AFTER ALEX SPEAKS, HERE COMES MIA.
That kind of speech is what is needed and what has been missing since that tragic day when Mr Salmond stood down as leader of the SNP: clarity, focus, direction, non-nonsense approach. Having a majority of the votes plus a majority of pro-independence MPs is ideal, but only achievable in a democratic world where aContinue reading "AFTER ALEX SPEAKS, HERE COMES MIA."
That kind of speech is what is needed and what has been missing since that tragic day when Mr Salmond stood down as leader of the SNP: clarity, focus, direction, non-nonsense approach.
Having a majority of the votes plus a majority of pro-independence MPs is ideal, but only achievable in a democratic world where a franchise that ensures self determination of the natives and where all safeguards are in place to stop vote fraud, external interference, external money pouring into the unionist parties’ coffers and a rush of people from outwith Scotland across the border to boost the unionist vote.
Can we ensure any of these things? Because if we cannot, then I am not sure how realistic, actually fair on the Scottish people, is to establish a threshold for a vote majority when we have to work in a context where our union partner will do everything in their hand (just as they did in 2014) to stop independence.
Having a high threshold to prove the world we really want independence is wonderful, but impractical and pointless if we can never reach that threshold because the proportion of the native population is low to start with and lowering per year, and because our greedy partner and those working for it within Scotland, will ensure that threshold will never be reached, at least officially.
The blood-boiling memories of how the Scots native vote was frustrated by the no vote from settlers in 2014 is still far too fresh in the mind to be cast aside, as they are the memories of the many interferences of the British state in our referendum. So at this point, we need a little bit more than just renewed enthusiasm for independence if we are to get behind this campaign. We need reassurance that this majority of the pro independence vote is in fact achievable at all in the present circumstances where Scotland has absolutely no control neither over the franchise nor the vote itself.
By control of the franchise I do not mean just 16 and 17 year olds being able to vote. I mean Scotland cannot control how many people from south of the Hadrian Wall the British establishment is going to send up to distort the result. They don’t even have to travel here, they just have to register here to cast their vote and then use the postal vote.
The postal votes during indyref were astronomically high, and I really mean astronomically high when compared with any other election before and ever since. The registrations to vote in indyref were very high, compared with the number of registrations before (even when you discount the 16 and 17 year olds) and, bizarrely, compared with any local election that took place afterwards. Are we to expect the same distortion this time round? From where will all the new people entering the electoral roll come this time round?
Scotland cannot control how many people from the British army will be sent casually to Scotland near the vote date, as it cannot control how many new (unnecessary) UK civil servants have been relocated/will be relocated to Scotland for, well, things, like helping the Secretary of State carrying the bags of anti-independence propaganda or perhaps helping to re-decorate the premises of the Institute for statecraft in Scotland or other pro union think tanks. Actually, how many are there now? Do we have an actual figure?
Scotland cannot control how many people from England/Wales or NI has moved/will move to Scotland to enjoy their retirements and the perks of not having a tory government, despite many of them continuing to vote tory.
In 2014 people who had second homes in Scotland, received an invitation to cast a vote in the referendum. How many of those with a holiday home in Scotland but with their main residence elsewhere in the Uk are going to cast their vote in Scotland this time round to pump up the no vote?
I am not going to say this in a racist way, but merely as an objective observation: since the EU ref vote an increasing number of people from other parts of the UK are settling in Scotland. I know this because around me (supermarkets, shops, and even at my work place), the numbers of people speaking with English accent are increasing. At my place of work, for example, less than 40% speak with an Scottish accent. Why is this important? For the obvious. People that come from elsewhere do not have an inbuilt sense of Scottish nationhood. Expecting those coming from elsewhere will vote in the same manner as those born here and living here for a long time (going native) is unrealistic.
Articles published in the unionist press, already reported for 2014 that while Scots natives voted by 53% for independence, those coming from other parts of the UK voted against independence by 72%. That was in 2014. If the British state somewhat encourages people from elsewhere to cast their vote in Scotland, their vote against independence will not be 72%. It will be higher.
The boundaries between Scotland and England are wide open. Lots of people cross those boundaries to and from Scotland every day. This means a fraction of the native population, with a higher sense of Scottish nationhood, is being replaced each year by people who sense of nationhood from somewhere else. How many natives with a strong inclination for independence have been substituted by those coming from elsewhere with a strong inclination against independence since the last time we achieved a pro-indy majority of the vote in a general election?
After the unforgivable level of interference of the British state in 2014 and after the unionist press have been only too happy to rub in our faces that the native Scots’ vote was frustrated by the no vote from settlers, I think the people of Scotland needs far more than simple enthusiasm and encouragement to join a campaign, where the threshold imposed seems already far too high to start with, and when, with Nicola Sturgeon on the driving wheel, given her track record for the last 8 years, one does no longer know if the objective of this campaign is to deliver independence or to frustrate it.
We need reassurance. And by reassurance I mean access to data that compares the registrations in the last GE with the registrations for the new GE. We need data that shows how many of those in the final electoral roll moved their vote to Scotland in the last 8 years. We need information of Scotland’s census to compare the actual residents with the final electoral roll. We need information of how many of those in the registry are actually alive, to avoid a creepy scenario where miraculously, dead people emerge from their graves to cast a unionist vote. We also need a clear strategy of vote control. By that I mean counting the votes in situ, without moving the boxes from the table to decrease opportunity for vote rigging. We need observers – every table should nominate a few observers from the electoral roll for that table. We want trustworthy observers, not MI5 operatives sent by the British state “to carry or safeguard the votes” . The results should be reported from the polling station, and the observers should be able to sit at the table (without touching the votes) during the whole process, to observe the casting and counting of the votes, that the votes cast match the number of people approaching the table to vote and that the reporting is done accurately and the official document reporting the votes is accurate and countersigned.
What we cannot have is another repeat of 2014 where far too much control was handed over to the British state and therefore we were set to fail from day one.
It is neither fair nor democratic to impose on the Scottish people the thresholds of a referendum when this election cannot offer any at all of the guarantees that a referendum would offer, such as control over the franchise and when effectively 50 million people from England can register to vote in Scotland. It is disproportionate and unbalanced. It seems all the burden is put on the side of the pro indy supporters and none on the unionist side.
If we cannot control any of the above, frankly, until what point forcing on us a majority of the vote and not just the majority of the seats is setting us to fail? If this is meant to be an exercise in self determination for the Scottish people, then it MUST be an exercise in self-determination, not just the pretence of one that can be used as an excuse to set back Scotland’s independence for at least another decade, it MUST be fair to the people of Scotland and it MUST offer the opportunity for the natives to self-determine. It is neither fair nor democratic that only the needs and wants of the British state and unionists are met. Frustrating the vote of the natives in 2014 was neither fair nor could ever be called an exercise in self determination no matter which angle it is looked at from. What we cannot have is a repeat of the same scenario.
Mia speaks the truth. We must not accept conditions that are alien to Westminster elections. we are currently governed from London by a Government that is way short of 50% support in the UK and light years away from it in Scotland. Yet they govern and we let them. This is democracy in the UK terms. It is seats, not votes that determines the outcome. If London wants votes to determine Scotland’s future the solution is simple. A fair referendum, with a franchise that is in line with that operated in all the other European nations would be acceptable. Using the flawed franchise which transformed the majority of Scots voting Yes into a No victory will not be acceptable. I would gently remind the SNP they are supposed to be on Scotland’s side not creating a rulebook designed to give London a victory before the game even starts.
I am, as always
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