We have the power

Nicola Sturgeon gets to the heart of the matter when she says that the question facing Scotland is not just about what kind of country we want Scotland to be but, more fundamentally, it’s about who decides what kind of country Scotland is. This is politics. This is about power. It is about where power lies. It is about who holds and exercises power.

For the fifteen hours that the polls were open on Thursday 18 September 2014 power lay in the hands of the people of Scotland. The choice facing us was both simple and profound. We held in our hands the power to decide our nation’s future. We had to decide whether to keep that power to ourselves, or hand it back to the ruling elites of the British state. As a nation, we chose the latter. We chose to forfeit the prize of true democratic power. We elected to give that power away. We opted to relinquish the capacity to shape our nation according to our own needs, priorities and aspirations.

We decided to give the power that is rightfully ours to those who were bound to abuse it. We knew that they would abuse that power. We had every reason to be aware that they would abuse that power. The entire history of the British state warned us that the power we were letting go would be abused. The political union itself stands as an illustration of how that power is abused. And yet, as a nation, we chose to put our faith in this corrupt system and dysfunctional union rather than take responsibility for shaping our own future.

As Theresa May and her British nationalist clique drag Scotland over the edge and into a very murky abyss, bear in mind that we are getting what we voted for. The 55% who voted No on Thursday 18 September 2014 chose this. And the 45% who voted Yes failed to prevent their folly.

But we still have a functioning democracy. Ultimate power remains with the people of Scotland; even if proximate power has been handed to a British state that is increasingly alien and incapable of respecting Scotland’s distinctive political culture, far less representing or even accommodating the interests of our nation and people.

Only the people of Scotland have the rightful authority to determine and constrain the powers of the Scottish Parliament. We need to seize back that power which we so tragically let go in 2014. It is rightfully ours. It has always been rightfully ours. The fact that we allowed that power to be usurped changes nothing. It is ours. We must take hold of it and exercise it in the interests of our nation. We cannot let the mistake we made in 2014 be our legacy to future generations.

We cannot accept that the nation we bequeath to our children should be defined by the ghastly British nationalist ideology that Theresa May represents.

We have the power to bring our government home. Let’s use it!

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6 thoughts on “We have the power

  1. Me Bungo Pony

    ” … the question facing Scotland is not just about what kind of country we want Scotland to be but, more fundamentally, it’s about who decides what kind of country Scotland is”.

    This is, and always has been, the fundemental reason for independence. I understand this quote is about not letting Westminster, where Scots are a tiny minority, decide our fate. I heartily agree with that. However, I believe it resonates closer to home and illustrates a need to reach out to more than just the disaffected left in Scotland.

    Being tied to one vision of an independent Scotland is as likely to alienate potential supporters as it is to attract others.

    By going on the defensive during the 2014 campaign on the question of what an iScotland would “look like”, and being boxed into advocating an eternal left-wing “socialist republic”, many middle class (and even working class) voters were hoodwinked into believing that there was no future for their views in an iScotland.

    A future independence referendum would stand more chance if each strand of political view could be expressed in support of it. “Right-wingers” who support independence could highlight how their particular policies could find advantage in an iScotland if the people were to vote for them. The same could be the case for each political viewpoint whether it is left, right, centre or green. In effect, paint a picture of a normal democracy where the people will be able to choose from a wide range of political views. All with the added bonus that if you manage to convince Scots of the efficacy of your policies, you don’t have to keep your fingers crossed and hope the rUK agrees in order to put them into effect.

    Independence is not just for the “left” in Scotland. It is for everybody. If we allow the NOs to paint a picture of a “one-party SNP forever-state”, and get away with it, the coming campaign will be all the harder.

    1. Peter A Bell Post author

      It is impossible to be “tied to one vision of an independent Scotland”. Absolutely impossible. The future government, and therefore the future direction and shape of our nation, is a matter for the people of Scotland. There is no power on Earth which can bind the people to a pre-ordained vision.

      What we need is, not a single vision, but a single campaign. A united campaign. A focused and disciplined campaign. Without that, you can have as many visions of an independent Scotland as you want, none of us will ever get a chance to realise any them.

      1. Me Bungo Pony

        I don’t disagree with any of that, however, Better Together managed to create “one vision” of an eternally left wing, SNP govt of an iScotland where the finances were a mess “as proved by the GERS figures”. Nonsense of course.

        Obviously an iScotland would be a pluralistic democracy that would determine spending and priorities on the basis of how the Scottish peoples voted in free and open elections. But Better Together managed to drown that message and placed a “nightmare vision” of their own in the minds of many waverers as well as those who were only too willing to accept and propagate it

        To return to your post, I think we need “as many visions of an independent Scotland as you want”. I don’t see it as separate to a united, focused and disciplined campaign. It needs to be central to it.

        In my opinion of course.

  2. J W Brown

    ‘This is about power. It is about where power lies. It is about who holds and exercises power.’

    ‘We had to decide whether to keep that power to ourselves, or hand it back to the ruling elites of the British state.’

    Absolutely, but hardly anybody was saying that – too busy fending off the currency/ pension/ EU/you name it ‘problem’. We didn’t define independence and paid the price.

    We are told we will have another referendum when there is a significant change in circumstances or when there is consistent demand. We can’t change circumstances, but we can do something about the demand. No reason why we shouldn’t be out there now, but we have to talk to the right people – mainly NO voters.

    Many NO voters don’t see the attraction of independence, the limitless opportunities – they want to stick with what they (think) they know. They need a reason to leave the UK as opposed to being attracted to independence and, like everybody else, they are entitled to their point of view. So we need to speak their language, not the other way about.

    Here’s a start – if money ends up in London then it’s missing from somewhere else.That applies not only to Scotland but also to other parts of the UK, including large areas of the biggest country and even to people in London, where social cleansing of the not enough money people would appear to be gathering momentum.

    Money equals ownership equals control.

  3. Col

    I’m doubting whether we will vote for independence, the non delivery of the vow and the fact that there didn’t seem to be any major outcry from either the people or the Scottish Government over it leaves me bemused.
    Most folk just aren’t interested, they just want to stick with the status quo even though no such thing exists.
    Even the Brexit vote doesn’t seem to have made any difference, people are too busy being entertained by the ever expanding choice of brain melting TV, fake news and Facebook.
    We’re like the frog in the pot of hot water slowly heating up.
    We’re so divided in all manner of ways that all it takes is a few media outlets to set the narrative and we just dig our heels in and feel comfort in our preset positions.
    I think unless the EU really goes out of its way to help Scotland we will stick with what we think we know.
    I’ll do all the campaigning I can once again because I believe that we will suffer greatly under Westminster control, possibly more than when Thatcher destroyed our industry and tried to destroy our spirit.
    I voted remain but I do wonder if we should perhaps leave and join with Norway and the other countries which are in EFTA.
    Could that be a better sell with all the YES voters who voted leave?
    Probably not. I wish I had the answers and more so I wish a sizeable chunk of Scotlands electorate would wake up and be brave.

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