What Next For Scotland?

The last Scottish Referendum – lost by the SNP – was supposed to be a once-in-a-generation poll.

Now Nicola Sturgeon, the SNP Leader and Scottish FM, is talking about a new referendum because the Tory Government is not listening to her or the Scots on Brexit.

What should happen next?

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8 thoughts on “What Next For Scotland?

  1. So, whither Scotland?

    1. The case for opposing IndyRef2 could hardly be stronger. Hold the SNP to the Edinburgh Agreement that Salmond and Sturgeon signed agreeing to respect the result; hold them to their repeated promises that 2014 was a ‘once in a generation/lifetime’ opportunity (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HyUmDuPa6g); stand on the principle that it is without international and historical precedent to have repeated referendums with major constitutional impact within a mere few years of each other. Fail to do that, and what possible arguments can be marshalled against IndyRef3 superior to those against IndyRef2? And having allowed IndyRef2, what arguments can be employed against EURef2?

    2. The Scottish Assembly does not have legislative competence to call a referendum, as ‘(b) the Union of the Kingdoms of Scotland and England’ and ‘(c) the Parliament of the United Kingdom’ are reserved matters, according to Schedule 5, Part 1, Section 1 of the Scotland Act 1998 c.46.(*) Only the most craven cowardice on the part of Westminster could allow it to pass the various stages—including Royal Assent—unchallenged. Were the SNP then to proceed with an illegal referendum (as Catalan separatists did in 2014), the Unionist strategy should be to boycott the glorified opinion poll, whilst demanding Westminster suspend the Holyrood assembly for such an illegal usurpation of power. (Note that Westminster suspended Stormont in 1972 then abolished it in 1973; since its re-establishment in 1998, it has been suspended four times so far.(†) If we can do that in NI in the face of multiple well-armed, murderous terrorist groups, how much easier will it be in pacific Scotland? Nats are irritating but—bless!—they smash teacakes(‡) not kneecaps or skulls.) Were the SNP foolish enough to declare UDI, this would fully justify deploying the army to close Holyrood and arrest the conspirators for treason.

    3. People should stop fearing the SNP: their best politicians are mediocre (being generous) and the rest are embarrassingly awful, and often corrupt. The SNP’s mandate in Holyrood stems from barely a quarter of the electorate, and their mandate in Westminster from less than a third (pie charts here illustrate how relatively little their support actually is: https://twitter.com/QuisSeparabit/status/814822067442946049 ). A chart here on Scottish electoral turnouts shows what Scots deem most important: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CyHytxxXgAAjFVL.jpg
    Stand up to them—or contemptuously ignore them, which seems to be Theresa’s tactic, and seems to work quite wonderfully in annoying them.

    4. Consider a second Devolution referendum, as provided for by Part 2A, Section 63A (3) of the Scotland Act 1998 c.46.(§) This has none of the constitutional implications of IndyRef2: it’s been 20 years, a decent interval; it’s proved an expensive failure(||);and, unlike indy and EU referendums, it’s harmless regardless of result. If nothing else, it will keep the SNP busy for a while protecting their phoney-baloney jobs. A referendum is neither the only nor necessarily the best means of ending Devolution: the principle of Parliamentary Sovereignty means Westminster can end it with a statutory instrument any time it chooses. It would probably be best to have an excuse though: the SNP calling an illegal referendum, declaring UDI, or a major party-wide scandal (and the SNP seem very scandal-prone, which is perhaps another reason why they placed the police under their political control; if English forces were brought in, how much mud would they find for WM to declare the SNP and HR no longer ‘fit for purpose’?).

    (* http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1998/46/schedule/5 )
    († http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/2952997.stm )
    (‡ http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/f-tunnocks-watch-raging-nationalist-7185518 )
    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2016/11/section/1
    This amendment being introduced by the Scotland Act 2016, c.11, Part 1, Section 1: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1998/46/section/63A )
    (|| Holyrood was created to settle Nationalist aspirations and to devolve power to a more localised level; it has singularly failed in both these aims, instead promoting Nationalism while power is more centralised than ever, and continues becoming ever more centralised.)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. No, Mike, the vast majority of English are as loyal as ever to our blessed Kingdom, for which so many English, Welsh, Scots and Irish have fought, bled and died; and they have no inclination to meekly bend the knee to Sturgeon, or surrender the advantages our united island bequeaths us: God bless the loyal English!

    To quote a few Englishmen on our glorious Union:

    ‘And if this long island story of ours is to end, let it end only when each one of us is choking in his own blood upon the ground.’ (Winston Churchill, May 28, 1940)

    ‘The Act of Union passed in 1707 was proved by its results to be one of the wisest Acts ever placed on the statute-book. It conferred great benefits upon the inhabitants both of England and Scotland. It created Great Britain and gave to the united country the power to resist in one age the threatened predominance of Louis XIV., and in another age to withstand and overthrow the tremendous power of Napoleon.’
    Dicey, Albert Venn. Introduction to the Study of the Law of the Constitution. 8th Ed. 1915. Indianapolis: LibertyClassics, 1982. Lxxix. Print. (And if Dicey had produced a 9th edition, he could have included the Kaiser, and if he had lived so long, Adolf as well.)

    And most poignantly of all:

    ‘The field of Gommecourt is heaped with the bodies of Londoners; the London Scottish lie at the Sixteen Poplars; the Yorkshires are outside Serre; the Warwickshires lie in Serre itself; all the great hill of the Hawthorn Ridge is littered with Middlesex; the Irish are at Hamel, the Kents on the Schwaben, and the Wilts and Dorset on the Leipzig. Men of all the towns and counties of England, Wales and Scotland lie scattered among the slopes from Ovillers to Maricourt. English dead pave the road to La Boisselle, the Welsh and Scotch are in Mametz. In gullies and sheltered places, where wounded could be brought during the fighting, there are little towns of dead in all these places: “Jolly young Fusiliers, too good to die.” ’
    Masefield, John. The Battle of the Somme. London: Heinemann, 1919. 94–95. Print.

    (‘The English case for Union’: https://scotchedearth.wordpress.com/2016/11/17/the-english-case-for-union/)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. If Nicola Sturgeon gets her way and the Scots vote NO she will find some way to want a third referenum. Perhaps English people should be included in any future Scottish referendum vote, it would then be a resounding YES to independence for England.

    Liked by 1 person

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