Mhairi Black gets to the nub of the constitutional issue. It’s not a matter of who has what powers, but of who decides who has what powers. It is a question of ultimate authority. And if that is a valid question in the context of the relatively limited issue of Brexit, how much more valid must it be in the context of the present and future governance of an entire nation?
There is no reasonable or acceptable definition of democracy which does not acknowledge this fundamental principle; that the rightful authority to determine, constrain or assign the powers of a democratically elected parliament is ultimately vested solely and exclusively in the people responsible for electing that parliament.
What is not generally realised, particularly among British nationalists, is that the Union was fatally flawed from its inception. It was always unsustainable for at least two reasons – its asymmetry and its inherent denial of the principle of popular sovereignty.
The SNP did not create division and discontent in Scotland. It has merely provided a political vehicle for a profound dissatisfaction that has always existed, but never had a voice. The Union endured so long as that voice was not heard. It survived only so long as it was not widely or loudly questioned. Now that it has been challenged, the inevitable disintegration proceeds at an accelerating pace.
While the SNP remains the main political vehicle of the independence movement, the challenge to the Union now spreads much wider. It comes for every part of the nation and from every section of society. With every passing day, more and more voices are joining the clamour demanding to know by what right the sovereignty of the people of Scotland is usurped by the British state.
It is for the people of Scotland alone to decide what powers our parliament should exercise and to what extent and under what terms those powers may be devolved or assigned. This has always been the case in principle, even if not in practice. The people of Scotland are only now summoning the determination to assert their legitimate authority. We will not be denied.Views: 3029
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