Mathematician, theoretical physicist and software professional (15 years experience). Curious about everything and keen to share knowledge.
UK politics is reaching a point where the Independence movement must have a plan for the increasingly likely contingency that the Westminster government will move to abolish the Scottish Parliament rather than allow a second independence referendum. This is will be either a last resort, the result of exasperation or a satanically cold political calculation
Why would they want to lose a convenient scapegoat for the failures of Tory policy in Scotland? Why would they want to abandon the possibility of holding the balance of power in Holyrood as diehard Unionists and SNP haters desert Labour and, perhaps holding their nose, move to the Tories. The answer may lie in the current political landscape.
Labour Are Standing With the Tories Again
Generals always fight the previous war. Unionists are dusting off the vintage lies they believe won them the 2014 Independence Referendum. At the same time, they are trying to blame every economic blip (failed Tory Chancellor Nigel Lawson’s favourite term) not on Brexit but on the threat of a second independence referendum.
Labour is again spearheading the campaign against Independence as in 2014, acting as the Tories’ useful idiots. They will finally destroy themselves.
The toothless paper tiger formerly known as Labour, now the Tories poodles, led by what can only be described as a lentil munching watermelon totally ignorant about Scotland, is claiming that there would be a hard border between England and an independent Scotland and an independent Scotland would have to join the Euro.
The Lord Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, invented a new lie, that nationalism is racism. Therefore, Scottish nationalism is racism, therefore Scots who seek independence are racist. This immediately insulted some 50% of the population of Scotland, led to some furious back pedalling on his part at the Labour Party Conference and overshadowed the proceedings. In his semi retraction, he said this is a time for unity, not divisiveness, which explains why the Labour party so consistently votes with and stands shoulder to shoulder, if not groin to groin or anus to groin with the Tories. It’s not an abdication of principles but a drive for unity at the most basic level.
According to the wisdom of Khan, supporting independence, as happened in Ireland, India, Pakistan and other places, is to stand shoulder to shoulder with UKIP, EDL, the Orange Order and other opponents of independence. Khan’s statement will circulate among those unionists who think they are not racist and some will accept Labour lies and reject hard evidence that are lies, like the Christian fundamentalists who, given quotes from the bible with contradictory parallel quotes next to them, denied the contradictions in front of their eyes.
It's no wonder that with allies like these, the Tories fear defeat. There is no longer a need to lead Labour into destroying themselves, they are enthusiastically eating themselves alive.
The Government View From the Seat Of Power
The Tory Government are flatulent with fear. If they are to be believed, the Cabinet spent most of their time discussing the possible breakup of the United Kingdom and the need for “engagement” with the devolved administrations, by which they mean telling the Scots, or as they think of them, “Jocks”, what to think.
England does not want to lose Scotland’s resources but this is probably getting less and less important to them. If they do lose Scotland, Theresa May does not want to get the blame for the breakup of the United Kingdom. There is no appetite in Scotland for the Tory party and increasingly less for the Labour Party. This means there is no political loss to the Tories if Scotland leaves the UK and considerable political gain in the lack of an electable opposition (5). Labour have nothing to lose and may even gain by not having to send worn out old hacks up to Scotland to try and boost the party and can concentrate on being the permanent opposition in Westminster, all expenses paid and subsidised bars.
In 2014, some 30% of Tories in England answered YES to the proposition “I want Scotland to become an independent country, and leave the United Kingdom” compared to some 7% of Tories in Scotland. It is highly likely that Brexit has meant that some 50% of the English population would give the same answer today.
In these circumstances, abolishing Holyrood could look like a winning proposition. No more Jocks up north to delay Brexit (UKIP no longer a worry), no problems with the Sewel Convention, no more Nicola Sturgeon. What’s not to like?
There Are NO Real Barriers to Abolishing the Scottish Parliament
The obstacle to abolishing Holyrood is the Scotland Act which delivered a pale imitation of the promises Tory stooges Alasdair Darling, Gordon Brown and others promised, with no power to deliver (1). But that only needs an emergency bill to in the Commons, which Labour would reflexively support as they hate the SNP more than the Tories, followed by a short bill to abolish the Scottish Parliament immediately and repatriate all powers to Westminster. It could all be done within days. No need for a bunch of experts to make a plan, we are tired of experts.
If Scotland accepts this, they will be Westminster’s submissive partner in enacting their 50 Shades of red, white and blue fantasies. If this provokes Scotland into declaring UDI, the only remaining option is for Westminster to barter recognition for resources and, most importantly, the SNP, not Theresa May, will get the blame. A win-win situation for Westminster and Theresa May.
Some in the Unionist camp are unlikely to shout “Heil May, we who are about to lose our careers salute you” but they can be bought off with fake promises. Ruth Davidson can be promised a safe seat in Westminster plus a ministerial post, and might actually believe it. Kezia Dugdale, leading Scottish Labour till the Praetorian Guard decide to get rid of her, can also be deceived by Corbyn. The Lib-Dems are not worth bribing.
The Tories are not confident of winning a second referendum or overcoming the constitutional crisis that would arise of they rejected such a call. Losing such a referendum would destroy May’s career as happened to Cameron. They have no usable stooges to front a Better Together Campaign and, if Nicola Sturgeon delays calling a referendum till the shape of Brexit becomes clear, the trend to Independence may have become unstoppable. In these circumstances, abolishing the Scottish Parliament becomes an attractive alternative.
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.