Mathematician, theoretical physicist and software professional (15 years experience). Curious about everything and keen to share knowledge.
… for it is a habit of mankind to entrust to careless hope what they long for, and to use sovereign reason to thrust aside what they do not desire.
Never underestimate your enemies. Never assume they are stupid. Always ask yourself if you are using reason to thrust aside the possibility they will win. And in Politics check what they really want is what they say they want.
When the Brexit vote occurred in Westminster I got the intuition that something big is about to happen with regards to Independence. All that is certain is an Independence referendum held before Brexit will result in a "no" vote.
The Unionist Rainbow Tories, propelled by UKIP, which may be their Trojan horse for advancing an extreme right agenda, seem stupid but playing stupid can be a winning tactic. Perhaps the Tories are playing a devious game preventing Scotland from remembering that, as Alex Salmond pointed out, there is more than one way for Scotland to become independent by talking up the impossibility of a second Independence referendum. Or it could be even more convoluted.
Why the Tories Don’t Want Scotland
Unionists mention independence and a second referendum more than the Scottish Government does. Independence supporters think unionists are scared they will lose a referendum.
Suppose however some influential Tories are afraid they will win, shackling England for a generation or more to a country where some 50 percent of the population wants to leave and will protest forever over fracking, Trident and the NHS. Perhaps the Tories are like someone who wants a divorce but is praying their partner will initiate it and get the blame.
David Cameron lacked the ruthlessness to ensure permanent Tory rule in England by letting Scotland go, or did not want to be remembered as losing Scotland. Theresa the Trump Appeaser has what it takes to dump Scotland but may be haunted not by the risk of a Labour Government—the evidence is that Labour would rather be a permanent opposition—or by opposition inside her party, but the prospect of a UKIP government if she dumps Scotland. Dumping Scotland would, however, let the Tories market themselves as moderates between a rabid UKIP and an allegedly socialist Labour party.
For historical and political reasons neither Tories nor Labour, can (yet) dump Scotland. The obvious answer is to provoke Scotland to secede unilaterally, as it is entitled to do, and trade recognition, the right of English natives already in Scotland to continue living in Scotland, and free movement for oil and then wave a crocodile tearful farewell. A 2020 Independence referendum would be a backup if Scotland does not take the hint and this time the media would be told to back Independence.
Is the SNP Scared of Independence?
Craig Murray, in a post every Independence supporter should read, critically but sympathetically asks when the Scottish Government will start fighting Westminster and says that they are now part of the Scottish, and hence British establishment, with a lot of people doing nicely out of this. He does not say there are many people who prefer a secure career fighting for independence while being careful not to win it, though this is probably the case, and refers to the scene in Braveheart where the nobles at Stirling Bridge are planning to negotiate and go home, and Wallace forces them into a fight. Murray says Sturgeon is more like the nobles than Wallace.
This is somewhat unfair to Nicola Sturgeon who is keen on independence but not willing to gamble it on a fight she could lose and may be listening to the voices of the nobles, and the polls telling her it is not the time for a referendum.
Legal Independence Without a Referendum
Murray points out that very few countries that have become independent did so via a referendum.
“There is no requirement for Scotland to hold a referendum to become Independent.
Independence is not an internal question. It is the existence of a state recognised by its fellow states, and that recognition is expressed by the General Assembly of the United Nations. A referendum is not a requirement for that UN recognition. Please note the rest of this paragraph very, very carefully. The majority of States in the world have achieved independence during my own lifetime. The vast majority of those did so without a referendum. Not only is a referendum not a requirement, it is extremely unusual. Of the 194 states recognised by the UN, only a tiny handful featured a referendum as part of the process of the formation of the state. This is also true within the EU. Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Croatia, Estonia, Slovakia, Slovenia and the Czech Republic all recently assumed their current form and none of them had a referendum to do it.”
Murray’s preferred option is for the SNP to call a national assembly comprising all Scotland’s six MEPs, 59 MPs and 129 MSPs, 63 of whom are SNP and six others are pro-independence, and for that National Assembly to make the declaration, which would broadly accord with international norms. Scotland would be independent from that moment.
It seems likely on the basis of the numbers that the assembly would have an overwhelming majority for Independence. For Scotland secession would be like having your partner throw out your favourite slippers and give you new ones or forcing you to change your hairstyle. The result would rapidly be normalised and the Unionists would get used to it especially if given a role in negotiations with England. More importantly it would be legal and hard for the RUK to veto in the UN.
The bottom line here is that a Referendum is neither a necessary nor sufficient condition for Independence.
Tory opposition to Independence blocks their desire for a trouble free hard Brexit. Their resistance to a second Independence referendum may be because they are afraid they will win it and have to fight both the EU and Scotland hence they are trying to provoke Scotland into declaring Independence, which can be done legally, with a 2020 referendum as a backup to ensure Scotland leaves the UK.
- The growing mountain of evidence that UKIP are a Tory Trojan Horse party UKIP may be a Trojan Horse for the Tories or the extensive links between the Tories and UKIP may just demonstrate the revolving door between the Tories and the Extreme Right that has always existed.
- Tories Tread a Dangerous Path Craig Murray on Independence without a referendum.
- Declaration of Arbroath: The most famous letter in Scottish history? BBC
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.