Saturday, December 28, 2019

London's pre-agreement is not needed to bring about an initial mandate for independence - even Mrs Thatcher accepted that.

Reading over the comments section of this blog recently, it strikes me that we're in danger of getting two separate concepts muddled up - and, in all honesty, if the "Scotland's Right to Choose" document is to be taken literally, it's guilty of exactly the same muddle.  Certain people are reacting to suggestions of a consultative independence referendum by saying "the international community will not be impressed unless there is UK government consent".  But that's an argument against UDI, not against a consultative referendum held without a Section 30 order.  Maybe this point needs to be made more often and more forcefully, but many of us who support a consultative referendum are either opposed to the concept of UDI, or at least highly sceptical about it.

London's acquiescence would be necessary for the international community to recognise a Scottish state - of course that is true.  But the sequence of events that brings about London's acquiescence is neither here nor there as far as the international community is concerned - if it comes about due to the retrospective acceptance of a mandate from a consultative referendum that was initially not regarded as valid, that'll be absolutely fine, and international recognition will still follow.  There's nothing sacred about the Section 30 process, or even about a referendum process for that matter.  It's worth remembering that thirty years ago, the Thatcher government and the SNP were on the same page about what would constitute a mandate for independence, and it didn't involve a referendum, or any sort of Edinburgh Agreement-style pre-contract.  If the SNP had simply won a majority of Scottish seats at Westminster, even on a minority of the vote, that would (if we can take Mrs Thatcher's words at face value) have been accepted by both sides as sufficient to open negotiations on an independence settlement.

So London's express agreement is required for independence, but NOT to gain the initial mandate for independence - that's the crucial distinction.  One hypothetical possibility, for example, is that there could be a Yes vote in a consultative referendum, and although the Conservatives refuse to accept its legitimacy, the Labour party might agree to recognise the result if it comes to power in the future.  Another possibility is that a Yes majority in a consultative referendum could be used as leverage to force the UK government to accept that the matter has to be resolved by a subsequent binding referendum.

If that seems optimistic in view of events in Catalonia, it's worth remembering that the political culture in Spain is different from the UK, and there's a tradition in this country of accepting that people can only be governed by consent.  If a convincing mandate for independence can be established, the dam is likely to burst at some point.

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Meanwhile, if you'd hoped that Pete Wishart MP might be weaned off his excessive caution by having increased his own majority from 21 to 7550 on an unashamedly pro-independence manifesto, you're in for a disappointment.  He's written yet another of his "Hold!  Hold!  Hold!  Hooooold!  Hoooooooooooold!" articles, and although it's ostensibly simply a call for patience, the subtext is unmistakably that we should accept the Westminster veto until 2024 and then put all our faith in the long-shot of English voters electing a new indy-friendly government.  The article is brimming with silly straw men about how the "fragile" new Yes support will be turned off by attempts to bring about independence by "tricks", "gaming" or by "illegal" means.  The reality is, of course, that a consultative referendum would not be a trick, it would not be a game, and it would not be illegal.  It's also rather pointless worrying about losing Yes voters when you're hellbent on ensuring that no referendum actually takes place in anything like the foreseeable future.

51 comments:

  1. As none of this S30 nonsense has been tested in Court it is speculative at the very least.

    Where in the Treaty of Union does it say that the UK Parliament has to acquiesce before we are allowed a vote on anything?

    Where in any law does it state that the People of Scotland are Not Sovereign or have somehow transferred their Sovereignty to some other entity?

    The Claim of Right is clear we are a Sovereign people and we make our own decisions and if others dont like it then tough.

    The problem is Not one of Sovereignty but of the excercise of that Sovereignty. We have transferred authority over some matters to the UK and have retained some at Holyrood. We excercised our Sovereignty when we voted for a devolved parliament and we can do so again, we do not need permission.
    Too many are playing the Westminster game and trying to win by playing to their rules. Well we have rules of our own and they are written in Laws enacted both before and after the Union came into effect. They have not been usurped, nor can they be.

    If Westminster refuses to recognise the legality of a vote on independence that is too bad, because from that moment on we would #DissolveTheUnion and start excercising the powers of an independent nation state.

    I hear people say that we need the recognition of the International community, well fat lot of good that did the Chagosian people, they are still homeless and disempowered.

    If Westminster says No it just means they wont recognise Scotland as an Independent Nation. We have a number of options at that point and I am sure it has already been thought through. We await Bojos deliberations, but in the meantime the clock is ticking down on Referendums Bill, will WM challenge it or not? Assuming they do not and we go ahead and have a referendum then it will be legal under Scots Law. That is all the recognition the International community needs.

    Our basic issue is nothing to do with legality, but all to do with proud Scot buts. The numbers have not risen significantly and whilst campaigning will help it may not be enough. That is the real problem.

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    1. How can the people be sovereign! The Scottish people voted to remain in the UK Union during 2014 and the Nat sis never accepted the result. The British voted to leave the EU but the rich and powerful went to court to stop the implementation. I know it is Christmas time Nat sis but the pantomime is over. The people are only sovereign in the eyes of the Nat sis when they win a vote.

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    3. Quit living in the past GWC. Unionists have lost 6 elections in Scotland since 2014.

      It was half a decade ago. Christ, my daughter was in primary School back then. Get over it.

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  2. Is Pete Wishart close to the leadership? This is profoundly disappointing, if so.

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    1. As far as I know he's expressing his own view. It may or may not coincide with the leadership's view, but I don't think he's speaking for them.

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    2. That is Pete sounding off. Just his.

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  3. "London's acquiescence would be necessary for the international community to recognise a Scottish state - of course that is true."

    Totally disagree with that statement. Are you suggesting that no country has ever become independent without Londons' blessing? I'm pretty sure I can think of a few

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    1. As an irishman, I can stick my hand up here.

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    2. London recognises Kosovo as independent. London recognises Slovenia and Croatia as independent members of the EU.

      There is no such thing as UDI. There is independence or there is slavery. Stop falling for yoon propaganda JK.

      Any partner to a treaty can end it. It only takes one spouse to end a marriage. One country can become independent regardless of the view of their colonisers. UDI is a mirage. Used to frighten children and morons.

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    3. Look, I'm talking about what would happen in the real world, not what people might convince themselves 'ought' to happen in theory. Even countries like Venezuela were not willing to take the risk of recognising Catalan independence. Kosovo was different because it was seeking independence from Serbia, which a) was regarded at the time as a pariah state, and b) was an ally of Russia.

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    4. James said "Even countries like Venezuela were not willing to take the risk of recognising Catalan independence." Comparison of Catalunya's situation with Scotland's is not a fair comparison. Spain's written constitution defines Spain as "indissoluble", thereby making any attempted secession by a region unlawful. The fact that this was written in the immediate aftermath of Franco's death and was significantly shaped by the dictator's military successors is neither here nor there: it hasn't been modified since then, so it still applies and keeps all the Spanish regions captive at law.

      This doesn't apply in Scotland's case: there is nothing in the Act of Union 1707 to prevent secession by either country. Given the absence of a written constitution in the UK, precedent, practice and legal opinion are what passes for "law" in Constitutional matters. However, I'm not aware of any legally binding legislation or convention that would prevent secession by Scotland. If anyone else is aware of such an issue, I'd be interested to know more.

      I do however recognise that we would have, as a first step, to demonstrate the support of a majority of the electorate in order to get international recognition. If UK Gov isn't prepared to grant transfer of S30 powers to hold a referendum, what is there to prevent Scot Gov holding its own plebiscite under proper international scrutiny? There's also the bonus that going that route and ensuring our own tight rules re postal/proxy votes etc will reduce the risk of interference by the UK state.

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  4. England's 'permission' isn't needed for Scotland's independence. However, English/rUK recognition of a Yes vote is highly desirable, as it should help gain international acceptance, which is what's needed to function as an indy country.

    Legalities aside, both domestic and international (decolonisation and the rights to self-determination), it doesn't matter jack shit what England thinks if everyone else recognises Scottish independence. If the international community recognises Scottish independence, we become independent and that’s that. England can whinge and wine; it wouldn’t matter.

    However, if England has friends, then these may not recognise Scottish indy if England disputes it. This would make life difficult for an indy Scotland potentially, depending on who didn’t recognise it. If the EU recognised Scotland, then it’s likely everyone else would follow, at least in time, and things would be fine. If it didn’t, then there would be really big problems.

    England is making enemies of everyone right now and is in a very vulnerable position. Just one EU country could say it wants a Scottish iref or it will veto any deal and the 27 will need to take that position. With the UK no longer a member, this would be fine (although such discussions may be behind closed doors). It loses any member privileges (of non-interference) on brexit day in just a month. The Scottish question must be resolved as part of any long term trade deal certainly, as Scotland is 1/3 of the UK, 8% of the people, most of its fisheries, 90% of the hydrocarbons etc.

    There is a lot of sympathy for Scots, e.g. from the Irish or the former soviet bloc states who understand our position. England’s deep racist hatred of people from the EU, including the friends and family of all EU leaders, particularly those working in the UK, is very helpful to us.

    Even if the world didn’t recognise Scotland, and England didn’t either, we would still be independent post-Yes vote / UDI. Unless England sent in troops, the Scottish government would take control and that would be that. It would be difficult, but if England was not prepared to take Scotland by force, the international community would recognise it in time. This is why the Spanish sent in the jackboots; Catalonia would be independent right now if it had not, even if it was isolated internationally.

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    1. But I strongly suspect we shall have our nod from England, for to say no would be to end democracy. It would be to take the vote away from Scots because if I cannot vote for indy via the SNP, then I have no vote at all. Elections are meaningless if you e.g. ban socialists from implementing their policies if they win. It becomes nothing more than a sham, like Iran.

      Ahead of 2014, the UK told the world it was a free democratic union of nations and that Scotland / Wales / NI / England just had to ‘request a Section 30’ to get one automatically and have an iref. The UK said the Scots were, without doubt, a people and a nation; just as everyone thought after playing them in the rugby world cup, seeing braveheart, visiting on holiday etc. If anyone had any doubts – maybe thought Scotland was a colony – well they were wrong! Scotland was free to choose independence at any time if it’s people desired that! The UK made a big international fuss of telling the world Scotland has the right to indy legally and democratically, as evidenced by the Edinburgh agreement, campaigns and free vote in September 2014.

      So what’s changed? Is Scotland now a prisoner? Does brexit mean democracy had ended? Are the Scots slaves and their country now an English colony patrolled by racist English football fans? Will EU citizens in Scotland be safe from English jackboots? England is already threatening them with mass deportation… Can other countries expect calls for help from Scots? Will England send in troops to put down the Scots? Can protests at international events (commonwealth games, international matches) be expected? If the UK isn’t democratic, it clearly can’t be trusted for trade deals as these will not be the will of its people. What if a deal is signed only for the Scots to rebel in open warfare like happened in Ireland?

      Scotland is not catalonia. Scotland is already a country and a nation which the world understands has the right to indy. However, even in Catalonia troops were required to contain open rebellion; something which will not stop now. It’s only getting more unstable. Jackboots don’t work; only voting works long term.

      So we shall have our iref. The time to try and put it down with legalities was ahead of 2014. Now the only way to do that is by full dictatorship and jackboots.

      Merry Christmas all.

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    1. I see England is now blaming the NI Irish unionists for stalling talks aimed at moving the backstop /Irish reunification forward (ultimately).

      This is the English Tories now directly attacking their former NI branch (in effect). The UK's over.

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-50859433

      If Scotland becomes a similar problem for England's brexit, the latter will seek to dump it too. The imperial retreat has already passed through Scotland and NI to cross the border into England. This happened in 2016. As London struggles to maintain control down there while the last remnants of the empire collapse around them, we may find ourselves dumped too.

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  6. Marcia - Pete's timidity has been emboldened by his remarkably increased majority - that's all that has changed with Pete. A nice guy but totally lacking in the wherewithal!

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  7. Wishart should have been showed the door with Mccaskil!

    He's far too comfortable in the London bubble .. definitely got his own agenda!

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  8. Do you have a link to the Thatcher comment I see this all over but no one has ever identified a source.

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    1. Among other things, she put it in black and white in her memoirs - I saw a screenshot only a week or two ago. But let's not play the silly game of "if you can't provide a link, it didn't happen".

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    2. I don't see what's wrong with that assertion if made. If we have more English (elected in England) MPs ready to vote to end the union, what's not to like?

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  9. Britain is not a Democracy and never has been. It was a 4 year, and now a 5 year Dictatorship. That is why it keeps the first passed the post vote. When Scotland ups and leaves most other countries will welcome us. Time for leaving.

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  10. The Indy ref should be held when we are as sure as we can be that it will be won; losing would condemn us to untold years of PurgaTory.

    I want independence as much as anyone but even coming on 80 years of age I advocate patience until the time is right Obviously it is a question of judgement as to the right time but I have no interest in an independence referendum just for the sake of having a referendum

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    1. It's hardly "for the sake of having a referendum". We're about to be dragged out of Europe against our will - not exactly the moment to start twiddling our thumbs for the next seven years.

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    2. Sorry young James but the dragged out cliche has over exhausted itself. Try something like most Scots are EU crawlers. If the economy remains strong after leaving the EU then most Scots will forget yesterday.

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    4. Growth is now the slowest it's been since 2009 while there is a mass exodus of skilled workers underway.

      Wages are still below 2008 levels with growth in these stalling as EU workers run for the exit gates in their hundreds of thousands as productivity crashes in response.

      I'm afraid we will be soon entering an extended recession with high unemployment. The bigger the Tory majority, the longer the dole queues. Plot the two up and you'll see what I mean.

      Brexit has no hope of success. It is unwanted by half the UK nations and was built on hate. Only movements with majority support founded on good intentions can ever hope to succeed.

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    5. The question is when the recession - which I also expect will happen -really starts to bite. Only then are we likely to see sufficient movement to Yes for us to be sure of winning. I am not convinced that it will be before end 2020 but of course I could be wrong - time will tell

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    6. Given SNP was underestimated by 2-6% ahead of the UKGE, we can assume Yes was underestimated too, possibly by similar %'s. The average for the past year was 49% Yes before any underestimation, and of course before the Tory win / brexit being confirmed as going ahead.

      Also, of course, before the coming great brecession.

      Will be interesting to see new polls more correctly weighted now that UKGE past VI matches well with Holyrood 2016. These will give us our starting point ahead of the full hit of the Tory induced job losses etc.

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  11. If England wants to retain international sports teams, it needs to agree to a Section 30.

    It can't be Britain and England at the same time. The international community won't allow it to be.

    If Scotland isn't a country, neither is England, so bye bye the three lions.

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    1. If there's no Section 30, Scotland can approach FIFA etc and petition for an end to all the home nation teams.

      We're a union - in which case we can leave if we want - or we are 'one nation' and you can forget 1966 ever being repeated.

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  12. What's the "Scotland's Right to Choose" document got? It's got the lot! So much in fact that it's got us all guessing. Wonder if it's got BoJo doing his crunchie as well?

    As for Pete Wishart, or Wishy-Washy as I did call him when he was saying to leave it till 2024 before, did anyone actually read his blog? If so, can anyone tell me where in it is says "2024"? Even The National failed to put his comments into the actual context they were in. What he really thinks I have no idea, nor can anyone who actually read his log carefully.

    Maybe it's something else to mess with BoJo's head.

    Merrt Christmas!

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  13. I don't remember the bit in the 2014 vote that said anything about rejecting or surrendering our sovereignty.

    There's been no change to Scots Law to strip of us of it for one thing.

    The only card Westminster might have is preventing us from expressing that sovereignty in a referendum.

    Unfortunately for them they can no longer rely on the EU to get them trade deals. They must do so on their own. To do so will need all the good will they can muster. Their treatment of Scotland and Northern Ireland will both impact on that.

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  14. Amid the tristesse and uncertainty, I am pleased to announce my presence, in the coming year, at Bayreuth, Bregenz and Verona. Hélas, like the sword of Damocles, a question mark hangs ominously above Avignon.

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  15. The referendums bill has passed into legislation at Holyrood giving the legal power to hold referendums within Scotland, the UK government cannot stop a referendum being held it can only refuse to accept or recognise the result but that doesn't mean the International community will react in the same way, and I doubt that they will

    The Scottish government can go ahead and hold a referendum on anything they choose and I believe they will announce an Independence referendum in the new year to be held in the Autumn of 2020 just as the FM said and dare Johnson to publicly say no and the more the media and Johnson make all their noise about refusing Scotland a say on it's own future, assurance that this is the right thing to do for Scotland will make the difference to the *not sure* voters and they will swing towards the proposition, adding to the fact that 16-17 year olds and EU citizens will be entitled to vote, plus technically we'll be out of the EU by the end of January but still in the transition period allowing officials of the EU to speak their minds publicly and my guess is they'll be arriving in Scotland in numbers to do just that

    Once Scotland is assured of EU entry in a timely fashion Scottish voters will I believe be very keen to be voting YES in big letters and numbers

    Except for the loud shouty sectarian bampots bigots and *I want to remain British lot* who'll shout anyway for a while until they realise that nothing much will change from what they are right now, It'll be England that'll be having the problems

    If the FM doesn't deliver something like that I'll be surprised, and if she doesn't then we can all vote Tory at the next election and inflict on Scotland what they think they want, total dictatorship by a foreign power who'll strip Scotland bare until there isn't anything left then they'll offer Scotland Independence once we're impoverished to prove how much they love and care for us
    That'll be in around 30-35 years when they don't need the oil, just like Michael Gove said

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    1. Well said Anonymous.
      We have to wait 28 days from the Bill passing parliament to allow for "challenges" once that time has passed then Royal Assent is odds on. Then and only then does your scenario play out.
      A Section30 is a "nice to have" but in the event of a NO --
      https://www.businessforscotland.com/a-2020-scottish-independence-referendum-what-if-westminster-says-no/

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  16. Why don't elected politicians take part in on-line dialogue, such as this one?

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  17. They do. Have you never seen GWC's contributions?

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    1. Roddy Collarless-ShirtDecember 29, 2019 at 9:27 AM

      I've read that, apart from GWC, there are some complete idiots posting on here. But I've never been quite sure who they are.

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    2. Roddy Collarless-Shirt and Scottish Skier are 2 nat si pussyboys that spend there lives on here posting shit

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    3. And a tit called Anonymous. Thick jock plugger

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  18. Poor Skier the Irishman with the Frog wife interfering in Scotland and the UK. Has a four year old child who I hope is not being educated at British Taxpayers expense. Big Ben is going to Bong on 31 January 2020 to celebrate leaving the fascist Mafia corrupt EU. Her magnificence HMQ will order that all church bells will ring throughout the nation.

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    1. You'll have a lot more time to enter public life since getting booted out of Aberdeen South by your local branch. Try and stay off the drink and extras over New Year.

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  19. I have a question as to the legal votes of sovereign Scottish people, if GWC says that the result of Scotland’s people counts when we voted to stay in the union in 2014, and he goes back in history to make this statement.
    Then GWC must also recognise if we were to go back in history and double check the result of 1707 vote that was given to the Scottish sovereign people to see if they wished to join in union with England and Wales it would be valid.
    Except I cannot find the result of that 1707 vote in any historical document anywhere. I can see and find records that say a number of wealthy Scottish elite agreed to it if they could acquire financial recompense from England, in which they did receive as a pay off.
    However history shows that the people of Scotland did not vote to join in a union with with England and the then annexed Wales. Voting to stay in a union in 2014 that the Scottish people had not voted to join in in1707 becomes a farcical void and invalid vote.
    I hope by now that the sovereign people of Scotland realise that the only people to join the treaty were the elite that got payed for doing so. And I presume it has to be pointed out that the sovereign Scottish people did not elect or select those people, they took it upon themselves, and afterwards had to go run and hide from the sovereign Scottish people, and England sent an army up to Scotland to shut the Scottish people up. Real history, real events We the sovereign Scottish people did not vote to join the treaty of the union in 1707, we never got asked, so I presume we never joined

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    1. Most Scottish people did not know where the nearest village was during 1707. They just killed for the Clan Chief when required.

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    2. This is what we continue to do for President Jamez.

      So, direct me to nearest village and its idiot.

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  20. So your saying it is true as well, we the Scottish people did not vote to join the Union in 1707 with England, At least you are being honest, and acknowledge the facts as written in history.

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    1. We the Scottish People were not around to vote during 1707. It was the ruling classes for their own political economic reasons made the Union. Profit Jim Lad.

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  21. So your saying it is true as well, we the Scottish people did not vote to join the Union in 1707 with England, At least you are being honest, and acknowledge the facts as written in history.

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  22. Ye know if there was ever the best reason to vote for Scottish Independance its this GWC character every time i read his comments it reinforces even more
    well done son keep it up

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