If both Theresa May and Boris Johnson had not refused formal requests for a S30 agreement for an Independence referendum, Scotland would already be independent. Alex Salmond was absolutely right yesterday to insist that other paths of democratic legitimacy are open to Scotland, as a referendum is being unreasonably refused. The start of such alternative pathways is this very election and the chance to vote for Alba and demonstrate commitment to this view.
Indeed, the tactical stupidity of the SNP, in accepting in terms that Westminster has a veto, cannot be overstated. To accept a Westminster veto is logically incompatible with the claim to be a people with the right of self-determination under the UN charter. It thus undermines the argument we need to make to the international community to be recognised as a state. The notion that the Tories will give way and grant an S30, for a referendum they know they will lose, is entirely fanciful. I find it remarkable that some people purport to believe that London will relinquish Scotland’s resources without a tremendous struggle and in the spirit of fair play.
Here is Alex Salmond’s speech yesterday, on the anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath, setting out alternative routes to Independence. You will see no fair reflection of this in mainstream media, so I am unapologetic about hosting it on my blog. Alex starts talking about seven minutes in.
Salmond’s key proposition is that immediately after these elections, the Scottish government should open Independence negotiations with Westminster as a result of an electoral mandate of a pro-Independence majority. He continues:
A standing Independence Convention can then be established, drawn from all of Scotland’s elected representatives, to give support and substance to the Scottish Government’s independence negotiating position.
A section 30 referendum could be part of that, as could a plebiscite, or another democratic test, as could domestic legal action or international and diplomatic initiatives, as could peaceful and popular demonstration.
The tactics will inevitably evolve with the negotiations but the strategy is to make the achievement of Independence a real and overriding priority.
Be clear- if we don’t make it ours, Boris Johnson certainly won’t make it his.
This is precisely the energy and determination which has been needed in the push for Independence and which has been so sadly lacking.
I would add that I have never held that the 2014 referendum was fair. A truly astonishing level of media bias, particularly from the state broadcaster, made a fair vote impossible. I maintain that Gavin Esler’s massive BBC News puff piece for the entirely fake “Vote No Borders” organisation was as bad as any “journalism” I have ever witnessed, anywhere in the world. If you have never seen it, do watch this great documentary by Alan Knight, which documents numerous examples of BBC bias in the campaign.
So I utterly reject the notion that the 2014 referendum was a free and fair expression of the will of the people of Scotland. Any replication of that referendum would need to be very different, with official international monitors to oversee issues like media bias and the security of postal ballots.
Let me finish with the Declaration put forward by Alex Salmond yesterday:
A NEW DECLARATION FOR SCOTLAND
“We hereby proclaim the sovereign right of the Scottish people to determine the form of Government best suited to their needs, and declare and pledge that in all our actions their interests shall be paramount.
We further declare and pledge that our deliberations shall be directed to the following ends:
To assert the sovereign right of the Scottish people acting through their Parliament to secure independence.
To mobilise Scottish and international opinion to ensure that this right is respected and acted upon.
“For in truth it is not glory, or riches, or honours for which we are fighting but for liberty – for that alone, which no honest person gives up but with life itself”
Delivered by ALBA this 6th day of April 2021”
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