The significant sentence slipped into the Brexit Withdrawal Bill is innocuous but all encompassing: “Only the UK Government, with the approval of the UK Parliament, can act for the UK as a whole.” It was not in the draft copy. It was added later. It’s a given, outnumbered by English MPs, Scotland can never defeat the UK Government in a vote at Westminster – we’re supposed to be equals, remember – ergo, by that single statement the UK Parliament makes a grab for dictatorial powers. In effect, it is creating a veto.
A veto is one step away from over-turning any new law or social contract enacted by Holyrood, Scotland’s parliament. It gives Westminster a veto over everything.
The paragraph continues: “giving the right to the UK Parliament to act if the other nations are not in agreement … with the UK Parliament“. This places the UK Parliament in the position of having the absolute power of a monarch.
Westminster and the rabble within it show their contempt for the people of Scotland, and the other nations. The people have become the problem, not the legislature.
Westminster as right-wing think tank
Effectively this makes Westminster the tyrannical institution it has long denied it is. There has not been another era in British life since Oliver Cromwell went on the bloody rampage in Scotland and Ireland that dedicates itself to the overthrow of rights.
What England wants England gets. This is not a novel situation. It has existed over 300 years. But what is happening here is an attempt to write it in blood and soil a one-nation state. I’d warrant it’s unlawful in international law, if only somebody with the financial resources would challenge it.
Unprincipled, unethical politicians here in Scotland, and their masters in London, are whittling away at democracy. This is not about curtailing the ambitions of the SNP. What we are witnessing is the gradual marginalisation of the electorate, the reduction until meaningless of the role of the populace in political decision making.
A power grab is a power grab
A power grab was on Number 10 Downing Street’s Cabinet table for implementation well before the advent of an SNP administration. It started with the imposition of neo-liberal dogma. Capitalists took fright at the erosion of their privileges. They lobbied government.
What we see now is an attempt to wipe out advances in economic growth and social justice fought hard for and won last century. The use of student debt is one way of keeping youth docile. Warnings of no guaranteed pension is another a way of keeping the elderly in our society insecure.
The rise of democracy scares the living daylights out of the power elite. It threatens the profits of the capitalists and corporations. They look for ways of protecting their interests, they find it in cheap labour abroad. They reorganised the distribution of wealth and global trade, and wrap it up in a phony philosophy, half-economic gobbledygook, half-fascism – only the strong survive. They called it neo-liberalism.
The older generation are heavily criticised for soaring house prices. Nevertheless, they are due a lot of credit for being instrumental in creating a huge growth in democratic participation that is now under attack.
Imposition is not consent
A New Enlightenment
The first referendum to reinstate Scotland’s self-governance gave rise to a wonderful nationwide debate on rights and political power. People began to look closely at what Scotland really earns in trade, what it produces, what it achieves in arts and sciences.
We analysed what we are capable of in innovation, in resources untapped and exploited for the public good. We checked out use of renewables. We looked at ways to protect the vulnerable with guaranteed social welfare. We saw what we are missing in international affairs. This New Enlightenment does not go down well with our English counterparts.
Westminster dislikes Scotland too involved in UK national and international affairs. This is what Samuel Huntington in a book published in 1975 called “An excess of democracy”. He saw it as a crisis. So does Westminster, Tories and Labour both. They want to restore the prestige and authority of central government institutions.
A war of attrition
Westminster sees its power under attack by Scotland’s democratic movement. It doesn’t welcome more democracy. It dislikes loss of control. They want to restrain, to curb people empowerment.
The Welsh National Assembly capitulated to the Brexit Withdrawal Bill, exactly as history says they do on so many things affecting their land. One might argue the old adage of a Welshman is an Englishman with a leek in his buttonhole proves right were it not for English incomers to Wales swinging the Brexit vote. The scummy DUP minority in Northern Ireland, delighted to accept bungs, has all but demolished the internal co-operation of the Northern Ireland Assembly.
The mobilisation of big business is underway. The evidence is there in the creation of the far-Right ‘Scotland in Union’ campaign with its green ink brigade and dirty donations.
The Scottish Government’s determination to defend Scotland’s rights, and in so doing its citizen’s freedoms, is admirable. This is why we have governments, to protect our rights.
Scotland witnesses the last stand to defend the 1998 Scotland Act. Scotland is the last bastion of a democratic system. Reverse the situation: imagine Scotland telling England it must do as Scotland voted. Unacceptable? You bet it is.
Strike a blow against authoritarianism
I have almost reached the point of thinking we should just declare independence and take it to the United Nations. We should do it before England’s parliament emasculates Scotland’s ambitions and energies. We are the consensus. We are democracy. England keeps altering the conditions of union to suit its political agenda. Who in the business world would accept such a deal as a healthy, equal relationship? Who?
The British state wants to reduce democracy. Scotland’s task is to increase equality.