Whenever I mention my respect for academics and how I always think of myself as inferior to their knowledge and intellectual discipline, some of you get in touch to tell me off. I have not to be so doubting about myself and be more sceptical of academia as a title like professor doesn’t bestow common sense whatever else it represents. (I’d best be careful here as I’m interviewing one tomorrow for batemanbroadcasting…)
Well tonight I find myself quoted as part of an academic paper on the referendum. Me…in a proper university study…and I’ve only got a few Highers.
It’s called Scotland and England from a union of parliaments to two independent kingdoms and is written by Professor Anthony Carty, Sir YK Pao Chair of Public Law at the University of Hong Kong Law Faculty and Professor of Law at the School of Law of the University of Aberdeen and by Mairianna Clyde, Associate Lecturer in Arts at the Open University.
They challenge the assumption of the British government’s lawyers who asserted that independence means that when Scotland leaves the Union it leaves the rUK intact as continuator state. Those are the same lawyers, Crawford and Boyle who famously said the Union extinguished Scotland and we were absorbed into greater England. I contested that view on the blog and part of my post is used here to provide an initial counter to the government opinion, as you can see on Page Three. I’m the ‘veteran political commentator’.
Here is the link to the article which is published by Oxford Journals on behalf of the London Review of International Law Advance Access
I think you’ll find it not only demolishes the British case but chimes with everyone’s understanding of what really happened at in 1707. I quote part of the conclusion.
In 1707 the Union’s purpose was to secure freedom of trade and commerce in an imperialist, mercantilist age. But today we are managing contraction and decline and free trade and security are provided by other transnational structures such as the EU, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the UN. The Union has served its original purpose and is increasingly viewed as an anachronism but more so a dangerous one, an impediment to democracy, prosperity and security—and no longer an aid to negotiating the opportunities of the modern world as Scotland attempts to re-build her post-imperial, post- industrial economy.
Have a read at the rest because I think this is an authoritative alternative view which makes sense of our constitutional history and has an important bearing on the referendum. (Will it appear in the mainstream?) And no jokes about Professor Bateman…please.