it as action and legal, obligated consequence. They don’t see it as a population’s/partner’s absolute right to self determination. They don’t see it as the duty of a government leadership to pursue the interests and mandated wishes of their population. No.

      No, in their eyes? It’s a plot. (EVERYONE PRACTICE YOUR EVIL LAUGH NOW) FFS!

      Their idea of partnership is a tad skewed I’d say.

      • Andy Anderson says:

        My understanding of our options and related reasons are obviously not understood by the Times. There are errors in their analysis.

      • “Nicola Sturgeon this year ruled out an immediate referendum”. Uh? I don’t remember it happening that way, and I don’t know what Dylan Martinez means by “immediate” in that context.

        There are some milestones yet before the FM is in a position to decide if the electorate have been provided with enough clarity about what the consequences of Brexit will be, so before we can think about referendums, we need (among other things) the result of the Wightman case on the revocability of article 50 now before the ECJ, which is being fast-tracked to come out before the debates begin in the Commons before May’s piss-poor Withdrawal Arrangement is voted on. Until we know the outcome of the voting, and the May regime’s response to it, no one can make any sensible decision on a referendum date, given the possibility of a fresh General Election or even a (horrible term) “People’s Vote”.

        I have no doubt that the FM and her advisers have already gamed out all the possible and probable scenarios to the best of their human ability – so let’s see what happens on the 11th before wondering whether anyone if feart or not.

        The question of the §30 order: I too know that we do not actually need one, though the Westminster regime and most MPs, on the basis of the fundamentally flawed English conception of parliamentary sovereignty, believe we do. They have such short memories, or maybe it’s just situational ethics: do they accept the Claim of Right or not? If they do, have they thought it through, and are they prepared to go against their earlier acceptance if it suits them? They don’t care much for the rule of law, after all, so that cannot be ruled out.

        Another consideration is that the Spanish non-objection to Scottish independence is conditional upon that independence being achieved by constitutional means. There are political forces in Spain which would be delighted to claim that Scottish independence obtained without a §30 order was unconstitutional, because – regardless of the truth of the matter – they could use it as a stick to beat the Catalans with, and to punish us Scots for encouraging them. It would also mean that Spain would refuse to recognize Scotland’s renewed statehood, as it has in the case of Kosovo.

        The First Minister’s caution and her exhaustive (and exhausting) observance of all the legalities take into account not only the need to avoid giving our Unionist compatriots any hostages to fortune by leaving any stones unturned (even though we know fine well that they will accuse her – us – anyway of Not Trying Hard Enough, and Acting Unlawfully), but also the fact that our continuing or renewed membership in the European Union depends on being recognized internationally as an independent State, and on not giving any excuse for anyone to veto our membership in the EU.

      • “One senior SNP parliamentarian said: “We might have to look at alternative expressions of the national will. We can go forward other than through a section 30 order. Under no circumstances would we do anything illegal. If illegality was a route, Catalonia would be independent.”
        Sam, I loved this piece of nonsense, allegedly a quote from a ‘senior SNP Parliamentarian’.
        Dylan Martinez, whoever he is, makes this up, of course.
        There was nothing ‘illegal’ about Catalan’s Referendum.
        Usual anonymous source rubbish.
        Spain is imprisoning people illegally, according to International Law.
        But, hey, ‘Dylan’, you have to live with fascism as long at it’s on your side, eh?
        So, if we hold an ‘illegal’ plebiscite, then ‘Dylan’ will write that it’s our own fault if we are clapped in irons for years without trial?
        Evil runs through the Iron Heel Fourth Estate now.

    • It sounds very much as if Fintan O’Toole has the right of it – which is hardly a surprise, given his record. Brexit and Brussels as BDSM! Brilliant. And for us Scots, just not our bag.

  23. Robert T says:

    A very cogent and incisive article Paul , but in the event that a section 30 order is agreed the SNP SG should also be forceful and intransigent that the wastemonster govt shall have NO ability to game the vote , postal voting MUST be strictly regulated and restricted to those genuinely requiring it , no buses or ferries full of activists allowed to flood Scotland with lies and disinformation , ex PM’S to be publicly outed and ridiculed for their deliberate lies , I would like to see a minimum proven 5 year residency qualification to thwart holiday home fraudsters , I would also like to see a Scottish tax code requirement , (no representation without taxation ) , purdah must be strictly regulated , no vote for students from outwith Scotland , some of these things may appear petty and unworkable but we have to realise that it is our children’s and grandchildren ‘s future we are fighting for

  24. Macart says:

    Heh. Good piece in today’s National on statements made around other routes to self determination. It’s given a few titles food for thought over the weekend to be sure and suddenly the dinosaurs are being rolled out to spread a bit of doom n’ gloom. Wood, Broon, McDonnell and such.

    You can tell how much they’re rattled by the level of doom laden response. So yes. They are rattled. They don’t like the idea of a narrative change on ‘permission’. Permission sought gives them the illusion of control. Reality is somewhat different. There’s a big difference between being polite and seeking a mutually agreeable framework to settle a thing and begging cap in hand.

    There are a goodly number of other options available if Westminster government is determined to ignore the consequences of its own actions.

    If they continue to respond with intimidation, fear and rolling out the usual suspects? I think they’ll find that not only will this show a definite trend of diminishing returns, but it will NOT look good or reflect well given their current record. (shrugs)

    Next bit, as always, is their choice.

    • It’s all up in the air right at the moment, isn’t it… One of the contributors in the National today pointed out that the Supreme Court ruling on the Continuity Bill is still not out, though it was expected in October; I had lost sight of that one – I blame my failing memory – and it occurred to me that the MPs really, really ought to have that before them before they debate the Withdrawal Agreement.

      Alyn Smith tells us in the National today ( that the ECJ ruling on the revocability of the article 50 notification should be out tomorrow, 4 December – and if the ECJ can fast-track a decision like that, with only weeks between taking up the case and ruling on it, the Supreme Court should d*amn well have made its mind up on the Continuity Bill by now, as their Lordships have had it since July.

      My worry – with my usual Cassandra-like penchant for worst-case scenarios – is that the Westminster regime may have had sight of the Court’s finding before we plebs could have a gander at it; decided they didn’t like it; and have somehow blocked its publication, censored it, denied it their imprimatur… As there have been so many instances of the regime doing its level best to block legal actions it finds threatening in some way, the article 50 case being just the latest example, I really cannot put blocking the issuance of a Supreme Court ruling past Them.

      If that is in fact what they have done / are doing, it is not so much a warning sign as a full-blown constitutional emergency.

      BTW, I call the current Westminster Government – the executive branch of it – a regime, because what else do you call a government with no legitimacy in your country, a government which acts in the interests of the party in power and its backers, then its constituency among the electorate, but not in the interests of the country and its people? Referring to a government as a “democratic regime” is not just an oxymoron, it’s a contradiction in terms.

  25. Macart says:

    This should leave an impression.


    • The Tories have taken to attending food banks and having their photies taken smiling into the camera.
      The next stage in the ‘normalisation’ of Begging Bowl Britain.
      UCS is merely the next staging post to the work house and Victoriana.
      I detest them with every fibre of my being.
      I have now lost any patience and understanding that I had for acquaintances neighbours friends, but happily not close relatives, who would vote for Jackson Carhire’s Blue Tory Bools in the Mooth wreckers of civic society, or the other bunch of Brit Nat Chancers the Branch Office of the Red Tories led by that Dick Leonard.
      The Lib Dems are just a fucking joke party, sitting on their arses coining it in for just breathing.
      The Brit Nat Austerity Way.
      The Red Blue and Yellow Tory Way:If you’ve nae money, beg, steal or just die off.
      Maybe Red Nose Lenny’ll slip you a fiver.
      Where are our Religious Leaders in all of this?
      No where to be seen, heard, or listening.
      I’d like to see a Brit Nat of any hue visit the sadly busy Food Bank down our way.
      WE are on the brink of out and out revolution, while the swivel eyed Tory Boys laugh in our faces.
      I used to squirm when I read ‘Tory Scum’. Not now.
      They are evil incarnate.

      • Jan Cowan says:

        I’ve yet to disagree with anything you say, Jack. Straight and to the point. Very few have that ability.

    • Not just BBC and bias, propaganda and brainwashing, with the same and worse from the Great British Meeja Machine…

      All this irreality is bad for people’s mental health. Our ultra-Yoon compatriots, for example, are always angry, furious, yelling at the TV, trolling the pro-independence newspaper and our pro-indy social media, …. about 2014, Scotland said No, we all know the narrative … like uber-Brexiteers in England … like hard-core Trumpistas in the States … like the followers of Fragrant Arlene and her Jolly Dinosaur-deniers in Norniron … like the Ludge and Protestant Loyalists (loyal to what?) both there and her in Scotland…

      As for sufferers from the Cringe handed down from parents to children, reinforced by the diet of false facts and constant negativity from the Meeja Machine, undermining people’s self-confidence, maximizing bad news or even inventing it, passing over good news in silence or demeaning it, and you have a recipe for depression, anxiety and low self-esteem among people who consume it uncritically.

      The good thing is that when people have one of those epiphany things and wake up to the lies, they learn to spot them very quickly, and they get angry about it: the falsity of the narrative, once seen, cannot be unseen, and the more the likes of May and Lidington ignore and disrespect us, the more people’s eyes are opened.

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