Revoke the licence!

How might it be possible to take the British government’s assurances to the devolved administrations seriously? That this is the first meeting to discuss the EU Withdrawal Bill in eight months tells you all you need to know, even if you are now inclined to accept with weary resignation the fact that the UK representative comes out of that meeting lying through his teeth. We’ve all become so accustomed to such dishonesty from British politicians that it is now barely remarked upon. Note how Mike Russell just takes it in his stride.

Maybe he shouldn’t. Maybe Mike Russell and the rest of the SNP administration should be more forthright in condemning the lies and deceit of British politicians. Maybe they need to be a bit less diplomatic and a little more outspoken. Perhaps the public should be made more aware of just how sleekit the British establishment is.

Damian Green provided the British media with the story he wanted told. He did so fully confident that his version of events would never be questioned. The British print and broadcast media will now complete the task of manufacturing the ‘truth’ that the British state requires. The silly fuss about a Westminster ‘power grab’ has now been dealt with and if the devolved administrations keep going on about it then it is they who are being unreasonable. That’s the narrative. Nothing to see here. Move along.

What really happened at that meeting is that the British side offered as a concession the very discussions that were supposed to have been taking place anyway but which they’ve avoided for the last eight months. That’s a third of the entire negotiating period that Article 50 allows. Once again, the devolved administrations are fobbed off with a condescending promise that they’ll be allowed a few minutes to make representations to some British potentate assigned the task of placating them. But, crucially, the ultimate power to decide remains reserved to the British political elite. In accordance with centuries of tradition, the British assume the role of final arbiter of negotiations in which they are an interested party.

The British position is that they will allow the devolved administrations to talk to them on condition that those administrations accept entirely whatever the British decide. That is democracy in the British state. The fact that the Scottish Government has massively greater democratic legitimacy than the UK Government counts for nothing. The democratically expressed will of Scotland’s people counts for nothing. We are supposed to be content that our democratically elected representatives are acknowledged even to the minimal extent of being permitted an audience with a British minister. To expect more would be presumptuous.

Independence is not about Brexit. A new referendum was always going to happen. It didn’t need Brexit as a ‘trigger’. What the whole Brexit fiasco does is throw a glaring spotlight on the reason independence is essential and inevitable. It demonstrates, in a way that only the most intransigently bigoted British Nationalists can remain oblivious to, the fatal flaws which have lain at the core of the Union since its imposition on an unwilling Scotland. It highlights the grotesque asymmetry of power within the British state. It makes plainly visible the British ruling elites’ casual denial of popular sovereignty.

It is essential that Scotland’s rightful constitutional status be restored because the present arrangement is a sore affront to democracy. An affront which can only worsen as the British state responds defensively to the challenge of democratic dissent. The No vote in 2014 gave the British government licence to do as they please with Scotland. We have to revoke that licence.

It is inevitable that the independence movement shall persist until it succeeds because any constitutional settlement which succeeds in terms of the aims, objectives and ambitions of the British state necessarily fails in terms of the needs, priorities and aspirations of Scotland’s people.

Brexit is just one among myriad reasons why we must, as a matter of the utmost urgency, bring our government home.

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14 thoughts on “Revoke the licence!

  1. A Bruce

    I truly don’t know where the Scottish Government Ministers get their patience from.

    I would have had some nuts in a vice long ago.

  2. John Thomson

    Everything I see and read leads me to believe that we are doomed. HELP I have absolutely no evidence that we will gain our independence

  3. stewartb

    I can just about understand that as the Government of Scotland at this time, the SNP is focusing on trying to mitigate the most negative effects that will come for Scotland from BREXIT. At ministerial level, it seeks to argue its case as best in can by using the democratic leverage of Scotland’s remain majority vote in the process. But this shows no signs of getting anywhere in influencing the Westminster Government.

    However, Peter’s post here rightly points to something which is, arguably, even more important and to my mind presents an almost unique opportunity in modern times. This is to expose in the clearest, loudest and most persistent terms the fundamental democratic deficit – and the associated disrespect for a ‘Union’ (in any sense of that concept) – that lies at the heart of the UK state. Scotland’s marginalised place in this Union is being exposed by Brexit and the conduct of the Westminster establishment in the starkest terms.

    Someone with UK-wide (and international) profile and credibility from within the SNP leadership – if the FM feels too constrained by her own chosen position to patiently persuade – needs to start calling the spade, an f’n spade!

  4. Robert Graham

    We know they are taking the piss , they know they are taking the piss , they know that we know and they dont give a f/k , being nice and accommodating won’t stop further outbreaks of pish , so why be nice ,treat them the way they treat us , and make sure every media outlet know this government are liars as if they hadnt figured that out already ,
    The same should go for the bbc in scotland , give then no assistance in anything they just make stuff up anyway so why be nice to them .

  5. KennyM

    The rising demand that the SG/SNP and broader Yes movement stop pussyfooting around with trying to be accommodating to the britnats is getting louder. That’s as it should be and if we are to avoid being cast into total serfdom the dormant strength of the pro indy movement will very soon have to harnessed and used against british nationalism in a way that didn’t happen in 2014.

    SNP reps and Yes speakers need to start being more openly confrontational towards WM and the colonial british regime. Who cares what the britnat propaganda outlets would say about it? Being afraid of what a corrupt and toxic media might say about you was never a good excuse for cowardice. And anyway we all know that it doesn’t matter what the SNP or Yes says it will be spun negatively.

    For example, right now most of the population of Scotland are probably unaware that the regime is actively conspiring to conceal the true effects on Scotland of brexit (if brexit actually happens that is, but that’s another story). That’s just one example out of countless examples that could be used to expose them for what they are, McCrone comes to mind too.

    SNP and Yes need to start thinking outside of the box to find ways of exposing and countering britnat propaganda effectively and in a way that reaches significant numbers, it’s not rocket science ffs there are always effective ways and means to be found if enough smart folks get their heads together on it.

  6. Jockanese Wind Talker


    Don’t pay the BritNat Propaganda Tax (aka TV Licence).

    Call out the lies to anyone who will listen and provide examples of their bias (Wings, Wee Ginger Dug, Prof Robertson as well as this site have the ammunition you need).

    Don’t rely on Scots Gov or SNP tackling the Media head on as this will provide the BritNats with an “SNP undermining the freedom of the press” angle.

    We continue to do it ourselves one voter at a time.

    Once the scales have fallen from their eyes they can never go back on.

  7. Big Jock

    Mike Russell calls out the lies on a daily basis and the BBC report it as picking a fight with WM or trench warfare. We won’t get through to people by pointing things out as the MSM just distort it.

    In the end the ill informed remain ill informed because of how they consume news. Young people are 60/70% yes because of how digital media is consumed by them. We have people mid 50’s onwards who only read the Metro and watch the BBC. They will vote no because they believe Holyrood and the SNP are just mischief making and disrespectful to their masters.

    I despair that my father in law still buys the Scotsman. I cringe at what he reads in that rag. If I could get him to spend a month reading Wings,Bella, Indy Ref 2 then I know he would learn the truth.

    The problem isn’t solved by the SNP shouting louder at WM. It can only be solved by stopping people buying the Scotsman and listening to the BBC without doing their own research. How we do that with the older generation is the million dollar question.

  8. Brian

    I’m 68. I want independence. I don’t buy the Scotsman (or the others) and I alternately laugh and get angry at the BBC. Channel 4 News is just about palatable. We are still losing the propaganda war, because that’s what it is.
    Two futures:
    1. Brexit drives Scotland to Indyref2 and independence.
    2. A generation later, today’s youth becomes the majority and we get independence.

  9. David McCann

    Well here’s one senior who is well past his 50/60/70s and never reads a daily, so it’s not all down to the oldies not being pro indy.
    I have been a nationalist since the 60′ and still support the SNP through thick and thin.
    Im pretty savvy on new media, blogs etc, so I reckon we need to convince ALL those doubters out there. I am friendly with a guy in his late 40s who is still feart and find many like him who remain to be convinced.
    So get out there and convince them, but perhaps the thought of Brexit and the impending disaster to follow will focus their minds better than anything Ive said!

  10. Ayrshirelass

    The case for independence is the voting down of the SNP amendments to the Scotland Bill.
    This was the party which won 95 percent of seats in Scotland.

    How much more evidence do you need?

  11. Jason Smoothpiece

    We will be independent it may take some time, slowed by people who don’t know and don’t want to hear the truth.

    We may be slowed by a dying British Nationalist state as it pulls out all stops to trick the politically unaware in Scotland.

    Demographics, the enemy of the old guard, our young people who are resourceful obtaining facts from non government controlled media.

    Immigrants who have no loyalty to the English Nationalist state.

    The changes will come they can only be slowed.

  12. Brian Powell

    Agree, and have said this often.
    There is a remarkable amount of Let’s keep doing Parliamentary stuff. Independence really will not come by stealth.
    Independence was highlighted many times at the SNP Conference but the media weren’t looking for that, they wanted negative stories. Around 15 photographers at the stage all looking for the one bad shot of Nicola Sturgeon.
    Expected I suppose but what isn’t useful is MPs too concerned about the press at meetings when serious questions come from the audience on the status of EU citizens who have lived in Scotland for decades.
    There is nothing wrong with saying outright as part of the UK Scotland can’t guarantee their status but an Independent Scotland would.
    Catalan politicians and official are willing to go to prison for their independent status, there would be nothing wrong in Scottish Ministers be a bit more robust in the arguments.

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