Scottish politics has been dominated these last few months by the attempt by Westminster to seize wide ranging powers in major policy areas shortly formerly held by Brussels, which under the Scotland Act would come to Holyrood as they are not “reserved matters”. The Tory plan is to use the EU exit legislation to override the Scotland Act and seize these powers initially for a period of seven years, after which rather arbitrary period the matter will be looked at again.
This ties in to a wider row that any changes affecting the powers of the Scottish parliament require a Consent Order of the Scottish parliament, again under the Scotland Act. The Tories have however a brilliant way around that one by redefining “consent”, which is this latest government amendment to the EU withdrawal Bill:
30 (4) For the purposes of subsection (3) a consent decision is—
(a) a decision to agree a motion consenting to the laying of the draft,
(b) a decision not to agree a motion consenting to the laying of the draft, or
(c) a decision to agree a motion refusing to consent to the laying of the draft;
Yes, honestly, I am not making this up. You can find it at the bottom of page 6 here.
The Welsh parliament under the spineless leadership of Carwyn Jones and his crew of Blairite lickspittles, has already happily agreed to Westminster’s power grab. The outrage of the move against the Scottish parliament is reported in the corporate and state media here in Scotland as “Sturgeon fails to secure brilliant deal agreed by Welsh”.
I am very much behind some brilliant fellow bloggers like Wings Over Scotland and Wee Ginger Dug in discussing these matters, which they do much better anyway. The reason for this is I do not really care.
I do not really care because it is axiomatic that so long as Scotland is in the Union, Scotland will be abused, degraded and ignored. There is no happy devolution settlement to be reached within the UK. I am not greatly exercised about who sets the amount of subsidy on a neep, when my taxes are wasted on massive nuclear WMD, when the nation to which I involuntarily belong is supplying bombs to kill children in Yemen, and when Scotland’s own young men and women can be sent to kill others and be killed themselves in yet another neo-colonial war.
The UK Parliament and Supreme Court have both made abundantly clear in the last year that any powers of the Scottish parliament may be overriden by Westminster at will. Having temporary powers, by Westminster’s grace and favour, in a glorified regional council at Holyrood does not interest me at all. It is time to move to real Independence.
Two things are very clear to me. The attitude to the Scottish parliament shown by the above amendment, makes it very plain that Westminster will not agree another referendum to be held on Scottish Independence. It is also the case that Independence is conferred not by Westminster but by recognition by the United Nations, and there is no requirement for a referendum. The majority of countries in the World today achieved independence without a referendum, including almost all of Africa, South America and Asia. More to the point, seven EU member states achieved Independence in my lifetime without a referendum.
The Scottish Parliament should simply declare Independence, just as it was the the corrupt Scottish Parliament that abnegated Independence in 1707. There was no referendum on joining the Union. An alternative to a vote in Parliament would be to call a National Assembly comprising all Scotland’s MP’s, MEP’s and MSP’s. The Independence decision should be effective immediately, but followed by a confirmatory referendum.
Scotland is going to be seeking its Independence shortly, in a situation akin to Catalonia and not to 2014. The argument over who controls neeps has played a useful role in making plain Westminster’s contempt for Scotland. It is now time to forget it, and move on to Independence. To do otherwise is to consent to permanent abuse.