Independence, Justice and the Unionist Lord Advocate 130

The Lord Advocate’s “reference” to the UK Supreme Court on whether the Scottish Parliament has the power to instigate an Independence Referendum is carefully wrought to get the answer “No”.

From the opening pleading on whether the Supreme Court should hear the petition at all – which Lord advocate Bain founds solely on the argument that Independence and the UK Parliament are “reserved matters” to Westminster, therefore she is entitled to make the reference –

Bain continually shoots the pro-Referendum argument in the foot. If you believe that Sturgeon and her Lord Advocate are genuinely acting with the intention of gaining Independence, then you must believe Bain is the worst lawyer in the world.

Alternatively she is a middling clever lawyer who has set out deliberately to fail. This could not be clearer than in the course her argument takes next. The reference to the Supreme Court arises, she states, because the Lord Advocate has to certify a Bill as within the competence of the Scottish Parliament, not relating to a reserved matter. Bain states “she would be unlikely to have the necessary degree of confidence that the Bill does not relate to a reserved matter”.

Given that she has stated at para 8 that this is about a reserved matter and that is why the Supreme Court has competence to hear the reference, it is hardly surprising that she does not have confidence that this is not a reserved matter.

But as an exercise in pointing the Supreme Court towards refusal, para 22 could hardly have been bettered. Bain here plainly said that she cannot certify the Referendum Bill as within the competence of the Scottish Parliament as she does not have confidence in the Scottish Goverment’s case – the very case she is supposed to be making out here.

It did not have to be formulated that way. Rather than stating that Bain does not have “the necessary degree of confidence that the Bill does not relate to a reserved matter to “clear” the Bill”, she could have written something neutral along the lines of “Given the serious implications of a potential Independence referendum, the Lord Advocate considered it proper to defer the decision to the highest authority.”

But Bain does not do that. Instead she gratuitously tells the Supreme Court that:

a) In her opinion the Referendum Bill cannot be certified as within the Scottish Parliament’s competence

and – pay attention this is crucial

b) Should the Supreme Court refuse to give a reference or say it is up to the Lord Advocate, she is going to refuse to certify the Bill

I have said that Bain could have put the question neutrally, and not told the Supreme Court her position that the Bill cannot be certified. Of course a Lord Advocate – and a First Minister – who actually believed in Independence would not have referred the matter to London at all. They would have certified the Bill as competent and left it to the unionists to challenge through the courts.

Instead we have this charade of pleading to London for Scotland’s right to decide, while grovelling at the same time and stating that in their personal opinion, we do not have the right to decide.

My personal experience of Scotland’s top lawyers – which has been both profound and incredibly costly – is that the Scottish legal profession is the most deferential, self-serving and utterly cowed by the Establishment in all of Europe. The Scottish legal profession has united behind Bain in sycophantic applause of her “even-handed” approach in setting out “both sides of the argument” – even though in so doing she has made plain which side she favours, and it is not the Independence side.

But the Lord Advocate is not supposed to be even-handed. She is supposed to argue the Scottish Government’s case. That is why she is called the Lord Advocate and not the Lord Judge*. Bain is a minister in the Scottish Government. That is an affront to the separation of powers, but it makes plain she speaks and argues for the Scottish Government of which she is a member.

When the then Lord Advocate intervened against Martin Keatings in the Keatings case (cited by Bain) on precisely the same issue now referred to the Supreme Court, the Lord Advocate was not even-handed. The Lord Advocate did not set out both sides.

In the Keatings case, the Lord Advocate put strongly the Scottish Government position, which was that Martin Keatings is but a peasant with no standing, and that whether a referendum without Westminster approval would be legal is of no concern to the likes of Keatings and the common scum, but is a question the putting of which before a court is solely under the authority of the mighty Nicola Sturgeon.

I have paraphrased the Lord Advocate’s argument in the Keatings case there slightly, but that is not in the least an unfair characterisation.

The judges in that case followed the Lord Advocate – and it is worth noting that the Scottish Government through the Lord Advocate and the Westminster government through the Advocate General combined to put down Keatings’ impudent assertion that the people of Scotland had an interest. As Bain puts it at para 29 “The Lord President’s discussion [judgment] largely reflected the the submissions made on behalf of both the Advocate General and the Lord Advocate.”

In setting out the “even-handed” arguments for and against the competence of the Bill, Bain devotes most space to an exhaustive series of quotes to show that it was the specific intention of Westminster in passing the Scotland Act that the Scottish Parliament could not choose to hold a referendum on Independence.

The sole argument on which Bain founds the case for a referendum being competent, is that the referendum would have no effect. It would not be “self-executing”, and the ultimate political result of such a referendum cannot be easily foreseen by the courts. Bain is stating that Westminster could simply choose to ignore a “Yes” vote in a Scottish parliament initiated referendum, and that it would just be a “consultative exercise” for the Scottish government to determine popular opinion.

That really is how the Lord Advocate for the Scottish Government frames the “positive” case for the referendum.

Self-Determination – the Elephant in the Room

The most important point of all is that Bain makes no argument that Scotland has the inherent right to act unilaterally on the principle of self-determination. She argues purely from UK domestic law and makes no argument from international law whatsoever.

Bain in fact clearly points that she does not believe Scotland has any rights in international law. She dredges up and gives in full this highly obscure quote from Lord Slynn in a House of Lords committee:

“For my part, I would accept that there was an international treaty between
England and Scotland (as it has often been so called in the past), but since
neither state has existed as such since 1707 there is no party to the treaty which
could enforce it.”

The non-existence of Scotland appears to be accepted by Bain. That the same non-existence criterion could have been applied to every colony before it regained independence appears not to trouble these people.

Yet there appears, from time to time through the enshrouding mists of Bain’s argument, an entirely disjointed reference to Scotlands right of self-determination, simply asserted, contradicting her major arguments but ignored in them, as though a mantra with no meaning. Peculiarly, the strongest statement of Scotland’s self-determination referenced by Bain is a quote from Margaret Thatcher:

The right to self-determination emerges again in Bain’s conclusion. Here she makes her view crystal clear, that self-determination is part of the “political context” and not a legal matter, it has no legal effect.

This explains why Bain nowhere mentions self-determination as a legal argument justifying Scotland’s right to hold a referendum.

But this is spectacularly wrong. Self-determination of peoples is a fundamental legal right, and there is a huge amount of treaty and case law around it.

The UN Charter itself embodies “the self-determination of peoples” in Article 1 (ii).

The Helsinki Final Act – to which the UK is a signatory – is explicit at Article VIII on how secession should be treated, and is vital here because it relates specifically to the European context. It states:

“By virtue of the principle of equal rights and self-determination of
peoples, all peoples always have the right, in full freedom, to determine,
when and as they wish, their internal and external political status.”

“To determine when and as they wish”. That could not be clearer. The UK is a signatory. It would be impossible to be more relevant to the question of whether Scotland has the right to hold a referendum. Why has Bain not coupled the right to self-determination with the UN Charter and the Helsinki Final Act in her reference to the Supreme Court?

It is not because the UK Supreme Court cannot consider international law in this context. It most certainly can, and indeed is bound to. The Supreme Court of Canada, in re Secession of Quebec, devoted more than half its judgment to the right of secession as a matter of international law, after considering the case in domestic law.

Like the London Supreme Court, the Supreme Court of Canada is a residual agent of English monarchical imperialism and so, headed by a corrupt alcoholic “guided” by MI6, it found against Quebec (as London will find against Scotland). But that the question of Quebec secession was very much a matter of international law was plainly acknowledged by the Canadian Supreme Court.

The Independence of a state is primarily, indeed exclusively, a matter of the status of that state (or non-state) in international law. It is a question of its relationship to other states and multilateral organisations. To ignore this international law aspect, as Bain does, is ludicrous. It renders self-determination, which should be her strongest legal argument, entirely nugatory.

The Independence of a country is not a matter of domestic law it is a matter of international law. The right of the Scottish Parliament to declare Independence may not be restricted by UK domestic law or by purported limitations on the powers of the Scottish Parliament. The legal position is set out very clearly here:

5.5 Consistent with this general approach, international law has not treated the legality of
the act of secession under the internal law of the predecessor State as determining the effect
of that act on the international plane. In most cases of secession, of course, the predecessor
State‟s law will not have been complied with: that is true almost as a matter of definition.

5.6 Nor is compliance with the law of the predecessor State a condition for the declaration
of independence to be recognised by third States, if other conditions for recognition are
fulfilled. The conditions do not include compliance with the internal legal requirements of
the predecessor State. Otherwise the international legality of a secession would be
predetermined by the very system of internal law called in question by the circumstances in
which the secession is occurring.

5.7 For the same reason, the constitutional authority of the seceding entity to proclaim
independence within the predecessor State is not determinative as a matter of international
law. In most if not all cases, provincial or regional authorities will lack the constitutional
authority to secede. The act of secession is not thereby excluded. Moreover, representative
institutions may legitimately act, and seek to reflect the views of their constituents, beyond
the scope of already conferred power.

That is a commendably concise and accurate description of the legal position. Of major relevance, it is the legal opinion of the Government of the United Kingdom, as submitted to the International Court of Justice in the Kosovo case. The International Court of Justice endorsed this view, so it is both established law and follows from the stated legal opinion of the British Government that the Scottish Government has the right to declare Independence without the agreement or permission of London and completely irrespective of the London Supreme Court.

I have continually explained on this site that the legality of a Declaration of Independence is in no sense determined by the law of the metropolitan state, but is purely a matter of recognition by other countries and thus acceptance into the United Nations. The UK Government set this out plainly in response to a question from a judge in the Kosovo case:

2. As the United Kingdom stated in oral argument, international law contains no
prohibition against declarations of independence as such. 1 Whether a declaration of
independence leads to the creation of a new State by separation or secession depends
not on the fact of the declaration but on subsequent developments, notably recognition
by other States. As a general matter, an act not prohibited by international law needs
no authorization. This position holds with respect to States. It holds also with respect
to acts of individuals or groups, for international law prohibits conduct of non-State
entities only exceptionally and where expressly indicated.

It is particularly important to note that in its Kosovo opinion, the International Court of Justice plainly overturned the Supreme Court of Canada’s argument in Quebec that the right to territorial integrity trumps the right to self-determination. That is vital for the right of secession for Scotland.

80. Several participants in the proceedings before the Court have contended that a
prohibition of unilateral declarations of independence is implicit in the principle
of territorial integrity.
The Court recalls that the principle of territorial integrity is an important part of
the international legal order and is enshrined in the Charter
of the United Nations, in particular in Article 2, paragraph 4, which provides that:
“All Members shall refrain in their international relations from
the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political
independence of any State, or in any other manner inconsistent with
the Purposes of the United Nations.”
In General Assembly resolution 2625 (XXV), entitled “Declaration on
Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and
Co-operation among States in Accordance with the Charter of the
United Nations”, which reflects customary international law (Military and
Paramilitary Activities in and against Nicaragua (Nicaragua v. United States
of America), Merits, Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 1986, pp. 101-103,
paras. 191-193), the General Assembly reiterated “[t]he principle that
States shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use
of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any
State”. This resolution then enumerated various obligations incumbent
upon States to refrain from violating the territorial integrity of other sovereign States.
In the same vein, the Final Act of the Helsinki Conference
on Security and Co-operation in Europe of 1 August 1975 (the Helsinki
Conference) stipulated that “[t]he participating States will respect the territorial
integrity of each of the participating States” (Art. IV). Thus, the
scope of the principle of territorial integrity is confined to the sphere of
relations between States.

81. Several participants have invoked resolutions of the Security
Council condemning particular declarations of independence: see, inter
alia, Security Council resolutions 216 (1965) and 217 (1965), concerning
Southern Rhodesia; Security Council resolution 541 (1983), concerning
northern Cyprus; and Security Council resolution 787 (1992), concerning
the Republika Srpska.
The Court notes, however, that in all of those instances the Security
Council was making a determination as regards the concrete situation
existing at the time that those declarations of independence were made;
the illegality attached to the declarations of independence thus stemmed
not from the unilateral character of these declarations as such, but from
the fact that they were, or would have been, connected with the unlawful
use of force or other egregious violations of norms of general international law,
in particular those of a peremptory character (jus cogens).
In the context of Kosovo, the Security Council has never taken this
position. The exceptional character of the resolutions enumerated above
appears to the Court to confirm that no general prohibition against unilateral
declarations of independence may be inferred from the practice of the
Security Council.

The key conclusion of the International Court of Justice is

84. For the reasons already given, the Court considers that general
international law contains no applicable prohibition of declarations
of independence.

I have long been both troubled and astonished that the case of Scottish Independence appears the only instance in history where the claim to Independence has never been advanced by the relevant political leadership as a right in international law. Rather this right is deliberately ignored or even disparaged, as Bain does with her quote that Scotland’s rights in international law vanished with the state in 1707.

Part of this may be explained by parochialism. The Scottish legal profession is horribly inbred – Lord Advocate Bain’s husband was on the bench which sent me to jail for journalism exposing corruption in the Scottish legal system. Part of it is due to a myopic outlook – the SNP depends heavily on UK constitutional lawyers like Professor Aileen McHarg who are obsessed with the minutiae of domestic legislation and care nothing for international law.

I suspect the biggest problem is lack of self-confidence and the Scottish cringe.

Permission for Independence will never come from London. Bain’s submission to the Supreme Court is designed to fail. If you believe we need permission from London at all, plainly you do not believe in Scotland’s right to self-determination.

Scotland will only ever achieve Independence by acting on the International Court of Justice’s ruling that domestic legislation of the state being seceded from cannot constrain the right to self-determination of a people. Of course Independence will be illegal in UK law. The London Establishment won’t willingly relinquish Scotland’s resources. If you kowtow to them, you don’t actually believe in Scottish Independence.

*Though there is nothing less even-handed than a Scottish judge


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130 thoughts on “Independence, Justice and the Unionist Lord Advocate

1 2
  • yesindyref2

    If the draft Referendum Bill as currently formulated were to proceed through Holyrood and be passed, waiting for Royal Assent within 28 days unless challenged, it would very likely be challenged under S33 of the relevant part of the Scotland Act. It would therefore be unknown as to whether or not it was within the competence of the Scottish parliament, as far as UK domestic law is concerned.

    Proceeding backwards in a logical fashion, with logic supposedly being a keynote part of the Law, that means the Lord Advocate can very clearly NOT currently certify the Bill as being within the competence of the Scottish Parliament as, barring Doctor Who’s Tardis or some other means of looking into the future, nobody, even including the Law Lords of the UKSC, can say what would be the result of a referral on S33.

    Therefore the LA is absolutely completely right AND within her rights to refer it under S34 – otherwise, to certify it as competent, she would be deliberately lying.

    That is surely not hard to understand by anyone with even the slightest modicum of intelligence, and the ability to think in an unbiased and logical manner.

    Craig, you are allowing your bias against the legal profession in Scotland to overrule your intellect.

    • Colin Alexander

      “The Lord Advocate’s written case in the matter of a Reference by the Lord Advocate to the Supreme Court under paragraph 34 of schedule 6 to the Scotland Act 1998.”

      Schedule 6, par 34 says:

      “34 The Lord Advocate, the Attorney General, the Advocate General or the [F1Advocate General for Northern Ireland] may refer to the [F2Supreme Court] any devolution issue which is not the subject of proceedings”.

      May not must.

  • Blissex

    «setting out “both sides of the argument” – even though in so doing she has made plain which side she favours, and it is not the Independence side. But the Lord Advocate is not supposed to be even-handed. She is supposed to argue the Scottish Government’s case. That is why she is called the Lord Advocate»

    That is based on a misunderstanding that I am told often drives mad american clients of british lawyers: barristers in particular are officers of the court in common law tradition, and are *required* to present the strengths and weaknesses of *both* sides of the argument, regardless of which side has engaged them, so the judge can evaluate them best.
    Of course the lawyer for one side is expected to be biased in favour the arguments of their side, and will try to present the case against them as weak, and as weak also the the case in favour of the arguments of the other side, but both still they are required to argue against their own side and in favour of their side as well as vice-versa.

    What the Lord Advocate seems to our blogger to have been doing something way beyond that, not even being even-handed, but actually being biased in favour of the arguments of the UK government. That is not how it is supposed to work, even as “officers of the court”.

    • yesindyref2

      Craig’s utter bias is shown by this:

      the Scottish legal profession is the most deferential, self-serving and utterly cowed by the Establishment in all of Europe.

      which is a scurrilous and unjustified attack on the good people of that legal profession.

      • Cubby

        Your standards of what constitutes good people are not shared by many others. You think Sturgeon and her gang of alphabetties are “good people”.

    • Colin Alexander

      The Lord Advocate’s written case states:

      “The Lord Advocate’s written case sets out both sides of the arguments in line with the Law Officers’ statutory role acting in the public interest.”

      But is representing the interests of the Scottish Govt.

      From Scot Govt website:

      “Further, like the other Law Officers in the UK, the Lord Advocate is given a particular role in relation to ensuring that legislation passed by the Scottish Parliament is within the legislative competence of the Parliament and has particular powers under the Scotland Act in relation to the resolution of legal questions about the devolved powers of Ministers and the Parliament (“devolution issues”)..”.

      • yesindyref2


        The Lord Advocate’s written case states:

        “The Lord Advocate’s written case sets out both sides of the arguments in line with the Law Officers’ statutory role acting in the public interest.”

        But is representing the interests of the Scottish Govt.”


        Nope, the last bit of your reply to me: “But is representing the interests of the Scottish Govt.” is NOT a part of the LA’s written case, you are misrepresenting it. THAT is what she said after the reference was lodged, that she would be doing at the actual hearing. Which is totally within her duties.

        • Colin Alexander

          Correction to comment August 3, 2022 at 16:53:

          I should have said:

          Along with publishing the Lord Advocate’s written case, The Scot Govt’s website explains :

          “Reference to the Supreme Court: Publication of the Lord Advocate’s Written Case
          The case on whether the question for a referendum on Scottish Independence contained in the proposed referendum Bill relates to reserved matters has been referred to the Supreme Court using the Lord Advocate’s statutory power to refer devolution issues under the Scotland Act. The Lord Advocate’s written case sets out both sides of the arguments in line with the Law Officers’ statutory role acting in the public interest. However, the Lord Advocate will represent the Scottish Government’s interests at the hearing and will argue the case personally.”

    • tom welsh

      The doctrine you describe – and I have no reason to doubt your explanation – seems fundamentally dishonest, and even dishonestly dishonest. Either a person presents both sides of an issue objectively and without bias, or he urges the merits of one side while deprecating those of the other.

      To do the second thing while pretending to do the first seems in the highest traditions of British hypocrisy and duplicity. (Not that we should be particularly surprised to find lawyers trying to make the worse appear the better case, that being what they are paid to do.)

  • Blissex

    «Permission for Independence will never come from London»

    For all his diplomatic experience our blogger is astonishingly naive here (or perhaps he is pretending): what matters is whether permission will come from Washington, DC, and the Pentagon/NSC in particular.

    • nevermind

      It is not naive Blissex, not when the contenders for Warminster’s new shitshow host are waving another referendum off already, before they are elected.
      I think Indyref2 will soon have to choose a new moniker, I can recommend ‘pikestoIndyNOW’

    • Roger

      Washington might not care. Does it matter whether orders are given to England and Scotland separately, or as a combined entity?

  • DunGroanin

    ‘Scottish cringe’ !

    I live and learn daily.

    Lady McNicolabeth made me cringe yesterday with her vile tweet celebrating a fictional number of Russian dead soldiers before realising that her bloodlust made many others cringe.

    What a vile creature of the night she is showing to be. She will NEVER demand independence or declare it here and now! You have no chance with her and her palace full of lackeys.

    The Scots have been minions since they lost their independence to the speculators of the BoE centuries ago and became the indentured slaves of that institute and the East India Companies – mere empire builders some of whom rose high as House Slaves and Controllers – that is the undoubted root of the ‘cringe’.

    Just declare it. Publish constitution. Set up Indy Parliament if the SNP carry on cuckoo nesting Holyrood.

    Many of us in the rest of the British isles will wholly support it and won’t join in the battle to restrain your independence- usurp the cringers.

  • Ebenezer Scroggie

    We had a referendum.

    The answer was clear. We, the people, voted against self-amputation from the Union which we created.

    Democracy can be a bitch, but we’re stuck with it.

    • Vivian O’Blivion

      So, we lost in 2014. We should just “suck it up, snowflakes”.
      The Independence referendum was run on a Local Government franchise. All registered rate payers were eligible to vote.
      According to Prof Ailsa Henderson, University of Edinburgh, 52.7% of autochthonous voters opted YES.
      72.1% of rUK voters opted NO and 57.1% of voters born outside the UK voted NO.
      Using a Local Government franchise for a constitutional referendum is madness. No other country in Europe would do so. The UK certainly didn’t when it came to Brexit, when all EU citizens were excluded.

      Let’s apply a Local Government franchise to the Brexit referendum and see what woulda happened.
      By the numbers:

      UK population June 2016 (Office of National Statistics)   65,648,000
      EU citizens resident in UK (ONS 2019)    3,700,000
      Registered voters for Brexit referendum    46,500,000
      Turnout of registered voters    72.21%
      Margin of victory for Leave (3.78%)    1,269,235 votes

      Percentage of EU citizens resident in UK who would have been registered to vote;
      ((46,500,000) / (65,648,000 – 3,700,000)) / 100 =    75.06%

      If EU citizens resident in UK were registered to vote at this rate, that’s 2,777,000 potential voters at 72.21% turnout =    2,005,000 votes.

      If just 63% of EU citizens resident in the UK (rates of registration and voter turnout carried over) had voted Remain (and that’s a racing certainty), the oh so precious Brexit referendum would have been a statistical draw.

      • Ebenezer Scroggie

        Less than 38% of the electorate of Scotland voted for self-destruction in the referendum. That’s a very small minority.

        Once in a lifetime. Once in a generation. Remember?

        Next time = 2032 or perhaps 2033. Then, let’s talk referendum stuff. Until then, let’s all get on with our lives.

        • Cubby

          “Once in a lifetime “

          another lie by Unionists. Unionists like Johnston seem to be pathological liars.

          “The Vow”

          – something that Unionists never mention. Why? – because it broke The Edinburgh Agreement and changed the nature of the question being asked. Oh and all the lies and broken promises by the Unionists contained in the Vow.

          To summarise, Unionists were liars back in 1707 and still are to this day. Perfidious Albion.

        • Alec Lomax

          “Lets get on with our lives ” and decide whether we’re heating or eating this winter. Liz & Rishi will sort out our problems no doubt.

    • frankywiggles

      Still seems a baffling decision. Made at the height of Cameron-Osborne austerity when Blairism was the only conceivable alternative. I hope Scots do get a second chance but I’m not confident yearning for the EU is going to have changed enough slavish minds. The hope must be that a fresh cohort of young voters will push independence over the line against the reactionary lodge hordes, but it will take a lot more than status quo SNP types to inspire them.

    • Cubby

      ” which we created”

      – absolute nonsense. We the people did not create this Union. The people of Scotland were solidly against the Union being created in 1707. A number of the aristocracy in the Scottish Parliament were bribed, bullied and intimidated in to selling out to the English. We the people as you describe it were so against it most of the parliamentarians fled Scotland to save themselves from being lynched. Nearly all the petitions to the Scottish Parliament raised by the people were against the Union. English spies were working away in Edinburgh to deliver the Union.

      A lot of nonsense is written by Unionists on this period of Scotland’s history. The biggest lie is that Scotland was bankrupt.

      • Ebenezer Scroggie

        It was the people who owned Scotland who were bankrupt, not the country itself.

        They bankrupted themselves through greed and stupidity.

        The enormous stupidity of the SNP and its creed speaks for itself.

        • Cubby

          Ebenezer – you are wrong and wrong. Not an uncommon position of unionists since their heads are normally full of lies. Not your fault Ebenezer since you are as much a victim of Britnat lies as anyone else who knows no better.

          The fact is that England had massive debts due to it continually waging wars. After the union was completed Westminster helped itself to Scotlands monies to help pay off some of its debts.

          Unionists regularly claim (wrongly) Scotland was bankrupt in 1707. That is a fact that your comment cannot change.

          Your comment about certain aristocracy/investors being bankrupt reveals your lack of knowledge.

  • Ebenezer Scroggie

    Craig’s use of the words “pro referendum” is very odd.

    We had a referendum. We, the people, voted on the matter. We voted against the idea of self-amputating.

    Craig, and some others, should show some respect for the will of the people.

  • nevermind

    Looks like Ebenezer will soon be limping behind those who had enough of relying on the SNP to provide access to mainland Scotland from the islands, currently provided by a box of spanners for ferries.
    We came back from Barra, fare-paying Scots and tourists to watch ‘engineers’ getting a ladder and their best tool, a hammer, to try and get the hydraulic bolts to move and open.
    What a farce. It took half an hour whilst people waited and cracked a few jokes during the situation.
    Ebenezer is ok with spaffing £300 million away for two rusty hulks, waiting for banks and lawyers to sort out this dire situation.
    This little article expressed what he might have to deal with whilst doffing his cap to unionist pirates and their SNP deckhands.

  • Colin Alexander

    In Keatings v the Advocate General:

    At the latter half of paragraph 61 of the judgment the Court said:

    “…The time frame for applications to the UK Supreme Court would be rendered somewhat redundant, if an application from one of the law officers could be made prior to the passing of the Bill by the Parliament. The idea that the law officers are able to seek such scrutiny only after the passing of a Bill would be rendered nugatory if they could do so during the Bill’s passage through Parliament.”

    As the Lord Advocate was a party in that case, it is very surprising that the Lord Advocate has made an application to the Supreme Court before the Bill has been passed, for if the Supreme Court holds the same view as the Court of Session, it may rule the application premature.

  • DiggerUK

    My old chum Henry Hill at Conservative Home has some insightful comments on Anas Sarwar’s criticisms of Sunak and Truss’s dismissal of Gauleiter Nicola, who gets described as an “attention seeker”

    The blanks being fired by the Indyscot forces are clearly having no effect on any section of the political powers that be, who have decidedly poo-pooed the idea of Indyref anytime soon.

    With the SNP clearly sabotaging any form of advance on the Indyscot front, what now? If our host is convinced that the claim can be taken forward on the basis of international law, it will be necessary to have exhausted all available domestic legal routes before taking such a claim to the relevant tribunal. I have no idea what forum that would be; does anybody here know?

    It’s no use getting irate with my question, but it seems nobody has thought it important enough to give details of how that road would be travelled: i.e. after all UK legal routes have been rejected, what then?

    As the SNP is the only viable force to push this issue, which it is clearly eviscerating, who is going to step up to the plate and do this job? The prospective candidates for that responsibility are nowhere to be seen from where I’m sitting…_

    • Johnny Conspiranoid

      “As the SNP is the only viable force to push this issue, “

      The SNP is not a viable force to push this issue.

      • DiggerUK

        @Johnny Conspiranoid.
        You seem to be attempting a claim that is an alternative reality to my own position when you comment “The SNP is not a viable force to push this issue” without answering my query as to who is going to take on that responsibility. I’m quite clear, along with damn near everybody else here, that Gauleiter Nicola and the SNP don’t even want the job, let alone fit the profile of those who could do that job.

        If an identifiable force exists in Scotland to attempt such a task then please tell me who, were, or what it is.
        I view our host as next to useless for this task, Alba appears nowhere on the radar and AllUnderOneBanner totally out of their depth.

        It seems, for now anyways, that the only source with a grip on reality and a grasp of how dire the fortunes of the Indyscot campaign have become can be found expressed on Wings over Scotland…_

  • Bob (not OG)

    What happened to my comment (about Israel)?

    [ Mod: This thread concerns Scottish independence, so your comment was completely off topic. ]

  • Wally Jumblatt

    This Supreme Court distraction is of no consequence. A Lawyer will always be able to tell you you can’t do nuffink without breaking some law or other.
    I think all the talent on this blog would be better addressing all their attentions on removing the worst leader we’ve ever had.
    Until she has gone, there is no point in dreaming of independence.
    If we get independence whilst she is on the chair, who on earth thinks it would work out well.
    Every single department of the Scottish Government is incompetent -and one has to assume that all the civil servants working for it re pretty incompetent too.
    Where are all the unhappy SNP members and what are they doing about winning control of their party. Are they so esily corralled and stymied?

  • Cubby

    George Galloway, the anti independence Unionist who was scared shitless by a man quoting his own words back at him to show how inconsistent and hypocritical he is. I won’t repeat the words as I don’t want to upset Gorgeous George and end up in court. The wee coward should be given a saucer of milk to soothe his nerves after his performance in court. Can this really be the same great hero who took on the yanks all these years ago?

    The justice system in Scotland has now seen a series of political trials that would shame any decent country. The UK really is a shithouse (if Sunak had its way I would need to be sent for reprogramming for posting that – ain’t that something they do in China?).

    • Squeeth

      “George Galloway, the anti independence Unionist who was scared shitless by a man quoting his own words back at him to show how inconsistent and hypocritical he is.”

      Oh do tell.

    • nevermind

      Looks like the SNP is turning itself int\o the NSDAP, Cubby. I hope that George G is not too deflated, but why would you not talk about something that has been published?
      If anybody here is still in this party/paying their dues, either dismantle this wokist Conference or walk out of that excuse of a party NOW, before you are tarred with this control freakery, or waste more money on them.

      • Cubby

        Nevermind –

        Perhaps I am scared shitless of Sturgeon and her gang who seem to be able to persecute whoever they want ?. Yet the polis cannae seem to investigate missing Indyref2 funds held by Sturgeon’s husband or find who leaked the gory details/ramblings to the Daily Record of Salmond’s persecutors.

        As Galloway is a windbag, deflation is eventually a natural state.

        Who would have forecast years ago Sturgeon’s gang being on the same side as Galloway in a court case? Not surprising now.

        • nevermind

          She has been, or is, trying to rig the autumn Conference to keep a plebicite election or/and talk of referenda off the agenda.
          The more of this moral sapping goes on, the more people will realise that she is wasting their membership money on woke policies.
          Money for a ‘declaration of Independence campaign’ must be kept from these pirates and people should stop giving the SNP funds.
          Anything positive going on where you live, Cubby?

  • DunGroanin

    ‘The World is my mollusc’ says “nippy sweetie”.

    A day after the grouse season started – did it or are they being careful not to let off gunpowder off on the tinder dry moors? – some jovial silly season fluff on To Indy or Not To Indy.

    The Groaniad’s hagiographers are in full swing in mid silly season prepping the ground for the Dame/Knighthood and rewards for services rendered for the Crown and oligarchs.

    Of the missing £600k for referendum and her hubby’s complicity – not a single mention directly or by the presstitute.

    On the failed witch-hunt of Salmond:

    “…because there was an acquittal in a criminal trial that was tantamount to them lying.”

    But but wtf FM Nippy, Nickky, Nic, Nick? some of them were PROVED to have lied!! What, what?

    “Sturgeon stands alone, trim-figured and tiny without her trademark heels, dwarfed by the lighting rig. She swings her arms and bounces on her stockinged soles like a gymnast limbering up for the vault. She’s ready for what comes next“


    What pearls can she claim?
    Nato sec general as a trans? What better place to work against any possible neutral Scotland; a cushy seat in the Lords whilst being something smelly in a social media world like the other useful idiots – Clegg, Milliband etc; lots of directorships on all these great global funds she played footsie with at Copout26 last year? Etc maybe we could have a bingo card set up as she sets her sails in her worldwide adventures.

  • Jimmy Dorith

    The UKGs submission to the ICG would also apply to any area within an idependent Scotland that may wish to secede from the new state.

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