The fait accompli

theresaveto
There’s been an outbreak of pearl clutching in the pages of the British nationalist press this week as the realisation dawned that Theresa May’s intransigence won’t save them from another independence referendum after all.

Let’s get something straight right away. There is a concerted attempt by the British press to characterise an independence referendum held under the auspices of a Section 30 order granted by Westminster as the only legal way to hold a referendum. Any other path to a referendum is therefore, they tell us, to be regarded as illegal. This is not true. It doesn’t become true no matter how many times the British press writes about so-called wildcat referendums or about Holyrood “holding a referendum without legal approval”. Whenever you read a newspaper article which refers to a referendum without a Section 30 order as “illegal”, or as being held without “legal approval”, you can instantly dismiss it as having been written by a person with a British nationalist agenda. It is opinion, not fact.

The fact is that a consultative referendum held without a Section 30 order may very well be perfectly legal. The point is that that question has never been tested in the courts and therefore anyone who asserts that it would be illegal is prejudging the issue. There is a very good argument to be made that a consultative referendum would be perfectly legal, since the vote would be advisory and therefore would not impinge upon Westminster’s reserved powers over the constitution. It would merely be a test of Scottish public opinion on the matter given the changed circumstances in which Scotland now finds itself. This is not the United Kingdom that Scotland was promised it could be a part of in 2014.

It would remain for Westminster to decide how to act upon that opinion once it has been ascertained. Holyrood is not therefore intruding upon reserved matters as determined by the Scotland Act. There is absolutely nothing to prevent the Scottish Government testing the legality of a potential consultative referendum in the courts, before it brings such a referendum about. If the court rules that such a referendum would indeed be legal, as many argue, then a consultative referendum can go ahead with legal approval, but without a Section 30 order.

In many ways that scenario would be preferable for the independence movement, because then we go into a referendum in which the British government is simultaneously trying to prevent the people of Scotland from having a say, while at the same time trying to persuade us that Scotland is a valued partner in a family of nations. So valued that they’re trying to gag us. That’s really not a good look if you’re trying to sell the fiction of a union. And make no mistake, the independence movement will make hay with it.

This is in essence the argument that Alex Salmond made to David Cameron in 2012, and Cameron’s advisors were sufficiently persuaded by that argument to see the wisdom in conceding a Section 30 order as a means to maintain the fiction that Westminster was in control of events. David Cameron realised that a Westminster which was seen to be blocking the will of the Scottish people to decide their own future was a Westminster which was putting itself on the back foot in an independence campaign. He realised that it would be impossible to tell the people of Scotland that they were valued and equal partners in a family of nations when the British government was doing its utmost to prevent the people of Scotland have a say on their own future. He was also sufficiently confident, overly confident, that the referendum would produce a substantial majority against independence. The narrowness of the result shocked the British establishment, but not enough to shake them out of their complacency once the desired result had been achieved.

The difference between then and now is that Theresa May doesn’t have the same confidence that another referendum would produce a substantial majority against independence. Theresa May doesn’t want to add being the British Prime Minister who presided over the break up of the UK to her long and inglorious list of political failures. But more than that, we have a Prime Minister who genuinely doesn’t care what Scotland wants, who doesn’t listen to what Scotland says, and who regards Scotland as little more than a glorified English county council. This is a Prime Minister who has such contempt for the democratic will of the people of Scotland that she was able to stand up in the House of Commons and declare that the SNP doesn’t have a mandate for another referendum.

On a visit to Scotland on Thursday, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Rhyming Slang said that “of course” the British government would refuse to agree to a Section 30 order. That’s why, simultaneously with an announcement that it seeks a Section 30 order, the Scottish Government must also start a court case which tests the legality of a consultative referendum. And if that legal case fails, then plans should be developed for a plebiscite election.

Let’s face it. If the only way that you can keep Scotland within the UK is to rely upon a veto from a Conservative Prime Minister who has no electoral mandate in Scotland, and who denies the existence of the political mandate that the Scottish Parliament possesses, then you’ve already lost the democratic argument for Scotland remaining within the UK. You’ve already conceded the point that Scotland is not willingly and freely a part of the UK, because you’re refusing to allow the people of Scotland to have their say on the matter.

Theresa May and her ministers must be taught that there will be a Scottish vote whether they agree or not, and therefore it’s in the interests of the British Government to agree to a Section 30 order as the only means of maintaining the fiction that Scotland really is a part of a union. This Conservative Government of Scotland-deniers is not going to concede freely and willingly that Scotland should have a say on its future. It must be presented with a fait accompli.


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110 comments on “The fait accompli

  1. Joe says:

    There is no way any unionist.leader.should be able to dictate.or be able to tell a country like Scotland.what it can have.what we can and cannot do.what it can spend.ect . the truth is it is about time very many people in Scotland woke up and realised what is going on.Westminster.london.and unionist mps.down in England.do not give a twopenny.toss about Scotland.the quicker we are out of this discredited so called union the better.

    • Robert Harrison says:

      Exactly this is a dictatorship by an england conservative party only England put in power dictating terms to Scotland over and over again I can’t believe anyone here that calls themselves proud scots would want this London dictatorship Scotland never voted for those lot to me are traitors quislings basically a sell out just like the brexiteers have sold out there precious England to the Conservatives in June 2016

  2. JSM says:

    Reblogged this on Ramblings of a 50+ Female and commented:
    Aye, but the only problem is that our FM has said, yet again, that she’ll only go down the Section 30 route.

    • Susan Smith says:

      Has she? I was under the impression that she just said she wouldn’t have a referendum without a section 30 order . Leaving other strategies open . Please correct me if I’m wrong .

      • Brian Ritchie says:

        Not even that, She has said there “should” be a section 30, but she hasn’t ruled anything out. “My view is clear and always has been clear. The legal basis of any future independence referendum should be the same as the referendum in 2014, which is the transfer of power under a section 30 order.” Once again this has been distorted by the unionist media.

      • JSM says:

        I agree with you, Susan. That was my interpretation, too.

    • Cubby says:

      Sorry but you are just repeating British Nationalist lies. Without checking the facts.

  3. Millsy says:

    We are supposedly in a ”Union” with England , according to the Treaties signed ( in our name ) over 300 years ago .
    I have heard others on here and elsewhere say that the current Westminster Government have broken parts of that treaty – so we have the right , under its terms , to dissolve the ”Union” without recourse to Law .
    Constitutionally , we should be investigating this avenue as an alternative to going ”cap in hand ” to a Tory Pm asking ” Please Miss , can we have a referendum , please ?”

  4. Patience is a Virtue says:

    Well if you ever thought you were in a Union, having your Foregin Secretary come up and tell you (‘foreign types’) you cannot have a vote on Independence despite your most listened to, most devolved and most powerful devolved Parliament in the world voting for it by 69 to 59 – you certainly know your place now.

    Hopefully the Foreign Secretary can be on hand more often, he is a real asset and hopefully can contimue to provide us with salient advice on which particular democratic votes are best overlooked. Haste ye back.

  5. Alba woman says:

    Thank you WGD for an excellent piece…..you are able to calmly detail a situation which has to be challenged very soon….

    Teresa May and co are adopting Trumpian tactics acting as if democratic processes no longer exist thus she considers that she can say and do what she wants…….

    I am sure legal and other advice has been taken by the SNP and others in the Independence movement as to the best strategies……We will see soon enough.

  6. Liz g says:

    It might also be a win win either way?
    Should May reluctantly put a section 30 before the Westminster Parliament!
    Then we get to see the Westminster Parliament (on the current numbers) try to stop the legislation passing.
    If she’s still dependent on the DUP, I can see it demonstrated that a gaggle of extreme British Nationalists are trying to stymie Scotland.
    That’s got to be worth a fair few Yes votes…..
    After that the Lord’s……

    • Robert Harrison says:

      Oh yeah knowing that England can never be overruled in Westminster because that’s how it’s set up and the feeble excuse of England having the largest population size as the way they justify that dictatorship is enough to make me want to vomit.

  7. Bruce MacDougall says:

    If there’s a No Deal Brexit there will be no time to hold a referendum, as on March 30th the EU will not be able to stop Westminster from closing Holyrood. Other means must be ready to be used, by that date.

    • weegingerdug says:

      The EU can’t stop Westminster from closing down Holyrood right now, and couldn’t stop it last year or the year before. As far as the EU is concerned, the devolution of powers within the UK is an internal matter for the UK.

      In any event, the Tories won’t close down Holyrood. They may be venal, they may be vile, but they’re not stupid. They know that unilaterally closing down the Scottish Parliament would provoke a major constitutional crisis in Scotland and the end of the UK would follow in short order. They’re far more sleekit than that. Instead they’ll try to neuter Holyrood and hollow it out from within.

      • Shagpile says:

        I agree Paul.

        And as you say, they will use legislation to hollow out the powers and authority of Holyrood.

        My concern about testing the legality of a consultative referendum is that Westminster lawyers will argue that seven years have not passed since the last one, and therefor invalid. On the other hand, Westminster would rightly fear that even if the court agrees with their argument it might also stipulate that otherwise it would normally be within the competence of Holyrood to consult the people of Scotland.

        Westminster might then start that process of enacting legislation to hollow out Holyrood to close down that option.

        That said, all it would take is the election of a majority of independence supporting Scottish MPs to be the mandate for independence as defined by all UK Prime Ministers before our referendum in 2014. Scots would know and understand that this option was brought about completely by the actions of Westminster. As it would then be the only constitutional option open.

        Mrs May’s dilemma might well be which is the least stupid of stupid options to pursue.

        We would defacto have an independence referendum at each and every Westminster general election, possibly within five years of the last.

      • brianmlucey says:

        But what, exactly , would or could Scotland do in that event? What, legally within existing UK law could be done?

        • Shagpile says:

          To do what?

          Westminster retains all powers, even over those it decides to devolve to Holyrood.

          IMO the only option that Westminster can not “screw” with is the option of voting for independence in a general election. No “ah buts”! To even attempt to do so would put limits on the “sovereignty” of those elected to sit on “the green benches”, which in itself would be unconstitutional. Example: a 40% rule; or similar would look pathetic when a UK government with a landslide majority can hold office with 35% of the popular vote. Not to mention how a previous government can bind the hands of it’s successors.

          Sorry if I was not immediately clear, but that dilemma is a Britnat one… not a Scottish one. My point is that ultimately Westminster can not block Scottish independence; perhaps delay it sure, and forget international law for the moment as international politics trump that always. It is the domestic UK constitution which will deliver for Scots. And it’s coming sooner than those Britnats realise…

          • brianmlucey says:

            and what is the Westminster parliament agrees that the only way in which legally independent can occur it’s via an article 30 referendum, which it refuses to grant? Because that’s where it appears to be going at the moment. What then does Scotland do if it wishes to achieve independence (switch from my perspective here in Ireland, right now, is by no means evident as a foregone conclusion)

            • Shagpile says:

              Well we are now going round in circles here. Paul’s article is about Westminster refusing consent for an S30 order. Although, I get the point you make, that being the SoS for Scotland would have to decide whether or not there is support for calling a referendum or not and was in his/her opinion not unreasonably refused.

              Holyrood then consults in a non-binding referendum. It’s challenged in The Courts. Binding or not, when the majority vote Yes and then, and only then, when Westminster refuses to negotiate UDI is declared. Enter international politics.

              Westminster would have to prohibit all referenda as a reserved power.

              A referendum is not required, it is what the SNP have said is their preferred route to independence. The SNPs preferred route in itself is not constitutional, although it is a very honourable and democratic one.

              In all circumstances a Westminster general election is the ultimate guarantee.

            • When was the need of an article 30 order passed into law by Westminster?

      • That’s right, the EU couldn’t stop the UK from closing Holyrood when the UK was a member. However, if there is a No deal or Theresa May WA Brexit everything changes. The EU, then holds all the cards.
        The leverage that the EU will have over the UK after Brexit, will be huge. If it’s May’s deal, then there will be years of trade negotiations, with the UK over a barrel. What have the UK got to offer? The EU is already stripping out whole industries and service sectors, from the enfeebled UK The concessions, the UK must make to extract any sort of trade deal will be many and we could be one of them.
        If there’s a No deal, it’s the same, only worse for the UK. The day after Brexit, the UK will need to make a trade deal with the EU. Again, they will be over a barrel and won’t have any option but to go along with EU demands. Unless they are ok with no food, drink or medicines imports. The UK being bankrupt, civil unrest, the pound going through the floor and interest rates rocketing.
        If there is somehow a 2nd referendum, then that would be the end of the Tory Party anyway. Which is more great news.
        The EU, want to grow and expand and have a replacement 28th member. What’s to stop them helping us to become that member? Why wouldn’t they? This, would show the world that the EU is still a successful project, that countries and people’s still want to be part of. A positive story, after the negatively of Brexit.
        Scotland, are in a great position now. Because we voted to Remain and we have made a great show of support for Remaining in the EU over the past 3 years. If the EU don’t help and support such a nation as Scotland at this crucial time, then they know it will weaken the EU. I trust the EU to do the right thing for themselves and for us.

      • The Fly Fifer says:

        Ken Macintosh, a prime example. His face when the First Minister slapped doon that wee Dick fae Labour jist this week. “That’s enough First Minister”. Why’s he still in a job efter the power grab scandal?

        • Cubby says:

          He shouldn’t be there at all. He was voted in to 3rd place in my constituency election then gets in to Holyrood on the Labour list. Pathetic.

  8. Macart says:

    Nope. Refusing any request for an S30 won’t look good at all. Not since they’ve driven a horse and cart through their own constitutional settlements, devolution settlements, indyref assurances and international treaties. Their choice of course, but they might really want to think about that.

    P.S. Hope the dreaded lurgy is on the retreat Paul.

  9. Iain says:

    Not before time for the best minds in the SNP and wider Yes movement to be developing suitably cunning present and future strategies to outflank the devious and deplorable Tories. No stone left unturned. One, the current crop of UK powerholders are far from talented, and secondly their attention lies elsewhere. Fertile ground for keen minds.

  10. Charles McGregor says:

    Under international law, as enshrined in various UN treaties to which the UK is a signatory, the UK, as are all other signatories, obliged to adhere to the principle of self determination.

    If a signatory nation state will not allow a self determination referendum then it must state (and incidentally, promote) what other mechanism, e.g. party election manifestos, exists whereby that human right can be exercised.

    If a signatory nation state will not allow a parliamentary election result for self determination then it must again state and promote what other mechanism, e.g. a referendum, exists whereby that human right can be exercised.

    If a signatory nation state refuses to state or permit any mechanism whereby the human right to self determination can be exercised then the UN through the ICJ will recognize unilateral declarations of independence e.g. Kosovo.

  11. Melvin says:

    I fear that we are waiting too long to make the demand. The request should be made this week.
    We cannot allow another election to happen prior to making the request. I believe after brexit there will be a general election. We need the referendum before the next election.

  12. Rookiescot says:

    What I worry about is if we have an advisory referendum the unionists will boycott it and the media/Westminster will declare it invalid.
    I think in those circumstances the figures from the referendum would not look good anyway. Those who would have voted NO and those who would never have bothered to vote anyway would be lumped together and paraded as a “Majority for NO”. Even dead people would be counted as a NO.
    So what we would end up with is a pointless referendum which is portrait as a victory for remain.

    • Charles McGregor says:

      Even if they do do a Madrid, we need less than 500,000 more votes this time to get > 50% of the electorate, It is do-able. Especially if a Boycott is announced on the back of a refusal to allow a section 30 order.

    • Shagpile says:

      A consultative referendum is always just that. The only opinions relevant are those expressed on the ballot. There are many reasons for exercising your right not to vote. Any stipulation to that referendum regarding a supermajority for example would make it a binding one. No voters abstain at their peril I’m afraid.

      Or here’s a thought, turn the question around a make abstentions count as a vote FOR independence? Joking obviously, but do you see how that would be a nonstarter?

    • Cubby says:

      Rookiescot, people boycott elections/ referendums all the time – it’s called not bothering to turn up to vote and large numbers do it on a regular basis. Does that invalidate all these previous elections. Also a referendum in NIreland set a precedent whereby a boycott did not invalidate the result.

      I am more than happy for Britnats to boycott any referendum but it won’t happen.

  13. Luigi says:

    My concern is that when an S30 is refused by WM and the legal proceedings begin – how long will this drag on for? Court cases can be very lengthy, so some time limit should be expected.

    As has been said: “There are many ways to skin a cat”, so I do believe that other options are being seriously considered.

    • brianmlucey says:

      And if Westminster says A30 or nothing?

    • Macart says:

      It hasn’t been refused as yet Luigi, but if it is? I’d expect a challenge by the SG to be forthcoming. Scotland’s population are after all party to an international treaty. Bestest union, ‘partnership’ and family of nations in the history of everything etc., etc. 🙄

      And yes, I’d probably expect the First Minister would support and request an S30 as a first port of call when you think about it. Any possible court case which then might surface would fall under the category of ‘how long is a piece of string?’.

      There may, (or may not, since it’s currently been ruled out), also be a consultative referendum in event of any refusal (Which is NOT an illegal referendum. There is no court ruling which says otherwise). If that is subsequently ignored? Then there are two other plebiscites which could then be utilised to make the point and all the while there may still be an ongoing appeal to both national and international courts. So after any refusal of the precedented S30? As you say, ‘other options’ and I have absolutely no idea which of those options the SG would adopt.

      But as with Brexit itself, I’d imagine Ms May and her government have to say the words publicly and as a matter of government and legislative record. Brexit hasn’t happened yet and neither has any official refusal of an equally official request by the SG.

      • Luigi says:

        So, if we put the legality of the result aside, there is absolutely nothing to stop a consultative referendum to be held quickly, without any supreme court nonsense?

        If that is the case, then the SG should definitely hold a consultative referendum, and fight it out in he courts later.

        Somebody please clarify. 🙂

        • Macart says:

          As I say it’s never been tested in court, but so far as I’m aware it’s not currently illegal.

          I’d reckon first things first though:

          1. Brexit yes or no hasn’t happened. Whilst breach of constitutional settlement (hell any number of settlements and agreements) is under direct and imminent threat, the action hasn’t legally happened or been ratified.
          2. Ditto any subsequent submission and refusal of an S30 to put the question to Scotland’s electorate. (Basically do you want to go along with this bullshit omnishambles or hit the lifeboats)

          In short? I’d say that’s why the can kicking. It’s about who blinks first in an appalling game of political and constitutional chicken with UK gov basically trolling Scotland’s government and population.

          Folk wonder what the first indyref was all about? Basically this. This is what a no vote bought a population in 2014. This is what ‘better togetherness’ really meant. This is how you turn democracy against itself.

          Hoping folks are paying close attention to the actions of Westminster government and political practices about now.

  14. Great to see you back in the saddle. so to speak, Paul.

    Next week, Down There in the Mother of Insane Asylums, the English MPs and their Jock, Taff, and Mick Collaborators will experience even more deja vus, which is Froggie for ‘haven’t we been here before?’

    May is playing out her last All In stack of reheated chipsgamble next Wednesday:-
    ‘My Deal, or No Deal.’
    The bluff will be called by Europe.
    No Deal it is then.
    The Mini will move from Cowley.
    Nissan, Toyota, Peugot, Land Rover Jaguar, are already taking steps, fecking big ones, in exiting the UK no matter what ‘Deal’ unfolds.
    Dublin and Amsterdam are booming.
    Yesterday the Chatterati on the State Propaganda Units were arguing that although the EU have reiterated that they are not for budging, when WM votes down the same old May Deal by the same margin, 230 votes next week, and we career headlong toward a No Deal Exit a fortnight later, the EU 27 will panic, throw Ireland to the wolves, and abandon Ireland and feck the GFA, despite the wishes of that citizenry to Remain in Europe.
    They are peddling an insane Brinkmanship that can only end one way, badly for England.
    By next Friday, we’ll know whether there is to be a UK GE, a Second ‘People’s Vote on May’s Deal, or Remain, or May resigns and Boris or Jacob or Liam mounts a coup d’état backed by the Junta’s Generals and declare a State of Emergency, and the UK disintegrates into panic and revolt.
    Once the madness of next week unfolds, then we’ll know where we stand.
    Until then, we keep our powder dry.
    It’s coming, it’s inevitable.
    Scotland will be free soon.
    There will be no other option .
    It’s all about to get very nasty indeed.
    I await no one’s ‘permission’ to save my country, Scotland.

    .

  15. brianmlucey says:

    Nations don’t get independence by declaration. They get it via recognition by others. If UDI worked then Western Sahara, Puntland, Transdnistria, and Northern Cyprus would be accepted members of the world community.
    Im an Irish republican and nationalist (aka, Irish) so I get the desire and frustration. But even Ireland didn’t get independence until a legal international treaty was signed. That took a war. Thats the level of opposition that was faced.

    For better or ill the UK exists with Scotland as a part. Declarative, indicative, whatever referenda or elections, whatever reaching back to the Treaty of this or that in 17 hundred and dot, none matter a hang unless and until Westminister accepts them.

    Declaring UDI WILL NOT GET SCOTLAND INTO THE EU. Not a hope. Not a chance. Spain, at a minimum, will block it. A legally accepted (by WM) treaty will. Its the challenge for SNP and Scotland to engineer that.

    Wish away, but you are in a bind. Unless and until there is a clear and obvious and longstanding poll lead (and yeah, the polls are mostly professional and proper ) for Independence no UK gov will let go. That, or a total collapse of the UK system which is not any more implausible

    • Shagpile says:

      Spain will not object to Scottish independence nor EU membership if that independence if achieved constitutionally, and constitutionally, a referendum is not required for the reasons I gave in our conversation above. Of course, the irony here is constitutionally, not democratically. They are funny old things, Spanish and British democracy, are they not?

      • Charles McGregor says:

        It doesn’t much matter if Spain objects. Accession is, and has been for decades, by qualified majority in the EU. This by virtue of a string of accession treaties.

        For example, Croatia’s accession in 2013 was governed by the 2003 Treaty of Nice. If Spain alone had voted against Croatian membership (they didn’t anyway) Croatia would still have become a member.

        Similarly, if Spain alone were to oppose Kosovan membership then Kosovo will become a member, the current Lisbon Treaty requiring even less for qualified majority than the Nice treaty did. Spain probably will oppose it this time because Serbia’s objection is based on constitutional grounds as ruled by their courts i.e. very similar to their own situation in Catalonia.

        However Kosovo’s UDI did not even have a referendum to back it up yet the UN/ICJ did not rule it unlawful.

    • So war it is, Brian.
      Aye, right.
      What Ireland didn’t have at the turn of the last century was a devolved Government.
      And all that entails.
      Like the ‘West Britons’ of Dublin 100 years ago ‘within the Pale’ our Scottish Brit Nat Elite in Edinburgh can only delay the inevitable for so long.
      Scotland shall regain nation status soon now. Brexit will destroy the UK.
      I watched James Cleverly, deputy Chair of the Blue Tories on the morning edition of Propaganda Britain today, churning out the same nonsense as before.
      The EU will crumble and give in to Mighty England.
      Christ, these people are either incredibly thick, or megalomaniacs who still believe that England is the Leader of the western world.
      I say ‘England’, as there can no longer be any pretence that ‘England’ now considers Wales, The North of Ireland, and Scotland to be conquered territories under military occupation.

      When it’s £3 for a pint (0.5 litre) of milk, and farmers go out of business and Spanish fishermen still plunder the North Sea, England will erupt first.
      Meanwhile, we prepare ourselves for Freedom.
      Not UDI, but at the ballot box.
      There will be riots in London soon.

    • Andy Anderson says:

      It would be a legal Declaration of Independence as U.K. has broken the Union treaty several times

      • brianmlucey says:

        So you say. It’s up to others tho isn’t it

        • Andy Anderson says:

          The EVEL law breaks the treaty of Union as it stops MP’s from Scotland voting in a GB wide issue even if it only covers England. The parliament at Westminster is a GB parliament when on 1 May 1707 the parliaments of England and Scotland were dissolved. Note that English MP’s can at present vote on non devolved matters that cover Scotland.

          Scots law is protected by the Union treaty and yet we have now had three legal cases against us in three years in the Supreme court. Last year the Supreme court colluded with the UK government to delay the result of their Scottish Continuity bill for two months to allow Westminster to put a blocking law in place so that the bill was scuppered. Again a breach.

          In April 1689 the Scottish parliament created the Right of Claim legislation which states we the people have the right to choose our government. This has been verified as a current law at Westminster many times over the years the last time in July 2018. They are stopping us doing what we will should we get a Yes majority so they break this treaty.

          I could go on.

        • Cubby says:

          You want to prove that you are who you say you are.

          • brianmlucey says:

            I’m Brian lucey, a professor of international finance at trinity Business School trinity college Dublin. I’m also somebody who has lived in an independent Republic. Feel free to email me, we can have this conversation elsewhere.

        • Och, brian, you’re enjoying yourself too much.
          I believe that the Guardi discovered a cache of explosives and weapons at the Border the other day.
          You are as intensely involved in all of this as the rest of us.
          We are set to lose 80,000 jobs Up Here, our GDP is forecast tod plummet by 8%, and Scottish families will suffer a £2000 a year dip in the Just About Managing income if we sit by placidly and let England drag us out of the biggest trading bloc in the Free World..

          The alternative to the Bad SNP Government, which our MSM, in the pay of the Iron Heel Brit Nat Elite, support and provide a diurnal platform for the lies and threats of political giants like Jenny Mara and James Kelly, , would be the Blue Red and Yellow ProudScotsBut Anglo controlled puppets who would close Holyrood and implement English Laws on Scots.

          A head teacher in England is filmed today at her canteen cash register as 7000 English head teachers write to every parent declaring that Willie Rennie’s Austerity parties have starved English Education of funds, and kids in England are being stabbed to death almost on a daily basis because the English Police Force has been cut by 23,000,which May insanely asserts has nothing to do with the rise in violent crime; add University tuition fees, tolls on bridges and motorways, prescription charges, the 5 year freeze on UCS, the Two Children UCS limit, the Rape Clause, the parlous and increasingly privatised state of the English NHS, Trident, HS2 which will not come within 100 miles of Scotland but which will cost cities like Aberdeen and Dundee 100’s millions of Scottish Pounds in lost trade, and you get a clearer picture.
          The UK is crumbling.
          The thought of Jackson Carlaw and Murdo Political Failure Fraser introducing their Head Offices’ English policies Up Here plus a xenophobic Brexit and imposed House Arrest by an English Border ‘Force’, and it is not too difficult to lose patience with hair splitters and semanticists who contemplate their academic navels while Scotland, and Ireland, btw, are on the brink of disaster.
          We are leaving their Union, one way or another. And very soon now.
          Prove it? Really?

          • brianmlucey says:

            As you know Jack I’m very proud the idea of Scottish independence. However I’m a realist.anyhow, this evening at seems as though it’s all going down to the wire.the idea of a Northern Ireland only backstop, which TUK initially proposed and has subsequently resigned from, is now back on the table. this of course would drive the democratic Unionist party around the bend, but that’s the price that the government may have to pay if they wish to avoid another humiliating defeat. I’m off now to walk the dog and enjoy being in Europe 😁

            • Cubby says:

              You are a bit of a smug troll aren’t you. That’s a bit of Scottish ad hom for you to enjoy on your return from your dog walking.

              • brianmlucey says:

                Back from the walk. Sorry you think reality from outsiders trolling. It seems as though some of the more extreme Scottish nationalists have a lot in common, in terms of thin skinned inability to see beyond the worldview , with brexiteers. I think it was a Scottish poet who said something about seeing yourself as others see you? Anyhow, I think of Scotland wants to be independent it should. I think it’s going to on YouTube. If people are realistic. That means it’s going to cost, it’s going to be difficult, and it’s not going to be achieved by looking back at treaties of 1647 or 1702 or whatever, it’d going to be achieved by modern constitutional means. but as I said by all means feel free to indulge in your fantasising. Nothing wrong with it.

                • JGedd says:

                  I think I smell schadenfreude. Why would an academic from Trinity College take the time to enter into a lengthy conversation on a Scottish blog site? The thing about trolling is it can often start with supposed concern but very soon the tone becomes more snarky – as your comments have done. Sounds very much like the comments we often read from British Nationalists. Something for Scots to realise – not all Irish people are sympathetic to Scotland and its independence.

                  You couldn’t resist that less-than-friendly smug taunt about enjoying being in Europe. Methinks you are enjoying too much your constant reiteration of how hopeless our case is. Your ‘ concern’ is transparently insincere.

                • Cubby says:

                  This guy is a troll.

            • Watch you don’t catch a cold out there in the bracing early March wind, Brian.
              Your GP will charge you 30 Euros for an appointment.
              Be it only at the closing of your day.

    • Cubby says:

      Brianmlucey

      Not the old UDI error again. This shows a fundamental misunderstanding of Scotlands legal position within the UK. Scotland is not in the same position as Ireland or Catalonia. Your post is totally wrong. Scotland is an equal partner in the UK not a part of it. So please do not post this misinformed UDI comments again.

        • Cubby says:

          Troll – Irish – aye right.

          • brianmlucey says:

            As I say, keep dreaming. Countries become independent from other countries recognise that they are independent. and that’s not going to happen in the case of Scotland until and unless something is achieved within the existing constitutional confines. But hey, go for it if you wish.

            • Cubby says:

              Your post makes no sense. You may be a professor but that does not mean your post makes sense or that you are correct about UDI. Plenty of professors talk a lot of mince.

            • Shagpile says:

              On that point Brian I agree, and I think you gathered that much from our previous conversation. What really matters is that independence is achieved constitutionally. Regarding referendum, S30 order or not. It becomes constitutional when Westminster accepts the outcome.

              We independentistas should accept the reality, and not seek grievance in the past. It is not worth the effort. Lallands Peat Warrior who is a constitutional expert and independentista has said as much. There is a link to his blog on this site.

              You won’t find folk calling him a troll on this blog or his own. I too have been called a troll in the past. Some badges of honour come is weird forms.

              Below the line comments are suppose to provoke thought on an article, and test the validity of any given opinion. Thank you for your contribution.

              • brianmlucey says:

                “It becomes constitutional when Westminster accepts the outcome.”
                Exactly. LPW is a great resource. As is here and as is Wings. But, folks….while I care not a whit what some one calls me, when people who are well disposed and outside comment, perhaps, just perhaps, some thoughtful reflection would be useful.
                Ireland would welcome an independent , constitutionally achieved, Scotland in Europe. Or, not. It really is not a biggie. In some ways another small, smart, celtic, common law, english speaking nation is A Bad Thing as it dilutes our uniqueness. But, all in all, we’ll welcome So, go or stay. But do it right and do it smart.

        • Cubby says:

          “Keep dreaming” – thats an expert post is it. It’s a troll post. It’s a lazy post. It’s an ad hom post.

      • romiveda says:

        Mundell repeats that Scotland is PART of the UK and not a PARTNER, nowadays. Semantics indeed but proof that they make it all up as they go along.

    • Cubby says:

      BM Lucey
      A totally ignorant post. You are nothing but a troll. Repeating the same tired old lies that are churned out by British Nationalists.

  16. Welsh Sion says:

    Sorry to go off topic – but tomorrow is a fairly important day, I believe.

    I’m sure you will agree there will be a lot of 80 minute Welshies and Scotties at Murrayfield tomorrow.

    However, and as is my wont, I hope you will bear with me when I cease to support all things Scottish for those 80 minutes and cheer on the 15 men in red. Rest assured, normal service will be resumed thereafter – whatever the result.

    Oh, and did I say? I hope you come a strong second.

    Best wishes.

    PS Good to see the wee ginger dug back.

  17. JockG says:

    If the Unionists want to be arsey about lawfullness would someone please remind them that granting or withholding a request for a Section 30 Order in terms of the Scotland Act 1998 is still a ministerial function which could be challenged by judicial review. Successful judicial reviews have been made under the fairness aspect of natural justice where the decision maker has made public statements indicating that they have pre-judged the issue. If/when any such request is made an denied by the current Tory governmenrt Mr Hunt’s ill judged comments is likely to come back to haunt them.

  18. Roy Moore says:

    Clearly, there are two problems with this “Consultative Referendum” approach.
    1. Having (correctly in my opinion) taken the Section 30 route in 2014, to do anything different is to give credibility to to the Unionists argument that would say the new process is illegitimate.
    2. Given the above point, any referendum without a Section 30 agreement will, without doubt, be boycotted by Unionist voters. Therefore the result would not be reliable.

    No, the only way is via a Section 30, I think Nicola Sturgeon is absolutely right in this. Intransigence from Westminster along with Unionist arrogance is nothing new. From their perspective, why should they agree easily? Just means a tougher battle to win. At the end of the day, it’ll come down to numbers. The more Scots Tories there are in Holyrood & Westminster the more comfortable May will feel about resisting.

    • Luigi says:

      Disagree. We could end up in constitutional limbo forever.

      1. The BritNats can say and do what they like. Boycot until their hearts content. I say have the consultative ref and then fight it out in the courts. If there is a big yes result, then it’s all over IMO. Will the establishment/ supreme court challenge and stall? Of course, but the momentum of a yes vote would drive us to indy in a very short time. By then it is unstoppable. The important thing is to build and sustain momentum.

      2. Boycots would not affect the momentum – as I said this is the big factor.

      Noone expected it to be easy. Keep the momentum, keep the pressure on and WM will crack eventually. 🙂

      • Robert Moore says:

        “If there is a big yes result, then it’s all over IMO. ” The result can be as big a Yes as you like. In matters nothing, if, through a deliberate strategy of boycotting by the Unionists, they can claim that the vote is unrepresentative. Has to be a Section 30 for me. I’ve supported independence for 40 years. Nothing less than a legal, legitimate referendum will do. No matter how hard that is to achieve.

        • Luigi says:

          Och Robert, you are falling into the old legal trap. It’s not about the law. It’s all about momentum and public perception. Once more than 50% of the people support indy it’s all over. It really is.

          The law is an ass. Yes, laws can be used to stall but invariably they fail. We will become independent when the sovereign people of Scotland are ready. No matter what laws they try to impose. They have tried that (unsuccessfully) so many time before. It’s all about momentum. 🙂

          • Roy Moore says:

            Of course it’s about the law. The fact that, in your opinion, “the law is an ass” is entirely irrelevant I’m afraid. On your point of over 50% of the people. How do you measure that? The referendum you propose is not capable of it. Why? It would be boycotted.
            Momentum. Yes, great. To build it, we need people to move from from No to Yes. That will need to include traditional Labour & (dare I say it) Tory voters. the referendum proposed will not go far in this regard. It’s nothing more than an opinion poll, skewed by confirmation bias.

            • Cubby says:

              Roy Moore

              People boycott elections/referendums all the time. It’s called not bothering to turn up to vote. Are these elections deemed null and void? No of course they are not.
              A referendum in NIreland was subject to a publicised boycott in the past. Did the UK declare it null and void – no they did not – that’s a legal precedent.

              You are just regurgitating Britnat propaganda. Please stop.

        • Cubby says:

          Robert Moore

          Two more points for you.

          1. The last ref in 2014 was not a legal, legitimate, fair, honest referendum.

          2. If you supported independence for 40 years a good chunk of that 40 years there was no such thing as A Sect 30. So what did you think should happen then to gain independence and why was it valid then but not now?

          Sorry but you are totally being taken in by Britnat propaganda.

    • JockG says:

      I disagree. While it would be nice to do things like in 2014 the Unionists know their lies have been exposed and that they will likely loose next time round. There is no prospect of them acting honorably. Just imagine what the reaction would have been if the EU had declined to recognise the outcome of the EU referendum because ‘now is not the time’

      Westminster can delay and obstruct all it wants but deciding whether or nor Scotland should be independent is a matter for the people of Scotland and no one else.

      Most multi-national states break up because of some existential crisis. Consensual ordered break ups are very rare. Sadly, I think it will take some crisis or confrontation before Westminster sees sense.

    • Cubby says:

      Roy Moore

      Two points:

      1. What law is being broken in consulting the people of Scotland about their future governance. In most countries that would be seen as a positive but only in Britnat media can it be spun as being illegal. Sorry but you are being taken in by Britnat propaganda. Some Britnat journalist says something is illegal and you take his word. I repeat what law and why are the journalists never asked what law is being broken.

      2. You are wrong. Nicola Sturgeon NEVER said the only way is a sect 30. Britnat misleading spin.

  19. And the Brit Nat lapdogs at the Hootsman and Herald Britland headline with a ‘will say from’ that sad old Commie Corbyn, a basically Bad EssEnnPee piece, printed without critique by Tom Gordon and Scott MacNabb, who must have the easiest Dead Tree Scroll hacks’ jobs on the planet.
    Cut and Pastry at its laziest.
    Their readers (/) are provided with the news that only that Dick Leonard will tackle climate change, and end Tory/SNP Austerity.
    You couldn’t make it up.
    Obliging hacks churning out lies for a wage.
    Grow a pair, lads.
    Start speaking up for Scotland.
    This from almost similar straps:-

    “He [Corbyn the Abstainer] will say: “We shouldn’t have a situation where a quarter of children in Scotland are living in poverty. We shouldn’t have thousands of Scottish young people without a home. We shouldn’t have life expectancy in Britain falling.”

    Well, Paul, Rab, a quarter of Scottish children are living in poverty because we are under the yoke of an English Parliament, and their Fourth Column Up Here, who have imposed state engineered poverty on Scots citizens for 300 years in this perverted ‘Union’.
    God, let’s get rid of these Red Tories for once and for all.
    Our MSM are a disgrace and beneath contempt.

    • ps I’ve combined Fifth Column and Fourth Estate. Our hacks and broadcasters are the ‘Fourth Column’, enemies of the people of Scotland within.
      They are beyond redemption..

  20. Robert Graham says:

    Apologises a bit o/t , I watched the debate on EU settled status from Holyrood and yet again this Tory lot show just how out of step they are with most normal folk in Scotland , these people who never wanted the re-convening of our parliament display their contempt not only for the wishes of the majority of the Scottish people but for the parliament itself , I doubt if anyone would miss their departure if they all just disappeared , most of them were never elected anyway but the rest of us are obliged to suffer their presence and their fat arses on the seats we pay for , its a bloody disgrace these cretins are allowed in our parliament

    • Andy Anderson says:

      When we are independent no pre independence unionist MP’s or MSP’s must be allowed to stand for public office again

  21. markrussell20085017 says:

    Irresistible argument, as always, Paul, but I fear events might necessarily delay another referendum for some time – although I sincerely hope it will take place when the dust settles. There is an ugly mood building in England – a perfect storm of various and opposing forces. If anyone thinks violent crime is a problem right now, just wait until summer arrives.

    We now have community security patrols – local action groups, not the cops – walking the streets in town as there have been a spate of burglaries and theft by gangs from Liverpool and Manchester over the last month. Blackpool was dead today.

    In the last few days, local shops have sold out of staple foods but have promised new deliveries next week. All elective surgery has been cancelled in Lancashire from next Thursday until further notice. It’s going to get ‘interesting’ fairly soon. This week, those migrated onto Universal Credit will discover their payment – delayed for the last six weeks – will be on average 60% of their previous award. There are over 8,000 ex-military living on the streets – I don’t know the total figure, but even here in Lytham we have tents in the sand dunes and old caravans parked up to buttress the hardy ones in shop doors and bus shelters. Our local council met yesterday to discuss fining rough sleepers, but we don’t yet know what they decided. Opposing forces – yeah?

    Sit back and enjoy the show. Scotland will have independence, if it is given a voice, but it still has a neighbour and we will always have a relationship with England one way or another. Best to preserve all the good things that we share. Personally, I hope the people down here experience their very own Metanoia and sort things out once and for all, but that won’t be an easy task..

    There’s so much stuff we need to be getting on with – but reading about the latest developments at Fukushima makes me wonder whether anything is really important anymore. And whether this Brexit crap has just simply been another diversion. It will take a global revolution to give humanity just a slender chance to progress beyond another couple of generations, but I don’t see the spark of inspiration anywhere in the present climate at Westminster or anywhere else for that matter.

    Maybe in a few weeks, you will gather at Housesteads, Berwick and the top of the Annan and look south and wonder what might be left of this partnership to seek independence from anyway. There are two ways that ends a marriage after all. As we all know.

    Let’s hope some good comes from it all.

    • Andy Anderson says:

      Scary Mark.

    • Mark, I recall the blocks of retirement flats overlooking the sand dunes of St Annes.
      I wonder what the legions of silver Surfers who voted Leave think now?
      The 300,000 or so who escaped to spend their twilight years on the Costas have been abandoned by their Party of choice, the Blue Tories.
      What happens to ‘ex-pats’, or those who immigrated to Spain to live a life of luxury in the low cost Costas now?
      No Health Care, their GBP Pensions devaluing against the Euro day by day, and their status as Immigrants in doubt?
      Can anybody imagine a greater political folly than Brexit?
      On here we argue semantics. What’s ‘legal’, or ‘illegal’ about calling Indyref 2.
      You describe Eucopalypse Now in Blackpool, and doubtless other towns and cities in the North of England.
      Yet the ERG very own Billy Bunter, the Fat Owl of the Remove, Mark Francois is all over the BBC spouting suicidal rubbish.
      Karen Bradley denies the findings of the Bloody Sunday enquiry, £200 million in the making, that ‘British’ citizens were killed unlawfully, and Amber Rudd describes Diane Abbott as a ‘coloured person’.

      England, The Tribe That lost Its Head.

      There will be blood.

  22. Cubby says:

    The Britnats are between a rock and a hard place.

    Continue to refuse a sect 30 will just demonstrate to more people that Scotland is being held hostage by a bunch of right wing fascists and independence will follow in due course.

    Agree to a sect 30 and lose Scotlands wealth in the immediate future.

    • William Purves says:

      England wants to keep its hands on all the oil and gas income. Just like America always wanting to change Governments in oil-producing countries to suit Americans business.

  23. benmadigan says:

    off topic people – but for the day that’s in it!

    Do you recognize any of you family members and friends?

    https://eurofree3.wordpress.com/2019/03/08/international-womens-day-8th-march-2019/

  24. Malcolm says:

    Why dont we dissolve the Scottish Parliament and hold an election after 1st of April. We dont need Westmonsters permission for that. A majority of Independence votes and we are there.

    • douglas clark says:

      Malcolm,

      Either that or make sure that it is a manifesto commitment (for a General Election) that, if you vote for ‘me’ you are voting for independence. I have always thought that these are the simple solutions.

  25. Malcolm says:

    Douglas you are right the simple solutions are the best. I’m sure Nicola has a plan, just hope everyone won’t be disappointed when it’s announced.

  26. grafter says:

    Meanwhile deep in the bowels of Whitehall…….

  27. TGC says:

    Brianmlucey, you are correct.
    There are people commenting on social media like this and wos who hark back to treaties of old as the way to Scottish independence ignoring historical fact that shows treaties are ignored regularly or explained away into oblivion by expert lawyers you can forget about United Nations helping too recent events prove that.
    Meanwhile England keeps increasing the number of English people living in Scotland which is now about 15% if you include those in H.M.Forces.
    If you state facts and reject the UDI dream you get called a troll or an undercover British nationalist oh dear, and the group that commonly behave this way on here and wos and elsewhere do so as a pack chasing people down with insults and threatening behaviour, they don’t want opinions other than their own.
    They fail to realise that they are outnumbered by sensible pragmatic free thinkers with a better and more realistic view of the world and Scotland within it.
    I believe SNP are doing things the right way avoiding the traps set by England which are there to set Scot against Scot this is what England have done in other countries including Ireland .
    Scottish independence will hard fought but I reckon that as long as the young new voters favour independence time will tip the balance in our favour as the old die hards that see the British empire as a good thing not just for England but the whole world, die off.
    I’m looking forward to it so much especially so that we won’t have a daily celebration of WWII like we do now.

  28. Cubby says:

    ROY MOORE and ROBERT MOORE

  29. Alex says:

    Paul:
    Would you please read Craig Murray’s document: ” The Scottish Parliament Does Have
    the Right to Withdraw from the Act of Union.” and give us your opinion. Craig Murray was
    a former Ambassador so he should know what he is talking about. Let us stop talking
    about a section 30 and look at it from his perspective.

  30. gus1940 says:

    Can I suggest the WGD’s new article headings be set up on a file which we can use to print them on cards for scattering around buses,trains, supermarkets and pubs.

    Card stock for inkjet or laser printers is not expensive and we as individuals could saturate the country with these hard hitting facts and arguments.

    The same file could also be used to print stickers for outgoing snail mail and create attachments for outgoing e-mails.

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