Sometimes a ‘gamechanger’ really is just that

In the immortal words of Dad’s Army’s Corporal Jones, “They don’t like it up ’em.” It is safe to say that British nationalists are not reacting at all well to the realisation that they do not after all get to dictate the terms, timing, and conditions of the Scottish independence process. The term ‘game-changer’ is much over-used, but yesterday’s announcement from the First Minister about how the Scottish Government intends to proceed towards a lawful vote on Scottish independence with or without a Section 30 order was just that. Nicola Sturgeon made it clear that Scotland is not going to be consumed by a sterile debate about a Section 30 order, a debate which only benefits opponents of independence as it allows them to avoid confronting the substantive issues in the independence debate.

Scotland will not be held prisoner by a British Prime Minister who Scotland didn’t vote for and whose party has only six MPs in Scotland, four of whom have no confidence in him. Scotland will take its destiny into its own hands and will have its say on independence no matter what Johnson wants, because this is a matter for the people of Scotland to decide, not him.

The usual British nationalist suspects are deeply unhappy about this, how dare Nicola Sturgeon pursue her “divisive” and “damaging” referendum. Being divisive and damaging is Boris Johnson’s job.

Margaret Thatcher’s Scotland Secretary Malcolm Rifkind, who spent the 1980s and 1990s denying the people of Scotland any form of self-government despite overwhelming evidence that Scotland wanted its own Parliament, told BBC Radio 4 through pursed lips that “little Scotland” was going to be lonely and friendless without Westminster, the classic trope of the spurned abusive lover, “You are pathetic and useless and no one else will have you.” Rifkind also insisted that the Holyrood election in 2021 only gave Nicola Sturgeon the mandate to “ask for” a referendum, but he insisted that it did not give her a mandate to deserve one. What one might take from this condescending attempt to avoid the issue is that Rifkind doesn’t appear to grasp how democracy works, but then those of us who can remember his time as Scottish Secretary of State knew that already.

When the electorate of Scotland voted for a Scottish Parliament with an unassailable majority of pro-independence MSPs in an election campaign which was dominated by the single issue of whether there should be another independence referendum, that is what gave the Scottish Parliament the mandate to deserve the referendum. It is for the people of Scotland to decide whether another referendum is deserved, not unelected appointees to the House of Lords like Malcolm Rifkind who were awarded a seat in that undemocratic institution by their cronies for services to the denial of Scottish democracy. The people of Scotland gave their answer to that question in last year’s Holyrood election, it is not for Rifkind or any Conservative minister to gainsay them, particularly not one who has no mandate themselves from the people of Scotland.

Meanwhile Conservative Ministers are doing their usual run away and hide routine, Rifkind’s successor, the supremely useless Alister Jack, has refused all requests to be interviewed on BBC Scotland’s morning news show as have all other senior Scotland Office ministers and other senior Tories. That’s because they fear being questioned even by the institutionally unionist BBC on their refusal to acknowledge the democratic right of the people of Scotland to decide their own future.

The reason for their panic is that they were blindsided by yesterday’s announcement. This was not how the script was supposed to go. What was supposed to happen was that the Scottish Government announced its intention to press ahead with a referendum bill even without a Section 30 order. The British nationalists – we can’t really call them unionists any more – would then decry it as unlawful, and we would spend the rest of the year arguing about process and not the substance of the independence question while the British Government took its time over referring the matter to the courts in order to avoid being seen as the destroyers of traditional Scottish unionism and to eat up time so that it would become impossible to hold the referendum on the intended date of 19 October 2023. As all this was going on the anti-independence parties and their friends in the media would be demanding that the Scottish Government publish all its legal advice in full. And all the time the clock would be ticking and the anti-independence parties could continue to avoid dealing with the substance of the independence issue while they maintained their cosy lies about the nature of this supposed voluntary union of nations.

The decision of the Scottish Government to refer the question to the Supreme Court itself cuts through all that. Scotland is now in control of the timetable, not the British nationalists. What this means is that we will have a definitive answer to the legal questions within a couple of months, and if the UK Supreme Court does rule that Scotland is a hostage to Boris Johnson’s whims the UK Government itself and not some convenient proxy will be a party to that ruling. Traditional unionism as it has always been understood will be dead, and it will clearly be seen as the Conservatives who killed it. They will be forced to own that political reality, devastating as it is for the anti-independence cause. They will no longer be able to pose as “anti-nationalist unionists” but will be clearly seen for what they really are, Anglo-British nationalists who deny the sovereign right of the people of Scotland to choose the form of government best suited to their needs. If it’s not voluntary it’s not a union, it’s a prison.

Worst of all for the Anglo-British nationalists, they have lost control of the course of events. If they do win that court ruling they will not only have destroyed traditional unionism ,they still won’t be able to prevent Scotland having a vote on independence by which time they will be forced to go to the people of Scotland to defend a United Kingdom whose Supreme Court has ruled that Scotland does not after all have the right to self-determination. That’s not a defensible proposition.

You could see how unprepared the opponents of independence were in the perplexed questioning of presenters in the anti-independence media on Wednesday morning. Kay Burley on Sky News and John Kay on BBC Breakfast persisted in questioning the First Minister about “wildcat” and “unlawful” referendums despite the announcement yesterday making it clear that the independence vote will be entirely lawful. That’s British nationalism in a nutshell. It’s just not listening.

Many thanks to everyone who kindly supported the annual fundraiser. It’s always a nerve wracking time, I’m literally asking people to put their money where my mouth is. I’m delighted to say that the target of £5000 wasn’t just reached it was smashed. From all sources, the Gofundme page, PayPal donations, and direct donations by cheque or into my bank account, the grand total raised was an incredible £11,094. In my wildest dreams  I could not have expected it to go so well and my deepest thanks to everyone who contributed.  It is heartening to know that so many people value my writing and that there is still an appreciative audience for a positive pro-independence message that concentrates on making the case for independence and debunking the arguments of the real enemies of Scottish independence, the Conservatives and their little helpers.  That’s what I will keep doing thanks to you.

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34 comments on “Sometimes a ‘gamechanger’ really is just that

  1. P Harvey says:

    Rifkind Is a last century, no millennium little man
    Of absolutely no consequence to the debate in the real world
    Hysterical that the Tory’s are hiding or spitting the dummy
    We are on our way and nothing or no one will stop us being free in 23! 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

  2. davetewart says:

    This is the rifkin that consigned the Iraq big gun reporters to prison even when they knew that Matrix Churchill had reported the strange high specification pipes were more likely to be a long range gun.

    • Hamish100 says:

      Isn’t Gordon Brown and Davidson awfully quiet?

      Are they having to gather their thoughts as to how to deal with the conundrum that the FM has created. What rabbit will they try and pull out of a hat.
      Incidentally, no independence supporter should support the purchase of a britnat paper such as the the Daily Retchet and such like.

  3. yesindyref2 says:

    The referral to the UKSC has got the hardcore Unionists hopping around like rabbits on a baked alaska, flapping their wings like seagulls looking in through the window of a chippie, or howling at the moon like dogs with painted NO Thanks signs on their communal SiU supplied food bowl.

    And as for Adam Tomkins who is visibly but sadly disgracing himself, Captain Mainwaring has a two word epithet for him: “Stupid Boy”.

    It’s a laugh a minute 🙂

  4. Bob Lamont says:

    Aye, well put…
    The Kay and Burley interviews were visibly desperate to regain ground having been caught on the hop, John Kay spectacularly failing with a “what if” scenario of SG carrying out a referendum in spite of a S30 being declared a requirement, – Desperate stuff really.

    What terrifies them most is the lie uncovered by the LA referring the matter to the SC – It is neither legal NOR illegal until the SC pronounce on it.
    The conclusion of the SC is actually less important to the UK’s politicians and media than the public realising they’ve been lied to over it for almost a decade, even if it is was to declared illegal now.

    It’s not just Unionism which is self-destructing but the veneer of honesty of England’s media, caught bonny.

    • I fully expect the SC to come down on the side of Westminster sovereignty, denying any notion that Scotland, a founding signatory to the Treaty of Union, has a different “sovereignty” tradition.
      It will also place the SCourt on the wrong side of international law concerning the “right to self-determination, a core principle of international law, arising from customary international law, but also recognised as a general principle of law and enshrined in a number of international treaties.
      For instance self-determination is protected in the United Nations Charter and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as a right of “ all peoples”.
      In early recognition of this, Winston Churchill signed up to it, as one of the principles in the Atlantic Charter.
      I am no lawyer, but I suspect there is a strong case for raising Scotlands subjugation at the UN.

      • grizebard says:

        You’re trying to fly before you’ve even started to walk. First things first, and everything in its own good time. Surely from present evidence alone you can be confident that all the possible pathways forward have been carefully explored. Appeal to the international community is still a long way off.

        Besides, never concede ground to the opposition, especially when they themselves are reeling in confusion. This is a game of political poker in full public view, and both “strength of the hand” and bluff are part of the play. Too often self-doubt makes us our own worst enemy.

        So just go with the ride and let’s see what happens.

      • yesindyref2 says:

        The substance of the Lord Advocate’s referral isn’t actually known yet.

        And, errr, I’m not going to speculate any firther in case it gives comfort and aid to the Westminster guy – the AG for S 🙂

  5. deelsdugs says:

    Just gets more impressive every time Paul. Brilliant 😁

  6. FFS, I am watching pro-indy Scottish Andy Murray the ‘great British hero’ according commentators playing tennis and the game is now pause while they close the roof or something. The presenter is saying due to the game going on longer, the ‘Great British sewing bee has been moved to BBC2’.

    Really is last days of Rome.

    • JoMax says:

      But s_s, it’s being able to make a 1930 Flapper dress out of an old tafetta curtain in 30 minutes that makes ‘Great Brits’ so unique in the world. Other nations look upon Britain in awe. Mind you, we Scots are more likely to think, aw naw, but you know what we’re like being all divisive and nationalist an’ that.

    • Golfnut says:

      Still plenty of fiddling going on for sure.

  7. Alex Clark says:

    I had a good chuckle to myself listening to the FM yesterday, this absolutely came as a shock to all those “expert” commentators and amazingly a shock as well to the entire political establishment. I say amazingly because to be able to keep this secret and for it not to have been leaked to Westminster means that only those closest to and most trusted by the FM knew what was going to be said.

    I can’t understand why there are those who think the FM should tell all and sundry what her plans were when it is obvious that our opponents would immediately start to attempt to undermine them which is already underway with at least the second part of the plan if the SC find in Westminster’s favour.

    So today we have heard from at least one expert who tells us “that there is no such thing as a defacto-referendum”, we know that bawheid. but there will be such a thing as a “defacto-referendum” if the Supreme Court tries to tell us that Scotland is a colony of England and we are ruled by a Governor General appointed to rule over us by English votes and that we cannot ever change the Governor General unless the English electorate decides to change them for us.

    They’re going to have to come up with a right jolly wheeze to get out of this one without serious damage, we are either in a voluntary Union with England or we are not, what they decide to do next will answer that question once and for all.

    Finally, as Bob Lamont has pointed out, they have been lying for so long that Scotland cannot have a referendum without the permission of Westminster that it must come as quite a shock to a fair few Unionists and others to find out that this was a lie and never the fact that they made it out to be.

    • grizebard says:

      All true. What fun!

      What I find particularly noteworthy is the response from the usual media suspects. They are evidently so entrenched in their carefully-constructed reality-denial bubble that even now they can’t grasp what has just happened. They remind me of nothing so much as Wile E. Coyote who has just run off a cliff and hasn’t realised it yet… oops…

      …and in full public view too. How embarrassing…

    • yesindyref2 says:

      I don’t think he understands the meaning of “de facto”.

      existing or holding a specified position in fact but not necessarily by legal right


      The Union supporting “experts” are so caught on the hop, they’re making it up as they go along.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      I just wrote a long posting, and realised I could be right so really really shouldn’t post it. What a pain. I did save it encrypted 🙂

      Anyways, in general, errrr, damn, I’m not even going to say that.

      Loose lips, sink ships 😦

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Sturgeon shocked them stupid and damned if I’m going to spoil her fun. I think we ain’t seen nothing yet as BTO might say 🙂

    • yesindyref2 says:

      I liked LPW’s article, but after a lot of research I like it even more.

      Devolution may be more than 20 years old, but the law underpinning it still retains the capacity to surprise.


  8. grizebard says:

    Oh, Rifkind, the ever-glib Edinburgh lawyer who a few years back got in a teensy spot of bother and (inter alia) had to resign as chairman of a WM parliamentary committee and ultimately “quit while ahead” as MP after “cash-for-access” allegations resulting from being caught by a Ch4 sting. Those were the glory days, eh?

    Just another fully paid-up beneficiary of the WM system. These days he can afford to pontificate about sweet FA as far as we in Scotland are concerned.

  9. Good to know that MI5 and GCHQ don’t have access to the inner core of Scotlands government. Surprised me!

  10. ScotsCanuck says:

    ….. just to extend on the Dads Army theme and Lance-Corporal Jones classic quote “they don’t like it up ‘um’ …. I’m thinking of the response by the BritNat’s … and Private Fraser’s classic comes to mind …..” we’re Doomed I tell ye, Doomed !!”

  11. bringiton says:

    The same sort of people who sold Scotland out in 1707 for personal gain are still around 300 years later.
    We have been seeing a procession of Scottish Lords ridiculing Scottish sovereignty in order to preserve their personal fortunes.
    The fact that these creatures are given a platform by the “Scottish” press is as good a reason as any for separation from London rule.

  12. Hamish100 says:

    I suppose we need to be cautious. It’s early days. The dark money, the corrupt Westminster supported by the britnat news media and traitorous local papers will get together and plot against the people of Scotland

  13. P Harvey says:

    Preston tonight – very, very little mention of Indy 2 – rather strange or not!

    • Dr Jim says:

      I don’t think Peston has much time for all the Scotland hating stuff and has always behaved like a gentleman and reasonable human being when he’s interviewed the FM in the past unlike his counterparts elsewhere in the English media, I’ve no doubt she’ll be speaking with him soon enough

  14. Jo Coburn and Andrea Leadsom were actually shouting at Stewart Hosie on the pre-show before PMQ this morning.
    Leadsom, who had her crib from Dross to hand, ranted about the £20 million the SNP would be wasting on running IR2, money that could be spent on …you know the script.

    Coburn practically shrieked that a political party couldn’t contest a GE on a single issue , in this case Scottish Self Determination..the public, for whom Jo Co felt she had the authority to speak had more pressing issues, like fuel prices, the cost of living, inflation, so how dare the SNP…?

    I don’t recall this woman lambasting Johnson and her paymasters, the Blue Tories, standing on a one ticket ‘get Brexit done’ platform in December 2019.

    In her frustrated rage she even played her Grady sex scandal card…and quoted Jo Cherry…

    They have nothing. They are outraged and screaming mad because they cannot stem our march to Self Determination.

    Fast forward ,say, four years into independent Scotland.

    What Jo Coburn, or Kirsty Wark think about Scotland will be irrelevant; today was a nightmare glimpse into the future for the Leadsoms and Coburns of the Brit Establishment.

    Scotland is no longer your Golden Goose colony. Suck it up; live with it.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      A manifesto is a publication issued by a political party before a General Election. It contains the set of policies that the party stands for and would wish to implement if elected to govern.

      Page 1 of 1.

      SNP Manifesto – General Election 2024
      Independence for Scotland – The SNP General Election Manifesto

      The one single policy of the SNP for the 2024 General Election is Independence, and if we win the election with a majority in Scotland, this will be permission for the Scottish Government to immediately negotiate with the rUK Government for Independence with speedy due iligence.

      And by the way, your definition of manifesto is mince, as the SNP, Plaid Cymru, Green Party, the LibDems and other parties have no chance of being elected to govern the UK without being in a coalition, but can still have policies and still have them implemented, so you undemocratic two-party ignoramuses need to update your glossary forthwith with dilligent haste. But hey, who cares, we’re oot of here, bye now, good luck with your Government.


  15. Ben Berwick says:

    I’ve seen a few Scots on Twitter who insist they A: want to remain part of the Union and B: support for independence is low. From what I can gather, they’re wrong on B, and why they would choose A is beyond me. Instead, I think an independent Scotland should brace itself for a surge of desperate English folk, who are trying to escape an increasingly dire situation!

    • Not-My-Real-Name says:

      Well said Ben………

    • Dr Jim says:

      The opinion polls the opposition love to quote are organised in such a way as to always show less support than their actually is for Independence, the polling companies never ask the binary question of YES or NO, what they do is they offer alternatives that in the real world don’t exist like

      *do you want a referendum this year two years from now or ten years from now* and of course they receive three sets of answers which they then interpret for the gullible as *nobody wants a referendum now* or only a smaller percentage want one, it’s an easy polling hit trick to give the anti independence people the opportunity to use their favourite *legal* phrase of “now is not the time”
      which exists nowhere in any law book in any country in the world yet is given great weight by the media as though that’s somehow a legal answer to a question, and in England the folk have been so brainwashed they think whatever the government says must be law and must not be questioned because the media live off the repeating of it so it’s defo true

      Whenever a general election date is named polling companies never ask folk those same silly set of questions, they ask who they might vote for when the time comes, that’s why on Scotlands democracy you can find tons of people extrapolating and analysing all sorts of numbers trying to work out the real numbers in favour of independence, and that gives the pro and anti numbers crunchers the space to *create* or *invent* a possible result

  16. Dr Jim says:

    Today is the last FMQs before the parliament recess, normally this is shown on BBC 1 following Bargain Hunt and before the BBC news at 1pm, todays screening is restricted to the Scotland only channel 9 for which I’m sure if questioned the BBC would argue that’s because of the tennis from Wimbledon which as we all know is far more an important occasion than Scottish democracy

    This does not happen with PMQs ever which is transmitted live on four channels simultaneously for maximum coverage to *the nation*

    When Scotland asserts itself the media do their level best to mute that noise and possible embarrassment to them and their *real government* so they can edit the parts they want, stitch them together and present their version of what they want the nation of Scotland, or any of the other nations to see

    I remember marching through Glasgow alongside 100,000 blue and white saltires held high by independence supporters then watching and reading the news reports that became more about *clashes* that didn’t take place between a British nationalist clown known as Manky Jaikit and his dozen or so followers standing at the side of the road under police watch waving their union flags than the actual point of the march itself which the BBC subsequently reported an attendance of 20.000 even though Police Scotlands official *estimate* was around 80.000

    This is Scotland, our country, where an England controlled media mute the population then lie and distort the facts and numbers to our detriment

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