Tuesday, February 28, 2017

"Respecting democracy", Yookay-style

At the weekend, the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn grotesquely urged the SNP to "respect democracy" by doing absolutely nothing while a hard-right Tory government drags Scotland out of the EU, the single market and the customs union against its will.  To state the bleedin' obvious, the reason the SNP do not have to "respect" a 52%-48% UK-wide vote is because Scotland is a country in its own right, and has voted twice over the last three years to remain within the EU.  The No vote in the 2014 independence referendum was explicitly won on the basis that it would keep Scotland inside the EU, and the pro-European mandate was emphatically confirmed in the EU referendum itself by a 62% to 38% margin.  After that sequence of events, the idea that Scotland being forced to leave the EU is all about "respecting democracy" would be enough to make an East German communist blush.

All the same, though, there were English MPs (including many from Corbyn's own party) who also voted against triggering Article 50.  Those people are equally entitled to raise an eyebrow or two at the "respecting democracy" schtick, given a very clear past precedent of how democracy actually works in the UK.

Here is the UK-wide result of the EU referendum last year -

Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?

Leave 52%
Remain 48%

And here is the result of the referendum on setting up a devolved Scottish Assembly in 1979 -

Do you want the Provisions of the Scotland Act 1978 to be put into effect?

Yes 52%
No 48%

The margins of victory for Leave and for Yes were identical, and yet the provisions of the Scotland Act 1978 were not put into effect.  One of the very first things the Thatcher government did upon taking office a mere few weeks after the majority Yes vote was to defy the results of the referendum and repeal the Scotland Act.

The so-called "40% rule" that applied in the 1979 referendum was of course a deliberate and shameless attempt at rigging the outcome.  On the respectable turnout that was actually achieved, a near 2-1 majority in favour of Yes would have been required to clear the artificial hurdle.  Nevertheless, the 40% rule is also much-misunderstood.  Contrary to popular belief, it did not mean that devolution automatically failed if 40% of the entire registered electorate didn't vote Yes.  It simply required that if the target figure was not met, an order to repeal the Scotland Act should be tabled in parliament.  It was then entirely up to MPs to decide whether to vote in favour or against that order.  If they voted against, the Yes result in the referendum would have stood and an elected Scottish Assembly with limited powers would have sat in Edinburgh throughout the 1980s and 1990s, tempering some of the worst effects of Thatcherism.

The SNP urged the Labour PM James Callaghan to immediately table the order of repeal and whip Labour MPs to vote it down.  He refused to do so, on the grounds that the referendum result was not clear enough, and that devolution could only go ahead at some unspecified date in the future if the package was thoroughly revised.  That was tantamount to taking an outright anti-devolution position, because it was obvious from opinion polls that a Thatcher government was inevitable within months.  Labour and the Conservatives were therefore equally culpable in overturning the 52%-48% verdict of the people of Scotland.

So the next time anyone from those two parties (or from UKIP) starts wittering on about the SNP "disrespecting" the 52%-48% will of the British people, just ask a simple question : "where was our Assembly for twenty years?"

*  *  *

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  1. We'll take no lessons in "democracy" from an establishment which allows the dominant political party to fragrantly break election rules and get away with it.A government elected on only around 30% of the votes,a hugely bloated unelected house many of whom are only there through hereditary feudal title and so on.
    I don't hear any of the present establishment screaming about how "undemocratic" the USA is because it parted company with London rule although the racist accusation they point at us might well be applicable to the present leader of that country.
    Their behaviour only emphasises the impression that most countries now have of frightened Little Englanders terrified that they really will be all alone after Brexit.
    Their attempts to revive the Commonwealth trading block by inviting Trumpland to become an honorary member will fail,especially with those countries who remember how quickly the UK dumped them in their desperation to join the EEC back in the 1970s.

    1. Glasgow Working Class 2February 28, 2017 at 11:01 AM

      You forget that you want the EU to run Scotland if you gain false independence.
      Not very democratic! Scotland will soon get power over fisheries and agriculture but you want to give that to the EU. You Nat sis are real plonkers. I agree we should dump the Lords but you want
      an unelected Commission to run Scotland. You fash are traitors to Scotland...
      Scotland will meet the same fate as Greece. We will be humiliated crawling to the Bundesbank who will decide our expenditure.

    2. Glasgow Working Class 2February 28, 2017 at 11:13 AM

      David Duke Of the KKK endorses Nigel Farage as the next English PM, I like the cut of that mans jib

    3. Glasgow Working Class 3February 28, 2017 at 11:19 AM

      Ruth Davidson yesterday told farming leaders it would be “foolhardy” to give MSPs the power to create an entirely separate Scottish replacement for the EU’s controversial Common Agricultural Policy after Brexit.

    4. Agreed, Bringiton and good article, James. Nothing democratic in UK - it's representative government, elected by undemocratic FPTP where millions of votes are wasted resulting in an elected dictatorship decided by a few key constituencies.

    5. GWC2, You're confusing the political expediency of compromise with the premise of self determination, fella. It's an easy mistake to make, but now that it's been pointed out to you there's no excuse.

    6. Don't bother trying to educate the troll. It's not stupid, but wilfully ignorant.

    7. Nigel the City Spiv and his public-school rentboy japesFebruary 28, 2017 at 7:09 PM

      The kipper sockpuppet troll has the IQ of peanut.
      It's real fucking stupid. LOL

  2. Meanwhile the revolting (who is she anyway?) Vonny Moyes is proving the truth of JK's (The good one) statements.

    A truly disgusting Yoon Britnat writes article saying half of Scotland are racists. Uses sexist and racist abuse on her own twatter feed then runs off squealing like a schoolgirl when the people she's defamed fight back.

    And Vonny (that can't be her real name?) Moyes tearfully supports her due to sharing the same sexual organs and the whole feminazi horde joins in to stand in solidarity with their sister. Women right and never wrong. Makes you vomit!

    1. Glasgow Working Class 2February 28, 2017 at 8:24 PM

      How do you know half of Scots are not rascist? More so when Scottish Nat sis are anti English for no good reason except they are English.

    2. Glasgow Working Class 2February 28, 2017 at 9:39 PM

      Steve Bruce, who has studied the decline in religious adherence in Western Europe,[32] says surveys comparing people's ideas about sectarianism with their actual day-to-day personal experience show that the perception of sectarianism is much stronger than its occurrence in reality, and that the city's problems with health, education and social exclusion are of much greater daily concern to most Glaswegians.[33]

      Bruce also found that less than a third of one percent of murders in Scotland over nearly two decades had any sectarian motive, and those that did were the result of football allegiances not religion or ethnicity.

    3. Glasgow Working Class 2February 28, 2017 at 10:32 PM

      Good old Steve Bruce a man tae be respected and an authority on life since the beginning of time when the baby jesus wis born. Glaswegians go about their daily life without Steve Bruce whoever he is.

    4. How would Cheltenham know?

  3. Glasgow Working Class 2February 28, 2017 at 8:20 PM

    There are two kind of Nat sis. Those who want to leave the Union and be totally independent and those who want to leave the aunion and hand over power to herman and the frogs. We Unionists will exploit this and if you fash want another referendum then go for it please. Do it now shitebags.

    1. Glasgow Working Class 2February 28, 2017 at 9:43 PM

      The following is a list of active political parties and organisations who support the union.

      Major, GB-wide parties
      Conservative and Unionist Party
      Scottish Conservative Party
      Welsh Conservative Party
      Northern Ireland Conservatives
      Labour Party
      Scottish Labour Party
      Welsh Labour
      Liberal Democrats
      Scottish Liberal Democrats
      Welsh Liberal Democrats
      UK Independence Party (UKIP)[9]
      Northern Ireland parties
      Democratic Unionist Party (DUP)
      Progressive Unionist Party (PUP)
      Traditional Unionist Voice (TUV)
      Ulster Unionist Party (UUP)
      UKIP and the Conservatives also stand in Northern Ireland
      Parties in British Overseas Territories
      Gibraltar Social Democrats[10]
      Minor parties
      Britain First[11]
      British Freedom Party (BFP)
      British National Party (BNP)[12]
      British People's Party (BPP)[13]
      National Front (NF)[14]
      Respect Party[15]
      Scottish Unionist Party (SUP)
      More United
      Militant and other groups
      Ulster Defence Association (UDA)
      Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
      Orange Order

    2. Glasgow Working Class 2February 28, 2017 at 10:24 PM

      The above GWC2 pretender is on the Cheltenham Rader. Clearly a Scottish Nat si fascist. Someone needing watching. Watch for the bulky vest and shouting allah jock.

    3. Knew you were a Cheltenham sockpuppet.

  4. Glasgow Working Class 2February 28, 2017 at 10:42 PM

    Knickerless on another rant about brexit and losing powers. Still shiting herself tae go fur a referendum. She is running out of wind.
    Time fur her tae change her wet drawers and Merkel designer clothing.

    1. Glasgow Working Class 2February 28, 2017 at 11:09 PM

      As the acceptance of homosexuality increases, it is expected the number of married men coming out will continue to rise.

      “These men have a heightened level of internalised homophobia and are responding to a discomfort with who they are. They develop many defences,” Mr Martin said.

      “They will quite often repress and separate out their same-sex attraction. This is a very emotionally stressful situation. It places a huge pressure on their psyche.

      “Everything they say and do and every person they interact with is an act of deception because they have a conflict between the real self and the projected self.

      “They become masters of deception. They can quite often be loveable and popular, but the problem for that person is that people are interacting with an ‘avatar’ and not the ‘real’ person. It is the loneliest place in the world.”

      Mr Martin said the leading motivation for a man to deny his homosexuality was the fear of rejection.

    2. It wouldnae surprise me if he's started going through James' bins. GWC2, if you have in fact started going through his bins then this is classed as "going too far" and you should seek help. PS I'm talking about help with your state of mind as opposed to help with going through his bins. I felt a need to point that out because you seem confused about most things.

    3. Glasgow Working Class 2February 28, 2017 at 11:47 PM

      Pretend GWC2 above, you seem to have a problem with your own sexuality and posting with your own legitimate name. Do get a life and post! Leave me the real GWC2 to post my own shite. If that is possible with you Nat sis.

    4. Glasgow Working Class 2February 28, 2017 at 11:52 PM

      BunnyFunster. You can report any bin raikers tae the Omnbindsman and seek compensation.

  5. While I'm here.

    Ponder the reaction in the media if an SNP supporting journalist had attacked a Jewish politician in the same language as that bloated nazi cnut daisley?

  6. Hi James, I know you're not going to change your policy, and fair enough, it's your blog! But I note that it is getting way harder for me to wade through the comments. Not your problem, my loss, but a fact.