Scotland and UDI

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“A referendum that has a clear legal basis, agreed to between governments, that is regulated by law and consistent with democratic and rule of law values, is the surest – perhaps the only – way to deliver a result that is fair, decisive, and accepted as legitimate at home and abroad.” Chris McCorkindale, Senior Lecturer in Public Law, University of Strathclyde. Aileen McHarg, Professor of Public Law and Human Rights, University of Durham.

That statement could have been written by any unionist zealot, so blind is it in assuming movements for independence must work to legal principles set by the colonial authority under which they labour. Indeed, I am as sure as I can be, the paragraph is the facile ‘gold standard’ that Nicola Sturgeon sticks to in ludicrous certainty that no nation has achieved autonomy unless it followed rules set by its oppressors.

In fact, it might be the reason various SNP politicians have suggested Scotland sits tight until a sustained 60% of its population is for self-governance, (not the electorate, readers will note), a harebrained goal impossible to attain in a thoroughly colonised country. The only legal document worth respecting is the one laying out the Act of Liberation that sees the back of the aggressor nation and returns land and all rights to the people.

I am tempted to dismiss outright Messrs McCorkingdale and McHarg’s paper as the work of two people in a jumped up college calling itself a university. They come to their conclusion from the comfortable position of thinking Scotland is on equal terms with England; not much wrong with how we are governed.

For one thing, Scotland does not enjoy the wonderful “democratic rule of law values” that the two academics mention. The entire reason for Scotland’s rebellion is because no matter how we exercise democracy as formulated by Westminster, Scotland ends up the loser, economically, culturally, and politically. That has not changed in over 300 years.

McCorkingdale and McHarg do not see an enemy. They betray a colonial mentality in the defeatist phrase, ‘perhaps the only way’. Perhaps? Where did they get that idea?

The Rhodesian example

Alex Salmond is probably the most experienced parliamentarian in Britain, one of the few who served in both parliaments. When he says, as he did, “There are many ways to achieve independence”, he knows what he is talking about. A unilateral declaration of independence – UDI, is not one of them. Declaring self-determination might well be. I will explain the difference shortly.

At one extreme there is the current SNP policy of inertia, letting Westminster’s brazen  corruption – millions paid to crony companies, a white supremacist outlook, a shift to a neo-fascist administration. The hope is, enough people will be convinced autonomy is a good thing; at the other extreme, a few people advocate we should announce UDI. This is assumed to be of the type declared by Ian Smith, prime minister of Rhodesia from 1964 to 1979, a man who managed to isolate Rhodesia internationally for 15 years, and in the face of harsh economic sanctions. Significantly, the UK then prime minister, Harold Wilson, refused to send in British troops, resisting all calls to retake the country by force.

Similarities Rhodesia with Scotland are ludicrous. Smith led an almost all-white, apartheid, rebel, minority government, unrecognised almost as soon as it was formed. The SNP has governed Scotland elected by popular appeal and, despite a few badly thought through policies, achieved a great deal of respect, even from its opponents. Nevertheless, the Rhodesian experiment is what British nationalists have in the back of their mind whenever they accuse the SNP of being ‘ugly separatists’.

The British Tory Party, free of Europe and ‘Johnny Foreigner’, are the ugly separatists in the UK’s case. Salmon offered independence-lite, keep the pound for a time, the EU, trade, no borders, NATO, and the Royal Family. Keep what we earn and have our own foreign policy was about as radical as it got – no room for republicanism there.

A Rhodesian-style UDI is the route no one wants to take in case it inflames the Tories to cut off Scotland from civilisation, sends in troops, and has the rest of the world so outraged nations refuse our whisky and deport Scots back to Caledonia. Alarmists are everywhere, but there is a kind of UDI that is legal.

The Royal Prerogative

For the purpose of this ramble in the thorny brambles of constitutional matters, I want to discuss the Royal Prerogative, a device to end the Union.

There was no end of threats by Tories to use this mechanism to invoke Article 50 as a method of ridding England of Johnny Foreigner – the European Union. (In the event, less than half of England voted Leave.) Westminster did not use it, and it is my contention they did not for fear it set the precedent for Scotland to use it to dissolve the Union.

I shall try to make my point as uncomplicated as possible, mainly so I can understand it! But it requires a degree of study on Articles and Acts.

Once you delve into the 1706 Articles of Union and the following year’s Acts of Union, you will perceive a similarity between those mechanisms and the Treaty of Accession to the EC and the European Communities Act. Okay, deep breath…..

Dissolving Unions: International Treaties and Acts of Parliament

All treaties are co-signed pacts open to renegotiation or withdrawal at any time. If they work well for both sides, fine, they will endure, if they do not, time to sit around a parley table and solve errors and grievances.

That treaties tend to exist for many years is because the parties involved do not wish to be seen reneging on an agreement. In Scotland’s case no Labour or Tory party would do that, keen to keep the Union alive. Small differences, conditions frayed at the edges or altered by unforeseen circumstances, can be solved by discussion. Scotland is that odd thing in the western world, a colonised country told the lie it is too poor to function without its neighbour, we cannot exist without help, hence the Union is God.

In Scotland’s case, the sovereign people never agreed to a union. A few earls, lawyers and clergy signed away our birthright. It stands as one of the great betrayals in our history. We are, by all reasonable analysis, ruled by a belligerent, and often brutal neighbour, now as racist and corrupt as a yogurt pot invaded by slugs. Our Westminster parliamentarians outnumber us 12 to 1. We are unable to alter things for the better for Scotland, only for England. In effect, we endure taxation without representation.

Of Articles and Acts

I doubt few Englishmen and fewer Scots have bothered to study the Articles of the Treaty of Union or the Acts of Union, and the non-experts who have done a quick study usually think they are one and the same. The texts read similarly but in legal terms they are quite different.

The Articles of Union signed on 2 July 1706 is an international treaty agreed between the two sovereign and tetchy kingdoms of England and Scotland. They were negotiated by ‘experts’ working under the Royal Prerogative, but the Union was not created from this document.

The same can be asserted of the accession treaty on 22 January 1972 between UK, Ireland and Denmark when Edward Heath made the UK a member of the Common Market. The UK only became a member of the EC after the European Communities Act 1972 had been passed in October of that year. It came into effect on 1 January 1973.

And here I have to add the obvious, a treaty means a degree of sovereignty is ceded by both parties on the basis both parties benefit. The derision we received at the hands of bully boy colonials when we suggested using the pound sterling for a short time shows their ignorance of how countries are voluntarily interdependent.

This small but highly significant element, that both Scotland and England will benefit equally has been the basis of all disputes between us since 1707, from Scotland being over-taxed, suppression of the clan system, banning the wearing of tartan and speaking in the Scots tongue, to the modern day equivalents of a poll tax imposed, Scotland exploited as a guinea pig, the destruction of our steel and ship building industries, and of course, dragged out of the EU against the will of the people.

There is a myriad of abuses perpetrated by England in the interests of England that have broken the Acts and Treaty. Those who argue free trade has been honored and a great thing, forget where the taxes go from the sale of whisky, to name one theft.

By the same token, like joining the Common Market, Scotland and England were not legally binding trading partners until the passing of both the Scots and English Acts of Union which ratified the Articles of Union of 1706. This distinction between Treaty and Act is made very clear in the preamble to the 1707 (Scots) statute. (Readers who have a mind to can study the wording in NOTES at the end of the essay.)

Ergo, ipso facto and blimey

With the Prerogative precedent established to join the Common Market, almost used a second time to revoke and repeal the European Communities Act 1972 using Article 50, it is invalid to argue the opposite, that it cannot be used for Scotland to leave the UK and negotiate a new, better accord fit for the rest of this century.

What is fit for England, is fit for Scotland. Indeed, with climate change upon us, it become imperative that Scotland can make its own laws to handle the crisis.

There is no impediment to use of the Royal Prerogative to leave the UK. Our Treaty and the one we had with the EU are international agreements. The same process can be used by the Scots government to revoke the Scots Act of Union of 1707. Granted, if we did that, someone will challenge it in court. The British state is liable to challenge anything we do in that regard, as we did, and won, when Boris Johnson tried to prorogue Westminster.

We must take account of the pre-1707 Scots monarch enjoying the Prerogative and the Articles of Union made under the Prerogative. The post-devolution Scots monarch (it might not be Elizabeth II, the first of Scotland) – is bound by the advice they receive from the Scottish Government. If the Scottish Parliament, after a referendum vote for independence, passed an Act instructing the First Minister to revoke the Articles of Union, or if the First Minister were simply to use her right to advise the Crown, the Sovereign would be obliged to comply.

In summation

Nothing of what I have written here is revolutionary. It is legal and civilised. This idea has been discussed at length in past years but rarely explained. Perhaps we need a statesman or woman to drum it home: revoking the Articles automatically revokes the Act of Union. Scotland could leave the Union without pleading to Tory Westminster.

So, no one need call UDI. By the method I’ve explained, we dissolve the Union to begin talks for a better relationship. Yes, our colonial masters will belittle whatever path we take; England has isolated itself and needs our wealth more than ever, but that is no reason to be nervous about moving Scotland’s constitutional rights into the modern age.

Using the Prerogative allows Scotland to leave the UK without the permission of the British Government and the UK Parliament. They would be made to understand, finally, that in Scotland the people are sovereign.

 

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NOTES

For readers wishing to do a little more study, here is the distinction between Treaty and Act caught in the preamble to the 1707 (Scots) statute:

Whereas Articles of Union were agreed on the Twenty Second day of July in the Fifth year of Your Majesties reign by the Commissioners nominated on behalf of the Kingdom of England under Your Majesties Great Seal of England bearing date at Westminster the Tenth day of April then last past in pursuance of an Act of Parliament made in England in the Third year of Your Majesties reign and the Commissioners nominated on the behalf of the Kingdom of Scotland under Your Majesties Great Seal of Scotland bearing date the Twenty Seventh day of February in the Fourth year of Your Majesties Reign in pursuance of the Fourth Act of the Third Session of the present Parliament of Scotland to treat of and concerning an Union of the said Kingdoms

And Whereas an Act hath passed in the Parliament of Scotland at Edinburgh the Sixteenth day of January in the Fifth year of Your Majesties reign wherein ’tis mentioned that the Estates of Parliament considering the said Articles of Union of the two Kingdoms had agreed to and approved of the said Articles of Union with some Additions and Explanations And that Your Majesty with Advice and Consent of the Estates of Parliament for establishing the Protestant Religion and Presbyterian Church Government within the Kingdom of Scotland had passed in the same Session of Parliament an Act intituled Act for securing of the Protestant Religion and Presbyterian Church Government which by the Tenor thereof was appointed to be inserted in any Act ratifying the Treaty and expressly declared to be a fundamental and essential Condition of the said Treaty or Union in all times coming the Tenor of which Articles as ratified and approved of with Additions and Explanations by the said Act of Parliament of Scotland follows

 

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37 Responses to Scotland and UDI

  1. Derek Cameron says:

    The SNP have donned the ” gold standard ” straightjacket. They have discounted
    our unique and ancient provenance as an independent nation and our inalienable human right to determine our own form of government.
    We are now more than ever in our history voluntarily at the whim of a corrupt and mendacious colonial power and their lackeys . They show Scotland zero respect as they pillage our resources and trample on the hopes of our people young and old.
    The SNP are not the independence movement and it’s time they “woke” up to that fact.

  2. crabbitgits says:

    Your conclusion makes perfect sense to me and in summation has always been inclined towards my interpretation of these matters. Why not indeed?

  3. Brilliant article, thank you for taking the time to write it 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

  4. marconatrix says:

    Very interesting … but …
    You assume that the parliament that now sits at Holyrood is the sovereign Scottish body that was party to the Treaty of Union and passed the Act of Union all those years ago. However that body dissolved itself and took up a share of seats at Westminster so as to form the combined UK parliament. It could then be argued (I think??) that since the UK parliament still exists and includes Scottish members, the present post-devolution Holyrood body is nothing more than a creature of WM, with any sovereignty it may have being simply devolved, that is handed down from the parent body. So at the very least, all Scottish MPs would need to withdraw from WM before Holyrood could reclaim its own independent sovereignty, and that may well be only one of several legal/constitutional requirements.

    Also at another level, if you object to an English majority WM parliament dictating to Scotland, should you not equally object to for example say 60% of Scots dragging the other 40% out of the Union? Where’s the morality in that?

    Nb. I’m definitely pro-Indy, just trying to see the possible snags 😉

  5. Grouse Beater says:

    You repeat the myth that the Scottish parliament ‘dissolved’ itself. It did nothing of the sort. It was not a condition of the agreement. It continued for months. It had too. It was a long journey by coach and horses to London! (That is why Holyrood was introduced as being ‘reconvened’.) Eventually we realised we were duplicating the same discussions as London and so we mothballed it. Only England’s parliament was dissolved so that it could create a UK inclusive institution. That’s why so many English MPs hated the move and wanted nothing of a union with Scotland. As for Scottish MPs withdrawn from Westminster, we left our in the EU Parliament until the last moment.

  6. David McCloskey says:

    Superb interpretation of the FACTS of the matter but with the messiah NS in charge I very much doubt that she will even red the articles or treaty as it makes no mention of allowing big Jake to put on a frock and calling himself Susie demand entrance to a women only sauna session stating that the law of Scotland as determined by our wonderful FM allows him to do so. Pardon the cynicism! but I am utterly hacked off with the management and leadership of the SNP.

  7. Grouse Beater says:

    The ‘management’ of the SNP is undergoing change. And the essay is another indication the ‘Gold Standard’ is spurious, the work of a timid administration.

  8. marconatrix says:

    Indeed, I recall and have I think drawn attention to the ‘reconvened’ statement made when Holyrood was first opened. The question is whether that was just a nice piece of cosmetic window-dressing, or whether it would stand up in Scottish and international law. Have there been any legal/constitutional opinions sought or given on the matter? If Holyrood were to declare itself to be the sole and sovereign parliament of Scotland, what options legal or otherwise would be open to WM? More to the point what would be their likely reaction?

  9. Grouse Beater says:

    The issue, as I see it, is the SNP administration are not confident the current 55% for reinstating self-reliance is consistent, that it will hold through any move to independence and two years of negotiations, hence their urge to have it 60%, and no doubt 70% to be absolutely sure. That is not the way a nation recovers its rights. None, so far as I know, in history. You determine freedoms by insisting on change knowing only so many people are able to be activists, and the doubters will also benefit. Oppressors always counter with the ‘silent majority’ they claim does not want equality, who allegedly are happy with their lot.

  10. GB
    I have asked a similar question on my own wee blog, if the Scottish Parliament entered into the Treaty of Union why doesn’t it just repeal it or can it. I have asked a few SNP politicians the same question over the years on social media and a couple of times in person and have never received an answer, just ignored completely or fobbed off with Wishart like garbage. If the SNP have a majority next year just repeal the treaty and be done with it, who can stop them?

    Thanks for a very informative and interesting article.
    Bruce

  11. Terence Callachan says:

    I believe the obstacle to independence for Scotland is having a consistent majority of voters in favour of Scottish independence who consistently vote in favour of Scottish independence.

    We do in fact have a majority who consistently vote for the SNP but some might argue that is not necessarily proof that a majority are in favour of Scottish independence.

    Personally I think a majority vote for SNP is a majority vote for Scottish independence because everyone knows the SNP policy is Scottish independence I do not accept that anyone who votes for the SNP is unaware that the SNP intends to get Scottish independence.

    I think the SNP continually aim to win elections so that they can use this as evidence that the majority of people in Scotland want Scottish independence I mean if Westminster repeatedly refuse to agree to a Scottish independence referendum what other way can Scotland show that a majority of its voters want Scottish independence ? they can’t so repeated calls by the SNP for people to vote for them in all elections to give them a repeated majority support for Scottish independence is next best evidence.

    A good ploy by SNP in my view.

    When SNP do take action to implement Scottish independence they will say to Westminster look we asked for your agreement to a Scottish independence referendum over and over again but you refused , we have had a majority of the votes in all the elections over a number of years now so we are declaring independence.

    Who can argue with that ?

  12. Grouse Beater says:

    Of the 55% of No’s, Edinburgh University noted 37% want greater powers for Scotland – the DevoMax group – and like the Yes voters, also got stiffed. That is the group the SNP ought to have been addressing these last years and has not. That is the group we must convince they win too if we regain our pride in self-reliance.

  13. dyoungerrocketmailcom says:

    All the material contained in your article is correct. I submitted in September 1997, that the passing of the Scotland Act would not eliminate the right of the elected MPs at Westminster to withdraw at any time. I also pointed out then and again in 2007, that the existence of a Scottish parliament under the terms of the Scotland Act had no relevance in international law and that the seat of determination lay with Scotland’s MPs in Westminster.

    This matter was discussed at length in a number of conferences between 2001 and 2012 and the same conclusion was reached in each case. The Treaty of Union in no way removed Scotland’s rights as a sovereign nation. In May 1707, the Scottish parliament was adjourned and, despite Winnie Ewings’ statement in 1999 at the opening of the Holyrood parliament, has never, so far, been reconvened. By contrast, the English parliament continued to sit until June that year and it wasn’t until 19th August that the composition of parliament following the Treaty was established. Scottish representatives had no say. Nevertheless, they took their seats and it was both implicitly and expressly accepted by successive UK governments that the right to withdraw existed in law.

    Again, in 2016, on the back of 56 SNP MPs in Westminster, I proposed that we call a convention consisting of all MPs, MEPs, MSPs and representatives of local authorities. This was in response to the Brexit vote and the determination of Theresa May to plough on with leaving the EU. I believe my proposal was taken up by 15 SNP branches (I’m not, nor ever have been a member of the SNP). The proposal was emphatically rejected by the SNP NEC. This proposal was echoed in 2018 by Craig Murray who also offered to canvass international support at his own expense, no less. Again it was rejected.

    In several meetings with senior SNP figures I have never received any explicit explanation as to why they are so wedded to the Scotland Act that they feel that they have to obtain formal consent from Westminster to hold a referendum, so I’m putting forward my own theory. In the first place, I refer to advice given to the UK government in 2013 that Scotland was “extinguished” as a nation by the Act of Union – I’m sorry but I have mislaid the names of the two constitutional lawyers who gave this astonishing advice but it is a matter of record so shouldn’t be too difficult to find. I do recall, however that the two are heavyweights in their field so their opinions, however mistaken, would have carried some authority. Secondly, I suspect a certain unwillingness on the part of the SNP leadership to accept that not everything can be done from Edinburgh and that it’s some kind of admission of weakness to admit that some of the process of independence has to be done elsewhere.

    I am somewhat alarmed by the apparent complacency of many independence supporters that we can happily wait until May for yet another mandate. What happens in the UK from 1st January onwards may shock all of us – even a confirmed pessimist like me. I don’t believe that Holyrood will be abolished – it’s far too handy for the UK to use to fend off indyref demands – but the changes to how our society functions will, I believe, be huge and detrimental. We should also be aware that, even if the UK finally agrees to a referendum, there will be a long time until an agreement on that referendum is put in place. The last one took two years and that was with a government far less hostile than this one will be.

    I have been involved with the digital covenant since its inception in the firm belief that it is the best way to express the will of the people. I also firmly believe that, if we are to protect our economy and our society then we have to act before the end of this year and however we do it has to be up to us, the Scottish people.

  14. Grouse Beater says:

    “I am alarmed by the apparent complacency of many independence supporters that we can happily wait until May for yet another mandate.”
    Agreed. A dangerous policy, a policy as laid down and followed by the SNP. And thank you for your endorsement and considered reply. I shall re-quote a sentence or two.

  15. Excellent article and indeed a very straight forward way to achieve the goal many of us seek. As in other methods of achieving self-reliance ( I will not call it independence as I have never accepted that we are anything but independence), we must ascertain the will of the people. Not in respect of independence but to see if they wish to continue with the arrangement which has been in place since 1707. This can be done quite simply by going for the next Scottish election solely on a mandate to extinguish the present voluntary arrangement of the Union. Thereafter instructing our MP’s in London to inform the other members of the Union that we no longer are a part of that union

    Thein lies the problem, as firstly we would require a true leader to carry this forward by formulating a manifesto for the forthcoming election which would make clear the straight forward proposition that the Scottish people were being offered and at present, we do not have such a leader. In fact, we have a leader who, it seems is intent on tying us ever closer to this union.
    I honestly fear that if we go into this next Scottish election with Nicola sturgeon at the head of the main independence party, we will have committed Scotland to many years of uncertainty with the possibility of a Northern Ireland situation developing and indeed being induced.

  16. Christ Gareth. You are a great EDUCATOR’. It is because of people like you that us Pro Indy scots have become so fired up & informed compared to our friends in England. Every day I see more holes in what we were taught in school & what he reality was/is! ‘How did we get here’? How do we stop it happening again has been replaced with ideology. Like when I was a kid and got bored with older folk refering to ‘during the war’ to me it was a long time ago (Ended 11 yr before my birth)..why go on about it now. I now know better. Treaty of union I never heard about untill in adulthood!

  17. peeliewallie says:

    Another excellent article. I just wish that more people were using the internet to access such articles rather than relying as so many do on the press or BBC and other ‘news’ channels. Thank you.

  18. James Selbie says:

    Great and informative article. I agree with every word. By the look of the comments I am not alone. Thank you.

  19. Grouse Beater says:

    She reiterates she is dedicated to the Cause but appears incapable of mounting a sustained strategy that also educates doubters, beyond the risky plan of letting the Tories do the work, an odd contradiction.

  20. Terence Callachan says:

    dyoungerrocketmail.com…you said

    “ refer to advice given to the UK government in 2013 that Scotland was “extinguished” as a nation by the Act of Union – I’m sorry but I have mislaid the names of the two constitutional lawyers who gave this astonishing advice but it is a matter of record so shouldn’t be too difficult to find”

    I say…

    If it’s not difficult to find please find it

  21. Grouse Beater says:

    Any number of Scotland’s opponents have claimed signing up to a Union by 3% of the power elite ‘extinguished’ Scotland as a nation, as if David Cameron would have bothered to endorse a referendum if that was the reality.

  22. Grouse Beater says:

    You cannot ‘give away’ a nation’s sovereignty.

  23. Geejay says:

    Great article as usual and good to read such enlightened comments.

    Re the 2 professors: “The verdict on Scotland’s fate in 1707 was included in legal advice by professors James Crawford and Alan Boyle, who argued an independent Scotland would start life as a new state.” from The Herald.

    Also an interesting item in the Scotsman from 2013: https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/columnists/paul-scott-no-scotland-was-not-extinguished-1707-1586042

    There may be others for Googling experts – I use DuckDuckGo. Sorry for using the H and S words here and beware, visiting the S may take you to one of the vilest and most malevolent unionist anti-snp propagandists this side of Hades.

  24. Grouse Beater says:

    Timely information. The man from Hades isn’t ‘Spooner’ or some name? Definitely, Orange Lodge. He tried catching me once, ready with his store of nasty responses, and lost.

  25. Edwin Millar says:

    From ScotGov https://www.gov.scot/publications/scotlands-right-choose-putting-scotlands-future-scotlands-hands/pages/12/

    16. Most famously by Lord President Cooper in the case of MacCormick v Lord Advocate, 1953 SC 396, where he said “The principle of the unlimited sovereignty of Parliament is a distinctively English principle which has no counterpart in Scottish constitutional law. It derives its origin from Coke and Blackstone, and was widely popularised during the nineteenth century by Bagehot and Dicey, the latter having stated the doctrine in its classic form in his Law of the Constitution. Considering that the Union legislation extinguished the Parliaments of Scotland and England and replaced them by a new Parliament, I have difficulty in seeing why it should have been supposed that the new Parliament of Great Britain must inherit all the peculiar characteristics of the English Parliament but none of the Scottish Parliament, as if all that happened in 1707 was that Scottish representatives were admitted to the Parliament of England. That is not what was done.”

  26. James Gardner says:

    By next year the 400K N majority will be matched by 400K+ deaths, mainly elderly, in Scotland since 2014 ! However there are now 400K young non-buying, non-watching BBC Young folk now eligible to VOTE ! EU citizens vote, will Bawlis disenfranchise them come 1st of Jan’21 ? No and undecideds views on London Eton Incompetent Elite especially on Coronavirus High Death Count, a further 10 to 20 years of austerity ! The Obsenity of Trident ! Crashing Newspaper circulations (eg. Daily Record 950K+ in 2010 next year 100K-!!!!!!!!). Steady rate of cancelled TV licenses in Scotland since 2014 due to BBC blatant bias ! Exit from EU due to Brexit, next year food prices to rise and jobs lost ! The worst Old Age Pension in Europe, in fact the Western World ! 1 in four Scottish children live in poverty ! So that and loads more how does the Naw majority stack up ? The only thing in way of Scottish Independence is COMPLACENCY !!!!!!!!!!! Get registered and vote ! USE the Ballot Box NOT the post box ! Demographics IS the major factor and it’s not going the way of the Unionists in Scotland or Northern Ireland ! Polls at 55% with FULL YES CAMPAIGN YET to hit the Streets ! NO COMPLACENCY ! VOTE TO END THE UNION AND LONDON RULE !

  27. urapps says:

    Great article and comments!
    What is stopping the Scottish Government from calling an election before the end of this year and before Brexit?

  28. Grouse Beater says:

    Nicola Surgeon and her advisers.

  29. Kevin Gray says:

    If we don’t ask for permission isn’t that unilaterally declaring? And Alex Salmond said “there’s those who believe UDI is a route”.

  30. Grouse Beater says:

    Once you hear lots of people say, “why not declare we are independent and take it from there?’, then we present the enemies of Scotland with a dilemma, the people have decided.

  31. stuartm99 says:

    Citing a parallel with Rhodesia is a red herring. The objection to Smith’s regime wasn’t UDI, it was because it was a minority government. Countries formed via UDI: United States, Mexico, Indonesia, Vietnam and every country in Latin America. Regimes established by unilateral declaration: Soviet Union, German republic (1918), Egyptian republic, Turkish republic, the number is legion. If all these nations and regimes could be regarded as legitimate how can a UDI Scotland be illegitimate?

    BTW the glib assertion that Harold Wilson should have sent in the troops ignores the geographic and political situation. Look at a map. Neither South Africa or Portuguese Mozambique would have allowed deployment of British troops to attack Rhodesia from their territory and Botswana would almost certainly remain neutral for fear of SA retaliation. The only possibility would be via Zambia, making the Rhodesian defence relatively simple. The possibility of a clash with South African forces could not be discounted. The most likely outcome of “sending in the troops” would have been massive casualties and the fall of Wilson’s government.

    Re a referendum on Scotland’s independence, the result has to be overwhelming to have legitimacy in the eyes of the losing side – 50%+1 vote is not sufficient when deciding on such a major change. Had the previous referendum voted for independence by such a narrow margin the independent Scotland would have been bitterly divided with half of the population dragged out of the UK against its will. You have that situation right now with Brexit where the Remainers regard the slim majority of votes (not even a majority of the electorate) as unfair. I’d say that a 60% majority of the electorate in favour is the minimum to confer legitimacy and 65% would be better. That Cameron allowed both referendums to go forward on a 50%+1 basis just illustrates what an overconfident fool he was.

    The UK should follow Australia’s example and:
    – make voting compulsory (ensures 90%+ voting,)
    – make it easy to vote by holding elections on a Saturday and having lots of polling stations
    – allow postal voting for those unable to vote on the day
    Only then will your elections truly be democratic. With the US and UK holding elections on a working day and requiring you to vote only in your registered electorate the only conclusion is that they don’t want the working classes to vote.

  32. Grouse Beater says:

    “Only then will your elections truly be democratic.”

    You are concocting statements I do not make.

    Let’s begin with the obvious, no matter how Scotland wins its liberty, it will be depicted as underhand and lop-sided by British nationalists of all hues. That’s a given. That’s the job of the colonial authority, to belittle and to keep face when it loses territory.

    I, personally, specifically do not cite Rhodesia as a parallel. I mention it only because that’s what is in the mind of those who consider Scotland ‘taking’ its independence, similar to Smith’s blunder, in the same way unionists will now use the chaos of Brexit to claim Scotland will face the same mess if it assumes autonomy. (The facile Rowling argument) And, contrary to your assertion, I actually do mention Smith’s government was a minority administration. Your diversion about which nation might have blocked British troop manoeuvres is redundant, unless you think Ireland will send troops to Scotland to protect the nation. I cannot believe you hint England will send in troops to quell Scottish ardour so they risk seen for what they are by the international community, the aggressors?

    Do you think the world looks upon England as a saintly nation? England is a small county now, isolated by common consent.

    Where is it that I state Wilson should have sent in the troops? I touch upon the historical debate of the time, not state my opinion.

    As for your assertion that in a Scottish referendum the “result has to be overwhelming to have legitimacy in the eyes of the losing side.” by what margin? Exactly who is it you hope to mollify? Who are you to set the mark? You talk of a democratic system in dictatorial language.

    When so many people don’t bother to vote, there will always be grumbles from the losing side keen to talk about the ‘silent majority’, making the convenient assumption non-voters would have voted for their argument. Your demand for the SNP’s illusory 60% win is rejected because it is anti-democratic, blind to a nation struggling to regain full democracy colonised over 300 years. Quite frankly, it smacks of unionist plotting.

    For your information, the majority of Scots who voted in the 2014 plebiscite voted to regain nationhood. The vote was lost by incomers and settlers, and short-term foreign students worried about losing grants and university places.

    Finally, alluding to countries that declared UDI and survived is at odds with your argument a 51% win is useless. Who worries what the other side thinks? Who says, let’s do nothing so we do not cause outrage? Did those nations you list think, England might not trade with us if we take our liberty into our own hands?

    The only thing I agree with, in your diatribe of doubling the rules to achieve defeat, is the call for mandatory voting, like Australia, but is that in the Scottish Parliament’s power? It could be after independence.

    You demand too much, relying on corrupting the democratic system; and moreover, the ‘your elections’ places you outside Scotland.

  33. Muscleguy says:

    Best still if the monarch declines a ‘constitutional crisis’ is made. One solution for Scotland is simply to declare ourselves a Republic and thus assume the Royal Prerogative for our First Minister. The Palace know this risk. Agree and the House of Saxe Coburg Gotha gets to continue to be King or Queen of Scots. For a time at least. They may need to become cycling monarchs in the Scandinavian style when in Scotland. They might enjoy that.

    I’m a Republican of long standing so I hold no candle for monarchy. But I would prefer we came to be a Republic by popular plebiscite after a good old public rammy. But if we become one to become Independent then I shall shed no tears for future monarchs maybe separately crowned in Scotland. We can keep the Honours in Edinburgh castle as historical relics.

    I’m not too fussed about the status of the Stone either. I recognise it has totemic value but if it sits under the coronation throne in Westminster Abbey when we are independent that will be a calumny, a continuing claim to Scots sovereignty. We may need to commission a coronation chair to accommodate it in St Giles, or just do it old style at Boot Hill, open to the elements.

    If we are to be an independent monarchy we MUST insist on a separate coronation as used to happen. Anything else will be to nominally cede our sovereignty.

    BTW Gareth did you mean cede when you wrote secede? I read it as that.

  34. diabloandco says:

    Thanks Grouse , food for thought and a window of opportunity – let’s make a dash for it.

  35. cobramm says:

    I have never read such bollox in my life. you clearly don’t know very much about law. or anything really.

  36. Grouse Beater says:

    You’re too late, far too late playing the yobbo role. Scotland WILL reinstate its freedoms.

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