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All the powers – Towards Indyref2…

All the powers

So in some cases there will need to be a UK-wide framework. But with that very large caveat what we’re seeking to do is to ensure that as fast as possible we can pass through powers that are properly exercised in Scotland to Scotland.

In that one paragraph the obscenely arrogant Damian Green encapsulates the entire constitutional problem. When he refers to “a UK-wide framework”, we know that what he is actually talking about is ‘One Nation’ British nationalism. An ideology as repellent as Green himself. An absolute conviction that preservation of the structures of power, privilege and patronage which define the British state takes precedence over the democratic will of the people. A faith in British exceptionalism as unquestionable as any religious fundamentalism. An unshakeable belief that the British political elite has a divinely ordained right to rule.

The ideology which Green represents is rabidly intolerant of anything that does not conform. It abhors that which it can’t control. It responds with unprincipled viciousness to anything it perceives as a challenge to its authority.

It is the imperialist ideology which once sought to suppress ‘alien’ cultures by brutal force of arms updated for an age when the same dominance can be achieved using the more ‘civilised’ cudgels of constitutional law and economic sanctions.

It is an ideology so deeply ingrained the psyche of a bag of smug such as Damian Green that he is totally unaware of it. He is quite oblivious to the self-serving circularity of the warped reasoning which justifies conduct in the name of the British state which would be considered utterly reprehensible in any other context.

We are doing it because it’s right. It is right because we are doing it.

This is the attitude which renders Green blind to the crashing contradiction of insisting that the UK Government is genuinely seeking a negotiated agreement with the Scottish Government while simultaneously insisting that the terms of this agreement will be unilaterally determined by the UK Government. To Green and his ilk, there is no discomfiting illogic in this. It all seems perfectly natural to him. To his way of thinking, it is reluctance to accept the supremacy of the British political elite which is irrational and incomprehensible.

Power bestows righteousness. Righteousness justifies power. The sense of entitlement is complete and all-encompassing.

So it is that that when Green speaks of “powers that are properly exercised in Scotland” there is not so much as the remotest possibility of any question in his mind that the absolute right to decide what is meant by “properly” rests, not with the people of Scotland or their democratically elected representatives, but with the British state. British nationalism is essentially anti-democratic. It represents the antithesis of popular sovereignty. The British state favours democracy only to the extent that democracy favours the British state.

Damian Green feels no embarrassment when he declares that the ultimate arbiters of what powers can be “properly exercised in Scotland” are the people whose dogma maintains that power can only be properly exercised by the British political elite. He suffers no unease as he casually discounts the right of Scotland’s people to decide the form of government best suited to their needs. Why would he? He is British. And British is best. Everybody knows that!

Everybody, that is, except those who hold tenaciously to the fundamental principles of democracy. Those who acknowledge only the sovereignty of the people. Those who hold that only the people of Scotland have the rightful authority to determine and constrain the powers of their parliament.

To the question of what powers are properly exercised in Scotland, there can only be one answer. An answer demanded by democracy and justice.


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8 thoughts on “All the powers

  1. bringiton

    Brexit has made it crystal clear that the Westminster establishment has no interest in sharing power.
    The B/S from the so called unionists in Scotland has been exposed for what it really is.
    There cannot be a union when one partner demands sole right to make all decisions for the partnership without any consultation.
    So,no more unionist claptrap about pooling and sharing,all we have is a defacto English state dictating to everyone else what happens.
    The Great British fraud.

  2. c avery

    The problem is they hold all the cards and the SNP are too feckless to challenge them. Lets be honest we wont get a second referendum that much is clear. And even if, by some miracle we do, there will be a threshold test that will never be met not least because the rUK citizens will get the vote and will vote to remain with the mother country.

    We have arrived at our opposition to the UK due to the very imbalance in the relationship that will seek to thwart our democratic right to self determination. They cannot right this wrong because that weakens their position and ability to control us. I hate saying it but we are genuinely a colony with a compliant elite (just as in India) with a, generally speaking, quiescent apathetic populace which is subject to the highest inward non indigenous (ie rUK) migratory trends in Europe, if not the world.

    1. Dan Huil

      Wrong on many counts, the main one being so obviously defeatist.

      “I hate saying it…” Aye,right.

      1. C avery

        Defeatist? On the contrary I was trying to outline that democracy has failed us. We have to be as ruthless as the British and just take what’s ours by a UDI.

        1. Peter A Bell Post author

          There is a rather obvious problem with this loose talk of UDI. For a unilateral declaration of independence to have democratic legitimacy, it would need at least the same level of popular support within Scotland as would be required to secure a Yes vote in a referendum. Lacking that that level of support, UDI would be every bit as much an undemocratic imposition as the current political union.

          And who would do the declaring? Not an SNP administration. The SNP is wholly committed to the referendum route. It is entirely possible to imagine circumstances in which that position might change. But those circumstances can hardly be described as imminent, far less upon us.

          UDI is the ‘nuclear option’ of post-colonial constitutional politics. Its deployment is not without consequences. Its early deployment, prior to a comprehensive and overt exploration of all other options, has the potential to create untold difficulties. International recognition matters greatly to a newly independent nation. Premature UDI is probably the best way to ensure that such recognition is, at the very least, delayed.

          Of course, UDI also creates issues for the British state. It is likely to prompt scrutiny that the British establishment would much prefer to avoid. But this is as nothing to the diplomatic and economic quagmire that Scotland would be faced with.

          The British establishment will be well aware of the possibility of UDI should it cross a line. For now, it need only be an unspoken threat.

  3. Sandyw

    Nailed it, Peter. Perfectly sums up the arrogance and entitlement of the British elite. This should be required reading for every No voter. This is why Brexit negotiations will fail, as they approach them with the same expectations of compliance from the Eu that they expect of everyone. Unfortunately for them, the Eu sees no reason to comply.

  4. Alasdair Macdonald

    During the EU Referendum, Mr Tom Harris erstwhile Labour MP and now Telegraph columnist had urged people in Scotland to vote LEAVE because more powers would accrue to the Scottish Parliament.

    Has anyone asked him for his current opinion, recently?

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