Why? and Who?

The question that immediately springs to mind on reading David Leask’s article is “Why?”. Why contrive all these complex immigration arrangements in order to allow Scotland only a little of the power needed to address the issue acknowledged by the contriving of these arrangements? If one recognises that, in order to properly manage immigration, Scotland requires the kind of powers normally associated with independent nations, why go to all this trouble to avoid allowing Scotland the powers of an independent nation?

When one asks the pertinent questions it immediately becomes clear that the priority here is, not improving the governance of Scotland, but preservation of the British state. The efficacy, and even the feasibility, of the arrangement being proposed is barely a consideration. Consequences, whatever they might be, for Scotland’s economy and society don’t come into it. So long as the British state’s fundamental structures of power, privilege and patronage are kept intact, nothing else matters. It’s a case of ‘The Union At Any Cost’. And it is quite openly acknowledged as such.

What is true of immigration applies just as much in every other area of policy. Devolution is entirely about withholding powers. It has nothing whatever to do with addressing the needs, priorities and aspirations of Scotland’s people. It is solely and exclusively about maintaining the status of the British ruling elite.

There are no issues currently the subject of endless and woefully inept constitutional tinkering by the British establishment that would not be more effectively and satisfactorily addressed by the comparatively simple expedient of restoring Scotland’s rightful constitutional status.

There are no powers currently reserved to be exercised by a government that Scotland rejected which would not be better exercised by the government Scotland elected.

More important even than the ‘why’ of it is the ‘who’. Much as we need to ask why we settle for necessarily inadequate and unsatisfactory devolution when there is the obvious alternative of becoming a normal nation, we have to ask who decides. Who decides what powers are granted to Scotland’s democratically elected parliament? Who decides what powers are withheld?

By what authority do they deny the sovereignty of Scotland’s people and the status of the Scottish Parliament?

Surely it is beyond question, at least for those who respect basic democratic principles, that the only people who have the rightful authority to determine and constrain the powers of an elected assembly are the people who elect it. Only the people of Scotland have the legitimate right to say which powers should be retained by their parliament and which may be assigned elsewhere.

David Leask’s reference in the final paragraph to “Westminster surrendering powers which many in London see as inalienably belonging to the central state” nicely illustrates the fatal flaw in the present constitutional settlement. Critical choices regarding Scotland’s governance are being made by the wrong people and for the wrong motives.

Westminster has absolutely no legitimacy. A British political elite is wielding power over Scotland without any accountability to the people of Scotland. That is the antithesis of democracy.

It is time to put an end to the increasingly inane constitutional tinkering that the British state hopes to pass off as meaningful reform. It is time to dump the deluded notion that the way to rectify the constitutional anomaly of the Union is to bury it under a festering heap of further anomalies.

It is time for the people of Scotland to assert their sovereignty and their absolute right to determine the powers of their parliament.

It is time for independence! Nothing less!

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5 thoughts on “Why? and Who?

  1. Dan Huil

    Brexit will expose the fundamental inequalities in the union between Scotland and England. The SG must do everything in its power to involve itself in the brexit negotiations – whatever Westminster thinks – thereby highlighting even further the inequalities inherent in the so-called united kingdom. Make merry in the mischief as well.

  2. Alan Crocket

    I agree with this description of the evils of union, but the question of where Westminster’s authority over Scotland comes from right now is simple. Although independence was offered to us on a plate, we voted for the union in 2014, and thereby endowed it with a legitimacy that it had never had before. For our lack of gumption we have no one to blame but ourselves, and we can only undo that choice by the Scottish Government implementing its mandate for a fresh referendum, and winning it. We locked the cell door on ourselves two years ago, and it’s a padded cell, but the key is still there under the door, if we want to take it.

  3. Funkysocks

    So let me get this right, out of the EU is ok with independence but not with the U.K. Wide refendum? You guys had the chance at independence and lost. Move on you bad bad losers.

    1. Stu

      Why are England so desperate to keep us in the union as we cost too much according to WM,which is a goverment that won’t pay for a spare bedroom let alone a country

    2. Peter A Bell Post author

      We have moved on. Democracy is a process, not an event. We have moved on to the next stage of the democratic process. Anti-democratic British nationalists, meanwhile, are determined to block the democratic process. Having got the result they wanted – on the basis of an entirely false prospectus – they now want to deny the right of self-determination that is vested wholly in the people of Scotland, to be exercised entirely at their discretion.

      Scotland voted to remain in the EU. In another display of their utter contempt for democracy, British nationalists insist that this counts for nothing. A vote in Scotland only counts if it happens to agree with a vote in the rest of the UK. Otherwise, it means nothing at all.

      Is it any wonder that increasing numbers of No voters are asking themselves what it was that they got for their loyalty to the British state?

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