Tories Tread a Dangerous Path 793

I have always believed that Theresa May is likely to try to block a new Independence referendum – and it is extremely unlikely her defence secretary, the odious Michal Fallon, would have said this so categorically without prior agreement with May. Fallon, taking a break from supplying weapons to the Saudis for killing Yemeni children, displayed huge arrogance towards Scotland, which the Tories believe is firmly under the heel. They refuse to acknowledge that any difficulty arises from the contradictory referendum results in Scotland, where Scots voted both to remain part of the UK, and to remain part of the EU – the second more recently and by a much wider margin.

The Tory view is that Scotland is but a province of the UK. They are of course right – the UK Supreme Court decision makes quite plain that Scotland’s so-called “parliament” does not derive its power from the Scottish people, but only from what Westminster condescends to hand back. Indeed Westminster could abolish Scotland’s parliament tomorrow. For the Tories, a combination of that Supreme Court decision, their Brexit victory, and the elevation of the Tories to 21% in Scottish elections (Fallon quotes public support for Ruth Davison in his interview), mean that they don’t have to offer Scotland anything.

For God’s sake, let them not be proved right.

Do you remember the scene in Braveheart, where the nobles at Stirling Bridge are planning to negotiate and go home, and Wallace forces them into a fight? Well, I know which Sturgeon reminds me of more at the moment. If she is planning to fight eventually she is masking her intentions brilliantly. The problem that worries me is that the SNP is now the Scottish establishment, and as Scotland is still very much part of the UK, they are part of the British establishment too. A lot of our MPs seem to have their feet under the table very nicely at Westminster. The SNP as an institution has not just its Westminster MPs but their secretaries and research assistants and the group staff, and all the people paid with millions of Westminster “Short money”. That is a major group of party apparatchiks making a fat living out of the current system. Plus of course Holyrood and its power and jobs.

The SNP as an institution is doing very nicely out of the status quo, and that is why there are so many siren voices within the SNP arguing that it is too early for a referendum; “we might lose it”, “leaving the EU is not such a disaster”, “there are a lot of anti-EU Independence supporters anyway”.

There is a lot of self-fulfilling prophesy here. As there has been virtually no actual campaigning for Independence since 2014 and the media still spew anti-Independence propaganda daily, it is hardly surprising Independence support is not rising in the polls. It is a miracle it is holding steady.

The Tories are banking on leaving the EU being normalised. People are getting used to the idea, and the ill consequences of leaving the single market will not really bite until we do so. This is where Sturgeon’s Fabian tactics play in to the Tory agenda. Instead of a break with Westminster over EU membership, the Scottish government is allowing public interest to evaporate in a series of dull Joint Ministerial Committee meetings. There matters are kicked into long grass and mollifying but insincere words spoken about how seriously the devolved administrations are being taken. I can see no point in continuing with this charade unless the SNP itself intends to allow the issue to fizzle out in a drizzle of EFTA’s, EEA’s, CTA’s and other dull acronyms.

The racist majority in England and Wales are trying to force us out of the EU. The UK Supreme Court has ruled the Sewel Convention has no legal force. Now the Tories are arrogantly refusing the right of the Scottish people even to hold a referendum. I cannot imagine the degree of humiliation the SNP feels is necessary to pull the trigger on another Independence attempt. The time is now.

If the Tories do succeed in preventing another referendum from taking place, they are playing with fire. It is worth noting that there is no requirement for Scotland to hold a referendum to become Independent.

Independence is not an internal question. It is the existence of a state recognised by its fellow states, and that recognition is expressed by the General Assembly of the United Nations. A referendum is not a requirement for that UN recognition. Please note the rest of this paragraph very, very carefully. The majority of States in the world have achieved independence during my own lifetime. The vast majority of those did so without a referendum. Not only is a referendum not a requirement, it is extremely unusual. Of the 194 states recognised by the UN, only a tiny handful featured a referendum as part of the process of the formation of the state. This is also true within the EU. Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Croatia, Estonia, Slovakia, Slovenia and the Czech Republic all recently assumed their current form and none of them had a referendum to do it.

If the Tories refuse a referendum, the Scottish Government should respond by declaring Independence. My preferred method of doing this would be to convene a National Assembly, comprising of all Scotland’s MEP’s, MP’s and MSP’s, and for that National Assembly to make the declaration. This would broadly accord with international norms. Independence should be effective from the declaration, but that Independence could if desired be employed to hold the referendum which the Tories had refused.

I do not posit this as the best way to achieve Independence. My preference would be a new referendum now in the new circumstances of the UK leaving the EU, as fairly presaged in the SNP’s successful manifesto for the last Holyrood elections. I am convinced that once campaigning starts, support for Independence will surge as during the last campaign, only this time starting from a much higher base.

The Tories fought the Holyrood election on a manifesto saying no second Independence referendum. They got 21% of the vote. May and Fallon should be aware as they plan to block a referendum: other options are available.

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793 thoughts on “Tories Tread a Dangerous Path

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  • Republicofscotland

    The British givernment is preparing to spend £1.3 billion pounds of British taxpayers money on social care for the elderly in China.

    Now correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t the British Red Cross say that the NHS in England was now a humanitarian crisis. With hopsitals turning the sick and elderly away, and those who do manage to get in, are left in corridors for hours.

    Infact the press have claimed that NHS England is in such a dire state, that the hospitals are installing patient buzzers in the corridors, due to patients spending long hours waiting to be seen.

  • michael norton

    Extreme Far Right leader Marine Le Pen urges French voters to follow in the Footsteps of the United Kingdom
    Brexit, Trump examples.
    “The impossible has suddenly become possible,” the extreme-far-right candidate told supporters in reference to recent surprises at the ballot box, Britain’s vote last June to leave the European Union and Trump’s November election to the US presidency.

    She will hold a referendum on

    • michael norton

      “Other countries have shown us the way,” Marine Le Pen declared triumphantly from the podium.
      “The awakening of those nations is historic and marks the end of an era.
      The winds of history have changed,” she proclaimed.

      The leader of the anti-EU National Front pledged to organize France’s own referendum on leaving the bloc within the first six months of her term, when she is elected president.

      So we could have
      Brexit, Frexit, Nexit and Grexit, one after the other, the walls of the undemocratic, corrupt, E.U. fabric are crumbling.
      Will Scotland still join the drowning corpse?

  • Republicofscotland

    Ruth Davidson hinting that there will be a power grab over agriculture in Scotland after Brexit. The Tories as everyone with a brain cell knows, that their intention is to repatriate as many powers back to Westminster from Scotland as possible, after we are dragged out the EU.

    Meanwhile Holyrood voted overwhelmingly against the triggering of Article 50.

    Indyref 2 here we come.

  • michael norton

    French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron has dismissed lurid online rumours that he had a gay affair.

    Mr Macron, a 39-year-old married to his former high-school teacher who is 20 years his senior,
    told supporters his wife Brigitte “shares my whole life”.
    Ministry of Truth

    Wow, if more comes out, it will be even more likely Marine will be the first woman of France.

  • michael norton

    Things are getting down and dirty in France.

    Francois Fillon said on Monday that he was a victim of “media lynching”.

    Heaping more pressure on the centre-right party, it emerged that a magistrate had ordered ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy to stand trial over election financing irregularities – a reminder of the party’s past brushes with financial scandal.

    Take two steps forward any clean candidates.

  • Sharp Ears

    Lord Fowler HoL speaker, was not consulted by Bercow. Ah diddums.

    My Lords, I would like to make a short statement following the statement in the House of Commons by the Speaker there on a possible speech to Parliament by the President of the United States.’

    ‘The procedure by which permission is given to speak in Parliament is long established. When the Speakers receive a request to invite a head of state to address Parliament, they both have to agree to issue an invitation, after consultation. The whole purpose is to seek consensus ensuring that both Houses have the opportunity to consider a request.’

    ‘Yesterday in the Commons Mr Bercow said that he was opposed to the President speaking. I should make it clear that I was not consulted on that decision or its timing. However, the Speaker contacted me this morning. He told me that while he maintained his view on the issue he was genuinely sorry for failing to consult with me. Obviously I accepted that apology.’

    ‘My view is that I will keep an open mind and consider any request for Mr Trump to address Parliament if and when it is made.’

    ‘I do not intend to argue the case for or against Mr Trump’s visit – that is not my role as Speaker. But allow me to say that I have spent the last 30 years campaigning against prejudice and discrimination, particularly for the rights of LGBT people and those with HIV/Aids. I would however like to make two further comments entirely on process. I stress that.’

    ‘First, there will be other leaders coming to this country who may also be controversial. The procedure as it stands means that either Mr Speaker or myself can effectively veto any proposal for a visiting leader to address Parliament at least as far as Westminster Hall is concerned. I think it is for Parliament to consider whether there is a better way in which such decisions can be made.’

    ‘Second, for the time being there may be a situation where one of the Speakers decides he cannot agree. Before we reach this point there should be, at the very least, some effort to reach consensus and a serious discussion on what the decision should be. I hope that we can now return to that previous practice.’

    He would obviously welcome Trump.

    He was one of the Witch’s mob. Transport, Health and Employment. Packed it in ‘to spend more time with his family’.,_Baron_Fowler

  • W Habib Steele

    My view is that all Scottish MPs should resign immediately, by-elections be held in every constituency. Each constituency have one platform, That Scotland Be an Independent Country. When a majority of pro-independence MPs are elected, they gather in Edinburgh, declare themselves to be the government elected by the Sovereign People of Scotland, declare independence, invite the Holyrood Parliament to join the and, as the parliament of a Sovereign State, negotiate with Westminster for the return of all that they have stolen from us, and the just sharing of the UK’s assets.

  • michael norton

    Ministry of Truth
    The government has seen off an attempt to add conditions to its Brexit bill as a Conservative rebellion was avoided.

    MPs rejected a bid by Labour’s Chris Leslie to force the government to consult Parliament on the deal struck with the EU before it is finalised.

  • michael norton

    Last week it was said Royal Dutch Shell was completely getting out of the North Sea.
    Ministry of Truth
    Plans to decommission the Brent field in the North Sea are expected to be lodged with the government later.

    Shell has already started decommissioning one platform but this new plan stretches across the whole field.

    Brent is iconic because it lends its name to the benchmark of the North Sea, Brent Crude.

    Is the North Sea in proper decline?

    • michael norton

      Collapse in crude brings North Sea fields near end of production
      As many as 50 North Sea oil and gasfields could cease production this year, 2016, after a collapse in crude prices to 12-year lows, industry experts have warned.
      This would accelerate the North Sea’s decline, potentially bringing forward billions of pounds in spending on decommissioning.

      Dozens of smaller fields with high production costs that are approaching the end of their lives have been identified by energy consultants Wood Mackenzie as prime candidates to be shut. Halting output is the first step towards abandonment.

      This, in turn, could speed up decommissioning — when operators abandon fields and dismantle decades-old infrastructure, including platforms and pipelines.

  • Margaret Drysdale

    I want to leave the U K rule .I know we will have a hard road to travel but for us our children and our grandchildren it is the only solution .Just want Scotland to be a Independant Nation A S A P

  • michael norton

    Grexit on the cards

    Greece will CRUMBLE under debts – IMF’s damning verdict on eurozone’s austerity targets

  • michael norton

    Good news
    Brexit vote: Clive Lewis quits shadow cabinet as MPs back bill
    Ministry of Truth
    MPs have overwhelmingly agreed to let the government begin the UK’s departure from the EU as they voted for the Brexit bill.

    The draft legislation was approved by 494 votes to 122, and now moves to the House of Lords.

    Let us hope this can move on swiftly, I can’t wait for us to get Hard Brexit.

    No deal is better than a bad deal, we should not tolerate being bogged down.

      • fred

        I’m reminded of the man who fell off the top of a skyscraper and half way down someone in one of the offices heard him saying “Well so far so good”.

      • David Barrie Grieve

        Michael Norton :
        Did you consider investigating whether the car sellers had ‘special offers’ because they are shiting themselves at the prospect of never being able to sell cars as successfully in the future – as UKexit proceeds?

    • Dave

      There was always a different approach to EU law by UK compared to say France. We adopted EU laws we didn’t like but enforced them as good Europeans, whereas France, as good Europeans adopted laws they didn’t like, but never enforced them as bad for France.

      The Article 50 vote does illustrate this cultural difference. The UK held a vote and it said Leave EU and so Westminster MPs, despite being against leaving voted to leave. Whereas other EU countries hold referendums and if lost hold others until they get they get the right result!

      • fred

        “Whereas other EU countries hold referendums and if lost hold others until they get they get the right result!”

        Yes, despicable and they have the nerve to pretend they are democratic when they just show contempt for the will of the people.

        • michael norton

          As you say despicable, some of the despicableness, comes from the governments being cowards, them being unable to stand up to the bully of the E.U. Elite, being unable to stand up to the will of their own people, this happened in Ireland, France and the Netherlands.
          At least in the U.K. we had the spineless David Cameron coming back from the E.U. Elite waving his worthless piece of paper claiming
          a great deal-no deal.
          But to be fair, Dave did set out the very, long awaited Freedom Referendum
          and the good people of the United Kingdom made clear their desire to jump ship, Dave stepped down, good on him, just wished he’d have triggered Article 50, before he left, we would be seven months further ahead now.
          Theresa May was apparently for Remain but to grasp the helm, she had to be forsquare in favour of hard brexit,
          which she is the very early stages of showing, still, UKIP must be on her back
          all the way to the door marked
          we have left-completely.

  • Mr Green

    I’d guess that the English parliament or its advisers already thought of this scenario. They would seek to frighten the people, have warships in the Clyde and Forth in no time, and send in troops, just as happened in Northern Ireland. Along with this would be false flag events and phoney news item invented by their security services or paid emissaries, labelled as domestic insurrection, with intervention necessary in the interests of ‘protecting the constitution’. There could then be no doubt in the eyes of the world of Scotland’s situation as an oppressed people. Scots already live a kind of voiceless second class citizenship in the UK – this purposely ignoring the wishes of Scots in steamrollering through on Article 50 is just the latest example. The devolved parliament can be seen through the lens of recent history as a token institution without any real powers, not even that of self determination.

    Cast your mind back to the 2014 referendum with a series of minor celebrities tasked with promoting the sick-making, fawning ‘please stay, Scotland’ and ‘we love you, Scotland’ campaign. It rung completely hollow of course.Yet the almost instinctive assumption of English superiority over Scots (and other Celts) runs deep – the issue of Scottish independence angers English people as well, and somehow evokes an astonished visceral and hateful response in many in England, as though Scotland should somehow feel ‘grateful’ to them. For what though? Taking the oil and squandering it on English dole money (unlike how Norway invested their oil wealth), poll tax, industrial closures, and making Scots into caricatures with funny accents. The history is one of 800 years of oppression, even according to the primate of the Church of England.

    It seems inevitable that the issue must soon come to a head. There are supportive voices in Europe who would welcome an independent Scotland. There are precedents in other countries. But I’d guess they would get Scotland enmeshed in something more base and venal than the people ever thought of, or at least drag out the process, especially if there are oilfields in dispute. I’ve experienced a great deal of bigotry as a Scot in England, and a three decade study of the English psyche convinces me that Scotland can expect nothing of them except lies, deceit, double-dealing, empty promises and further oppression.

    • michael norton

      About half of all recent Prime ministers /chancellors of the Exchequer have been at least half-Scottish

      David Cameron,
      Gordon Brown,
      Anthony Blair,
      Alistair Darling,
      Norman Stewart Hughson Lamont
      and let’s not forget The Scottish Donald.

      So less of the winging.

      • Killiecrankie

        Doesn’t alter the facts though. The prime ministers and chancellors you mention were nothing but liberal establishment toadies that achieved nothing of any value I can think of, held an outdated and very different worldview, and who basically made the right noises and soundbites. What can you expect from career bureaucrats though? – people whose only ‘skill set’ consists in making an inept shambles of the country, then ‘talking a good game’ about it.

        Mentioning these names proves nothing and hardly alters the entrenched bigotry throughout English society (your typical ‘little Englander’), the history of dirty and underhanded dealings with Scotland, or the fact of the Scottish devolved parliament lacking real powers. It’s hardly “winge-ing” when people kick off at being deprived of a livelihood because of bigots, because of having “the wrong accent” – or on a larger and worse scale because of oppressive policies being foisted on the population, overriding and ignoring the wishes of the Scottish people. What are you – some sort of cheerleader / propagandist for “great” Britain? Bye.

      • David Barrie Grieve

        The traitors to Scotland who agreed to a joint Parliament in London (Act of Union of 1707) were also Scottish. You know the immortalized receivers o’ siller…. Greedy Basterds

        (thank you Terentino for that new word that has no direct link to illegitimacy of birth, but still allows a powerfully packed punch)

        • David Barrie Grieve

          CORRECTED TEXT: Tarentino rather than Terentino
          AND ADDITIONAL WORD: literary

          The traitors to Scotland who agreed to a joint Parliament in London (Act of Union of 1707) were also Scottish. You know the immortalized receivers o’ siller…. Greedy Basterds

          (thank you Tarentino for that new word that has no direct link to illegitimacy of birth, but still allows a powerfully packed literary punch)

      • Ozzie Owll

        And let us not forget the very Senior Scottish Cabinet Ministers, Willie Whitelaw , Robin Cooke, Donald Dewar.

  • David Barrie Grieve

    I know you know this Craig Murray, but I reasert that Scotland is not only able to be Independent but also able show the correct way to a better future – it’s called (however inaccurately) democracy – from the Greek to do with the figurative voice of the people.

    They’ve got Billions of £s of UK resources which they would steal if we go UDI…. Caw Canny, fur however much agony we suffer, we’ve no finished our task yet.

  • Donald Urquhart

    You’re marginally wrong on one point, only six months before declaring independence there was a referendum in Slovenia. The population were asked,
    “Should the Republic of Slovenia become an independent and sovereign state?” With turnout at over 90% of the electorate, the result was 94.8% YES.

    The referendum didn’t trigger independence, but it was a crucial part of the process.

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