Scotland’s future in SNP members’ hands

Rish! Sunak brought his exclamation mark of ambition on a visit to Scotland last week to patronise the locals, but it couldn’t disguise the fact that he is as clueless in his assertions about Scottish politics as the Pope. Last week Pope Frances claimed that ‘the English’ had resolved the Scottish independence question, and in so doing he unwittingly became the best friend of staunch Rangers’ fans like Murdo Fraser, who is as ignorant about the Scottish independence issue as Pope Frances is, only with far less of an excuse.

The Pope seemed to be referring to the referendum of 2014 and clearly has not kept abreast of developments since. He was being asked about the situation in Catalonia, where the Spanish state still insists that an independence referendum would be unconstitutional and refuses to countenance it. According to the current Spanish constitution, there cannot be an independence referendum in Catalonia even if the government in Madrid were to agree to one. The Spanish constitution is quite clear that even the central government in Madrid does not have the legal power to authorise an independence referendum in Catalonia, the Basque Country, or any other part of the Spanish state which might like to have one. The constitution only permits a Spanish-wide referendum on Catalan independence.  The Spanish state is expressly not a voluntary union of the ‘historic nationalities’ recognised by the Spanish constitution.

This is very different from the constitutional position in the UK, which Westminster politicians, increasingly less plausibly, still claim is a voluntary union of nations. The only reason Scotland is currently being prevented from holding an independence referendum is because the government in Westminster and both the Conservative and Labour parties refuse to accept that the current Scottish Parliament was elected on a mandate to deliver one, and refuse to say what the democratic path to another independence referendum might be, now that we know it is not what the Labour and Conservative parties had previously told us it was – electing a Scottish Parliament where a majority of MSPs were in favour of holding one.

When pressed on the question of what the democratic route to another independence referendum might be, Sunak repeatedly refused to answer, and was reduced to a gibbering wreck by STV’s Colin Mackay. There was a notable lack of the same persistence on the part of BBC Scotland.

Labour politicians such as Keir Starmer are equally as reticent as Sunak to specify what that democratic route to an independence referendum might be, and the BBC is, I was going to say ‘surprisingly’ reluctant to press them on a question that goes to the very heart of the supposed nature of the United Kingdom as a voluntary union, but we all know it’s not surprising at all.  BBC Scotland’s flagship evening news programme devoted more time to the football than it did to last week’s important Holyrood debate on Westminster’s refusal to respect the mandate for another referendum given to the Scottish Parliament by the electorate of this country. The United Kingdom is founded upon the lie that it is a voluntary union, and the BBC is determined to collude in that lie.

When politicians repeatedly dodge a question, there is only ever one reason for it. It’s because the answer is politically damaging. Neither Starmer or Sunak want to answer the question – ‘What is the democratic route to another referendum for the people of Scotland?’ – because the real answer is ‘ There isn’t one.’ No British Prime Minister is going to permit a Scottish independence referendum as long as there is a realistic chance that the electorate in Scotland might vote yes.

Sunak and Starmer are united in their determination to keep the power to bring about a referendum for themselves, and that blows out of the water their politically convenient affectation that the United Kingdom is a voluntary union. They both know that should an independence referendum be held in Scotland any time soon, there is every likelihood that Yes would win and the occupant of Number 10 would go down in history as the Prime Minister who ‘lost’ Scotland. Make no mistake, despite their protestations of love and respect for Scotland, they very much regard Scotland as a possession.

Of course as all of us who are not either residents of the Vatican or members of the Conservative party know, the Scottish independence question is very far from being resolved, and it’s certainly not up to ‘the English’ to resolve it, and one way or another, that is what is going to happen.

Over the weekend the resolutions to be debated at the SNP’s special conference were revealed by the party’s National Executive Committee. SNP policy convener Toni Giugliano tweeted: “The NEC resolution kickstarts a process of engagement with the SNP grassroots. I hope branches engage fully – as the final decision rests with conference.”

The option of treating the next UK General Election as a de facto referendum remains on the table. Many feel that it will be very difficult for the SNP, even if its votes are combined with those of the Greens and other pro-independence parties, to obtain an absolute majority at a UK General Election in a hostile media environment where the focus will very much be on UK wide issues and the question of independence is portrayed as a ‘distraction’.  The BBC would of course all but ignore the Scottish dimension except in the ‘news where you are’ and would still pay more attention to the fitba.

Another of the options to be debated by members at the conference is to use the next UK General Election to obtain an unequivocal mandate for a referendum, such a mandate would be deemed to have been won if the pro-independence parties win the election by the normal rules of UK General Elections, that is by the number of seats won, not by winning a majority of votes cast.

If this mandate was ignored by Westminster then the next Holyrood election would be contested as a de facto independence referendum. This would give the independence movement the advantage that 16 and 17 year olds and European citizens would be able to vote and the voter suppression tactics introduced by the Conservatives for UK elections would not apply. It would also ensure that the issue of independence would not be drowned out by a British media which is determined to sideline and downplay it. Crucially this would be a referendum made in Scotland. However on the downside we would have to wait until 2026 and we would have to know what action would be taken if Westminster tried to ignore the mandate yet again.

The SNP special conference is due to be held in March. The final decision will be made by party members. It’s no exaggeration to say that the future of Scotland will be in their hands.

We have had a very good friend visiting for the past week, hence I wasn’t posting much. He’s gone home to Belgium now so posts will be more frequent this week. Incidentally he tells me that people in Belgium are well aware that Scotland rejected Brexit and if an independent Scotland was to seek to rejoin the EU, it would be welcomed with open arms.


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133 comments on “Scotland’s future in SNP members’ hands

  1. yesindyref2 says:

    For completeness perhaps the option of an extraordinary general (Holyrood) election should be included for the members to vote on, Aileen McHarg agrees that it is a 2 stage simple majority process rather than a single 2/3rd vote single one, because of the changes in the 2016 Scotland Act. Perhaps some branches could propose it and the NEC add to the resolution options. It’s possibly not a good option though as apart from the possibility of losing control of Holyrood, the ordinary non-activist voting public might not like it at all.

    Secondly, there should be an SNP “reporter” to give the views of the wider YES movement, and the other pro-indy parties.

    And thirdly it needs cleaning up as clearly there is an anti-Alba part in it, which is far from inclusive, and could unneccessarily antagonise people who actually have no attachment to Alba at all.

    Which way I’d vote (I’m not in the SNP), surprisingly I have no idea at the moment.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Oh, and I forgot – have both elections as a de facto referendum. That does appeal to me.

      • Derek says:

        And following ones, if need be. Be disruptive; resign regularly and force by-elections; walk out of the HoC on a regular basis. Force Holyrood elections too.

        • yesindyref2 says:

          I don’t see the point in resigning and causing by-elections. That’s no skin off the nose of Westminster, but does cause disruption in Scotland, the constituency – and cost thousands here, not one penny, not one brown cent down in Westminster.

          But disruption AT Westminster, the more the merrier. Toilet breaks every hour, coming back with a coffee which is presumably not allowed “Ooops, silly me”, phones not on silent, plenty of couging and sneezing, points of order including long complaints about the sneering Tories and demands for discipline, filibustering, using every possibility to raise Bills and speak about them – preferably many to do with Indy Ref 2.

          45 MPs to cause disruption; they’d be begging to let us go.

  2. Alex Clark says:

    I’m not a member of the SNP so quite rightly I will have no say over what the decision of the SNP members will be.

    For all I know, after the SNP’s special conference, there might well be even more options put on the table of where to go from here that will have to be voted on by the SNP delegates.

    In fact, giving the two current options the one about putting off the vote until 2026 has next to zero chance in my opinion, SNP members or not I just cannot see a majority being in favour of kicking the can down the road like this. Far more likely I think would be a proposal to dissolve Holyrood and use a Scottish election this year as a defacto referendum instead of waiting for the next GE.

    I don’t see that one having majority support either, for it to happen like that then I believe that the FM would have to resign and then Parliament fails to elect another FM. That might not seem like too big a hurdle to get over but the biggest hurdle is more likely to be the Unionist parties then failing to take part in any Scottish election that they will say has been “engineered” by the SNP and is a sham elction.

    Their supporters will agree and then getting the necessary cooperation from Unionists councils and all the other important players is going to prove a major task. There’s also the fact that if the Unionists parties do refuse to cooperate then there’s little doubt that they would also be calling for a total boycott of the “sham election”.

    I see a potential boycott as something best avoided if at all possible and for this reason I would though be extremely surprised if the SNP members were to choose anything other than what Nicola Sturgeon stated would happen. She has already said quite clearly that if the Supreme court were to rule that a referendum on Independence was not in the powers of the Scottish Parliament to deliver, then the next General Election would be a de-facto referendum.

    Winning a majority of the vote in such a way is not going to be easy, well that’s the task in front of us and if we are to win then we know what has to be done. If it was any easier then we should already be Independent. we’re not but I wouldn’t shy away from the task in front of us no matter how difficult it will be to win. I believe we should stick to the plan as spelled out many months ago.

  3. Capella says:

    I am a member of the SNP and I am in favour of a Holyrood election becoming the referendum in October of this year. Holyrood is our parliament and all of us have a duty to preserve it as the democratic hub of our nation. There is a clear process for securing an election in October.

    We have a wider franchise in Scotland including 16 – 18 year olds and people born outside Scotland who regard this as their home. We have no photo ID hurdle which will disenfranchise many people who can not afford a driving licence or passport.

    But most importantly, the initiative remains with the Scottish Government who can exercise their authority on behalf of the Scottish people who voted for them and there will be no distraction of a UK wide election.

    I can’t think of a more effective demonstration of our democratic right than to vote for our own parliament.

    But if, by some perfidious means which is their byword, Westminster tries to thwart a Holyrood election then we still have the option of a vote in a UK election, second rate through that is. The publicity generated by such deviousness will make excellent campaign material.

    • Hamish100 says:

      Capella, Fair point.

    • Stephen McKenzie says:

      Capella: Yes I would agree, it keeps the proposed way forward simpler and clear.

    • Pogmothon says:

      Whether it’s a UKGE, or 2026 Holyrood, or Holyrood in October does not matter to me. But for me it will be the referendum election, for the authority to end the treaty, and dissolve the Union. It will be run with independent international observers, in Scotland at least.
      But one thing is for sure, before anything happens with a Holyrood election. We need a rule change to the process.

      If any party does not stand a candidate for election in any seat, then any list seat votes for that party in that area are void for the whole of the process.

      IMHO this rule needs to be on the statute asap before we do anything.

      • Pogmothon says:

        One other thing on winning any of the elections we contest.
        Our government should as the first order of business the next day, before we enter into any negotiations, or anyone in authority takes any phone calls.
        Issue an immediate recall to “Scottish home stations” all Scottish serving military personnel along with their command/equipment/hardware/personnel weapon, call it what you will.
        We can argue about who paid for, owns the boat, tank, aircraft, later during the separation negotiations

    • G says:

      Well said Capella though to be honest a direct confrontation in Westminsters back yard on withdrawal from the Treaty of Union is my preferred option. There you go, no ambiguity, a straight forward statement of intent that puts the whole issue in the hands of the international community and international law.
      Like YR2, I think the NEC has painted a target on Nicola’s back, a situation which is not going to sit well with our fellow members, at least the ones I’ve spoken to do far.

    • deelsdugs says:

      I’m with this Capella 😃

  4. As soon as I get out of Facebook jail I will share this an all other blog items wee ginger dug. We do need to fight back.

    My business and websites which included has also been attacked as it is Scottish and not British. If you are interested on doing an article on the DWP sanctions or fraud in judicial system.

    Fraud that the public communications officer of the Law Society of Scotland has tasked me with taking to all of my MSP’s to seek justice and repair the white washed black letter of the law. The incidents many of which are being investigated by the police and the all of the ombudsman services.

    Please give me and the wee gypsy dug a call on the number on published

    Kind regards

    George Hanlon and the wee gypsy dug

  5. In the meantime follow like nearly Followers: x 14,961 have done. Seeking Scottish Independence is a Political Right Never Give Up The Fight – Democracy Cannot Die

  6. Capella says:

    That Colin McKay interview of Rishi Sunak ICYMI

  7. Fergus Malone says:

    As an SNP member I’m quite alarmed at the prospect of the party opting to wait until 2026, or using a Westminster election, with all its limitations and complications, as a plebiscite election. We had been led to expect a 2023 referendum unless the Supreme Court forbade it. The fact is they have forbidden it but we can still do it by means of an early dissolution of the SP. Therefore we should.

    I disagree quite strongly that losing Indyref2 would be some sort of death knell for our hopes of independence. Our movement has given great hope and energy to many people across Scotland (and far beyond!) and for that reason it is not going to go away as the unionists would hope, just like it didn’t go away in 2014. If the 2023 election strategy fails, then 2028 can be contested again on the same principle, or the basis of seeking a Section 30 order.

    I recognize that this is a long term, long-drawn-out thing. I think it’s possible that if the result in 2014 had been 55-45 in favour of Yes, even then Scotland still might not be independent now in 2023. (See 1979 for the precedent there.) There is no easy way and it’s going to be risky and feel hopeless at times. But we can deal with that. Our movement has far more hope now than it has had in perhaps centuries.

    One other thing: I don’t see why we should not consider the option of doing a Catalonia and holding an “illegal” referendum. Scotland should be prepared to break the rules and cause disruption if necessary. The confrontation with Westminster would undermine the latter’s authority further in the eyes of the working class.

  8. Dr Jim says:

    I’m sure the FM will have consulted our friends and future partners in Europe and the USA as to what method and outcome they will support in her dealings with England’s intransigent mafia cabal, so I’m not in the least concerned about anything at all, except for the devious and nasty nature of the result of England’s fear and embarrassment at being so publicly dumped in the full glare of an on looking world

    England’s fear? they can’t stand on their own feet without Scotland, they don’t know how
    England’s embarrassment? they will despise us even more than they already do, just more openly, as they despise every other country that’s not them, and no they will never get over it

    The benefits to Scotland being independent? absolutely unendingly vast

  9. Bruce MacDougall says:

    Whatever method is used, and whatever mandate is gained, Westminster will refuse to accept the result. Leading to further delay and frustration. Wouldn’t it be better to involve International Law and the UN to oversee the process, leaving Westminster no choice but to comply with the result?

  10. Luigi says:

    Why do folk fear losing a referendum or plebiscite? It would just mean the struggle continues. Do you think the Brexiteers would have given up and gone home, had the 2016 vote gone the other way? Nae chance. The people of Scotland have a right to choose as many times as they want, if they vote for Indy supporting politicians at every election. For as long as it takes. Only senior politicians might fear another no vote because of personal repercussions. Some people would have to step down. The rest of us would fight on – for as long as it takes. Frustration yes but fear no way.

    • Fergus Malone says:

      I agree, but to be fair I would say that many people feel it is necessary to maintain the position that this really will be the last time, because the sense of urgency would give an electoral advantage which could make a crucial difference.

      • Luigi says:

        I hadn’t thought of that but yes it makes a lot of sense. Mind you, we don’t want to fall into another “Once in a generation” trap.

      • Golfnut says:

        No way, we’ve had the ‘once in a generation ‘ flung in our faces for the 8 yrs, we don’t need to add to it.

  11. Alex Clark says:

    If the SNP tried to bring about an early election by the FM resigning and parliament being unable to appoint another FM, we must expect that a large proportion of Unionist politicians and voters are likely to refuse to cooperate.

    In the event that this was to happen, then what’s to stop Westminster from changing the Scotland Act and putting Holyrood under direct rule until a new FM is chosen and preventing a Scottish election from going ahead?

    • Capella says:

      Nothing at all. That’s why it would be excellent campaign material for whatever UK election followed. Unless you assume they will cancel UK elections too?

      • Alex Clark says:

        They won’t cancel a UK general election just because the SNP threatens to use it as a de-facto referendum. They might delay having one for as long as possible but that’s all they could do.

        Also, Westminster really wouldn’t care whether a Scottish election took place or not and would need little excuse to interfere in the Scottish Parliament. If they refused to hold a UK general election though when one was due then the whole world would be looking on and some would call it a coup by the Tory party.

        The other big difference is that creating a situation in Hollyrood, such as refusal to appoint an FM, to try and force a Scottish election for political purposes is entirely different.

        A great many people, not just in the UK, would likely see that as a reason for Westminster to get involved and Unionists here would be demanding that they stop the SNP from “manipulating parliament”.

        You might be right though and such action by Westminster would help the cause of Independence, I really don’t know but what I do think is that there are no circumstances under which I can see the Unionist parties or their supporters cooperating in such an election.

        That could put us between a rock and a hard place, first in even managing to hold an election without the cooperation of Unionists and secondly in having the result of a boycotted election recognised internationally.

        This would not apply in the case of a UK general election, I believe a general election could not be prevented and the result is far more likely to be recognised by the international community even if the UK refuses to accept the result as a vote for Independence.

        Of course, maybe the Unionists would cooperate fully with an early Scottish election and would have no problem in taking part in one that is being called a defacto referendum but somehow I just don’t see that being the case.

        • Capella says:

          I agree that it all depends on controlling the “narrative”. That means reframing the language. Instead of Westminster being the representative of the Scottish people, Holyrood is. Instead of “refusing to appoint an FM” the SG resigns in order to defend our democratic right – as per manifesto promise endorsed by a majority of the Scottish voters.

          I accept that without control of the MSM that will be difficult but not impossible with an active YES campaign. They have the BBC but we have the boots on the ground.

          • Alex Clark says:

            Do we just ignore any Unionist refusal to cooperate in the holding of an election (I’m thinking of council employees and council buildings under the control of Unionist parties) and ignore any boycott of the election by Unionists voters?

            • Capella says:

              If unionists want to disenfranchise themselves then let them. But they certainly shouldn’t be allowed to disenfranchise the Scottish voters. Any attempt to ban elections has to be exposed as anti-democratic. That includes threats to lock up ballot boxes and polling stations. This type of emotional blackmail can be dealt with head on IMO. What would voters in your area do if your local authority announced it would refuse to enable an election?

              • Alex Clark says:

                Maybe half the voters in my area would be absolutely delighted and I’m sure the other half would mainly moan a lot but only a small number might actually take to the streets to protest.

                I suspect that the question is moot anyway as I can’t see the FM voluntarily resigning to bring about an early Scottish election and I can’t see her being forced to resign either.

          • Capella says:

            Avoiding indents – I suspect you’re right. I would hope the SG has gamed the situation thoroughly and maybe their conclusion is that a UK election is the better bet. I think we can do both. Vote early vote often as the Irish say 🙂

        • Legerwood says:

          There is already evidence of Westminster’s disregard for the Scottish
          Parliament and its elections. Remember when they brought in the 5 year Parliament Act and it was realised that it meant the Westminster GE would clash with the Holyrood elections which were on a 4 year cycle? Well it was the Holyrood elections that had to move. Bringing about an early Holyrood GE by the SG deliberately collapsing the Scottish Parliament would play right into Westminster’s hands and give them the perfect opportunity/excuse to shut it down completely

  12. jfngw says:

    As far as I’m concerned every national election is now a independence referendum. Westminster has brought this about by not ceding to the democratic vote in Scotland. Funnily if they had agreed and then won the likelihood of another referendum would have been low, now they will have one to deal with at every election.

    Westminster defined by Sunak, Braverman, Johnson, Starmer (he’s not that different from Johnson) and those like Zahawi, the stable heating tax avoider who somehow is not in the courts, unlike how we would be treated. There is is not enough room btl here to list the corruption in Westminster, it looks like nearly every Tory has some scam going on behind the scenes.

  13. Ken says:

    If people want Independence just vote for it. Vote SNP/Independence at every election. A higher turnout. People claim to want Independence but do not vote for it at every election.

    Turnout Local/council elections 40%. Holyrood elections 50%. GE 60%. Referendums 85%. On average,

    People who want Independence need to turnout to vote at every election. To vote out the opposition.

    Catalonia has autonomy. Quebec. US states have autonomy. Scotland does not.

    Vote for Independence at every election. If people want it. Instead of complaining. Take someone else to vote as well.

  14. Dr Jim says:

    According to the likes of GB news and Talk TV every decision made in the Scottish parliament has been forced through by *Sturgeon* to deliberately cause all the friction she can with England because that’s what she lives for

    Now we all know none of this is true because things just cannot be done that way in Scotland, only in England’s parliament can the FPTP system be used to dictate to the electorate, but in England, because the population there has no clue how Scotland’s parliament or even how democracy actually works, they believe this sh*t, because that’s the system they’ve got, and also because only England’s votes count in general elections their MPs latch on to this nonsense with faux concern about things that aren’t even happening

    Scotland might as well be on the moon as far as the average Mr and Mrs England is concerned, they just have no idea that they live in a fascist dictatorship with a FPTP voting system designed specifically to replicate the monarchial system giving them a Prime Minister that’s merely a replacement for a King or Queen, and that the actual King or Queen is just a piece of M&S window dressing to display what you could have bought but you can’t afford it, it’s not in stock, and only the *right kind* of people are invited to try it on, but vote aspirational Tory and one day your wish might come true

    England is an insane country that doesn’t know it’s insane, which of course is the first rule in discerning insanity

  15. Tatu3 says:

    I’m a member of the SNP and I’d be happy for the next GE to be fought as a de facto referendum. As Nicola has suggested and I trust her. And if it doesn’t work then every Scottish and uk election thereafter.
    I don’t think calling a snap Scottish election and Nicola resigning etc is the way to go…Westminster would do something dirty and probably illegal (though suddenly legal) to put a stop to that. They have form. There must be no tiny holes or cracks that they can use against us.

  16. Capella says:

    SNP Westminster leader backs Westminster election as de facto referendum. Not entirely coherent reasoning IMO. But it’s a big church after all.

    Stephen Flynn backs SNP to fight next General Election as de facto

    Challenged on whether the SNP was allowing the independence question to “deflate” by presenting the option of waiting until the next Scottish parliament elections in 2026, Flynn replied: “There’s obviously a broad range of views within the party and indeed within the independence movement as to what comes next.

    “I think it’s healthy for any political party to have a democratic debate – which we will do – about where we intend to go in relation to our next steps in relation to independence.”

    He added: “I don’t think that collapsing Holyrood is a reasonable position to take and obviously there would be huge consequences to do that, which have been outlined by many of my colleagues. I think where the discussion is whether the franchise, where it sits in relation to the Holyrood election, would be preferential to the franchise for a Westminster election.

  17. Capella says:

    Big Brother alive and well and ‘occupying’ the Home Office, Westminster.

    Home Office seeks to remove video of Suella Braverman confrontation

    THE Home Office has asked charity Freedom from Torture to remove a video showing UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman telling a Holocaust survivor that she “won’t apologise” for describing refugees as “swarms” and “an invasion”.

    The video, which has been viewed over 1.3 million times on Twitter, shows comments made by Bravermen in response to a question asked by Joan Salter MBE at a Q&A event on January 13.

    Braverman was confronted by Salter, 83, during a meeting in her Fareham constituency in Hampshire on Friday evening.

    Salter, who has been recognised with an MBE for her work on Holocaust education, likened Braverman’s rhetoric on migrants attempting to cross the English Channel to that used by the Nazis during the Second World War.

  18. Capella says:

    The video – won’t be watchable in the archived page:

    • davetewart says:

      Just watched Owen ones have a chat with her.

      Yes it was edited as braverman changed the subject and responded to thers.

      The Home Office demanded the clip be taken down.
      After discussion with legal advice the whole clip was put up.

      The fascist game being enacted by braverman.

  19. yesindyref2 says:

    A de facto indy election on October 19th was my first choice after the UKSC, but I kind of went off it. Well, I changed my mind again.

    Everyone was ready for a ref on 19th Oct 2023, that was the plan, and those people who like the UKSC decision will still dislike anything to do with Indy, so there’s no point pandering to them.

    No Unionist party is going to give up 30 seats, or 20, they’re not going to boycott a Holyrood election (or a UK GE.

    The world will understand the reason, and probably mostly agree with it. And if it’s an effective “YES” but the UK Government won’t come to the negotiating table, then the UK GE in 2024 is fought on the basis of UDI.

    It’s just a simple majority vote to change the election date 2/3 rule as it’s not a protected thing after the 2016 Scotland Act change, either as a one off or for all time, and then a simple majority vote to set the date of the actual election. Aileen McHarg confirmed this on twitter.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Ireland of course is precedent for the GE UDI, and it’s different days these days,, gunboat dictatorship is frowned on greatly, specially within NATO territory.

    • Capella says:

      It’s just a simple majority vote to change the election date 2/3 rule as it’s not a protected thing after the 2016 Scotland Act change, either as a one off or for all time, and then a simple majority vote to set the date of the actual election. Aileen McHarg confirmed this on twitter.

      I don’t understand this – can you explain?

      • yesindyref2 says:

        I got it via Wings, but Aileen McHarg confirmed it with these three tweets:

        Under the SA s3 there can be an extraordinary general election if there is a 2/3 majority vote in the Parliament, but s3 can be amended by the Parliament, either on a one-off basis or permanently. Such a Bill cd be introduced either by a minister or a member.

        S.3 is not a protected provision, so Holyrood can amend it, which does leave open the possibility of something like the 2019 Act.

        There are still some constraints. Holyrood general elections can’t be held on the same day as UK ones and some changes to election rules themselves require a 2/3 majority, but timing of elections is not included in that list.

        https:// twitter .com/AileenMcHarg/status/1614181939048775680

        I’ll dig out the s3 replying to me.

        • yesindyref2 says:

          Jings. Paper chase with electrons (or elections)!

          3 Extraordinary general elections.

          (1) The Presiding Officer shall propose a day for the holding of a poll if—

          (a) the Parliament resolves that it should be dissolved and, if the resolution is passed on a division, the number of members voting in favour of it is not less than two-thirds of the total number of seats for members of the Parliament, or

          (b) any period during which the Parliament is required under section 46 to nominate one of its members for appointment as First Minister ends without such a nomination being made.

          So the FM appointment is (b), the one everyone talks about, but it’s (a) which can now be modified by a simple majority vote – to make it a simple majority rather than needing two-thirds. According to A McH (I haven’t checked it out – who am I to question her?!?).

        • Capella says:

          Thx – so FM doesn’t have to resign to bring about a Holyrood election, only amend s3 of the Scotland Act. That sounds better.

      • Hamish100 says:

        Let’s not get pushed into anything by the unionists or WoS.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Just to shove it here, any council that does not co-operate with an election is breaking the law, and doubtless prosecutions could and probably would, result by the CPS. I lose track whether this has been superceded in Scotland, but from PPERA 83:

      (3)In Scotland it is the [F6duty of every local authority to divide their area into polling districts for the purpose of parliamentary elections for so much of any constituency as is situated in their area and to designate the polling places for those polling districts], and to keep the polling districts and polling places under review in accordance with the following rules—

      Interfere with an election at their peril.

    • Luigi says:

      Good point about unionist mps’ reluctance to give up their seats. Hit em in their pockets where it hurts, and they will sup wi the deil. We should not be concerned at all about unionist threats of non-cooperation. They may love the union but they love their status and salaries even more. No contest.

  20. Alex Clark says:

    The FT is reporting that Sunak plans to go ahead and block the GRA from becoming law in Scotland.

    Sunak to block Scottish transgender bill using constitutional ‘nuclear option’

    One senior government figure said: “There isn’t much disagreement that legally we have to act.” A decision could be taken as soon as Monday and Alister Jack, the Scotland secretary, is said to be fully supportive of the intervention.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Then it’ll be taken to judicial review by the SG, and I hope the inhuman [redacted]s lose, and quickly. And Smarmer who supports it gets kicked out on his [redacted].

    • Dr Jim says:

      BBC reports that they (Westminster) *don’t like it*

      So that’s it then, a definite basis in law on which to proceed to block the law of the parliament of another country, and the BBC reports this matter of fact without the slightest hint of dictatorship of England’s methods

      Even when the BBC know it’s wrong, it’s right, maybe it’s time our Scottish parliament considered some laws pertaining to the BBCs continuing location in Scotland, we do control planning permission

      • Alex Clark says:

        Well, if they do block it then it becomes clear that devolution is truly dead and buried since it becomes clear that a bill doesn’t even have to be outwith competence of the Scottish Parliamnet for Westminster to block it.

        It can do so just because “it doesn’t like it” doesn’t look much like Scotland is the most powerful devolved parliament in the world as some are keen to describe it.

        • Dr Jim says:

          If a regime creates and upholds a law that gives them power to block what they *don’t like* it becomes more than a slippery slope, it’s a runway to we all know where
          This comes right on top of the law to prevent *specific types* of protests that *they don’t like*

          They already *don’t like* our FM, are they going to block her, will they block me for voting for her? will they block just everything they *don’t like* ?
          because they *don’t like* a lot of stuff apparently, like democracy

  21. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    Under the Tories we are nothing and as such we are expected to accept the harsh penalties of the current status quo which basically equates to living within a Hellish UK existence.

    Under Labour we are expected to believe that they have a ‘Plan’ for more devolution thus more powers and control …..though this is NOT something that is to be exclusive to Scotland alone but instead is a ‘Plan’ for the whole UK ????

    Both parties think their current position and supposed plans are , for Scotland, the better alternative to independence.

    The devolved parliament has passed a bill (GRR bill) which currently both Pro UK parties via HQ are questioning ……even although SOME of their respective MSP’s in their branch office have voted FOR this bill……

    For the Tories 2 MSP’s voted FOR this bill.
    For Labour 21 MSP’s voted FOR this bill (including the branch office manager).

    In WM no Scottish MP is expected to or is allowed to vote for anything under the remit of that which is determined to be exclusive to matters via EVEL.

    Yet a bill (GRR bill) which was passed by MSP’s in the devolved parliament is ALLOWED to be questioned and perhaps may be challenged by those parties at HQ…..and the weekly SMALL session allocated at WM for Scottish questions ALLOWS the input of MP’s who do NOT represent any constituency in Scotland but who represent constituencies in England.

    The Tories via Brexit are grabbing back devolved powers .

    Labour under Starmer is presenting a ‘plan’ for more devolution which he says will result in more powers and control.

    However via both Labour and the Tories we are expected to believe that they as apart of ‘Better Together’ fulfilled nay excelled in their pledge to ALLOW us to have the supposed most powerful devolved parliament post 2014 …… most powerful devolved parliament anywhere in the world apparently….yet…..

    Sunak is considering, via his UK government, in blocking a recent legislation passed by our devolved parliament.

    Starmer says he has ‘concerns’ on this bill and is vocalising these concerns via the media thus is this an indication that he will yet again support the Tories at HQ should they seek to block this bill……which makes a TOTAL farce of his supposed ‘plan’ for supposed MORE devolution which he states will equate to supposed MORE power and control when currently he is seen and heard to be challenging (interfering in) a bill already PASSED by the Scottish DEVOLVED parliament at Holyrood via members of ALL parties including HIS own party (branch office)….and if he instructs his MP’s to vote with the Tories in blocking this bill then his supposed Labour ‘Plan’ for MORE devolution is then in TATTERS as far as Scotland is concerned. (not that it , as a ‘PLAN’ , was ALL THAT anyway )

    The conundrum for Labour branch office is will they , via Sarwar , either voluntarily or be forced to concede to HQ’s position under Starmer and then find themselves in the ridiculous position of arguing against a bill that they themselves have voted FOR in our parliament……not unsurprising that the media are currently NOT in a frenzy to seek answers to this potential conundrum of a division between respective HQ’s and branch offices re this matter…..

    See MORE devolution within the UK does not work because the one who sees itself as THE BIG MOTHER of all parliaments aka WM currently cannot stop interfering, challenging and undermining the business of devolved parliaments such as Holyrood……if WM via the current government blocks a bill passed by a devolved parliament and Labour support this at WM then irrespective of ALL of the arguments against staying within the UK…. THIS itself should be a wake up call to all people within Scotland that neither of the two large parties will cede total power and control under ANY matters currently devolved…..they will then be demonstrating clearly that in THEIR UK they are in charge (we on here knew that anyway but do OTHERS currently disengaged with politics know that)…..and any BAD policies or decisions they make as a UK government, via their RESERVED powers, can proceed unhindered but the opposite is very much the case for devolved parliaments and their policies and decisions……

    It appears that Starmer is tying himself in knots to appease a certain TYPE of electorate and losing votes in the process from those who were perhaps foolishly viewing his party as a political panacea to the Tories….NOW they are finding it hard to distinguish the difference in both rhetoric and policies of BOTH main parties…….some may still go with Labour as the lesser of two evils…..forgetting that the lesser of two evils is STILL evil…or in Scotland’s case EVEL.

    Starmer has ONE MP in Scotland and his branch office at Holyrood is the THIRD party yet he acts as he does because he knows RESERVED powers are the ones that he hopes, if he wins the next GE, are the REAL powers that have ALL control over the WHOLE UK……devolution is for him scraps GIVEN from the TOP table, as in via WM , where he can either ALLOW bills voted for in a devolved parliament to proceed or CHALLENGE their validity….and it is proving to be, for Scotland, that currently devolution is NOT the panacea they, Unionists, promised it would be in return for voting to stay within their UK in 2014…………indeed it has been and is the OPPOSITE via the now Brexit UK.

    We can rely on nobody but ourselves……their vast opposition to independence for Scotland includes politicians, so called mainstream media, unscrupulous and opiniated British nationalist individuals granted a platform via various sources of media, Pro UK Think tanks, members of the HOL’s, higher ranking individuals from SOME Trade Unions with allegiance to the Labour party, new propaganda TV channels, heavily weighted Pro UK audiences in supposed but NOT debate shows in Scotland and various other sources whose opinions are promoted solely based on their anti independence position………against ALL of this orchestrated opposition we are , in the recent polls, winning the argument which is the reason we have the constant “NOW IS NOT THE TIME” non argument which is not actually definitively saying NO but is instead using the tactic of delaying the inevitable thus ensuring they as a UK government can STILL reap the rewards from OUR resources for their treasury’s coffers to be filled and too we have empty promises via Labour of supposed MORE devolution……but not JUST for us but for their whole UK (England)……

    Now is THE time to stop the rot and ignore the lot……I am even MORE hopeful for independence now that Labour have abandoned social justice in favour of a more right wing Tory position in politics as that will not see them gain any elevated position in Scotland apart from with those diehard British nationalists who care not which Pro UK political party runs the UK via government only that there will STILL be a UK government that controls Scotland…..but they are the MINORITY who masquerade as the majority yet fail to see a WIN in elections via ANY of the Pro UK political parties in Scotland…..LOL

    What an absolute shower those who oppose us really really are……rinse and repeat the same old same (non) arguments yet arrogantly expecting a different result for them …….the only result Scotland needs is a YES vote to WIN next Indy Referendum thus we gain ALL of the POWERS and CONTROL as opposed to being CONTROLLED by and conceding POWER to…. another parliament in another country…..simples

    • davetewart says:

      Does Scotland’s population have free will?

      Yes, but only if the One True Leader allows us.

      They produce Chlorform in the media for our consumption.

      Thank goodness for blogs like this.

    • Dr Jim says:

      The only reason Scotland and Wales have devolution at all was at the insistence of Europe to extend democracy or Britain may not have been accepted into the original EEC
      Both Tory and Labour would never have come up with it on their own as a nice gift to Scotland and Wales, it only suited Labour because they believed they owned both Scotland and Wales and it would seal their votes forever in our countries

      Now that we’re no longer members of anything, both Labour and Tory will take it all back as quickly as possible bit by bit and our parliaments will become historical tourist viewing with pictures displaying what used to go on there, and how Britain came to the conclusion it was a wasted expensive exercise and everything was best governed by the real politicians of England that we all vote for but only England’s votes actually count

      If the middle voters of Scotland don’t wake up to this now we’ll be right back where we were before they stole our oil, they’ll be stealing our energy, our water and every other damn thing we’ve got that England doesn’t

      England can’t stand on their own two feet and their politicians know it, without Scotland they’ll be as a Singapore style banana state with simultaneous extreme poverty and extreme wealth with every available asset sold to the highest bidder until they fold leaving only the super wealthy tax avoiders

      They intend to use Scotland and sell us for that purpose, if we let them

  22. yesindyref2 says:

    From the National:

    Readers vote
    Which of the options laid out by the SNP for a de facto referendum do you like best?

    Use the next UK General Election as a de facto referendum
    Use the next Holyrood election as a de facto referendum
    Contest the next UK General Election on the issue of securing a Section 30 order

    None of the above – Extraordinary GE on 19th October this year gets my vote.

  23. proudcybernat says:

    How to get a S30 out of WM.

    It only happened in 2014 because WM knew they would win.

    So, anytime any indy supporter is polled by any polling company, say “NO” to indy question. The Britnats will be besides themselves with glee. So will WM.

    “Here, have your S30.”

    “Oh, thanks.”


    Okay – I’m only (half) joking.

  24. Alec Lomax says:

    He’ll be dancing in the streets of Bath.

  25. Alex Clark says:

  26. Alec Lomax says:

    Alba get their way.

  27. Alex Clark says:

    Statement from Alister Jack on the decision to use a Section 35 order to block the GRR legislation passed by the Scottish parliament with the support of MSPs from all political parties.

    • Anyone else hear the sound of a nail being hammered into coffin with a union jack draped over it?

      • Eilidh says:

        I sincerely hope so Ch 4 reporting there was a lot of controversary in Scotland about this Act. Only by the media, ultra feminists and morons on Social Media and btl comments on newspapers there was .Most women and people in general in Scotland don’t have a problem with this Act.

        • Pogmothon says:

          Let’s not be to Hastie, no knee jerk reactions please.
          When the PM has publicly confirmed the position in the letter to the first minister and it is publicly viewable, then we’ll know that UJ has shot them all in the foot.
          Remember he operates in an alternative universe where up is down, black is white and shite’s nae colour at awe.
          Any proclamation UJ makes could be easily denied by his boss as ‘he’s gone off the reservation on this one’.
          A little patience here people otherwise we could all end up looking like the frothing screamers, that they are.

    • stewartb says:

      Anyone know why the veto is being justified on the basis of just ‘Great Britain wide equalities matters’? What about NI? (Treating folk in NI differently from elsewhere in the UK typically enrages the DUP!)

      As discussed previously btl here, the HM Courts and Tribunal Service – Guidance: Gender Recognition Certificate: list of approved countries and territories (Updated 21 December 2022) states:

      ‘If you’ve HAD YOUR GENDER PREVIOUSLY RECOGNISED IN ONE OF THE COUNTRIES OR TERRITORIES IN THIS LIST, you’re on the ‘overseas route’. this means YOU DO NOT NEED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL REPORTS when applying for gender recognition in the UK.’

      Numerous countries on this approved UK government list operate a self-ID procedure for the issuing of GRCs. Will the UK government now be changing this guidance and/or removing from its approved list those countries that issue GRCs based on self-ID?

      And if not, arguably it will be selectively disadvantaging – discriminating against – trans individuals normally resident in Scotland over those from other countries that presently have their self-ID based GRCs accepted by the UK government within its ‘overseas route’ for issuing a UK GRC!


  28. Old Pete says:

    Rule from Westminster, so Holyrood is just a county council after all. We need Independence tomorrow not years down the road.

  29. Hamish100 says:

    Stv complaining about the lack of suitable disabled housing. The tories complain. The hypocrisy of them.
    What I found rather problematic was STV put up stats on the screen with the comment: Source Conservative party.

  30. Alex Clark says:

    • The British/English government are truly revolting.

      As ‘our leader’ ((c) BBC’s Laura Maciver) Sturgeon says, this is attacking a vulnerable minority in pursuit of an entirely different political goal, namely the subjugation of our people and repression of our democracy.

      They really are scum. I won’t insult pond life by making a comparison.

      This is going to backfire just like the UKSC case did. They really are incapable of running a country. Chumps.

      I now understand why they fear our independence. They can’t actually ‘go it alone’ without us. Too stupid and incompetent.

  31. Legerwood says:

    This tweet contains a link to the letter and annexes that Shona Robison wrote to the UN Special Rapporteur who had criticised the GGR Bill. It is an excellent letter which together with the annexes sets out clearly the path followed to get to this point. Importantly it also deals with how the Bill does not interfere with the Equalities Act 2010 most of whose provisions for trans people do not require a GRC. Well worth a read if you want to punch holes in the UKGov grounds for objecting, and Keir Starmer’s objections.

  32. Eilidh says:

    Posted this earlier on wrong thread. BBC News – UK government to block Scottish gender bill
    Well I see the Tory scum have actually done it. Disgraceful What the hell is the point of the Scottish parliament. Where is proof this breaches the Equalities Act – there us none. Well I am sure the bigots and ultra feminists will be delighted.

    • John says:

      We sane rationalists are delighted too. The ones who understand science, biology and the real world. The ones that can see a fatally flawed set of legislation that not only deserves to be taken down, but needs to be taken down for the protection of Scottish women and girls. Listen to the rambling, incoherent witterings of Maggie Chapman and ask yourself what normal, grounded Scots woman or man would ever vote for that.

  33. Dr Jim says:

    They’ll be smashing our windows and demanding direct interventions into the separatist *problem* soon enough

  34. yesindyref2 says:

    OK, the GRR is to be blocked. Sympathy for the transgender or potential transgender people affected.

    BUT and it’s a big but. First the SoS will have to set out the reasons for using S35. Second it will probably be challenged at Judicial Review – or ScotParl will amend any relevant clauses. It’s very unlikely the Bill as a whole would be dropped.

    And the thing is this – even after becoming an Act it could bd challenged by anyone for a Judicial Review, and it almost certainly would be.

    So in any case, if there is any clash with the Equalities Act 2010, that would need sorting regardless

    And if the SoS block has to be reversed, then nobody has any real justification for opposing it any more.

    S for transgender people afffected hang on in there – you’ve been waiting years for better treatment, what’s a few, hopefully, months more?

    • sympathy for the transgender or potential transgender people affected.

      Whatever people’s views on the bill itself, I think we can all agree it’s revolting that a vulnerable minority is being attacked / scapegoated for totally different political purposes; i.e. Scottish indy. The Tories could not give a s**t about anyone. They’d happily let ‘our wives and daughters be raped’ by a clone army of artificial trans people in the loos at MacDonald’s if they got the contracts to manufacture these.

      The only right they care about is to be able to line their pockets at the expense of everyone else.

      The UK/English government are scum.

  35. You’d think after throwing the kitchen sink at this ahead of 2021, and that resulting in the SNP getting their highest share ever (of the constituency vote), the Britnat chumps might have thought ‘this isn’t working as expected’.

    But no, they’re that stupid. I mean look at brexit if you need more evidence.

    If you want Scots to epically back gender reform, and to swing behind indy, this is how you do it.

    The ‘Tory Golden Rule’ is now going to kick in.

  36. Dr Jim says:

    “And I did nothing,” words from history that should teach everyone who and what fascists are, and how they go about their business

    Remember this is not a UK government decision, this is a rejected second choice unelected figurehead put in place by a small cohort of ultra right wing English nationalists totally unrepresentative of any nation in the British isles just to do their bidding

    No country elected Liz Truss and no country has elected Rishi Sunak
    Sec of state for Scotland Alister Jack was appointed by a previous PM to do as he was told and kept in his position because there was no one else to give the job to

    They’re coming after Scotland, Wales will be next, the North of Ireland they don’t care about because those folk have the *legal* option to leave

    We’re out of the EU now and it’s a bonfire of the rules of democracy

  37. grizebard says:

    Myself, I don’t like several aspects of what I see as a too-radical GRA. But it’s the law of Scotland, voted on by its legally-elected Parliament, and supposedly guaranteed by the Treaty of Union 1707. So mistake or no, it’s our mistake. It’s not the business of England to impose its law and practices upon us, as if the Charles on the throne was II and not III.

    This Union is dead, a zombie, and this unelected Tory regime in London seems hell-bent on proving it to anyone with two brain cells to rub together. Time we here in Scotland rallied together as one and helped put it out of its (and our) misery.

    (And nota bene broadcasters, it’s not “UK Law”, which doesn’t exist, it’s English Law, as almost any online agreement you can find will happily inform you, if you only care to look at the small print.)

  38. Hamish100 says:

    … and labour and Lib Dems did nothing…

    How contemptuous should we view Jack?

    Seems the tories are determined to create unrest.

  39. Ricardo Leopold’s thoughts.

    Which idiot at Tory HQ thought this was clever?

  40. Dr Jim says:

    Lord Jack ( money) McConnell of Saville row suits says it’s time Scotland dropped the separatist national anthem Flower of Scotland unless they do become independent and can choose another anthem then
    Wales will be delighted to be told that too I’m sure

    They’re all wading in now *Get Scotland done* over

  41. Alec Lomax says:

    Time for a bit levity during this storm and stress: over on SGP ‘Independence for Scotland ‘ (sic) tellsnus that the only way out of the mess is to vote Alba. He should do stand-up at the Fringe.

    • Dr Jim says:

      Alba is the fringe, and like father Dougal’s toy cows very small, the real thing is however very far away, this followed by a vacant non comprehending facial expression on the part of father Alba, Oops Dougal?

      • Dr Jim says:

        Nice to see Alba and the Tories on the same page publicly over the Scotland England dispute though, lets everyone know where they stand, decent of them, David Davis will be pleased

  42. bringiton says:

    A very convenient diversion for an embattled regime in London.
    Thatcher had her war in the South Atlantic,Johnson with Ukraine and now Sunak creating a crisis with Scotland.
    Just the same old same old from England’s Tories.

  43. Bob Lamont says:

    Interesting sidenote… Had stumbled across a few “old fashioned” Conservative posts in England on this latest news on the GRR having been passed by SG…
    Without exception, they were furious at the Tory party in Westminster for deliberately engineering this.
    Pissing off SG has without doubt been Alister Jack’s motivation, but pissing off core support in England will do the Tories no favours….

  44. deelsdugs says:

    They were always going to point score. What’s next on the hit list…

  45. Golfnut says:

    Jimmy Reid on freedom.

  46. Ken says:

    The Tories will be out before anything can be changed on the GRA decision.

    The future of Scotland is in the hands of the voters. Indendence supporters need to get out and vote every election. To get rid of the opposition. A higher turnout will get rid of the opposition. Local/council elections (40%). Holyrood (50%) GE 60%. Ref 85% on average. Independence supporters need to get out and vote. Instead of complaining. Take another to vote as well.

    Women are abused in their own home by people they know, The majority do not have equal rights, they do not get legal aid. They have to stay in abusive, unsafe places or lose the roof for their heads. Women get legal aid in England.

    A Domestic abuse Act that cannot be dropped or appealed. The Police are acting as judge and jury and legal or diversity training.

    Women are not attacked in changing rooms. They are attacked and abused in their own home. Letting agencies illegally demand 6 months up front rent and deposit. From women with adequate financial means and good credit.

  47. Ken says:

    Jack will hit the road and not be back. The Tories milking the system. Millionaires getting loans and grants they should not be entitled to. An absolute disgrace. Not giving essential workers roper remuneration. All right Jack will not be back.

  48. Glen Campbell:

    I am told the UK Labour party will not challenge this intervention but some Scottish Labour MSPs are furious that gender reforms they helped pass are being stopped.

    Tory tag team Starmer-Sunak now both ‘stoking division’ and ‘driving a wedge’ between Scotland, Wales and England.

    On the topic of the SNP ‘doing enough for independence’, there are many things they just can’t do here. They couldn’t produce Thatcherism, nor Blairism. They couldn’t deliver Cameron’s austerity, nor drag Scotland out of the EU against its will. A Johnson PM was just not something they were capable of doing, nor was the mini-budget crisis. They did give a wee helping hand to the UKSC case, but that was just to help Sunak and co deliver here, and deliver they did. I suppose you could say the SNP partly engineered this latest constitutional crisis, but then they couldn’t have done it without Grn/Lab/Lab; the latter two adding a particularly tasty cherry on top. But once again the prize goes to the English Tories for making a mountainous constitutional crisis out of a small domestic molehill. Best supporting actor goes to the war on woker from quintessentially English Bath.

    I think when the awards ceremony for ‘who did the most for indy’ finally comes, a lot of the gongs will be posted south. For public safety of course, as those in receipt will be too nervous to visit lest they need to go for a pee in a public venue!

    I can’t help but feel the most delicious irony of all will be a certain Bath based resident’s pet project actually turning out to be the straw that broke the back of the union. After all the effort he put in too.

    This is a monumentally stupid thing for the UK government to do. But then that’s who gave us e.g. Brexit, the mini-budget crisis and the UKSC case, so it’s got competition in the monumentally stupid stakes. Brengland has truly lost it’s mind.

    It’s going to get crazier, and London will ‘do more and more for independence’ in the short time the union has left. The SNP may struggle to keep up!

  49. Alex Clark says:

    I do agree that this has all the makings of another own goal by the Nasty Party. The Scottish government certainly appears confident that it will win any court case and if they do the UK government will be left with egg dribbling down its chin.

    UK Government branded ‘increasingly draconian’ for blocking Holyrood gender Bill

    Mr Jack has urged the Scottish Government to bring back an amended Bill for consideration, but Ms Robison said: “If Alister Jack wants to come forward with suggestions that do not undermine the principle of the Bill, that is fine.

    “But I suspect this is about stopping a Bill they do not like, it is not about compromising around the margins of it.”

    Ms Robison insisted: “It doesn’t impact on UK equality law, it simplifies the process for obtaining a gender recognition certificate. It doesn’t affect the purpose or the use of that gender recognition certificate.

    “The Bill itself had an amendment that put beyond doubt that this had no impact on the Equality Act of 2010, and the UK Government itself had multiple opportunities to comment during the very extensive consultation on the Bill and its passage and they did not do so.

    “Let’s be very clear here. If the UK Government thought there was a legal basis to challenge the Gender Recognition Bill, they would have done so in the Supreme Court through a Section 33 Order, as they have done previously.

    “Using what is this nuclear option, the Section 35, never used before, I think does reveal there is no legal basis to challenge it.

    “This is all about politics, and I think using one of the most marginalised groups in society as a political weapon is simply outrageous.”

  50. Hamish100 says:

    So Labour Scotland you have been hung out to dry by your London masters. Labour need Tory voters in England than to concern themselves about Scotland.

    • Welsh Labour too. They back the reforms, said they’d recognise Scottish GRCs, and want the same powers for Wales.

      Wales = friendly democratic country.
      England = unfriendly enemy of Scottish democracy country

  51. Dr Jim says:

    All of this proves conclusively that Scotland’s not in any kind of union with England, because if we were none of this would be happening, a couple of phone calls would have be made, concerns would be spoken about and arrangements and accommodations arrived at amicably
    But England waited until the last moment to exert its authority as an independent country that owns the colony of Scotland, and they chose their time and moment specifically in the hope of crushing this upstart woman Sturgeon and her wee band of followers ideas of being equal to anybody, let alone the English nation

    Now England has to jump around proving the ridiculous notion that a bad man needs a certificate to attack a woman, because that’s now what they’ve reduced this argument to, *there are bad men* well I hate to break it to folk but the same bad men who do bad stuff will be there tomorrow without a certificate still intending to do bad stuff

    If there are folk still trying to convince the politically ignorant that England has done this out of concern for matchy matchy laws around the UK and folk believe it then there’s no hope for society at large if they’re just that stupid

    Rishi Sunak made this decision as a lesson in his superiority and power over Scotland, make no mistake this was never Alister Jack’s decision, he’s not allowed to utter a stutter unless he’s told what to say, the man’s a Tory moron drone hod carrier and biscuit fetcher, this was Sunak without a shadow of a doubt, and it was and is political

    Now what are we going to do about him and them before they decide to *deal* with what Alister Jack called “the separatist problem in Scotland”

    I’d suggest that there are more bad men in the English government to worry about than in the whole country of Scotland if they’re describing me and more than 50% of the population as a “separatist problem” that they have to find a *solution* to when the first conclusion they come to is a boot on the neck of our parliament

    • bringiton says:

      A country decides to eradicate the identity of a neighbouring one in order to assimilate it.
      Russia and Ukraine without the violence (for now).

  52. davetewart says:

    The lastest from the fantasist sunak government, unelected.
    A land fit for heroes.

    You’ll have to be a hero to be able to live on the reducing wages and the high cost of living.
    The Rate of inflation is going down but the costs remain, simple sunak arithmetic.

    • Golfnut says:

      The cost of gas has plummeted to about a fifth of the price it wears in August, yet lower prices to the consumer are not on the agenda as far as industry bosses are concerned.

  53. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    Last night there was an extremely well informed and articulate young Trans lady ,NUS Scotland President Ellie Gomersall, who was interviewed on Channel 4 news:

    She advised Ciaran that “this bill makes it easier for Trans people to update their birth certificate”.

    “It is a small administrative change”.

    ….She advised that contrary to Jack’s assertion that the GRR bill has an impact on cross border issues “if you look at other countries around the world who have already updated their gender recognition acts a lot of them have gone a lot further than Scotland and the UK government HAVE for a very LONG time been RECOGNISING these Gender Recognition certificates from other countries. So to now SUDDENLY stop doing that now that Scotland has taken that forward it is clear that this act (by the UK government) is a disrespect to Scotland and Trans people”

    She was then asked about those opponents “there are many of them” he said “who do have concerns over single sex spaces and the impact this would have if men were just able to self identify as women ”

    She said ” I completely understand that people are really worried and what I would say to them is that single sex spaces do not come into this bill. THAT is covered by the Equalities Act 2010.

    I would say that from viewing TV last night that some of the usual suspects are framing this solely as a fight between the UK government and the Scottish government and apparently, according to them, one where both governments are culpable via this act (blocking of a Scottish parliament bill) that the UK government have taken (for political reasons) against the Scottish PARLIAMENT which passed this bill via a majority of MSP’s that included Unionists from ALL political parties….so a free pass for the Tories , Lib Dems and Labour who also helped this bill pass…how typical of the opponents to independence……..

    Pippa Crerar on Sky News paper review last night stated that all parties apart from the Tories voted for this bill……WRONG….2 Tory MSP’s voted for this Bill ALSO….but then if you, a Scottish journalist, write for an English newspaper, The Guardian, then it is so easy to NOT be fully informed of the actual correct details of Scottish politics is it not…yet you get an opportunity nay platform to opine on it via MSM…..minus ALL of the correct FACTS….Facts who needs them when talking about Scottish politics…..well no one if on MSM that’s for sure…..

    Indeed it seems an omission that Gary Gibbon on Channel 4 News also forgot to MENTION…..he mentioned Labour MSP’s voted on this but did NOT include both the Tories who voted for it or that the NON party the Lib Dems did too…..

    Sarwar has gone into hiding as obviously with Starmer’s clumsy intervention and the significance of this on devolution his PR machine has as yet NOT come up with a SPIN to spew out to fool the voters….though Pam Duncan-Glancy has chosen to play politics and tweeted this :

    ” This is disgraceful and cynical political posturing.

    I and @ScottishLabour worked day and night, and brought (and won) amendments, to make this legislation work, but the reality is, after all that, we had two governments more interested in division than solutions.

    The Tories brought wrecking amendment after wrecking amendment – because they are more interested in making headlines and fighting a culture war than making this work.

    That hasn’t changed.

    It’s high time both govs got round the table, acted like grown ups & sorted this out.

    Every moment they waste playing games, trans people look on in despair as their lives are used as a political football, & everyone can see two govs incapable of governing. It is intolerable”

    BOTH governments apparently to blame for this according to Pam….a bill passed by the Scottish parliament via members from ALL parties which she herself voted FOR too….then the UK government comes along and blocks it but Pam thinks that the Scottish government are somehow culpable for this and need to get “round the table” and “act like grown ups” and “sort it out”…..playing politics is ALWAYS the Labour party’s OFFICIAL party Line taken directly FROM the Tory party’s modus operandi playing at politics playbook…..

    Sarwar claims to stand up for Scotland yet currently is ‘sitting this one out’ in being unavailable for comment according to last night’s BBC Reporting Scotland (sourced from MSM MONITOR Twitter account) ……he is seen to use lots of words normally when he thinks it is to HIS advantage but when the going gets tough he fails to ACT (yet again ) on his supposed support for the parliament he sits in as a LIST MSP and branch office manager for Starmer’s English HQ party…..#FailAgainSarwar

    Martin Geissler interviewed Rachael Hamilton Tory MSP on The NINE last night yet failed to highlight to her that two Tory MSP’s voted for this bill against her assertion that it, as a bill, was wrong and flawed…..pathetic as per…..the most obvious question NOT asked as per……another Tory LIST MSP who stands up for WM more than Holyrood…..quelle surprise……she takes the money but fails to do the job in the place she is supposed to work in and FOR…..squatters rights ……it seems to be with her ans many of her colleagues.

    First they come for this… they hope they can come for other things in order to drag Scotland into the world as is aka Tory Brexit UK …nothing will be safe in order to force Scotland to accept ALL in their Tory Brexit UK WIDE vision to include policies and also to include all power and control of both Reserved and DEVOLVED matters…..that is the road we are going down with THEM….and Starmer is playing along and helping them to accomplish this…..I say Starmer but he thinks he is the NEW Devolution King…more like the Tories Devolution FOOL…..another one who speaks with Forked tongue…..a yes but No but man….. Starmer is a ‘These, are my principles, but if you do not like them I can change them’ kind of guy….but ONLY to appease the worst kind of people and never ever to appease the Jocks….Make Brexit work and ignore the Scots… win for him in next GE he hopes…..pity we Scots and our parliament could not block the bill that forced the now damaging, as evidenced, Tory (and Labour also) Brexit upon us….

    Wake up Scotland ……

  54. stewartb says:

    With apologies if this has already been mention. I have just become aware of this ‘Written Ministerial Statement to Parliament regarding the Gender Recognition Act (2004) consultation’, by Minister for Women and Equalities, Kemi Badenoch MP dated 9 January 2023:

    It includes (with my emphasis): ‘I would like to notify the House of THE PROGRESS WE ARE MAKING IN IMPLEMENTING OUR 2020 RESPONSE to the Gender Recognition Act (2004) consultation. In particular, the House will wish to be aware that I will be UPDATING THE LIST OF APPROVED OVERSEAS COUNTRIES AND TERRITORIES (provided for under Section 1(1)(b) of the Gender Recognition Act) to make sure it does not compromise the integrity of the Gender Recognition Act. This follows previous periodic updates.’

    ‘The list of approved overseas countries and territories was LAST UPDATED IN 2011. A commitment was made to keeping the list under review.’

    In 2011? But the last updated guidance was published by the UK Courts and Tribunal Service in December 2022 and STILL included countries which had self-ID GRC procedures!

    The statement also has this: ‘There are now some countries and territories on the list who have made changes to their systems since then and would not now be considered to have equivalently rigorous systems. It should not be possible for a person who would not satisfy the criteria to obtain UK legal gender recognition to use the overseas recognition route to obtain a UK Gender Recognition Certificate. This would damage the integrity and credibility of the process of the Gender Recognition Act.

    ‘WE ARE FINALISING DETAILS OF OVERSEAS COUNTRIES AND TERRITORIES TO BE REMOVED FROM THE LIST via an affirmative Statutory Instrument. These comprise countries and territories where there is a clear indication that the country now no longer has a system at least as rigorous as those in the Gender Recognition Act 2004. We are undertaking a thorough checking system to verify our understanding of each overseas system in question.’


    So what will happen to those individuals with a GRC issued for example by the government of Ireland and who presently enjoy a broad range of reciprocal arrangements granted by the UK and Irish governments as part of the Common Travel Area?

    Will an Irish GRC no longer be recognised in the UK or just not in Great Britain? Will an Irish GRC still be recognised in NI? (If so, will the DUP be outraged?)

  55. […] Scotland’s future in SNP members’ hands […]

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