International law does not recognise the construct “Once in a generation”. For a neighbour state to constrain voting rights in another, that’s colonialism. It might be difficult for some to accept that description because they do not see police around them enforcing compliance, but colonialism it is in intent and effect.
Austerity is a form of colonialism.
Austerity seeks to impoverish, its outcome a constant anxiety to make ends meet with no time or energy for protest or rebellion. We bend to the will of the power elite.
We rage a class war. Austerity mean people lose their homes. Austerity means social services cannot function properly. Austerity means schools cannot afford books or facilities or outdoor activities. Austerity blocks sovereignty, we become a colony of the financial power. Austerity reduces people’s participation in democracy.
The mandate of the people of Scotland
The British government represented by their prime minister Theresa May, her lickspittle lackey David Mundell, Tory Secretary of State for Scotland, and Ruth Davidson, Scottish branch leader, frustrate the mandate of the people of Scotland. That’s their job, after all.
Having rejected proposals from the Scottish Government for Scotland to remain in the single market, refused joint negotiations with Brussels, Scotland is told to take a hike. There is a term for ruling over people while preventing them from being part of the political process that governs their lives. It’s called colonialism.
In international law colonialism is a crime against humanity.
Describing a constitutional debate as “divisive” – the most recent right-wing propaganda ploy to silence it – has not worked. Let’s be mature about this, radical political reform will always outrage some people’s sensibilities and their sense of security. So what?
There is no principle in international law more fundamental than the right of all peoples to self-determination.
Self-determination “denotes the legal right of people to decide their own destiny in the international order” – US Legal Information Institute.
Theresa May’s ultra-right wing administration dare not denounce a plebiscite. So, she resorts to delay – “now is not the time”. Time is not hers to control.
To a colonial regime faced with insurrection no time is the right time to accede to civil rights, therefore, logically, any time is the right time. The date of a second Referendum on Scotland’s constitution is for the Scottish Government to choose.
No jurisdiction? Remove voters
Theresa May has no jurisdiction over a referendum held in Scotland, or Wales or Northern Ireland, or Gibraltar, for that matter. The Tory Party has no reservations about delaying a plebiscite until after conclusion of Brexit negotiations by which time – and this is critical – they will have disenfranchised tens of thousands of EU nationals in Scotland from voting in it. That is a grave concern.
It’s likely EU nationals living and working in Scotland will vote to secure their right to remain in Scotland, ergo, for independence. Hence, May’s tactic has to be interpreted as an effort to remove voters from the register. The UK government has already approved the same fate for non-British nationals in England.
An act of ethnic cleansing.
I have a feeling negotiators for the EU will dislike her attitude intensely. They are liable to present her and her advisers with steely obduracy if she asks for the benefits of EU membership without the conditions of membership.
Scotland’s referendum is a justified reaction to the deceit of the UK government under David Cameron. Cameron, endorsed by the right-wing press, promised rejection of self-determination guaranteed membership of the European Union. Scotland was given a “cast iron, copper-bottomed” promise and Westminster broke it with impunity.
The lie is theft of rights.
Now that middle-England has taken itself out of the EU, Scotland stands to be a casualty, economically and culturally. You need only think of farming subsidies, research grants, and the Edinburgh International Arts Festival, to gain a glimmer of the turmoil in store. Scotland has been cheated and not for the first time.
We witness the British government in full colonial mode. It refuses to give up its privileges. It refuses to pull back from its self-appointed authority. Tories talk now of ways to ‘play out’ a referendum, delay essentially another tool of oppression.
Colonialism is illegal by international law.
Freedom to choose is a right enshrined in international law with its inclusion in the UN Charter in 1945. Article 1 of the Charter states that one of the purposes of the United Nations is: “To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples.”
In the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, this was made even more explicit: “All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.”
The British Government is in violation of that law.
It’s generally accepted any attempt to deny a human group its self-determination only intensifies demand for sovereignty and enhances collective identity.
Self-determination is not a utopian ideal. It is a legal right.
It’s Scotland’s right to choose it socio-economic future, not the British government’s right.
The Tory party seeks to retain empowerment over all peoples living in Scotland and the islands. Preserving their colonial domination over territory and people they have conquered is much more important to the British Government than having a legitimate claim to being a democratic state that values human rights.
The Tory Party,and zealous British nationalists are on the wrong side of history.
(1) A Euro-wide movement is underway led by economist Yanis Varoufakis, called DiEM25 – democracy in Europe Movement by 2025 – supported by many EU members of parliament to democratise lingering bureaucratic elements.
(2) Essay written in tandem with ‘England’s Neo-Colonialism’ : http://wp.me/p4fd9j-iD0