Let me put one thing to rest; it is almost impossible for a country to lose its sovereignty. In the exchange of goods, in intellectual research, and by sharing a stretch of no man’s land on a border, a little give and take sovereignty is traded, retaken if an agreement falls or is outdated. In the extreme case of a brutal invasion by an enemy state overthrowing the indigenous government, people and institutions thoroughly taken-over, colonised, local values banned or discarded by the usurper, sovereignty remains intact, in line with international law.
In this scenario, the challenge is how to regain that sovereignty by statecraft in a modern age if the usurper has a tight grip on all aspects of daily life. England does not have full control quite yet, though it is trying hard to achieve it by stealth and bullying. For the information of the uncertain, the doubters, spooks and leaden balloons, Scotland’s sovereignty remains intact, both as a separate nation from England, and by the law of the land that states categorically Scottish sovereignty rests in the people, not in its elected government, a government of any political hue.
Liberty and free will
If Scotland was a free state we would not be troubled by so many paid infiltrators on social media, and MI5 working in the press and television. We would not have our Parliament back in place. We try to convince incomers, settlers and uninformed indigenous Scots to help reinstate our autonomy. The enemies of democracy are trying to do the opposite, convince the majority self-governance is potentially hazardous. They play upon our fear of the unkown, and yet there is much that we do know would exist in an independent Scotland. What would be new to us is the joy of free will exercised in all national and international decision making.
The unionists have a tricky time winning hearts to a dislocated Scotland that cannot survive without England because Scotland is the oldest nation in the world. They are forced to pile on the black propaganda and brazen lies solely because we are sovereign.
Convincing us with kindness is not a rule in the colonial’s Guide to Dominance manual. When Greenland secured its independence (they are keeping the Danish monarch). the leader of the campaign said the islanders were generally happy with the years of Danish rule because “The Danes allowed us to rule ourselves and actually encouraged us to retain our own language and nurture our culture. Thank goodness they were not English!”
Magna Carta belongs to England
Ill-informed, malicious unionists, the English ‘no foriegner’ nationalist and base troll should not be tolerated desperate to convince Scots we and they are governed by Magna Carta. We have the Declaration of Arbroath.
For a start, few English lawyers bother to cite Magna Carta these days, nevermind English live by its principles. Those were eroded almost the minute England decided it wanted to be a world power. To dominate other nations by force you first have to convince your own population they are superior to other cultures, and it is worth dying for your land in order to subdue people of other lands.
England acknowledged Scotland’s sovereignty
Precedents in Scotland’s favour were created by the September 2014 referendum, better referred to by its official title: The Edinburgh Agreement. These are indelible from the point of view of sovereignty.
1. The 2012 Agreement has the form of an international treaty between two governments signed appropriately by both parties. This status reflects acceptance of Scottish sovereignty not a denial of it.
2. The Agreement provided for the legislation to be carried forward by the Scottish Parliament – again a de facto acceptance of Scottish sovereignty.
3. The process provided a precedent whereby Westminster accepted the mandate obtained by the SNP that a majority in the Scottish Parliament (obtained by over 45 per cent of the vote) was respected.
Should or could?
A key objective of Alex Salmond throughout his political career is addressing the central difficulty of Scottish nationalism which “has not persuaded people it should happen, only that it could happen”.
That is where the referendum tactic came from, which he first introduced in the 1992 General Election. The Edinburgh Agreement was no more a retreat from Scottish sovereignty than Bruce sealing the Treaty of Northampton in 1328. It was an affirmation of it and a valuable precedent. (These matters are discussed at length in the introduction to Salmond’s book “The Dream Shall Never Die”.)
Alex Salmond puts it succinctly: “It can be argued that the hand left to Scottish nationalism in the aftermath of the 2014 referendum has been ineptly played. This, despite the commanding electoral success. This in turn has been based on the transformation in Scottish thought provoked by that very referendum process. That political failure applies to the SNP both in Scotland and Westminster.”
All the Queens men marched down again
Salmond is criticising Nicola Sturgeon for her timidity, “a victim of her own self doubt”, as he puts it. She is lethally cautious. It does not help her to be badly advised by a talentless clique of hangers-on. Repetitous speeches from the front benches of the House of Commons, Angus Robertson and then Ian Blackford, are exposed devoid of strategic thinking, without apparent leverage, or threat to the Union or Commons process. Scotland gets ignored comprensively, other than to reject its rights.
Brexits remains an open wound in the Scottish psyche, hard evidence of a dominant England that places imperious self-interest above care of the UK nations. The SNP elevated the status of the European argument out of any context to the pursuit of Scottish independence, as memorably exemplified on the SNP campaign bus which said “Stop Brexit” instead of “Independence Now!”.
Salmond again: “There are a number of answers to what do you do when Westminster says No to another referendum.
One one of them is not to sit on your hands and do nothing.” Concisely, they are political, legal and electoral. I add to that, do not make empty threats of ‘we will not allow this to happen to Scotland!’ knowing it will happen because vacuous rhetoric is all you have prepered the night before the debate.
The referendum of 2014 was lost by a small margin, but it established Scotland’s sovereignty as unassailable and sacrosanct. That process made renewed efforts for self-determination available without recourse for permission from an antagonistic UK government.
There is a good reason why unionists want us to become copies of Englishmen and women, albeit, second class. Edward II moved an army north to break the siege of Stirling Castle and reassert control of Scotland. Robert the Bruce defeated that army at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314, securing de facto independence. That is why the dependable guards of our future, the often demeaned ‘blood and soil’ nationalists should be respected when others fall by the wayside.
The question is, does the current SNP leadership have the will or the wit to do anything in pursuit of the Party’s central goal? Former SNP members who have decamped to the ALBA party or the ISP think the SNP incapable, their policies corrosive. A loyal SNP member will argue the SNP is intent on independence. If you are not one, aware of exhorations from SNP MPs for greater and greater majorities until Nicola Sturgeon feels confident, you will say independence is lost under the current SNP leadership. All is not lost, our sovereignty is watertight, no matter how many unionists drink to Scotland’s demise.
As I said, we Scots have a tendency to achieve our political goals the hard way.