This article by bilious uber-Unionist hack David Leask came to my attention today. It is from August 2017. But its subject matter – the British establishment’s ‘One Nation’ agenda – is highly topical. It refers to a blog post by Mark Elliott, professor of public law at the University of Cambridge, which examines the constitutional implications for Scotland and the other devolved administrations of Clause 11 of the EU (Withdrawal) Bill. This is the provision which facilitates to the so-called ‘power grab’ by Westminster of powers in devolved areas being ‘repatriated’ from the EU. It is also the measure by which the British political elite awards itself permission to unilaterally rewrite the devolution settlement(s).
While I would urge people to read Professor Elliot’s analysis absent the spin put on it by The Herald’s ‘Chief Reporter’, I’d also suggest that you take a look at ‘Leasky’s’ piece. It stands as an excellent example of the kind of dishonest distortion we’ve come to expect from British ‘journalists’.
The headline, and the thrust of the article, assures us that the “UK cannot use Brexit to return to 1970s London power-hoarding”. This is clearly an early attempt to spike the guns of those warning of just such an intent on the part of the British establishment. Much that has happened in the six months since the article first appeared confirms that the British state is set upon unravelling the devolution settlement without negotiation and with no more than the superficial pretence of consultation.
David Leask seeks to use Professor Elliot’s comments on the subject in support of the UK Government’s efforts to reassure us that they can be trusted to ‘redistribute’ those powers at such time as they alone deem appropriate and on condition that the powers aren’t ruled necessary for one of these ominous-sounding ‘UK-wide common frameworks’ – a term which has about it the acrid stench of ‘One Nation’ British Nationalist dogma.
But how much reassurance is Mark Elliot really offering? Leask gives prominence to a carefully selected quote which suggest there’s nothing to worry about.
“And in whatever other senses (positive or negative) leaving the EU may involve a turning back of the clock, it will not afford the UK Government the luxury of a 1970s-style British constitution in which power was hoarded in London.”
The opening sentence of that same paragraph is not quoted. It is rather less reassuring to those who value Scotland’s distinctive political culture and fear a resurgent “Greater England” project.
“At the end of the day, the UK Government and Parliament (subject, of course, to the constraints of parliamentary arithmetic) can legally have their way on what happens to repatriated power…”
It could hardly be clearer. The UK Government has all the legal authority it needs to unilaterally redefine Scotland’s status within a unilaterally redefined political union.
We are expected to believe that they won’t use this power. We are supposed to believe that, notwithstanding the fact that crushing the independence movement and locking Scotland into a ‘One Nation’ British state is one of the British establishment’s most pressing imperatives, they will pass up the opportunity offered by Brexit to do just that. We are urged to entrust ourselves to the goodwill and beneficence of the same people who gave us Project Fear and The Vow and so much more.
Professor Elliot seems to suppose that political pressure and public opinion will combine to prevent the British state attempting to eradicate what it perceives, with perfect justification, as a threat to its structures of power, privilege and patronage. He appears to believe that the British state is imbued with political humility and a social conscience such as might constrain or guide its behaviour. Who has seen any evidence of this?
I’m pretty sure that, despite his effort to persuade us that there’s nothing to see here, David Leask is well aware of the UK Government’s true intent. I am quite certain of what is coming. I find absolutely no rational reason to trust the British political elite.
The British media is lying to you. The threat to Scotland is real. you know what to do. #Referendum2018!Views: 2047
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