Colonialism is a Crime


Molto grazie! An Italian newspaper devotes its front page to Scotland as “Europe’s Hope”

International law does not recognise the phrase “Once in a generation”. For a nation state to constrain voting rights in another country, that’s colonialism. It will be difficult for some people 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.

Austerity means 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.

In international law colonialism is a crime against humanity.

The British Tory government represented by their prime minister, the lick-spittle lackey Secretary of State for Scotland, and Ruth Davidson, Tory 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 – colonialism. 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.

The Tories and Labour party dare not denounce a plebiscite. So they resort to delay – “now is not the time”. Or they brazen it out with macho threats to block progress.

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

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, the Tory 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.

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 theft of rights

Now that 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 ations 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.”

Self-determination is not a utopian ideal. It is a legal right

It’s Scotland’s right to choose its socio-economic future, not the British government’s. An SNP government ought to be banging a desk top at the United Nations, arguing Scotland is colonised, demanding we be registered as a colony, freed a nation state once more.

The Tory party seeks to retain empowerment over all peoples in the UK. That includes Scotland and Wales, and should include Northern Ireland too, but there is a growing opinion Northern Ireland will be part of the Republic of Ireland in time. Preserving their colonial domination is much more important to the British Government than having a legitimate claim to being a democratic state that values human rights.

Tories and 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) Article written in tandem with ‘England’s Neo-Colonialism’ :

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42 Responses to Colonialism is a Crime

  1. Wonderful. They agree with me completely, so they are obviously 100% correct, and I couldn’t have put it better myself. Thank-you, Grousebeater!

  2. diabloandco says:

    Most excellent – and don’t you just love Italians! and Spanish! and Germans!Their comments over the last couple of weeks have been just dandy!

  3. Grouse Beater says:

    I’m told French newspapers are also full of praise for Nicola – can’t find a single mention in the UK press.

  4. Grouse Beater says:

    Well, if you put it that way – yes. 🙂

  5. Astragael says:

    A powerful piece! Deserves the widest possible circulation. Perhaps a typo, though: “The inescapable fact is, a principle tenant of the UK’s inducement … ” Should that not be ‘tenet’?

  6. Grouse Beater says:

    Many thanks – I’m still checking proof but got that one… essay gone bloody viral before I’ve finished. Poo.

  7. Macart says:

    Well said Grouse.

    I’ve posted this elsewhere, but I think it also serves the topic here adequately –

    As of FM NIcola Sturgeon’s declaration of intent earlier this week, Ms May realistically now goes to the EU negotiating table with national assets belonging only to those who voted to leave the EU. That is only right and proper. Bargaining with the national assets and civic rights of a nation partner who did not mandate this action would have been reprehensible on every moral and democratic level.

    Let’s be absolutely clear. No First Minister of Scotland, regardless of party or ideology would be doing ‘the day job’ had they meekly allowed central government to dictate the dispensation of their mandate, their national assets or their civic and human rights against the mandate of the population.

    Scotland isn’t a region. The population of Scotland aren’t an afterthought on a treasury balance sheet. Scotland is currently a nation partner in the United Kingdom. We have been told, an ‘equal partner’ in a ‘sacred and precious union’. Indeed, as has been noted many times, the only other signatory to the treaty of union.

    It’s time for Westminster government and those who promote this union partnership in Scotland to prove that point and on recent evidence of their actions, you have to wonder if they actually can. So far, I’m not terribly impressed with their idea of unity and partnership, which basically consists of patronising soundbite, condescension, ignorance and a less than democratic authoritarian tone.

    Scotland’s electorate will decide whether those assets are added to or stand on their own merit. That is also right and proper.

    Right now and especially after Ms May’s, Mr Mundell’s and Ms Harrison’s intervention, I’m not convinced by our partners approach that we should be any part of their negotiations or empire 2.0.

    I don’t think they’re entirely trustworthy you know.

    Just a feeling.

  8. Grouse Beater says:

    Always a good contribution, Macart.

    The UN recognised almost from its inception Scotland was in a special category, a nation that shared some its sovereignty with England, and often under duress. It also realised only a few elite signed the Treaty, it was never endorsed by the electorate.

    In contemporary times a one-sided Treaty would be declared null and void.

    If you think Westminster is the centre of the world, yes, you will assume anything it says and does is Gospel. But it isn’t the world. There are better, more powerful forces we can look to for support – like the United Nations, and the documents and articles Westminster agreed to uphold.

    Salmond in the FT is discussing the possibility of Scotland having its own currency. No debts to take from rUK – what a relief. Let’s till our own soil and live by what we grow ourselves. Over the fence negotiations can be kept to trading produce and good neighbourliness.

  9. So – let’s understand this properly. Three national figures appear on national TV to tell the population of a country – strike that – COLONY; 75% of whom loathe and despise them what to do?

    This is SO deeply, deeply stupid that it brands everyone of these people forevermore.

    Deeply, deeply stupid. Three perfect examples of the Peter Principle in action. Please, please don’t anyone interrupt them.

  10. Grouse Beater says:

    The terminally ill patient has refused morphine.

  11. Macart says:

    I strongly suspect Grouse, that the reasonable and concilliatory nature/tone of the SG in 2014 will NOT be repeated for any upcoming referendum.

    Again, just a feeling. 😉

  12. TheStrach says:

    Excellent article. May will rue the day she tried to deny Scotland’s right to choose its own future.

  13. Grouse Beater says:

    Spread the news … sad how so many miss the damn obvious, especially if they think life stops at Westminster. Actually, Westminster stops life.

  14. doreenmilne says:

    Excellent description of what is happening. The refusal, by May, to acknowledge the elected representatives of Scotland feels like subjugation and a lack of interest or care about the feelings of many in this country. Thank you.

  15. Grouse Beater says:

    You simply cannot spin it any other way, it IS suppression, suppression of civil rights IS oppression, it IS more than anti-democratic.

  16. Very impressed by all the posts on this article.
    I whole heartily agree with all that is said. The World is watching and the stuttering ramblings of May make her look weak and certainly not in control. I also believe she and her misfit ministers will have a hard time with their Brexit negotiations

  17. Grouse Beater says:

    Thank you.

    Yesterday I praised an in-house Guardian journalist’s article supporting Scotland’s position, but added that today we will get the bogus counter-argument. Sure enough, it’s there in the Guardian editorial, a newspaper that pretends it’s something it’s not.

    We cannot rely on the British right-wing press to do the right thing, to demand justice and fair-play are done. We have to climb to the very top of the hill and shout the solution to the people around.

  18. Dougie says:

    It’s all very wonderful and true but it’s aaaaaaawully loooongggggg. Get it down to a few words. (I’m your friendly neighbourhood Goebbels)

  19. Grouse Beater says:

    Told there were too many notes in his opera, The Marriage of Figaro, “remove some”, Mozart replied to Emperor Joseph II, “There are just enough notes as needed”.

    So, my answer to you is, which ones would you like kept? 🙂

  20. Neil Anderson says:

    It’s my birthday today GB and this article is the best present I’ve had (and I’ve had a few crackers!).

    I’ve been following your articles since 2013 and have been delighted with the quality and power of your writing.

    This latest post is, however, one of your very best and I’ve bookmarked the page so that I don’t lose the vital information you’ve imparted. The comments are superb too, in particular Macart who I see all over the place (WGD, Wings and so on). It’s great how witty the indy side is, even when they’re making very serious points!

    Anyway, thanks for the birthday gift and I look forward to making a meaningful contribution to making Scotland the strong and successful independent nation it should always have been.

  21. Grouse Beater says:

    Happy birthday! 🙂

    Perhaps one day we will meet to share a drink. (I might even buy one each!)

    Now and then, human, I get afflicted with self-doubt, wondering if anybody reads what I write, or if they do, thinks it helps augment their political argument and views. At most I hope I make people curious, motivate readers to find out more for themselves. I truly wish I could contribute more to the cause of civil liberties but that depends on who feels I’m worth the invitation.

    My film reviews I’m less ambiguous about, for readers can take or leave my opinion and form their own on seeing the film. Car essays are a way of showing how the auto industry is mostly corrupt, fine engineers sullied.

  22. doreenmilne says:

    Excellent stuff, Macart. Thank you.

  23. doreenmilne says:

    Indeed. I like your film reviews, btw. 🙂

  24. Andy in Germany says:

    Ha. the Italian job…

    Can I contact you offline GB? I’ve a question I’ve been meaning to ask about working in Scotland, and I think now would be a good time…

  25. orri says:

    I rather suspect the next battle will be one of denial. Westminster will try to insist on some chicken and egg scenario where the definition of us as a “People” doesn’t apply until we’ve gotten our independence. That’s why they’re so keen and determined to talk about secession.

    Fortunately for us the retention of our distinct body of Law, public services, unestablished national religion and numerous other cultural differences still point to us as being distinct from the English. Any attempt at claiming we are not a People would be laughed out of an international court.

    The next shoogly peg might have been a claim of Parliamentary Sovereignty if it weren’t for the 50+ independence minded MPs voted in on just shy of 50% of the vote. Not to mention there’s no such concept under the law of the land they wish to hold.

    That they are reduced to an admission that Holyrood can call a referendum is a welcome acknowledgement. The not now statement has yet to firm up into an outright denial. However if the essence of international law is that it’s illegal to deny independence based on economic grounds that surely applies when the stated reason for refusal is to secure the best trading arrangement for UK as a whole.

  26. Grouse Beater says:

    Were we forced to hold a Referendum over the Brexit question and win, as seems likely judging by the present public mood, but May deny its validity, we are entitled to take the matter to the United Nations, on a ‘special issue’ basis. It’s time consuming, with the possibility England’s Supreme Court might step in.

    But had we to do that, the result of a plebiscite not given due respect and acknowledgement, the backlash from western nations, China too, ever watchful of western behaviour, it most certainly would isolate May’s party.

    Brexit has placed England in a perilous position. May must find friends, any nation, for trade – alienate them and they could very well boycott England till WM endorses the result of a plebiscite on self-determination … restored..

  27. Marconatrix says:

    Is it worth bringing to mind (unless I dreampt it) that when the first Scottish Parliament was opened a few years back, it was declared to be a continuation of the original Parliament from before the Union. AFAIK, no doubt because they saw it as just a pertendie parliament, no one in the UK establishment ever gainsayed that declaration.

  28. Marconatrix says:

    A good clear statement of the legal facts, thanks.

    I like the image at the end, but with all this electoral fraud business it could well be that the wheels on the Tory bus aren’t so much going round as coming off. Could May be in for a visit by those sinister men in grey suits? (For Boris and a few others it could be worse, men in white coats — LOL!)

    If the independence drama were a soap-opera it would go like this:

    A working marriage goes slowly downhill as the dominant partner, let’s say for the sake of argument the husband, becomes increasingly overbearing and out of touch. Eventually it comes to the point where the wife threatens to leave. This is probably not the first time, but now the husband sees that she really means it and so in a state of panic takes a stick-and-carrot approach.

    He promises — nay vows — to do his share of the washing-up along with a host of other small favours and he’ll give her full control over the housekeeping account, that’s the carrot. As for the stick, he points out that the car is his alone and if she goes it will literally be a case of “on yer bike”.

    Well, the favours last a week or never even happen, but things still rub along for a bit. Then due to a lack of concentration he manages to write-off the car. Isn’t it time she reconsidered her decision to stay?

  29. Grouse Beater says:

    The cartoon reminded me of the annoying cliff hanger ending in The Italian Job, that very British – actually English – film wiv Caine playin’ a cockney spiv for the umpteenth time. I learned later the producers hoped to add a sequel, but never got the funding. Left as it stands, the ending is stupid, like Brexit.

  30. Marconatrix says:

    It’s many years since I saw that film so I can’t remember any of the details, but I can recall the overall feel of the drama … not at all unlike Brexit IMO.

  31. rowantree633 says:

    Reblogged this on Nigel's Mountains and Modelling. and commented:

    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.”

    With regard to Scotland, it looks increasingly apparent that the British Government is in violation of that law.

  32. Robert Peffers says:

    Indeed so, Peter. I believe that, while being characteristically diplomatic, the EU Negotiators will not, while supposedly negotiating, be negotiating with the UK representatives but in diplomatic language will be telling the UK negotiators to take a diplomatic hike.

    What is there to actually negotiate from an EU point of view?

    The UK is proposing to withdraw from the EU and thus basically saying, “We are formally requesting to leave the EU but we demand you give us special consideration as ex-EU members.

    The obvious retort to that is – fine, UK, we would rather you remained in the European Union and supported EU aims and aspirations but if you feel you must leave then we accept that you have that right under EU rules.

    However, we are not prepared to alter, ignore or specially change EU laws. rules, recommendations and aspirations in support of a state that is unwilling to support the EU’s basic raison d’être of equality of European membership and citizenship across all European nations.

    How, UK, do you imagine it will look to the World if we grant you special privileges when there is a whole lot of other European Nations aspiring to become member states but, while not joining a queue, are being denied membership only until they meet the strict conditions of membership that you disagree with and are prepared to abandon by leaving the European Union because of?

  33. Reblogged this on Max Stafford's Kennel and commented:
    Yes, politics I know folks but this is very, very important.
    Some modelling will be back soon; I’m very busy decorating before I return to full-time work.
    More later!

  34. Reblogged this on Max Stafford’s Kennel.
    Quite a good way to re-start a blog that’s been quiet for a few weeks! 😊

  35. I’m so going to throw that quote about all over the place! 😊

  36. Robert Peffers says:

    Hi, Andy in Germany. I do believe our Scottish First minister covered the questions of people from, among all other nations in Europe and beyond, of working and living in Scotland in her wonderful speech yesterday.

    Which speech was directed right at those now living and working outwith Scotland.

    Her statement that Scotland is not full yet and all are welcome to come and make Scotland their home is sincere and mostly agreed with by the majority of the People of Scotland.

  37. Robert Peffers says:

    More than likely is the fact that by contesting the claim the UK Monarchy and the UK Westminster Establishment were all to aware that to contest the reconvening of the old Scottish parliament would have opened a very large and very lively, “Can o legal Worms”.

  38. Andy in Germany says:

    Thanks Robert, that was indeed a very encouraging speech for us, not least because I’m currently getting training to be a teacher in further education and /or Occupational Therapist, the latter being is one of the ‘Mental Health Proffesionals’ Nicola Sturgeon mentioned in her speech.

    The training will last until april 2019 at the earliest, which means we would arrive in Scotland just after the referrendum is scheduled, but I want to be ready and it is remarkable how being in the German system leaves you with a mono-lingual range of terms for the simplest things, like “Technical college”…

    My reasons are a lot like Mark in “Journey to yes #9”: Germany has been a great place for us as a family when we couldn’t live in the UK (because I fell in love with someone from outside of Europe) and we could stay here and have a comfortable existence among the Mercedes engineers of Stuttgart, but I feel we have a choice between living here and just drifting through life, or taking the chance to take a small part of the much more exciting story of Scotland becoming a free, open and inclusive country.

  39. broadbield says:

    I remember Winnie Ewing making this declaration on the opening of the Scottish Parliament. Wikipedia: ‘The Scottish Parliament met for the first time on 12 May 1999 and began its first session with SNP member Winnie Ewing stating “the Scottish Parliament, adjourned on 25th day of March in the year 1707, is hereby reconvened” ‘

  40. Grouse Beater says:

    A deliberate choice. Against the myth, our parliament was never dissolved. It ran on many months after 1707 but eventually lost impetus, the majority of political power shifting to London’s parliament and causing duplication of debate.

  41. Thanks, Macart, for expressing the point about Ms. May going to the EU negotiating table with the assets only of those who voted to leave. States have sovereignty over their natural resources, it’s one of those rights that can be traced back to the United Nations Charter. Back in the 1960s, when colonies the world over were gaining their independence, this was codified in General Assembly resolution 1803 (XVII), entitled, surprisingly, “Permanent Sovereignty over Natural Resources”. The link between that sovereignty, the right to national self-determination and human rights more generally is clear: as the online introduction to the resolution on the UN website puts it, “… The Commission on Human Rights recommended the establishment of a commission to conduct a full survey of the right of peoples and nations to permanent sovereignty over their natural wealth and resources, having noted that this right formed a “basic constituent of the right to self-determination. …”

    That introduction and the text of the resolutions can be found – let me see if WordPress will accept the URL –

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