International law does not recognise the construct “Once in a generation”. An attempt by a neighbour state to constrain voting rights or voting occasions in any way is colonialism. It might be difficult for some to accept that because they do not see a police state around them enforcing the willingness to obey, but colonialism it is in intent and in effect.
Austerity is a form of colonialism.
Austerity seeks to impoverish a populace, its outcome a constant anxiety to make ends meet with no time for protest, rebellion or insurrection. We bend to the will of the power elite. It is 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 can mean the end of democracy.
England is losing its democracy, the people their rights, too many convinced it’s all the fault of Johnny Foreigner, and the European Union. But it’s their government that is the villain of the peace. Scotland, a country regrettably under a grossly out-dated treaty with England, feels it can shake off austerity if it can secure all its earns which is many billions annually, make its own trading deals, and dump England’s colonial control. We want to de-integrate and then re-integrate on an equal footing.
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, try to frustrate the mandate of the people of Scotland.
Having rejected proposals from the Scottish Government for Scotland to remain in the single market, refused joint negotiations with Brussels – Scotland supposedly in an ‘equal union’ with England – 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. This is universally accepted by the entire world, yet nearly 70 years after the signing of the UN Charter, the British Government continues to fight tooth and nail against this most basic human right.
Self-determination “denotes the legal right of people to decide their own destiny in the international order” – US Legal Information Institute.
I am sure Theresa May’s advisers are well aware of this. After all, the United Kingdom, together with its only friend, the United States, signed up to the declaration: See contents of the UN Charter and the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. [More below]
Coincidentally, both nations are trying to rid themselves of non-whites.
Theresa May’s ultra-right wing administration stays shy of being seen as fascistic, or depicted as brazenly authoritarian. She dare not denounce a plebiscite. So, she resorts to mock gravity and issues a generality – “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. But the UK parliament can choose to ignore its outcome. One can argue the limp powers given to Scotland at the last referendum were a means to placate public aspiration blocking the public will. Nevertheless, we can expect fools to praise her for her quasi-Thatcher stance, and for Scottish unionists to aver that they are terribly grateful to her for the kicking.
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. The inescapable fact is, a principle tenet of the UK’s inducement for Scotland to remain a member of the UK was continued membership of the European Union.
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, 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. Theresa May, 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