MIA ANSWERS HER CRITIC
“It’s a majority of seats. It’s not a majority of the people” So? As I said above the UK is a parliamentary democracy. It is a majority of seats in parliament what determines the democratic mandate. Brexit was forced on to Scotland on 38% of the vote. If the percentage of the vote counted forContinue reading "MIA ANSWERS HER CRITIC"
“It’s a majority of seats. It’s not a majority of the people”
So? As I said above the UK is a parliamentary democracy. It is a majority of seats in parliament what determines the democratic mandate. Brexit was forced on to Scotland on 38% of the vote. If the percentage of the vote counted for nothing for an enormous constitutional change over Scotland as it was brexit, then why should it count to end the treaty of union?
” I suspect purely and simply because you’ve decided that we can’t win a majority of the people over to the cause of independence”
There was already a majority for independence in 2014 – it has been acknowledged in the unionist press that the majority of the natives in Scotland voted for independence. It was the vote of those who came from elsewhere what frustrated the Scottish natives’ right to self determination. It is not me who designed the flawed franchise nor allowed UK civil servants to bypass their code of conduct so they could help “to save the union”.
And no. With the present franchise and with a situation where the British state only has to get a couple of hundred of thousand union activists from outwith Scotland on demand to register to vote in Scotland to frustrate the yes vote, I do not think we will ever see an official result where yes wins or where more than 50% of those voting in Scotland will do so for pro indy parties. And no, since 2014 I do no longer trust the elections in Scotland have not been rigged.
“If you really think that we can go to the UK and the world and say…”
Let me stop you right there. I do not think Scotland has to go anywhere and beg for acceptance from anyone, less of all a UK and a parliament that relies on Scotland’s continued consent to exist. A majority of seats is a majority in a parliamentary democracy. I did not make the rules, England MPs did. if you have a problem with that, go and take it up with them.
“Maybe that’s why the SNP did so well in that election”
Nope. There were polls already in October 2014 predicting a landslide for the SNP. You may believe Sturgeon said that to encourage more votes. I however think she did that as a form of damage limitation for the British state, in other words, she was removing the wheels of the SNP as a vehicle of independence to avoid demands that a majority of SNP MPs ended the union.
“this from someone who has habitually trashed the UK system and UK parliamentary democracy”
Yes, that is right. As I said above, I did not make the rules, England MPs did. If you have a problem with those rules, take your complaint to them. If Scotland can take advantage of those rules to purse independence, why should we let the opportunity pass us by? It would be stupid not to. Attempting to take the high moral ground may sound cool, but it will get us nowhere, just like we have not moved an inch from 14 November 2014 despite all the high moral grounds Sturgeon has been so busy climbing to and taking selfies from.
“do you really think we can declare independence, cut ourselves adrift from the UK, and then go off on our own without recognition or support from the rest of the world?”
Yes, actually, I do. And what do you mean exactly by “cut ourselves adrift from the UK”? What I think Scotland should do is not to “cut itself adrift from the UK”, but actually to terminate the UK.
“the Scottish parliament entered into the Treaty of Union which was stated to last “in perpetuity”.”
Sure. The treaty of union also included certain conditions that should be respected in perpetuity. For instance, article III reads:
“‘That the united Kingdom of Great-Britain be represented by one and the same
Parliament, to be stiled the Parliament of Great-Britain”
Well, that article was blown out of the water in 1998, don’t you think?
“Who do you think would pay any attention?”
Well, you can review history and see who paid attention when the Irish did it. But for starters the MPs in Westminster will pay attention because without 45 MPs from Scotland I doubt they can start parliament. They would have to call another election.
“as Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon have both made clear, a section 30 order and subsequent referendum is the “gold standard””
I don’t remember Mr Salmond claiming a section 30 and a referendum was a gold standard. What I remember is reading in an article of the BBC that some big wig from Westminster or another almost fell over themselves to hand the S30 to Mr Salmond. In any case, both a referendum and a S30 are elements only required if you choose to pursue route 2. If you follow route 1, which is the one I think Scotland should follow, then both a referendum and a gold standard become totally redundant because by terminating the treaty you are terminating Westminster’s legitimacy to act on behalf of Scotland.
“I think this would have a more likely chance of success than a plebiscite election”
You are entitled to your opinion as I am to mine. I think your proposal does not stand a chance in hell because the British State will do what they have to to frustrate the yes vote again. I think a plebiscite election where candidates to MP stand on a manifesto to terminate the union by refusing to swear allegiance and take the seats is the best, if not our only option.
“as a plebiscite election would be within a general election, we wouldn’t be controlling either timeline or rules”
That is true to certain extent. We will not control the time in the sense that we will not set up the date. But we will control the time when Scotland ends the treaty if it gets enough MPs who are prepared to end it. We will not control the rules in the sense that we do not control the franchise. But because terminating the treaty of union means removing legitimacy from Westminster and the Supreme Court to act on behalf of Scotland, then in a way we control the rules of negotiation and how we achieve independence.
What control do we have over the referendum? We are currently not controlling neither the date nor the franchise. We have been promised a referendum since 2015. It is 2022 and Sturgeon cannot even give us a date for one. 8 years on from indyref2014 and the exact same loopholes that lost us the vote remain. I rather we take our chances with a plebiscite. The additional bonus is that every single parliamentary election can become a plebiscite. The only thing that is needed is the end of the treaty to be included in the manifesto.
“You’d have to use the UK franchise system, ie no votes for under-18s”
That is right. Take a look at the number of 16 and 17 year olds who voted in the referendum and compare it with the impact an unlimited number of union activists registering to vote in Scotland in a referendum for the sake of frustrating the yes vote. Which one is bigger?
Now think a situation where Westminster has to choose between sending those activists to vote in Scotland during a GE or keeping them in England to help keeping tories in the seats because the tories have been haemorrhaging votes due to the abuses of power and the monumental disaster for the reputation of the party that has been keeping a complete buffoon as PM.
Competing interests. Divide and conquer. Do you begin to see the picture?
“I’d expect there to be only two serious candidates for each seat as the independence parties would presumably band together to put one candidate forward on an Independence ticket”
I think you are incredibly optimistic. I however think there will be a maximum of one serious pro-indy candidate per seat, the Alba one. After eight years being taken for a ride and 3 absolute majorities that could have seen Scotland declaring independence three times over totally wasted, not for even a second will I ever again consider an SNP candidate as a serious pro independence one.
“if they’ve any sense the Unionist parties would also band together and put one candidate forward on a Unionist ticket”
You need to keep up with the times, Davey. Unionist parties have already been doing this since September 2014 – what they have been doing is exploiting strategic voting and presenting 3 candidates but only a serious, votable one. The other two are just paper candidates.
“So would that achieve a better result than a referendum?”
With a flawed franchise like the one we have now and exposed to the abuse of the British state through all its apparatus including the civil service? hell yes!!! 2015, 2017 and 2019 are the proof of this. We could have ended the treaty in 2015 already and avoided the whole brexit fiasco.
“Could one reasonably expect that in a majority of constituencies independence votes would outnumber unionist ones?”
We don’t need a majority of votes. All what we need is a majority of seats where MPs are prepared to end the treaty of union by not taking the seats.
“I don’t want to be an apologist for the SNP”
You may not want to be an apologist for Sturgeon or the SNP, but you just insist in acting like one. From a practical perspective it comes across as being the same thing.
“Sturgeon has never promised anything more than a referendum”
And there lies the problem. For Sturgeon a referendum that never arrives appears to be the end point of her aims as she has amply demonstrated during the last 8 years. For a real pro independence leader a referendum would be only a step in the progress to independence and a step that could be changed if it does not work.
Eight years on and we still are none the wiser as to what exactly Sturgeon ever intended to do if there was a situation where she actually had to call that referendum. Probably because she never envision a situation where she had to call one.
“she has also made it plain that that has to be a legal referendum”
If the people of Scotland has given a democratic mandate for a referendum, how on earth, in the context of popular sovereignty and in the context of the UK only being able to exist with continuous consent from Scotland, can a referendum on Scotland’s independence be anything other than legal?
What is unlawful is to lie to the people of Scotland pretending we have to ask consent from the Kingdom of England to exercise our legitimate right to terminate the a treaty.
“Sorry Mia, but I think that your ideas are both unrealistic and utterly undemocratic”
Well, we will have to wait until the next GE to see how unrealistic they are.
There was nothing democratic in the way Scotland was forced into the union. There was nothing democratic in the way Sturgeon took the wheels out of the party of independence leaving the people of Scotland with no opportunity to vote for independence. There was nothing democratic in the way Sturgeon wasted three absolute majorities. There was nothing democratic in the way Sturgeon let our mandates expire. There was nothing democratic in the way Sturgeon handed control of our assets. There was nothing democratic in the way Sturgeon helped to force brexit on Scotland after 62% voted against. There was nothing democratic in the way the hate bill was forced on us or the way the GRA legislation is being forced on us or the way demonstrations near Holyrood have been forbidden. There was nothing democratic in the way Scotland’s vote against brexit was ignored by Sturgeon’s SNP who legitimised with their presence in the England as the uk parliament, the vote to trigger A50.
Scotland must be one of the only places in the modern world where absolute rulers cling onto power and circumvent democracy by virtue signalling and demanding from others the democracy they are never prepared to deliver themselves.
BEAT THE CENSORS
Sadly some sites had given up on being pro Indy sites and have decided to become merely pro SNP sites where any criticism of the Party Leader or opposition to the latest policy extremes, results in censorship being applied. This, in the rather over optimistic belief that this will suppress public discussion on such topics. My regular readers have expertly worked out that by regularly sharing articles on this site defeats that censorship and makes it all rather pointless. I really do appreciate such support and free speech in Scotland is remaining unaffected by their juvenile censorship. Indeed it is has become a symptom of weakness and guilt. Quite encouraging really.
Are available easily by clicking on the links in the Home and Blog sections of this website. by doing so you will be joining thousands of other readers who enjoy being notified by email when new articles are published. You will be most welcome.