Taking our fate into our own hands

ukprison
There’s been a lot of discussion within the independence movement recently about the timing of the next referendum. There are those who are deeply suspicious of the SNP leadership, and whether Nicola Sturgeon is serious in her pursuit of a Section 30 order and a referendum next year. Some want a referendum right now, before Brexit starts to wreak its destructive effects. They warn that the momentum will go out of the movement, that the devastation of a no deal Brexit will drive EU citizens away. Others call for caution and point to the slow rise in support for independence in opinion polls as evidence that we can and should wait for support to rise to 60%. Then they say, when there is a referendum we can be certain of winning it.

It’s important that we never forget that this is not a disagreement about our goal, it’s a disagreement about tactics. All of us within the independence movement want the same thing, independence for this country. We may have different views about how we get there. We may have different ideas of the kind of independent Scotland that we seek to build. However we should, we must, agree to disagree without being disagreeable, because it’s only as a product of that respectful disagreement that a new consensus can emerge.

For my own part I believe that we are not yet at the end of the Section 30 order road, but we’re approaching the sign that tells us that the bridge is out and an alternative route will be required. I do not believe that a Section 30 order is the be all and end all of Scottish independence. It is not a necessary precondition to another referendum, although in this current political landscape it is desirable to seek one. That may change in the near future.

The reason why it is presently a good idea to pursue a Section 30 order is because that is the best way to ensure that soft noes and undecideds can be carried with us. They must see that the Scottish Government has exhausted every possible means of getting Westminster’s cooperation before they will agree with us on the necessity of an alternative strategy. Only once it becomes apparent to soft no voters and undecideds that the anti-independence parties are being dishonest in their refusal of another referendum will we be able to count on their support for a different route to independence. Those of us who already support independence already know that the anti-independence parties are being dishonest and anti-democratic, but we’re not the ones that the SNP needs to prove a case to.

I share the frustration that is widespread in the grassroots movement that the SNP leadership is not being assertive enough in pursuit of independence, but I accept that their strategy is to court soft noes and undecideds, and the way to do that is to prove to those voters that the Scottish Government is sincere in its opposition to a damaging Brexit. Again, it seems to me that the SNP strategy is to ensure that soft noes and undecideds are carried with us. Those of us who are nailed on independence supporters feel that this approach is marginalising us. Although it may be understandable, it is frustrating.

Those frustrations are growing ever more strong because the political pressure is rising. We are facing an execution date in the shape of Brexit day on 31 October. It’s only a month away now, and there is still no apparent solution to the Brexit problem and we seem no closer to another independence referendum. We have a British Prime Minister who is taking a blowtorch to what passes for a British constitution and who is indulging himself in dangerous language designed to whip up his base into a frenzy of fury. It would have been unthinkable a few short years ago, but we are now actually living in a UK where the rule of law is being challenged, and where democracy is under threat – and the threats to it come from the British government itself. So much for that safety and security of the UK that Scotland was promised in 2014.

It’s difficult to see how Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson can get around the Benn Act which requires him to ask the EU for an extension to Article 50 in less than three weeks time if there’s no deal on the table. It’s even harder to see how this Prime Minister can get a deal, all the more so since he’s been making only perfunctory moves in that direction, moves which appear to be designed more at putting the blame for no-deal on the EU and his opponents in the Commons than in achieving a deal. We feel stuck, with no idea how the current situation can be resolved.

We are mired in uncertainty. It’s that uncertainty which is responsible for the rising sense of anxiety that so many of us feel. You can’t go about your daily life without knowing what’s happening just a month down the line. It’s a recipe for panic, for depression, for worry. It is known that uncertainty is a cause of stress, and that stress in turn is a cause of depression. The feeling that you are powerless to influence your fate leads many into a sink of despair. It leads others to lash out. It leads some to anger.

What we do know is that there’s going to be a Westminster General Election sooner rather than later. We have no clue how that election is going to work out at a UK level. But we can be fairly sure that unless the SNP does something spectacularly self-destructive between now and election day that it is poised to make substantial gains at the coming election. So for the time being I am still prepared to give the SNP leadership the benefit of any doubt. The British political landscape will change after the coming election, and the Scottish political landscape will change even more. There is an excellent chance that Scottish Conservative and the Labour party in Scotland MPs can be substantially reduced in number or perhaps even wiped out entirely. Parties which have suffered electoral defeats on that scale are in no place to claim that the party that defeated them has no popular mandate.

I doubt that Westminster will be any more disposed to cooperate with a Section 30 order after the next election than it is at the moment, for the exact same reason that it won’t be disposed to cooperate should opinion polls show a substantial and consistent lead for Yes. Westminster and the anti-independence parties will be even less disposed to facilitate a referendum than they currently are, because then they will know with absolute certainty that they are going to lose the referendum. They’re not going to cooperate with their own destruction. They will only find some other spurious grounds for denying a Section 30 order. In turn this means that should we wait until the polls show a strong and consistent lead for independence, or we wait until after the next election when the SNP return 50 or more MPs, then we’re still faced with the problem of how to bring the referendum about in the face of Westminster’s opposition. So we’re right back to where we are now.

However what can change after the next General Election is the SNP’s determination to pursue another independence referendum. A significant and substantial boost to the party’s electoral fortunes could and should embolden the leadership. Immediately after an unequivocal victory at the ballot box in that election, an election which must be fought on a mandate to give Scotland the right to choose its own path, the SNP must press vigorously for a Section 30 order. Not to request it, but to demand it as the right of the Scottish people. We must ensure that the focus of our campaign if that demand is rebuffed should be the perversion of Scottish democracy by a Westminster Parliament which refuses to recognise a mandate given by the Scottish people at an election. The right of Scotland to determine its own future is not conditional on the permission of non-Scottish MPs.

When this demand is made, it must be made clear to whoever is in Downing Street at the time that his or her cooperation is not necessary, that Scotland has a sovereign right to determine its own future and that right is not subject to a veto from a British Prime Minister whom Scotland did not vote for. If Westminster wishes to ensure that it still seen to respect the decisions of Scotland, that this really is a union, then it is very much in Westminster’s interests to agree to a referendum. That’s the only hope in hell that the anti-independence parties have of going into the independence referendum as defenders of a union of nations and not as apologists for a unitary Brexit Greater England. But it must be made plain to Westminster that Scotland will be deciding irrespective of a Prime Minister’s yes or no.

If Westminster refuses yet again to cooperate with a Section 30 order, then I believe it will be time for alternative routes to an independence vote. Joanna Cherry’s legal expertise could and should be used to test the legality of a referendum without a Section 30 order. Anyone who tells you that a referendum without a Section 30 order is illegal is offering you a political opinion, not a legal fact. The only legal fact is that the matter has never been tested in the courts. It should be.

Simultaneously with a legal challenge, the independence movement should start preparations for a plebiscite election. The next election in Scotland after this General Election should be transformed into one which seeks a mandate not for a referendum, but for independence itself. We must make it very plain to the anti-democratic forces of British nationalism in Scotland that one way or another, the people of Scotland will have their say. And they will do so without seeking permission from Westminster.

The inescapable truth that the British nationalist parties don’t want Scotland to realise is that if we have to demand our right to vote, it can only be because they are trying to thwart democracy. If a democratic mandate is refused then you’re not living in a democracy. A Scotland that isn’t allowed to choose its own future is a Scotland that’s imprisoned. One way or another, Scotland is going to have its say. The best cure for the anxiety that is bred by uncertainty is to take your fate into your own hands.


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52 comments on “Taking our fate into our own hands

  1. John Lamb says:

    I’ve often heard it said that parts of the Treaty of Union have been broken by the WG. If that is the case.. cannot a legal challenge be mounted against the current validity of the Treaty? And, if it’s terms have been broken, then declared null and void.

    • weegingerdug says:

      The Treaty was broken by Westminster not long after it came into effect, and it’s been broken regularly ever since. But there is no clever clever legalistic route to independence. We can only win through the ballot box.

      • astytaylor says:

        Totally true.
        If more than 50% of voters don’t say Yes, then we stay in the UK.
        But 60% or more would be better…

      • Kenmath says:

        Agreed; if a S30 referendum is refused we have to be able to demonstrate, as a first step, that a majority of Scots voters want Indy. If we can do that, there are potential openings involving the United Nations Charter and the Helsinki Agreement, but first we have to demonstrate that the democratic wish of the majority of the Scots people has been blocked by the UK Gov.

        • Coinneach mac Raibeart says:

          I hope you are right, but would the Catalans not have tried this already?

          • weegingerdug says:

            There is no constitutional bar on a Scottish independence referendum. The Spanish Supreme Court holds that any independence referendum in Catalonia would be illegal, whether it is agreed with Madrid or not. The Spanish constitution only permits a referendum if it’s the whole of Spain that votes in it, not just Catalonia.

      • Betterave says:

        over on wings re the article in the national in which you contributed , and I quote ” number of people quoted in article 11 , Actual number of ideas suggested for how to secure a second referendum: 0 so let me ask how are you going to secure a 2nd indy ref ,?

        • weegingerdug says:

          I explain my thinking in this article you’re commenting on.

          Demand a Section 30 order after SNP win increased number of seats after General Election.
          Test the legality of a referendum without a Section 30 order.
          Prepare for a plebiscite election.

          There’s three ideas right there.

          • Betterave says:

            fair enough , i wish the snp political leadership would make some noises along those lines , thanks for the swift reply .

            • weegingerdug says:

              To be fair to the journalist who was doing the interviewing – she didn’t actually ask how we can get another indyref. She asked how we thought recent events in Westminster impacted on the independence movement.

  2. […] Wee Ginger Dug Taking our fate into our own hands There’s been a lot of discussion within the independence movement recently about the […]

  3. John Lamb says:

    Yes indeed the only route to Scotland’s independence is through the ballot box such is real-politik. It must also be true that when westminster broke the terms of the treaty or contract, they invalidated the document. But might is right and we are a conquered country.

  4. John McLeod says:

    The key statement in today’s article is “Immediately after an unequivocal victory at the ballot box in that election, an election which must be fought on a mandate to give Scotland the right to choose its own path, the SNP must press vigorously for a Section 30 order. Not to request it, but to demand it as the right of the Scottish people.”

    And the key phrase in that statement is “demand it as the right of the Scottish people”. We can build a powerful momentum. First, an election campaign in which independence is explicitly right at the centre of the debate. Followed by refusal of a Section 30 order by whoever is the PM in London. This creates a clear focus point for massive, peaceful public protest that keeps making this demand over and over again until they cave in – marches every day, picketing the Scotland Office, strikes, and much more. I cannot see how the SNP, as the party of government with responsibility for the legal system, could lead such protests – its up to the rest of us.

    There is every likelihood that this scenario will happen very soon. Making the case as clearly and powerfully as possible in the election campaign will be crucial, as will getting the vote out. We need to work out how to handle an election in which people in England, and therefore the UK media as a whole, will be preoccupied with different issues. We need to make sure that the pro-independence parties in Scotland have enough money to make sure that their message is not drowned out.

  5. Macart says:

    Couldn’t agree more. 🙂

    Nice to come back after long weekend and find some sanity close to hand.

  6. crabbitgits says:

    Thanks for that Paul; it was just what I needed. I so admire your clarity and vision that you show in you’re blogs. I agree with every word of it although I am not always able to stick to it myself.

  7. Bob Lamont says:

    On the button again.
    Interesting times ahead…

  8. Ah, so we can we rely on the Blue Red and Beige version of ‘democracy’.
    ‘The British People’ voted to leave the EU, no ifs, no buts.

    That’s the version of ‘democracy’ which the English political class, including Jo Swansong’s former Collaborators ,have been peddling since June 2016.

    ‘The British People’ being the 17.4 million who voted Leave.

    The 16 million or so, and the millions of others who did not bother to vote , or were disenfranchised, ‘lost’.
    They’ll get what a Far Right Cabal of Blue Tory Extremists grant them. They are losers and 3 years and 3 months on, still remain ‘losers’.
    Of the 17.4 million who voted, there was scant information upon which to make their individual decision. The Red Bus Lie is now legend.

    The wee wifie interviewed at her stall in Preston market, back then in 2016, which seems a lifetime ago, never mind a ‘generation’, dyed in the wool Labour, but racist to her marrow, didn’t vote for a Blue Tory Brexit.

    Doubtless when she has to pay £1500 to Virgin Medicine for her year’s supply of inhaler she’ll have cause to reflect on Johnny Furriner taking her job.

    Farage’s disgusting poster still riles.

    As UKIP morphed into the Brexit Party to mask its clearly fascist/racist agenda,the Blue Tories
    ditched May and ‘democratically’ forced the maddest PM in history on to 17.4 million ‘British People’ by allowing 96,000 votes from wealthy white Southern Counties Blue Tory radicals to pick the PM of the UK.
    The rest of us, the vast majority, just stand by and watch this unfold, because, apparently, that’s ‘democracy’.

    ‘Democracy’ is apparently ‘getting Brexit done’, and by 31st of October, and now, with No Deal; the 17.4 million will rise up apparently and riot if the UK is still a ‘vassal state’ under control of Johnny Furriner.

    It has never occurred to even one Broadcaster or Dead Tree Scroller to muse: Why haven’t the 16 million ‘Remoaners’ rioted?

    Will the Remoaners riot if we are dragged out of the EU with No Deal in October?

    Will Scotland rise on that day, the 62% who voted Remain, and take over the Government of our country, Scotland, by force of arms if necessary.

    But no, we are Peaceniks; we are Make Love not War snowflakes?

    The Great British Bulldogs who have sent the Froggies and Krauts packing, will rise up and drive the Furriner from these islands.

    We cannot rely on Johnson, and his Fifth Column Up Here playing by ‘the rules’, Paul.

    Davidson has resigned, and Jackson Carlaw has gone all English Imperialist

    On Brewer yesterday he came across as the ultimate bloated ruddy face colonial.

    He is in Manchester at the Blue Tory Rally.

    He is backing Johnson to leave on 31st October with No Deal.

    His Scots constituents do not enter his thoughts. He is ‘English’ and will cheer and hoorah while Johnson promises (lies about) building 40 new English Hospitals, recruiting 20,000 more English police, and building lots more Free English Schools, and extending HS2across the Northern (English) Powerhouses from Manchester Liverpool to Leeds, York and Newcastle.

    This ruddy faced little opportunist will sacrifice Scotland’s Freedom to support an English mad man who is determined to drive England over the edge in 5 weeks time.

    Even Brewer laughed in his face.

    Small wonder Davidson did what Davidson does best; fucked off when the going gets tough.

    The anticipated UK GE will be de facto Indyref 2/ Phase 1; the electorate should be left in no doubt that a vote for Independence candidates is a vote for Independence.
    Then if as expected, the SNP/Greens are returned as a majority, even, 30-29, this is mandate enough for Indyref 2.

    Johnson is banning NS from the climate change summit in Glasgow and insists that the Butcher’s Apron will fly over the Meeting. No Saltire, No FM in the country hosting the event.
    Fascist don’t do ‘democracy’, Paul.
    What if, instead of the Apron, a swastika fluttered above our Dear Green Place?

    We demand, Paul. I shall no longer tolerate any UK politician ‘forbidding’ me from doing what I and my fellow Scots deem necessary for the good of Scotland.

    The worm has turned.
    Freedom in 2020. No ifs, no buts.

  9. Stuart MacKay says:

    Excellent post Paul.

    If you ignore the spat over the Wings Party there does seem to be a growing sense / consensus among the various blogs that things are starting to move – finally. If the vote of no confidence is pursued by the SNP this week then a clear sense of purpose should start to emerge on all fronts.

  10. Daisy Walker says:

    I really hope you are correct.

    One string to the SNP’s bow re S30 order is that the WM Govt is an international laughing stock – would you trust any cheque signed by Boris and Co? It would be a Fools Gold Standard and not worth the paper it is written on.

    You say the SNP look set to take a large majority of Scottish MP seats, unless they do something incredibly foolish to shoot themselves in the foot. Last GE you publicly refused to vote for the local SNP candidate due to his ‘flat earth – anti homosexual’ religious beliefs – understandably. I feel the same about the proposed alterations to the GRA. Which makes me a ‘Jeremy Hunt’, or an adult female human – depending on your view point. And for the record I’m as live and let live/stand up for the underdog/civil rights as you get. If the likes of me are worried about this – then the foundations of it are on incredibly shaky ground.

    I look at what they did with the child safety ‘named person’ policy – which was undoubtedly good as a whole, and only needed slight alterations, and I have no doubts that this will be ‘weaponised’ big time in the next GE.

    Last time out – Brexit – an MP was murdered, GE – a bomb murdered many, and there was the attack on WM Bridge.

    We now have thousands rallying in the streets of London and a PM using the language of war.

    A PM who unlawfully shut down Westminster Parliament! and is still in power.

    We only got Holyrood Parliament because of being a member of the EU and the democratic standards it upheld. On 31/10/19 we are out of the EU. A deal is non existent, and not being negotiated.

    Our only hope now, lies in an extension to A50, and all that does is postpone things once again.

    A GE – going by the polls will give an overwhelming majority to Tory/Brexit England. They will ride complete roughshod over Scotland’s parliament and do so to the rallying cry of the English Nationalists. All our English Remainer ‘friends’ who begged the SNP and Nicola to help them fight Brexit will go strangely silent.

    We face 2 very real dangers just now – a no deal brexit, chaos, state of emergency, shut down Holyrood.

    Or an extension – GE, Tory majority, English Nationalism run rampant, Holyrood shut down by the front door or the back.

    There’s a VONC rumoured for Boris today – lets see how it pans out. I’m thinking one of the unionist ‘opposition’ parties is likely to scupper it.

    One of the few remaining options I see, which would have some kind of built in safety, is if the FM Calls the date for the Scots getting to the Ballot box before 31/10/19 – obviously it can no longer be held before 31/10/19.

    The people of Scotland getting to the ballot box is where the power lies, and always has.

    Sorry to be so negative.

    • Daisy, you are far from negative.
      However, (and that’s not the ‘but’ as in the General McCarthy ‘Everything before ‘but’ is ‘bullsh1t’) we cannot rely on England (WM) acting in good faith.
      Scotland is a Big Fat Money Tree.
      Our wealth is cynically siphoned off on a yearly basis and ends up in the accounts, both in London, and the the Caymans, of the Rich English Oligarchy, and their Anglo scots colonialk Overseers Up Here, the mates, ex school chums, and Oxbridge graduate pals of Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, and David Cameron.
      There is anarchy in the UK.
      It is not the Not cloth capped proles demanding bread and shelter.
      The anarchy is classic Establishment fascism.
      Rouse the rabble.
      The 1 % have whipped up a frenzy of racism, xenophobia, and violent oppression of the Many by the Few, through the manipulation via the MSM of a considerable section of the population who are, were, and always will be, radical isolationists.

      There is no peaceful solution to any of this.
      it has gone too far.
      We must assert Self Determination within the next 12 months, or we shall be reduced to the state of a militarily occupied colony of England.
      I firmly believe this.
      It is that urgent.

      • crabbitgits says:

        Both Jack and Daisy so eloquently put into words exactly how I see it and it’s not a pretty site. I do get uplifted when reading WGD’s posts and it does quell the pain in my heart over all of this for a while, but the posts above frame exactly how I see this sorry old mess. I can’t see any good come out of it for us in Scotland if something’s not done fast!

  11. Tatu3 says:

    Great post Paul. And a great comment by Jack @ 10.33am.
    I read a few independence blogs and the btl comments, and there are so many different theories/ideas about how independence can be won, it all gets so very confusing. However you do go a long way to clear things up

  12. bringiton says:

    I am afraid that appealing to organisations such as the UN just won’t wash with England’s Tories.
    They have history of giving the UN two fingers when it suited their purposes.
    The only thing they respect is their opponent having a bigger stick than their’s.
    Backing from the EU is going to be essential for Scotland because England is going to have to do some sort of trade deal with them down the road and will be dependent on a degree of good will from them.
    The first part of that good will will be to get rid of Johnson,he has offended too many Europeans on his quest to become England’s head honcho.

    • Thanks for this, L.
      The worm has indeed turned.
      { ; o )

    • Stuart MacKay says:

      The Ashcroft poll is well worth a read, https://lordashcroftpolls.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/STATE-OF-THE-NATION-Lord-Ashcroft-Polls-Sept-2019-1.pdf

      Not sure if I reading it right but see question 18 – a majority of Conservative voters would be happy for Scotland to leave the UK, even Labour voters don’t seem to mind that much either. Only the Lib Dems seems to be somewhat committed the union.

      Question 17 is interesting too as more voters would appear to be happy to get rid of Northern Ireland if was in the way of Brexit.

      Most of this we already know from previous reports on WoS but from the questions over who would make the better Prime Minister nothing good is coming our way.

      • steelewires says:

        The Tory Cabinet members and the Labour Shadow Cabinet members know that England depends on Scotland’s wealth. The majority of Tory voters being willing to get rid of Scotland means nothing to them. They make the decisions and they will not let their cash cow go. England is a cow. Its head is in Edinburgh and its udder is in Westminster.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Wow.
      Brilliant, tah… Loved the “Westminster bubble, bubble, toil and hedge fund trouble”

  13. Tatu3 says:

    I hope you dont mind Paul. I think Tris from Munguin’s reads your blogs. I have been unable for the past few of Munguin’s posts to comment or like other’s comments. I don’t know why. I have tried logging out/in, refreshing, switching device off/on, etc.
    Anyway I’d like to wish him a speedy recovery from his recent op and I am still enjoying his posts.
    Thanks

  14. robert says:

    Re: the photae. I believe that the UK is the largest manufacturer of handcuffs and torture equipmment in the world. So the photae is not far from reality. Thank you Paul . Your writing is clear funny and always on the money.

  15. Luigi says:

    Politics, timing and legality are all important. However, the most important isse by far is the accepance of the Scottish people. Until a majorty decide otherwise,we are where we are. WGD is right, we have to take the people with us (and that includes many soft NOs whos still have not decided. Many are wavering – I’ve spoken to a few. But they are not there yet. They are waiting and watching. I don’t understand how so many independenistas are worried that we will give WM time to recuperate and strike back – the English nationalist genie is well out of the bottle and it ain’t going back. Besides, once the majority of scots decide they want independence, no force on earth will be able to stop it. Independence will come when the people are ready. Brexit will happen soon enough, one way or another. Our job is to take the people with us, not go for another ill-timed, fateful highland charge so beloved of the bravehearts among us. Another glorious failure? No thanks. I’d rather bide my timte and strike when we cannpt loose – that time may be upon us sooner than most expect. 🙂

  16. Terry callachan says:

    Well said
    S30 if possible is good , in any separation ,people or countries ,its best done with a written agreement and a plan of action so that both sides can refer to it after the separation
    Some countries just like couples can end up hating each other and fighting with each other for a very long time when agreements are not made on separation.

    Independence has to be done with a vote and a majority is all that is needed ANYTHING over 50% is enough that is how democracy works.

    If Westminster refuse a S30 then Scotland can go another route but it will be a route that does not include a written agreement and a plan of action signed by both sides and that means that there will be many many disputes over ownership of assets and rights and other matters.
    Such disputes waste money and cause disruption
    We as a new nation would not want that so I agree with SNP that a S30 is beneficial and should be sought

    Scottish independence supporters are hammered every day with political bias and lies in the newspapers on tv and on radio they are strong and believe passionately in their right to independence and freedom.
    I’m glad WGD is saying that it’s okay to have differing points of view but it’s not okay to insult people for their differing point of view, we are all on the same side and the vote will determine the outcome.

  17. Cubby says:

    One of your best posts. I personally cannot accept two types of independence supporters – those who advocate violence to achieve independence and those who advocate a blood and soil type of nationalism. Both would be a disaster for an independent Scotland.

    • Andy Anderson says:

      I agree 100% Cubby.

      I can think of a grim scenario though with a no deal Brexit causing real strife a few months down the road and the new fascists in London removing Holyrood or taking so much of its power away to ‘the UK Government in Scotland’ that Holyrood is like a council. Maybe they could use emergency powers.

      Then we really would need to loudly and peacefully demonstrate to cause disruption where it would be noticed. For example disrupt the London Underground. Then the U.K. papers would report the issue in England.

      The trouble is if it comes to this a few of us may be daft and go to far.

      • JGedd says:

        Or the security elements would infiltrate and actually cause violence that would undermine peaceful protests. It’s so easy for a security state to do this among democratic movements and milling crowds of demonstrators and has such a long history that it would be inevitable. It is such a good tactic in that amid chaos it becomes difficult to know how and when it started and that would include people on the ground. Add to that, a media that would act as a propaganda machine for the government and you have a scenario in which it would only be a last desperate measure to demonstrate in such a hostile environment.

        Unless, of course, you have international observers…

        • Phil says:

          Knowing this scenario is possible is enough to get prepared. Our media must forward-prepare giving out the loud message that Scotland will become independent peacefully. That message is almost as important as ‘your pension will be safe’.

          I would guess Dom C always has at least three months of scenarios ready for deploying in specific arenas – HoC, Telegraph, NY Times, BBC/TV, WI meetings. Always. Always ready foreseeing where a message is needed and what language is needed.

          We will have to establish our guarantees of peaceful intent well before any threats appear.

          Messaging off the back foot is an already lost campaign.

          Saying that, I would guess some of the anti-peaceful Scots campaign messages are already in a folder on his desk.

    • Wee Chid says:

      Has anyone got independence from Britannia without violence?

      • weegingerdug says:

        Malta. The Bahamas. Antigua and Barbuda. Canada. Australia. New Zealand. Belize, Guyana, Grenada, Dominica, St Lucia. Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Tuvalu, Kiribati, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Jamaica, Nigeria, Ghana, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Malawi. Maldives.

        So aye, quite a few.

  18. JSM says:

    Reblogged this on Ramblings of a 50+ Female and commented:
    But what would happen when Holyrood gets either suspended or closed by Westminster? How can we hold a referendum under those circumstances?

    • Phil says:

      Probably there is little merit in being cagey or secretive about this potential situation. It could arise so it must be discussed, there ought to be ‘arrangements’ :
      which we all can easily find,
      we can diffuse all round Scotland,
      are declared as robust and trustworthy,
      demonstrate that bone fide inspectors approve,
      yield accurate and verifyiable results,
      provide a basis for energetic campaigning,
      can be implemented rather quickly,
      are supported by accurate media exposure (our own?),
      etc.

      And lead hopefully to the final international negociations for an independent Scotland.

  19. And apparently La Swansong has ruled out a VONC this week, because reasons…

  20. My hopes were raised yesterday with chatter about the possibility of Corbyn stepping down, and doing so quickly. Interesting phone in on LBC. Then when I got online later there was more chatter, another possible leadership change…

  21. lawrenceab says:

    We need Alex Salmond back. I just don’t trust Sturgeon. How long can he be kept waiting for his trial? Should be one year max. Bet those charges are then dropped. Just a device to clear him off the stage. I hope he sues the femocrats big time for damages

  22. Terry callachan says:

    Nicola Sturgeon and SNP in general have it taped, I trust both ,
    If Westminster tried to shut Holyrood there would be strong protests it wouldn’t be allowed , Scotland would keep it open
    I don’t think Westminster will shut Holyrood they won’t cause that much disruption they are doing well enough with the newspapers and tv and radio propaganda who are supporting the Westminster regime and they have the spies and disrupters places in Holyrood

  23. Wee Chid says:

    How many times do we ask nicely before saying “Stuff this for a game o sodjers – we’re aff”? I’m getting less and less convinced I’ll see independence in my lifetime and it’s utterly depressing.

  24. This post resonated with me. Right now I’m in hospital which feels like a prison. I’m mostly in here cause of stress with benifits and poverty. I hate living like this maybe an independent scotland can change something so the next generation doesn’t have to suffer like we have sufferd. Although to be honest I think we need something more radical like a revolution to change anything.

  25. steelewires says:

    Paul, Your article is well reasoned, but seems to place too much trust in the English government and the Labour Shadow Government caring about what the international community think. You don;t deal with the view that independence is not a matter of Domestic Law, but International Law, nor the view that the Scottish Parliament has the right, under International Law to resile the Treaty of Union and revoke the Act of Union. UDI seems to me to weaker than the resiling of the Treaty of Union and the revocation of the Act of Union, the same principles accepted by the UK government and the International Court of Justice seem to me to apply. The Legal judgement of the UK and the International Court of Justice is:
    “international law has not treated the legality of the act of secession under the internal law of the predecessor State as determining the effect of that act on the international plane. In most cases of secession, of course, the predecessor State‟s law will not have been complied with: that is true almost as a matter of definition.

    5.6 Nor is compliance with the law of the predecessor State a condition for the declaration
    of independence to be recognised by third States, if other conditions for recognition are
    fulfilled. The conditions do not include compliance with the internal legal requirements of
    the predecessor State. Otherwise the international legality of a secession would be
    predetermined by the very system of internal law called in question by the circumstances in
    which the secession is occurring.

    5.7 For the same reason, the constitutional authority of the seceding entity to proclaim
    independence within the predecessor State is not determinative as a matter of international
    law. In most if not all cases, provincial or regional authorities will lack the constitutional
    authority to secede. The act of secession is not thereby excluded. Moreover, representative
    institutions may legitimately act, and seek to reflect the views of their constituents, beyond
    the scope of already conferred power.

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