The Twilight Zone

Alister Jack has spent the past week or so refusing to explain his reasons for blowing up the devolution settlement by making unprecedented use of a section 35 order to veto the Gender Recognition Reform Bill passed by the Scottish Parliament after extensive debate and consultation and with cross-party support. As Shona Robison the Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Housing and Local Government pointed out in a Letter to the Scotland Secretary : “Using the Section 35 power to impose a veto on the Bill when already passed by the Scottish Parliament, after ignoring every opportunity to raise these issues or seek changes to the Bill over several years, demonstrates complete disregard for devolution, and flies in the face of the 2013 Memorandum of Understanding between our Governments which states that these powers should be seen ‘very much as a matter of last resort’.”

Jack insists that the person responsible for explaining how the bill supposedly impinges upon the operation of the UK Equalities Act should be the UK (in)equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch who is so far out on the right wing of the Conservative party that she makes Suella Braverman seem like one of those student activists who glues themselves to the carriageway of the M25 in order to protest about how greedy and irresponsible capitalism is destroying the planet.

Badenoch, whose concept of equality appears to begin and end with the notion that corporations should be free to exploit everyone equally, is the equalities minister who mocked LGBT rights, questioned equal marriage, and misgendered trans people in a bizarre rant recorded in 2018, a year after she was elected as an MP. Despite this, or more likely because of it, the Tories saw fit to give her a seat in the cabinet as the Equalities Minister. Of course the real reason Badenoch has been given a position of power and responsibility is because Sunak needed to shore up his support on the frothing extreme right of his increasingly fascistoid party. However there is one way in which Badenoch is entirely mainstream within the Conservative party, she doesn’t believe that the British Government needs to be held accountable for , or even explain its actions any more than Sunak or Jack do.

Entirely predictably, Badenoch has joined Jack in declining an invitation to appear before the Holyrood Human Rights and Civil Justice Committee in order to explain why the British Government believes that the Scottish GRR bill is such an egregious breach of UK Equalities legislation that it has simply vetoed it without bothering to refer it to the UK Supreme Court for a definitive legal ruling on the matter, which assuming that the British Government’s view was upheld would at least give legislators some clarity on which aspects of the bill need to be altered in order to ensure that the bill does not conflict with UK legislation and could thus pass into law.

We are now in the same impossible place with the Gender Recognition Reform bill as we already were with the democratic route to another independence referendum. The Tories insist that this remains a voluntary union but refuse to say what the democratic route to another referendum is, equally the Tories insist that the Scottish Parliament can make changes to the Gender Recognition Reform bill in order to ensure that it does not impinge upon the operation of reserved legislation, but they refuse to say what those changes might be. This is no longer about the narrow issue of the GRR bill. The Conservatives have trapped the Scottish Parliament and the devolution settlement in a bizarre Twilight Zone where Scottish democracy exists only as a shadow which has no substance.

This is highlighted by one of Jack’s stated objections to the Scottish Bill, his belief that it is impossible to have two different systems in operation in ‘one country’, yet this a contradiction of a principle which is fundamental to the very existence of devolution. If it is not possible for Scotland to implement policies and procedures which differ from those in force in the rest of the UK then not only the devolution settlement but the very existence of Scots law and Scotland itself as a nation and country are at risk of being deemed incompatible with the conception of the Anglo-British nationalists of the United Kingdom as ‘one country’ and as a unitary state.

As Shona Robison pointed out in her letter :”This unprecedented intervention represents an attack on the democratically elected Scottish Parliament and its ability to make decisions on devolved matters.” If the Conservatives will not even permit the Scottish Parliament to pass legislation relating to devolved matters, nothing that the Scottish Parliament does is safe, nothing in the devolution settlement is safe, and nothing guaranteed by the Treaty of Union itself is safe.

We have come a long long way indeed from the fine promises made by Better Together in 2014, promises which the Conservatives signed up to along with Labour and the Lib Dems. That would be the same Conservative party which screams that the SNP must respect the 2014 referendum even as it trashes all the commitments that it made in order to win that referendum for the No side. If the Conservatives had been honest in 2014 and told the people of Scotland that if Scotland voted No then the Tories would take us out of the EU and abolish freedom of movement, that they would preside over a law breaking government mired in sleaze and corruption, that they would then would veto legislation relating to devolved matters and would deny any democratic route to Scottish self-determination, the outcome of that year’s referendum is likely to have been very different.

Yet had the result indeed gone the other way, the Tories would have refused to respect the democratic verdict of the people just as they are currently refusing to accept the democratic verdict of the people in the 2021 Scottish Parliament elections when they voted for a parliament with a pro-independence majority in the full expectation that this would bring about another independence referendum. The Tories only respect democracy when it gives them a result that they are willing to accept and when it does not, they will veto it and then refuse to explain themselves.


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92 comments on “The Twilight Zone

  1. Alex Clark says:

    The whole point of devolution was so that in Scotland, at least some things within the control of the Scottish Parliament could be done differently. Why have any powers devolved at all to Scotland if you are unable to differ in approach from what Westminster wants to do?

    A total farce and devolution is dead, as for Jack and Badenoch, they are cowards who are afraid to face scrutiny. They should be compelled to answer for their decisions.

  2. Her spouse, Hamish Badenoch works for Deutsche Bank, and is all but invisible on the internet.
    Lots of blue Tories leaked in to politics from the Big Banks. (see my previous posts.)
    Hamish had a go at becoming a Blue Tory MP himself, standing in Foyle Norn Irn, in 2015.
    His wife has publicly stated that the Brits colonisation and exploitation of Africa was a good civilising thing.
    Of course that’s Jack’s Dross’ Murray’s and Carmichael’s well paid view about English Rule and colonisation of Scotland.
    There are parcels of rogues who will do or say anything for English gold.
    I’m sure that Sarwar and The Tailor’s Dummy will demand answers from Dross during FMQ this week? Aye, richt.
    Will Jaimie Greene resign from the Blue Tories in protest?
    Och, Jack, don’t be stupid.
    I’m talking to myself now.

  3. Capella says:

    You have to admire their brass neck. The existence of S35 is simply a factor of devolution. We are not free to make our own law until we are free of Westminster.

    35 Power to intervene in certain cases.

    (1) If a Bill contains provisions—

    (a) which the Secretary of State has reasonable grounds to believe would be incompatible with any international obligations or the interests of defence or national security, or

    (b) which make modifications of the law as it applies to reserved matters and which the Secretary of State has reasonable grounds to believe would have an adverse effect on the operation of the law as it applies to reserved matters, he may make an order prohibiting the Presiding Officer from submitting the Bill for Royal Assent.

    (2) The order must identify the Bill and the provisions in question and state the reasons for making the order.

    (3) The order may be made at any time during—

    (a) the period of four weeks beginning with the passing of the Bill,
    (b) any period of four weeks beginning with any approval of the Bill in accordance with standing orders made by virtue of section 36(5),
    (c) if a reference is made in relation to the Bill under section [F232A(2)(b) or] 33, the period of four weeks beginning with the reference being decided or otherwise disposed of by the [F3Supreme Court].

    (4) The Secretary of State shall not make an order in relation to a Bill if he has notified the Presiding Officer that he does not intend to do so, unless the Bill has been approved as mentioned in subsection (3)(b) since the notification.

    (5) An order in force under this section at a time when such approval is given shall cease to have effect.

    • Golfnut says:

      Scotland has its own S 35, it’s called the Claim of Right. Unfortunately it requires the people to vote for its use.

  4. yesindyref2 says:

    Yet had the result [of the 2014 referendum] indeed gone the other way, the Tories would have refused to respect the democratic verdict of the people …

    This is becoming a meme amongst some, and it seems to me to be a very dangerous one, as it increases the chance that that would be the reality, which is very much NOT what we want to happen.

    It’s highly irresponsible and counter-productive.

  5. Dr Jim says:

    *Two systems cannot work in the same country*

    By this statement Alister Jack is clearly telling the people of Scotland that Scotland is not a country, and when our Scottish government challenge this in the Supreme court the judges there will legally tell us the same thing

    There will be an insistence that the union of the crowns that created the UK extinguished Scotland as a nation and was replaced by the unitary state of greater England to be named United Kingdom, the use of the names England and Scotland to be a voluntary system to distinguish one from another as a matter of courtesy and not law

    We’re only *allowed* to call ourselves Scotland by the leave of the English UK parliament

    There are two ways to Scottish independence and neither of them involves the law as applied by England, because their law overrules all law within their unitary state

    This is not muscular unionism, it’s weight of numbers thug dictatorship not one jot different to Vladimir Putins definition of Russian law

    Nicola Sturgeon warned us all way back in 2014 what England were going to do and people like Gordon Brown called her a liar, he said she was scaremongering and the SNP was deceiving the people of Scotland, Scotland did not listen to Nicola Sturgeon, if she had been FM then maybe just maybe it might have turned out a little different Now that this has all come to pass Gordon Brown is making the pretense of complaining that he knew nothing of these plans

    Gordon Brown was a liar then and he’s a liar now, as the Labour party have always been in order to get the job done for their Tory partners when it comes to the continuing ownership of Scotland

    All of this is happening now because England feared Deputy FM Nicola Sturgeon then and fears her much more now that she is FM, because she’s absolutely the real thing and is determined to do what she says, in 2014 they harboured no such fears over Scotland departing their union when she was not FM

    There are those who would claim the opposite is true and have dedicated time energy and continual blogging activities against her and her alone in efforts to discredit her in the eyes of Scotland, they’re deluded or liars or unionists, because if Nicola Sturgeon were as useless as they claim her to be, why make all this effort to end her tenure or replace her with WHO? WHAT? HOW? and for what reason when they already knew that England can veto all law at will

    If Scotland is to have our independence peacefully when we decide want it then stick with the genuine article, and we might, just might have a chance

    If we don’t then it’ll be left up to the people who are ready to do it the other way, and we know how that goes and how long it takes

    • deelsdugs says:

      In agreement Dr Jim. The trolls and nasty bastards managed to oust the highly respected Jacinda, and of course LK used the quote ‘not enough in the tank’ in her attempt to goad our FM with. It didnae work.

    • Derek says:

      If not now (or thenabouts), then when?

  6. UndeadShaun says:

    Ive said before that the Tories may break the treaty of Union, specifically the part that protects Scots law forever.

    The tories are really that thick that will likely do this and not think of the consequences.

    This is a central part of the treaty and with a plebecite election, where majority of Scotlands population show support for ending the treaty, the route to independence if the torys ignore the plebecite is to have this resolved at the UN.

    Treaty between England & Scotland or any other countries cannot be dealt with by any UK or even EU court if treaty is disputed. Only the UN is can the body that can deal with international treaties.

    And England (uk) is billy nae mates there.

    • Dr Jim says:

      The UN has ordered the UK to vacate the Chagos islands on two occasions, the UK has declined to do that, and Boris Johnson even went to the lengths of phoning the President of Mauritius threatening him with trade starvation if he continued to pursue the matter

      Even today in the House of Commons they pretend they don’t have the legal powers to prevent and protect the children if these dastardly boat immigrants crossing their English channel when the whole debate around this is purely a distraction filling newspapers and TV from what they’re actually doing

      They make law to fit what they want when they want, then use the excuse of not having legal powers over things they deliberately use to occupy the minds of the people so they don’t pay attention to what really matters

      Keep the public looking elsewhere so the people don’t look at them

      • deelsdugs says:

        And of course the bbc and pockets, and ‘loyalty’, and fraud, and deception, and corruption, and on and on it goes

      • UndeadShaun says:

        UN is the way for recognition when we disolve treaty if UK doesnt accept its over.
        After recognition then UK can continue to be a dick and see immmediate withdrawl of access to Faslane or negotiate.

        And unlike Chagos Islands USA does not have a base it uses for middle east operations in Scotland and given importance of GIUK gap or GIScot gap as it would be. USA will want us on side aside from USA history with uk on independence and the scottish dispora in USA.

    • Golfnut says:

      The Treaty of Union is indeed the only way out of this union, Treaties make domestic law, domestic law can’t make Treaties only ratify them. As far is a I’m concerned whomever is giving legal advice to the SNP needs sacked.

      • UndeadShaun says:

        I think the treaty is in the back pocket to be brought out later.

        I think advice is ok, this about exhausting all means and showing those undecided voters who are unaware what the UK is about. And showing them that to carry in the UK threatens their quality of life and standard of living.

        We need maximum support from our population and whilst it may be frustrating for you, there is a majority for whom independence is not something they live and breath like those of us who frequent this blog.

        As Sun Tzu said “let your plans be as impenetrable as night and when you move fall like a thunderbolt”

        • Golfnut says:

          ” I think the treaty is in the back pocket to be brought out later. ”

          I think the time has arrived to wield the big stick and my reasoning for that is quite simple, there is no a longer a path to follow using the Scotland Act. Whether your preference is to use a Holyrood GE or a westminster GE, only asking the people explicitly for permission to withdraw from the Treaty of Union puts the principal of popular sovereignty in direct confrontation with the principal of Parliamentary sovereignty. Only international law can provide validity to either claim and frankly I don’t see either Dicey’s dogma or Gallagher and Boyles opinion surving scrutiny by the International community. Domestic law as you rightly say has no jurisdiction over the Treaty and any action taken by the SC or Westminster to prevent the question being asked could easily validate UDI. England can’t ignore this vote because it to required the International community to sanction its position.

          • grizebard says:

            No, as Undeadshaun rightly says, demonstrating that all democratic avenues are closed off is absolutely necessary, but not in itself sufficient. It’s also essential to demonstrate by one definitive means or another that the desire for independence is real and substantive.Not least to each other. Inconvenient and frustrating as it can be, the winning of hearts and minds is fundamental, and can’t be bypassed. Only then can any appeal to principle have force.

            There’s no point in high-flown complaint that a door is locked if hardly anybody seems to want to pass through it anyway.

            • Golfnut says:

              Sorry Grizbard but the only way you can determine whether or not the people of Scotland want independence is to ask them which is exactly what Westminster is determined to prevent. If you don’t think we are at the stage where taking control of this issue is now an urgent necessity, where do think we are?

              • Put 3.5% on the streets if needed and you’ll get what you want. Works every time (if they represent the will of the people).


                It’s these kinds of shows of public will that will get us indy if England continues not to play ball.

                If it’s the will of the people, voting is just a boring tick box exercise confirming what everyone already knows is the case.

                • Pogmothon says:

                  Population 5.5 million, 3.5% = 192,500.
                  Now you understand why AUOB rally’s that were approaching or exceeding 100,000 of us. Were continually counted down to 10 or 20,000 by yoon MSM and the ebc, if they were reported at all. They weren’t just being prissy, it was a conscious effort to head of the possibility of the 3.5% being breached. Until they could bring legal challenges and other efforts to splinter the growing demonstration of popular will.
                  Definitely gives a different slant to any controversy suffered by AUOB marches and organisation, don’t you think.

              • grizebard says:

                “the only way… is to ask them” Of course. That’s exactly what I’m also saying, so we agree there. But we can’t move on to other means – whatever they may be – until we first do that… and (of course) get a suitable result.

                The only real question, which is now to be put to the SNP membership, is how best to do that next. It has to be one election or another now, since that is the only universal means left that the unionists can’t block or ignore.

            • Inconvenient and frustrating as it can be, the winning of hearts and minds is fundamental, and can’t be bypassed. Only then can any appeal to principle have force.

              Yup, the pressure cannot ultimately come from the Scottish Government. They cannot just ‘deliver independence’.

              The political pressure comes from the electorate. That’s when Scots, English, Welsh, Irish… Europeans… the UN start saying ‘This is not right, Scots must be allowed to choose indy. They clearly want it! You can’t repress us/them like this!’.

              This is already happening in England in earnest where the majority think we should be able to have our referendum, even if they’d prefer we didn’t go. They know it’s not right that we are being denied our vote by their government.

              It’s happening here too; hence the post UKSC poll surge.

              • grizebard says:

                Yes, and UKGov, in its growing desperation at losing the argument, seems oddly eager to help. By taking ever more repressive measures which only further expose its democratic illegitimacy and hasten its loss of popular assent. With devolution no longer a safety net to keep English interference at bay, foot-dragging “Proud Scots But” are increasingly confronted with having to choose between the “Scot” and the “But”.

                It’s ironic really, but Tory muscular Unioniusm is destroying Labour’s Mitigation Hell strategy. No devo, no mitigation.

              • Bob Lamont says:

                This is what some miss from within their particular bubble – The political and media classes are losing big time to popular opinion north AND south, squirrels everywhere have gone inti hiding for the next “look over there” moment….

                Even James Cook’s desperation for a knighthood was evident in promoting “Waiting times improve as fewer seek A&E care” on the main page headline, which translates to “Scotland’s A&E waiting times at best rate since November” on the article itself.
                This will undoubtedly piss off their experts Disaster Gulhane, Tsunami Baillie, and resident Lazy Winters, who had rehearsed their next “woe is Scots” less than a day or so ago and Sandesh’s scrubs outfit is at the dry cleaners…

                Presumably James actually read a “real email” from AJ to promote “Rapist guilty of attacking women before gender change” in response to the Secretary of Flounce finally realising he looked extremely stupid despite that being his natural condition, hence on
                Only on the BBC/Scotland webpage this time, hit shappens…

              • Golfnut says:

                I can’t say that I understand your or Grizbards position, whether it differs from my own regards simply the process or that you just want absolute certainty somehow from the people of Scotland regards independence before you ask them if they want independence.
                Either the Holyrood GE or the Westminster GE are probably the only opportunities to vote with the possible exception of the SG resigning to force an early Holyrood GE, which includes the very real risk of westminster repealing the Scotland Acts to prevent a vote. None of these options include the SG or Westminster, they are party elections and as far as the SNP, Alba and the Green party are concerned, the vote in Scotland is held within a legal jurisdiction seperate from the one Westminster sits in. Legal jurisdiction as in the legal jurisdiction protected by the Treaty of Union. The
                Not only pro the people of Scotland need to know what they are voting for the International community need to understand properly how the UK is constituted.

                • grizebard says:

                  You seem to swivel between wanting an opportunity to give people a say and instead promoting some alternative para-legal means of challenging the status quo. But nobody anywhere, home or abroad, will take the latter seriously unless there’s real “steam in the boiler” plainly visible from the former.

                  Of course it’s not about “absolute certainty”, because that’s never happens (except for Norway c1905, with 98% for independence from Sweden), but there has to be demonstrable widespread support, otherwise any parallel move will be dismissed out-of-hand as merely the vanity project of a few zealots. Not worth bothering about. That’s just how society operates everywhere.

                  At a risk of repeating myself too often, one of the most important results though of a public determination of popular support (besides the precious opportunity to get the facts across that the Unionist-dominated media here routinely distort and suppress) is enhanced self-awareness. That’s how a tipping point is reached, after which comes the deluge that takes all with it.

                • r that you just want absolute certainty somehow from the people of Scotland regards independence before you ask them if they want independence.

                  I’m talking about the stark reality of the situation. The whole denying a referendum is based on polls of late not clearly showing Scots wanting indy, or even a referendum soon at times. It’s a very high risk approach, but they are utterly desperate. If it becomes clear from polls… from how we vote in elections… that we are set on indy, and won’t take no for an answer, then we’ll have our independence and the international community will push for us to be allowed that. If we don’t seem to be willing to put up a fight as a people, so England will keep saying no and the international community we busy itself with other things.

                  It would be lovely if the English government respected how we voted, but they’re not doing so because they are not nice people, and the only way pressure can be applied on them is by the Scots electorate, be that in polling, in protests, and at the ballot box. The SNP are limited by law as to what opportunities they can give us in the latter case. They don’t want to squander these easily. Everything else is up to us.

                  • Golfnut says:

                    Are you actually reading my comments or just bits of them.
                    What clearer demonstration of the will of the people than a vote. Is there a better uncomplicated method of giving the people a clear understanding of what they are voting for , is there a better way of making the International community aware of the actual legal structure of the UK, is there a better, easier way of invoking the jurisdiction of international law and the UN, is there a better way of removing the Supreme Court from the equation bearing in mind that the FM has stated this vote will be based on a single issue.

                    • I am reading them of course, but the UK government won’t let us vote in a referendum, and there’s basically f’all the Scottish government can do about that.

                      They can wait for the next UK GE and try to use that, which they are testing the water on. They have a nuclear option of triggering a Scottish election, but, rightly, worry about the fact there’s two ballots in that and are not confident whether this will work.

                      It’s not fair at all, and it’s really f’ing anti-democratic the situation we face, but it’s the cold, hard reality.

                      The more Scots say they want indy, and want it now, by the normal methods (protests, polls, and of course votes), the more the pressure mounts on the English government.

                      There’s no quick fix here though.

                    • Golfnut says:

                      It’s not a quick fix SS, a UKGE will happen, and we will get to vote for or against independence. If it’s for, westminster will almost certainly dispute it, declare it illegal, ignore it or send in the troops. International recognition of Scotland’s right to end the union is the goal, only then can we prise Scotland from the cold dead hands of westminster.

  7. bringiton says:

    At least now, all is clear.
    Within the UK state,Scots have no say over what happens in Scotland.
    According to the Tories and their pals in British Labour,we are ein Reich,ein Volk so no requirement for devolution of power.
    We don’t need to waste any more time discussing devolution because it doesn’t and never has been a reality.
    Gordon Brown can return to his crypt.

  8. Actions and words have consequences.

    Transgender hate crimes in Scotland triple and are fastest growing

    But the right don’t care about this. They thrive on it.

    • Dr Jim says:

      The cause of all societies problems was poor white people, then it was poor black people, then it was homosexual people, then it was poor immigrants, now it’s Trans people, and lest we forget Jews Catholics Muslims Hindus or any other people the English or any other government can other into these categories

      Look at them, not at us

      How long before people wake up to this use of distraction? another 300 years?

      People aren’t the problem, creators of divisions are the problem, and we all know who they are, they even have a bell in their parliament to create them

  9. Also from the latest Findoutnow poll:

    Nicola Sturgeon says the SNP will fight the next General Election as a “de facto” referendum on independence. Which party will you vote for?
    52% SNP
    23% Lab
    12% Con
    7% Lib
    3% Reform
    2% Green
    0.4% Alba
    0.3% Other

    In the tables. 54.4% for pro-indy parties. Ties in with the straight Y/N question.

    In this poll, support for indy / the SNP is basically the same for men and women, although the classic pattern of men a little bit more Tory (from being slightly more pro-brexit) shows up.

    • JP58 says:

      This poll is quite heartening and again shows that SNP are the only political party that will gain Scotland independence. There is a place for parties like the Greens who support independence although their main focus is on environmental issues.
      I am afraid this poll shows that Alba, despite all the noise, remain a virtual irrelevance (distraction) in political terms although you would be a brave person to tell an Alba supporter that!
      There is of course plenty room for other independent supporting groups but they need to try and work with SNP and vice versa,

  10. Ken says:

    In 6 years ‘hate crimes’ rose from 53 to 185. In a population of 5.4million,

    • 185 is of course way more than the number of GRCs issued in a year! 🙂

      ‘Hate crimes reported to Police Scotland’. We don’t know the actual number of hate crimes really occurring, which will be much higher. All we can take from from the numbers is that they provide some evidence for a sharp rise. It may be that more are reporting. However, in the circumstances, a rise in hate crimes against transgender people would be expected sadly. There has been a concerted effort by the right-wing media to convince the electorate the bill presents a real danger to people, greatly increasing their risk of sexual assault. That can only cause increased mistrust and abuse to towards trans people. The extent isn’t clear though.

      The brexit scare stories about immigrants being a danger did the same; cause a sharp rise in hate crimes against minorities.

  11. proudcybernat says:

    It seems from what you are saying here Paul, that it won’t even matter if Scots vote majority YES at first opportunity of defacto indyref, UKGov will simply ignore the result as though it didn’t happen or deem it irrelevant – like they’re doing now with these other issues.

    Paul – what then?

    • grizebard says:

      Oh jeez. You still don’t get it, do you? It’s the very demonstration of increased popular support for independence that unlocks everything. (You would think that anyone who was a democrat at heart would understand that.) It’s not the official political process that actually matters, it’s what ordinary people see other people increasingly believing. Once people realise that independence is steadily amassing support, it escalates. And that escalation creates increasing pressure on those getting in the way. Pressure that ultimately they cannot resist.

      If the UKGov was smart, it would see that inevitable confrontation looming – as Cameron did – and try to forestall it by conceding now while it still has some chance of winning. Like most unrepresentative regimes, though, a purblind refusal to respond simply means that it will certainly lose when the confrontation can no longer be avoided. History is replete with such examples.

      • proudcybernat says:

        What don’t I “get”?

        I’m asking what’s our next move if UKGov refuses to acknowledge a YES victory and does what it is presently doing – ignoring results, ignoring democracy. Given these anti-democratic UKGov actions, I do not believe it to be beyond the realms of impossibility that the UKGov will also ignore a YES victory.

        So – what then?

        • grizebard says:

          What don’t you “get”? “We the people”. You are stampling your feet and demanding somebody – anybody – somehow magick some political pathway out of thin air, whereas real progress comes from getting ever more people on our side. With enough people, we win. It’s that simple.

          The current impasse is purely illusory. It’s merely a battle of wills. The UKGov Emperor has no clothes, and more and more ordinary people are seeing that. Though apparently some over-zealous independence supporters still don’t.

        • Alex Clark says:

          I too do not believe it is ” beyond the realms of impossibility that the UKGov will also ignore a YES victory”.

          It really depends though on the means by which the Yes victory is achieved, if it is through an agreed referendum with a Section 30 order then I don’t believe they would dare attempt to ignore the result. For now, that’s not on the table.

          If that is the case and the Yes victory has to be achieved by means of a defacto referendum which Westminster has refused to acknowledge as legitimate. Then it should be considered highly likely that they will attempt to ignore the result of the vote and declare it was not relevant to proving support for Independence.

          Given their track record, why wouldn’t anyone see a distinct possibility of them behaving in this way? The alternative for them on a Yes vote is to say, fair enough let’s begin negotiations as to how we split up the pot of assets and liabilities. They might even choose to do exactly that but we have to be prepared for the possibility that they don’t.

          Of course your “what then?” is not a question I can answer, and I doubt that anyone who actually knew anything would ever give you an answer. That’s right back to “what’s your plan B” that plagued us for years.

          It has been pretty clear though in the last couple of years that the Scottish government has been trying very hard to increase and build on its relationships with the International community. Not least with those in the EU and the US who do have influence if we were to need some friends on our side. If Westminster takes the route of ignoring the reality of a democratic Yes vote for Independence, even if it was achieved under the guise of a defacto referendum then we will be seeking the support of that International community is my opinion.

          • proudcybernat says:

            Thanks for that clear and cogent reply, Alex. I think I’m inclined to agree with you that, upon UKGov intransigence and ignoring a YES victory (not unlikely), then we have to go international. The ‘how’ of that, however, is the issue.

            On the back of a YES victory in a legal, democratic vote that UKGov refuses to acknowledge, then we could invoke Claim of Right and UDI. What will UKGov do? Send in the tanks to crush a democratic vote? Not a good look.

            When Rhodesia tried UDI in the 70s, UKGov said it would only recognise the Rhodesian Gov declaration if it was backed by a YES vote of ALL Rhodesians (including the large majority black population).

            Our other option is to seek the EU/UN to pressurise UKGov to respect democracy and negotiate – doubt that’ll work though given this UKGov’s recent flouting of international law.

            But it is a question and a position our YES leaders need to be ready to respond to should that situation arise.

  12. Alex Clark says:

    The big miscalculation by the Tories in all of this is that they didn’t take into account how interpretations of what devolution actually meant could change quite drastically when it was seen that no law passed in Holyrood was safe and that it could be vetoed on the whim of the SoS against Scotland.

    There are still a large number of voters who have held out against supporting independence believing that devolution could be made to work Aand that more powers were going to be granted to the Scottish Parliament.

    What of all of those promises now after this debacle. There is no possibility ever of Devo Max and plain old vanilla devolution has been holed below the waterline and sinking fast. As someone already mentioned Gordy Broon’s 2 years in the making plans for more Devo is up shit creek without a paddle.

    Simply, no one has any faith left in Westminster’s promises, all bridges have been burned.

    • grizebard says:

      Yes, my feeling also, as expressed above. With the devo safety net now badly holed and being further menaced by the day, the only truly safe way forward is independence.

      Can’t imagine what Gordo Brood is thinking about his latest cunning plan (failed) to save the Union, but by now every ordinary Labour supporter should be seeing the writing on the wall. (It’s not as if it’s hard to read.)

  13. UndeadShaun says:

    To go down treaty of union route, you 1st have to show that ending it is the settled will of majority of Scotland.

    Like it or not, but measurably demonstrating that the majority support independence is essential.
    Without that there will be no international support for ending the treaty. If no one recognises it, then games a bogey and the empire wins.

    That is why we have to use a plebecite election to show that support.(unless of course torys change their mind and say now is the time, but highly unlikely)

    • Golfnut says:

      If the manifesto has as it’s primary purpose withdrawing from the ToU, remember for us this is a single issue GE, is that not enough to demonstrate the will of the people. What is a more potent demonstration of our will than voting to withdraw from the Treaty.

      • UndeadShaun says:

        I think we are bothsaying same thing here that if GE is a
        Plebecite on indepenence and majority supports indy/ end treaty of union, only then can we take further measures if westminster ignores us.

  14. Ken says:

    If the Westminster ignore a YES vote if a majority of people vit3 fo4 it. They will be chucked out of the UN. Into the political wildness. The UN Courts will force them to acknowledge it. Westminster would be breaking International Law. No affordable. Lose rights freedoms and investment.

    If people in Scotland, who support Independence voted for Independence supporting Parties at every election. The opposition would be voted out. A.higher turnout. There would b3 no opposition to stop Independence. Under International Law. UN principles support self determination and self governance if people vote for it.

  15. Ken says:

    It will not be up to the Tories they will be out of Gov soon, They do not have time to change the reform bill. Another one could be passed. Westminster will have to inmplenent the Bill for equality. Under International Law. People can all ready self ID. It just makes it easier.

  16. Ken says:

    Approx 150 Self ID in prison. The rest are law biding. The majority. 7500 people in prison 96% men. The self ID’s are not the major problem. People in prison on the spectrum. Not having proper support.Or diversity acknowledgement. Much crime is committed under the influence. It would be more effective for more people to be in proper, total abstinence, rehab facilities. Some addicts sell drugs to get drugs. Or can end in violent conflict.

    Abused women can be stuck in violent, unsafe places, The majority who co habit do not have equal rights. Letting agencies demand six months upfront rent + deposit illegally. They cannot get legal aid. So can lose the roof over their heads. Women are abused in their own homes by people tha5 they know.

  17. Dr Jim says:

    The cries and complaints of Nicola Sturgeon’s done nuthin tae get us oor independence are were and will continue to be wrong misguided or just deliberately designed to undermine confidence in the people we elected to represent us, it’s how the opposition go about their business, create doubt division uncertainty, chip chip chip away at the foundations, then if they fall, as they have in the past, they blame those representatives for not being good enough, which in itself is blaming and laughing us the voters for being stupid enough to put them there
    The campaign to destroy the FM is and has been furious, it’s an easy question to answer why

    Insidious isn’t it

    No politician can *get us* anything, they merely lay the groundwork, give us the information, conduct themselves well and raise the confidence in ourselves to support them, then they begin the detail of the negotiations to bring about the people’s demands with the confidence we give them in return

    The people are the army, the demanders expressing their will, then Scotland can stand up straight

  18. Alex Clark says:

    Scotland will have support in the International community if Westminster refuses to recognise a Yes vote. The people that believe in democracy, they’re our friends.

    • Dr Jim says:

      Indeed Alex, England will not sustain in the face of world democratic enmity
      though they’ll still refuse to learn from it

  19. Alex Clark says:

    I thought this was a very interesting read in the New Statesman, someone for whom it seems the fog surrounding Scotland’s relationship with the Union is a lot clearer than most.

    The twilight of the British Union

  20. Tories. ‘Driving a wedge between the peoples of the UK’, including themselves.

    Tory MP Nokes condemns government for blocking Scotland trans bill

    The Conservative chairwoman of the Commons equalities committee has condemned her party leadership for vetoing Nicola Sturgeon’s proposed gender law…

    …Nokes, the MP for Romsey and Southampton North, said: “The recommendations that we made were not so wildly different from the new legislation in Scotland, with the exception of gender recognition certificates at 16…

    …As in the Scottish parliament bill, the committee recommended removing the need for a medical diagnosis of “gender dysphoria” to obtain a gender recognition certificate. Critics of this provision say it implies transgender identity is a mental disorder.

    It also recommended that the requirement to live in the acquired gender for two years be dropped.

  21. Skintybroko says:

    Sadly the English Parliament ( no way can it be construed as a Uk parliament given the majority of English MP’s) continue to give the finger to International laws. They will continue to run roughshod over Scotland, I personally see them making the GE de facto referendum unlawful and it will need us all to take to the streets to get the world to sit up and take notice as only then will the international media get involved, until then we are at the mercy of our home grown propaganda machine

  22. Eilidh says:

    How can they make a general election as a de facto referendum on Indy unlawful. In election law they have no right to dictate what is in a party’s manifesto. If Indy supporting parties get more than 50% vote whether uk govt accept that result as a de facto referendum result supporting Indy is a different matter. I doubt they will

    • How can they make a general election as a de facto referendum on Indy unlawful

      Smacks of desperation. Utter desperation. Blind panic. Rabbits in headlights. Union in its final hours accelerating its own end basically.

    • Alex Clark says:

      I don’t think there could be anything unlawful about claiming the result of a de facto referendum as being evidence of support for Independence.

      That said, it won’t stop Unionist parties, their supporters and a Westminster government from claiming that it has no legitimacy which is a different thing from it actually being illegal.

      In fact, not long after Nicola Sturgeon announced that if the Supreme Court ruled Holyrood did not have the power to legislate for a referendum then she would use the next General Election as a de facto referendum.

      We had Unionist talking heads decrying such a move and saying it would be illegitimate. the following is from an article in the Times last June featuring two well known Unionist mouthpieces.

      A UK general election cannot be legitimately used as a “de facto referendum” on Scottish independence, a constitutional expert has said.

      James Mitchell, who holds the chair in public policy at Edinburgh University, poured cold water on Nicola Sturgeon’s plan to use the next election as a means of forcing the UK government to agree to negotiations over the break-up of Britain…

      Jim Gallagher, chairman of Our Scottish Future, the think tank backed by Gordon Brown, argued that unionists would not treat any election victory as a mandate for independence. Writing in The Times Gallagher, professor at St Andrews University’s institute of legal and constitutional research, said:

      “General elections are not referendums, and the SNP doesn’t get to make them so. The next one will decide the government of the UK, and whether to remove Boris Johnson as prime minister. Why would the other parties agree to make it about anything else?”

      He added: “Whatever UK government emerges [from the next election] won’t treat it as having been an independence referendum.”

      Mitchell said there was “no such thing as a de facto referendum” and that elections and referendums “are quite distinct”. He told ITV Border: “It’s not for a political party to dictate the terms of an election.

      In a referendum the question is very clear and that’s the whole point of a referendum — it’s focused. There isn’t the same focus in an election. An election is simply not a referendum, a de facto referendum or any other kind of referendum.”

      My guess is that we can expect to hear much the same arguements before and after the next General Election. It’s all they’ve got.

      • Ken says:

        In Scotland 7500+ people are in prison 96% men. Similar worldwide. Statistics

        • It’s not similar worldwide. Scotland is 0.14% in prison; it’s half that in Norway at 0.06%!

          In the US, it’s uo to 0.7%. That’s 5 times the incarceration rate of Scotland, and over 12 times that of Norway. 7% of them are women too!

          Are American baby boys born into the world with 12 times the criminality of Norwegian boys? Are American women just, inherently, more criminal?

          Should American GRC applicants be vetted more thoroughly than Norwegian and Scots?

          Of course not…


      • Golfnut says:

        I guess no one asked them where in UK law( English law) it defines the do’s and don’ts of the contents of a political party’s election manifesto. John Major and Maggie Thatcher both former PM’s and more importantly Privy Councillors had no difficulty in defining a UK general election as the legitimate process for Scotland to leave the union. A key issue for the EU. Many prominent English MP’s including the English Attorney General were explicit in there address to parliament that they knew of no law, whether it was English or International law they were referring to I don’t know, which prevented one party to a Treaty from leaving if the Treaty no longer served their purpose.
        So long as we make the purpose of our vote clear and unambiguous we should weather the storm it will undoubtedly create. International recognition is the key to success.

      • Not-My-Real-Name says:

        In 2019 Johnson and the Tories made the GE all about ‘Getting Brexit Done’…..

        Starmer is touting his party, Labour, in the next GE, will ‘Make Brexit work’ ……

        A SNP de facto independence referendum via the next GE will also promote that we , when independent, can cast aside a UK Brexit that we did not vote for here in Scotland and then begin a campaign to get back into the EU.

        Considering we in Scotland did NOT want to or vote to Get Brexit Done and have no interest aiding Labour in Making Brexit work….as we did not vote, via a majority, for it as a policy in Scotland…….it seems to me that both the Tory and Labour party lacked and lack any legitimacy in using GE’s as a way to appease Brexiteers in ONE country via Brexit while ignoring those in another country who voted, via a majority , against Brexit….or more apt against us in Scotland being taken OUT of the EU against our will (votes via a majority)…..

        Guess that is the real DOWNSIDE of being in their UK….we in Scotland never get what we vote for when the vote is on a UK wide basis…..but apparently it as a UK system is considered a system that is legal and legitimate as THEY , Tories and Labour, as political parties benefit MORE from it via UK wide elections in deciding who is to be the next UK government at their WM……and benefit also , as proven in 2016, via UK wide Referendums on matters concerning and involving the whole UK…..Hmm

  23. The common quoting of prison / police stats around GRA is interesting. Norway has half the number of people in prison, but the female % is nearly double that of Scotland. It’s a much safer country than the UK as a result. Norwegians are, of course, not genetically less dangerous than Scots, nor are Norwegian women more criminally inclined relative to men from their country than Scots women are.

    This is because prison stats say something about societal conditioning problems, not about the inherent nature of the sexes, nor other minorities, and certainly not about individuals.

  24. Ken says:

    Scotland 7500 in prison. One of the highest no in Europe. 96% men. Women commit less crime worldwide. The ‘crime’ commit shoplifting (feed children) or not paying TV licences etc. Not violent crime. Those are the statitics.

    A Domestic abuse Act that cannot be dropped or appealed. Now the Police are acting and judge and jury. Ignore of the Law of diversity. Too many people are on the spectrum without proper diagnosis and support. Crime is linked to drug and alcohol use. The drink’s in the wit’s oot. The action would not have been carried out if people were sober. Alcohol and drug misuse is linked to criminal behaviour. Statistically and comparable. More makes misuse drugs and drink? Statistically. Crime is a gender issue. according to the facts and figures and University studies. They do courses on it. Different aspects, Most murderers are male. More men get murdered than females. 400+ 100+ females. A higher number of women are abused by men. Me. Abuse other men.

  25. Ken says:

    There is less crime in Norway because it is more equal and people are better off. The sake of alcohol is restricted and a higher price by proportion of income. Less crime? MUP less alcohol consumption and less deaths.

  26. Ken says:

    Lower crime rates. New Zealand, Switzerland, Norway. 30 murders a year Norway. 700+ in the UK. Increased 200 knife murders a year. Since austerity.
    New Zealand, Switzerland and Norway. More prosoerous and equal. Less crime. Scotland could be the same Independent.

    Russia and the US have a higher prison numbers pro rata.

    22,000 murders in the US pop 340+ million. 16,000 – gun crime. More than any war involvement. Killing and maiming millions in other countries. Illegal criminal behaviour. Latin American countries have higher rates of crime. Mexico has a high criminal death rate (Drug)

    UK/US, Iraq have a higher drug rate problem pro rata. Being flooded with illegal drugs.

  27. Ken says:

    Norway 3,400 men in prison. 237 women

  28. Golfnut says:

    An article from Open Democracy.

    Billions of pounds were handed to the private healthcare sector during the worst phases of the pandemic, mostly bed space and very little of it used and now the new pm intends to farm out parts of the backlog in the NHS to the private sector. This will be paid for by public money and will no doubt prove to be extremely profitable for the private sector. The uk gov intends to pump money into the private sector some of which will no doubt come NHS budgets instead of investing money in the NHS.

  29. Ken says:

    There are double the number of people in prison compared to Norway. With a comparable population.

    Statically Scotland is still a comparable safe place to live. It could be better.

  30. Ken says:

    Increased 200 knife deaths in London S/E, a year. Since austerity.

  31. Interesting. That Findoutnow poll actually showed a slight increase in Yes / decrease in No. Just lost in rounding when DK’s are removed.

    52(+1)% Yes
    44(-1)% No
    3(-3)% DK

    Changes on 8th December. So well covers the gender reform bill passing wall to wall headlines, but pre-blocking of this by Jack.

  32. Ken says:

    Crimes rates on average are failing.

  33. Ken says:

    Crimes rates on average are falling. Not in London S/E since austerity? 200 knife murders a year increase.

  34. Ken says:


    The Tories will not have time to privatise the Health Service. They will be gone in a few months. Time is running out. UK NHS funding is £159Billion. £16Billion + social care in Scotland. One of the highest statistics spends. 1/4 of the budget, £2.5Billion in private care. Higher contributions. Does not cover long term or critical illness. A waste of monies and more expensive than a public healthcare system. The Tories are abusing the system. The Tories cut NHS funding £20Billion from 2015 to 2020. Instead of increasing it. The Staff need better remuneration. Instead£ of spending monies on grotesque projects of little or no value. Wasting public monies.

    Increasing retirement age will only mean more is spent on benefits. Many people are sick in old age. A higher proportion. £250Billion UK Gov spend on (UK) pensions & benefits, The adminstrstion is nearly as much as the pay out. Increasing old age pensions would cut adminstrstion costs and be more affordable. Scotland pays the full contributions. In tax revenues and contributions. Gov Pensions are paid out of current expenditure. There is no ‘pension fund’.

  35. Ken says:

    Murder rate in Scotland 63. 61 men accused 2 Women

    The murder rate in England is higher. 719. 56million pop

    Scotland pop 5+ million.

  36. It’s scary to think that half of Scotland’s prison population at least doesn’t need to be in there. If only we could be independent and follow Norway’s path to a much safer country with far less ruined lives, both perpetrator and victim.

    Society is failing men badly too. Worst than it’s failing women in many ways. Too many men ending up in vicious circle of crime and, tragically, for every 1 female suicide, there are 3 male. That’s what ultimately comes of portraying / treating men as fundamentally different to women.

    The grass is not greener on the other side ladies. Watch ‘All quiet on the Western Front’ for a good historical example. Being a man isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

    But sexism is a nice way to divide and rule. Tell ‘men to be men’ and ‘women to be women’. Keep the proles of the latter in their place, while sending the former over the top straight towards the machine guns. That or lock them in the work camp for minor misdemeanours. Les Misérables is happening again in the USA. Becoming an industry using prisoners as dirt cheap labour.

    All quiet on the Western front also happening again right now to young Russian men. Forced to the front to be slaughtered in their thousands. The elite Mrs Putin and his henchman’s wives equally culpable as their partners.

  37. Seems if you are a bad egg that wants access to vulnerable people to abuse, forget applying for a GRC, you needed to join Cressida Dick’s Met Police.

    London is corrupt on every level. A cesspit right to the top.

  38. Michael Bell says:

    “This is highlighted by one of Jack’s stated objections to the Scottish Bill, his belief that it is impossible to have two different systems in operation in ‘one country’ … ”

    If Alister Jack had the slightest interest in affairs beyond the narrow confines of his own country, he would see that that is precisely the way in which things work in most democracies. Or do I mean he would see that that is precisely the way in which things work in democracies?

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