Three good reasons

So we know now that the Queen is going to be safe after Brexit. Isn’t that nice. It’s just a shame that the rest of us are going to be royally screwed. Contingency plans are in place to evacuate the Royals in the event of civil unrest after Brexit. I thought she already spent most of her time in Norfolk, which let’s face it is about as far from civilisation as it’s possible to get. Anyway, the biggest threat to her safety is the refusal of her family to wear seatbelts or be bound by the Highway Code.

There are also plans in place to cope with shortages of food and medicine and the government is readying the army to go onto the streets to keep the populace in place. It’s all a very far cry from the sunlit uplands and Brexit representing great and exciting new opportunities. When they told us that Brexit was going to open up a whole new exciting vista of opportunities we didn’t think that they meant opportunities for looting and rioting.

This is the quality of intellect that is possessed by the British establishment. “We are worried that there may be civil unrest because of Brexit. We need to make plans to evacuate the queen so she isnt attacked.” “Think we should reconsider?” “No, Brexit is the will of the people.”

This is the magnitude of the crisis that the British state has got itself into, yet still we have obstensibly serious commentators insisting that it’s a “fact” that there can be no independence referendum until after the charges against Alex Salmond have been resolved. We are told that we must wait, silently and obediently, until the legal case has been settled one way or the other.

Actually, it’s not a fact at all. For three very good reasons.

Firstly there is the reason that the crisis of Brexit is so huge that it is a moral and political imperative that the people of Scotland are able to express their views on it. What British nationalists are arguing is that the people of Scotland cannot have their say on the most important political crisis to afflict the British state since WW2, because of some unrelated legal questions affecting a prominent individual. That is clearly a nonsense.

People in Scotland know that their jobs, their futures, their opportunities, and their livelihoods are not at risk because of any allegations of sexual impropriety made against a former First Minister. Their futures and livelihoods are at risk because of Brexit and the failures of the British state. Brexit is a massive and all-consuming crisis. It is an existential crisis of the British state and the British political establishment. The response to it cannot and must not be determined by the short term difficulties of what is essentially a personal matter. That would be a betrayal of democracy and the prioritising of the needs of an individual or a political party above the needs of the country. That’s the kind of mindset which led to the mess of Brexit in the first place.

Secondly there is the reason that the question of independence is far bigger than the personal legal issues faced by any one individual, legal issues which have nothing to do with the question of independence. The independence vote in 2014 was not “Alex Salmond’s referendum”, despite the best, and repeated, efforts of the British media to insist that it was. Independence is about the future of Scotland, not about the future of one man. No one denies that Alex Salmond was, and is, a hugely important and influential person in the independence movement, but this movement is not his creature. To delay a future independence vote because of the current legal issues being faced by Alex is to concede that that independence vote is after all “Alex Salmond’s referendum”. That personalises the case for independence. It makes it about one man, when it is really about over 5 million of us.

And thirdly there’s the reason that the wheels of justice turn very slowly. I have no idea what might happen with Alex Salmond’s legal case. It may be months before the Procurator Fiscal’s office decides that the case should be heard, if indeed that is what the Procurator Fiscal decides. It may be months after that before a date is set for the court case. And if there is a court hearing that hearing could potentially take many weeks, if not months or years. We do not suspend democracy because of criminal allegations made against an individual, allegations which, let us not forget, are not of a political nature. We are being told that democracy in Scotland must be suspended for an indeterminate period, so that legal matters which have no impact upon the lives of the overwhelming majority of people in Scotland can be decided.

There’s another, related, argument which the time it takes for legal matters to be settled throws up against the lazy assumption that no revisiting of the independence vote is possible for now. Complex criminal court cases are often delayed or postponed. However until the matter is resolved, the case remains subjudice. This means that there is in fact a political argument for pressing ahead with a vote on independence before any possible trial takes place, because as long as the matter is subjudice the British nationalist parties will not be legally permitted to reference it in their campaign. They cannot bring the subject up, and no one can speak about the issues it raises.

If the court case against Alex Salmond creates a political reason for influencing the timing of a referendum on independence, it doesn’t create a reason for delaying. It does the opposite.  It creates a reason for pressing ahead with an early referendum.

Whatever happens with Alex Salmond’s legal difficulties, the arguments for independence remain unchanged. The truth is that the very same people who are now saying it’s a “fact” that there can be no referendum until this legal issue is settled are the very same people who don’t want an independence vote to be held at all. After this legal matter is concluded the opponents of independence will just find some other spurious reason why Scotland can’t possibly be permitted to have its say on Brexit and the place and role of Scotland within the UK. We must not listen to them.

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23 comments on “Three good reasons

  1. Andy Anderson says:

    Reading this it seems to me that you were annoyed when writing it Paul for good reason.

    Lately I find myself and my wife getting so frustrated at all the rubbish that is said, the very poor news reporting, our political leaders and supporters in the Brit Nat brigade that seem to be clueless.

    We worry also that so many are taken in by it all. I think our freedom could be a tough fight.

  2. Tom says:

    I think this Angus Robertson business is just displacement activity. I mean, a crowdfunding campaign to find out what people think?

    Isn’t that what Wings does? And doesn’t the SNP do this anyway, as a matter of absolute routine? If not, what’s it been up to for the past four years?

    I think the SNP establishment is trying to hoodwink us into believing they have a credible strategy for indy.

    I may have to join the Scottish Greens. At least they achieved something this week.

    • Pogo says:

      I know Tom the delay is frustrating. But I do feel Nicola knows that if she delays for too long it will be political suicide for the SNP.

      I understand her caution as there are still a lot of moving parts. There is talk of a June GE and we don’t know for sure if Article 50 will be lengthend.

      In a few short weeks we will know these answers then will be the time to call it and withdraw the SNP MPs from Westminster.

      • Lizzie55 says:

        We will be too late. Indy should have been called when article 50 was pressed. Brexit will cause the Scottish people harm and the snp were meant to prevent this harm. They failed.

        • Janet says:

          We cannot force people to accept indy…this takes time and circumstances! Keep the eye on the ball!

          • robert harrison says:

            Yet we allow these lot to force the evil dictatorship by England supremists that run westminster down our throats though because that’s exactly what they are doing and i for one am sick of it.

  3. Indyman says:

    I’m wondering if the Britnat gutter press will step over the sub judice line and say something stupid about the case that will cause it to be thrown out. Not because I think Salmond may be guilty, far from it, but to p*ss myself laughing at the ensuing fustercluck among the britnats. I can but hope.

    • bringiton says:

      Since Scots law does not extend to England,presumably HM press can publish anything they like about the Salmond case south of the border.
      I seem to remember outrage from the English establishment when stuff was published in Scotland relating to a live case in England.

    • annraynet says:

      I was rather hoping that they do just that and get done for contempt if court. It would serve them right.

  4. Alba woman says:

    Totally ridiculous propaganda just to raise and remind folk of the subject of Alec Salmond’s charges….despicable lot

  5. benmadigan says:

    excellent post Paul. I am worried about Scotland, very worried as we are in the brexit end-game and there’s no move to call for IndyRef2.
    Here’s my view on brexit as we stand today

  6. astytaylor says:

    Is it time for a rousing redition of “God save the Queen” yet?
    Y’know, the Sex Pistols version?
    “There ain’t no future in England’s dreaming”
    No future, no future, no future for you.
    (Or me).
    Anyway, maybe “Royal Deeside” will prove to be a safe haven in post-Brexit civil unrest Britain?

  7. Davy says:

    Another good read fa Paul.

    These accusations against Alex Salmond must have been the stuff of dreams for the unionist media and yet they have went astoundly quiet about them. I know their is strong legal reasons for what they can and cannot say about the case, but still this is every thing they ever wanted.

    Could it be the media expected the case to be thrown out, and for the mud to stick, aided by their sticky fingers. And the fact it is proceeding has caught them out and their legal people are standing on their hands to prevent a serious financial backlash.

    Its went extremely quiet.

  8. Ian Waugh says:

    I’d forgot all about the AS case …reminders not tequired Dug…

  9. Anne Roberts says:

    I had no idea they were putting such a stupid argument out there. Missed that. Oh dear, how sad, never mind….

  10. Alex who?
    How to evacuate the queen.
    Treat her to on e of Papa Gill’s chilli chicken curries, followed by abig bowl of stewed rhubarb washed down with a pint of prune juice. That should do the trick.
    Instruct the Royal Keeper of the bog paper to put a roll or two in the fridge for 24 hours beforehand.
    If that doesn’t ‘evacuate the queen’, nothing will.
    The Dead Tree Scrolls are descending into a frenzy of Battling Britain hysteria as England and Wales speed headlong towards the 29th March Brickxit Wall.

    We are Scotland United now.
    The chinless wonders, Johnson,Gove, Rees Mogg, and Fox, are selling off England for the Yankee Dollar.
    We Scots citizens, and that includes the 400,000 English born, who have had the foresight and incredibly good taste, to make Scotland their home, have an alternative to 51st State Trumpland madness.
    Three good reasons to take a different path?
    Independence, independence, independence.

  11. Iona says:

    Absolutely agree, Paul! AS’s case is an irrevance re the arguments for an independent Scotland, but so also should Brexit be irrelevant. While I fully accept that there is no better example of Scotland’s democratic deficit than Brexit, it is, however, nothing more than another example. All be it a hugely damaging example. Otherwise how do we justify the vote in 2014 pre Brexit? Was there no reason for Independence then? I am becoming increasingly concerned about the link being made between the two. While I fully accept that NS is hampered by TM’s ability to clarify her intentions (if she ever can), on the 29th of March (most likely) the harm begins. The powers grabbed will start to be used and without a clear, coherent plan towards Indyref2 NS’s credibility will evaporate. Time is short I believe, thus my concern on hearing the latest podcast (which I enjoyed) when JD seemed to suggest that we had to wait a few months, post Brexit, for people to see the harm. The SNP are generally seen to be trying to protect us from harm. Letting it go ahead without the strongest of challenges, up front, to ‘now is not the time’ (legal, I think you suggested and I agree) would, in my opinion, be catastrophic folly. I think time has run out. The Independence movement in general requires the SNP, the biggest independence player, to act.

    • Hera hear, Iona.
      Our fellow citizens are dying because of austerity imposed by an English Parliament.
      The notion that we would sit around and let our fellow citizens ‘suffer months, or in some cases 3 years of Brexit pain before we act is perverse and wrong.
      Brewer was peddling the farce that Angus Robertson had ruled out Indyref 2 until after a 2021 SGE on his shabby little Sunday show.
      Imagine the harm that would be visited upon us by The Brit Nat Dark Knights of retribution if we allowed this to happen?
      I am in no mood for compromise; we go as soon as Brexit No Deal is finally conceded which is in a matter of weeks, not months, or years.
      Remember the Power Grab?
      Kentucky Bourbon sold as Scotch?
      Our farmers sold out for US beef and grain?
      Now is the time.

  12. susan says:

    I truly hate the royal family and hope if there is rioting that they’re not whisked away to safety.

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