Is this the end of the road for Scottish independence?

I believe that over the past 8 years under Nicola Sturgeon’s leadership of the SNP and First Minister of Scotland, the Scottish Independent debate has been confined to the doldrums.

Despite, mandate after mandate

Despite, Scotland, being dragged out of Europe against the will of the Scottish people

Despite, all the powers that should have returned to the Scottish parliament when we did leave the EU, but instead have been hijacked by the Westminster parliament

Despite all this the people of Scotland have seen no real progress towards independence, no real debate over, currency, borders, defence, trade with rUK, the EU, or whether we should even consider rejoining the EU? Time, I fear, has run out for Sturgeon, she has painted herself into a corner and after 8 long years of inactivity has now decided to ask Westminster for a Section 30 order, to be given to the Scottish parliament to hold another referendum and asking the (English) supreme court to rule on the legality of the Scottish Law and Scottish parliament to hold another referendum against the express wishes of England? Too little and 8 years too late as it happens

So is this the end of the road for Scottish independence?

It was a foregone conclusion that Johnston would reject any request for a referendum on Scottish independence. any week over the last 8 years Blackford could have stood up at Questions to the Prime Minister, and asked the PM of the day:

“Will the PM grant a section 30 order to the Scottish parliament to hold a referendum on independence – yes or no?”

We do not know what the Supreme Courts ruling will be, but whatever it is it will be wrapped up in very flowery language and you can bet your bottom dollar it will not be precise – clear cut – or state that Scotland as a country, who entered into a union with England (much like the union of the EU and Britain then held the Brexit referendum) why not then the people of Scotland if they now feel the time has come to leave the union between Scotland and the UK. it’s all academic anyway, if the Supreme Court were ever to say that Scotland as a nation has the right to go it’s one way, if the people wish it (as Maggie Thatcher once said) the Westminster cohort would simply appeal the verdict – giving them time to change the law to prevent the ruling – they have form.

They say that Nicola Sturgeon, fired the starting gun to another Referendum to be held on 19 October 2023 and promised, no ifs, no buts – then nothing – the golden carrot dangled in front of the noses of gullible voters – sleight of hand – others will say.

For me, the person that fired the starting gun for another independence referendum was the Speaker of the House at Westminster with his bombastic, attack on the two (Alba) MPs – then casting them from the chamber to loud jeers of the house and the dumb silence and sitting on hands of the SNP MPs (our, so-called, representatives for Scotland in this union of equals).       

The former First Minister and ALBA Party Leader Alex Salmond warned the contenders for the Tory leadership that outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s “veto over Scottish Democracy will not stand”. (There are none so deaf as those that do not wish to hear Alex.)

Meanwhile, ALBA Westminster Group Leader Neale Hanvey MP announced that he will be writing to the remaining Tory leadership candidates informing them of Scotland’s ‘Claim of Right’ and challenging them to respect the mandate for a Scottish Independence referendum, given by the Scottish people to their elected representatives in the Scottish Parliament and urging them, if elected, to agree to a Section 30 Order which would allow a legal and consented referendum to take place. (is that not an acceptance that Westminster does hold jurisdiction over the wishes of Scotland’s sovereign people)

I suspect this is much more about political posturing than any real hope that the incoming Tory leader and possible PM ever giving Scotland another bite at the independence cherry – it was far too close for comfort last time around and needed all of Westminster’s dirty tricks, and media support to get them over the line. The people of Scotland are wiser now – fool me once…… it will never happen Tories are not camellias, they are not known for changing their spots.

From whence will ‘HOPE’ come?

It will come from the grassroots of Scottish society, the ‘Yes’ faithful have not gone away, splintered yes, but are still out there. This weekend I am going to Dunfermline for a three-day conference – Empowering the Nation. Billed as a deliberately ambitious event where we will cover many of the critical issues currently facing Scotland, discussed by well-known expert speakers from Scotland and beyond, including Professor Alf Baird, Professor Richard Murphy, Sara Salyers, Professor Paul McCartney, Billy Kay, Dr Tim Rideout and many more to be announced.

We’ll be covering:

• Six Routes to Self-Determination
• Scotland’s economy post-independence, currency, taxation and more
• Language, Culture and Identity
• Land Ownership and Natural Resources
• Scotland’s Defence requirements and policies
• Media Ownership and Regulation
• International Recognition and Relations, EU, EFTA and more
• Strategic National Infrastructure & Trade
• Scotland’s Constitution – the Historic Constitution, based on the Claim of Right, and the development of a modern written constitution.

EMPOWERING THE NATION is not just a conference though. Delegates (that’s you) are invited to participate and contribute to work streams related to each topic, aiming to generate practical follow-up actions in each topic area.

I wish to attend for I feel this is the conversation we should have been engaged in over the last 8 years. An open debate and away from the social media bubble. For too long anyone speaking out against any policies of the First Minister, or criticising the SNP will be hounded to death by the social media trolls. Speak out about men being allowed to encroach on women’s safe spaces and you would be advised to grab your passport and flee the country, otherwise, you will suffer a fate worse than death. 

You see, It is not only our right to criticise our leaders – it is our duty to do so.

The movie Pretty Woman is a rags-to-riches love story.  Julia Roberts plays a prostitute who meets up with a no-nonsense billionaire played by Richard Gere. There is a scene where Roberts, is dressed to the nines, she is in the best evening gown money can buy and wears a necklace and earrings valued at a quarter of a million dollars – she is feeling good – she feels every bit a woman – looking forward to this surprise adventure, and for me, delivers the best line in the movie. Travelling down in the lift she turns to Gere and said:

“If I forget to tell you later, I had a great evening”

I am looking forward to a frank and open debate on Scottish independence and how that might be achieved so to all those responsible for making it happen:

If I forget to tell you later, I had a great weekend.

Stay safe

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