Defcon One, Please

By way of explanation (of yesterday’s blog) I want to make clear I am not deviating from any prescribed path towards self-government. On the contrary, even a cursory read makes obvious that I’m using the election to claim our independence – surely the objective we all share.

I do not advocate UDI. I never have. It only applies in extreme cases where the world community realises all democratic means have been exhausted and there remains no other option. That is far from the case with Scotland. Such is our constitutional position that I believe even a referendum result requires to be endorsed by the current state – the UK – before the world will recognise us. Only then will other nations see the way clear to shake our hand. Rogue actions will not suffice.

Nor am I attempting to subvert some constitutional process by declaring the idea of a referendum null and void. It remains the most likely avenue to guage opinion and secure the mandate. I support SNP moves to achieve one.

However, I am trying to upgrade the political messaging – to Defcon One, if you like. At the moment, by endlessly pleading with a tin ear government in London for the right to consult our own people, we play their game. We make it sound as if our objective is indyref2 itself when it is of course independence. May and her team have proved themselves impervious to reason and enemies of democracy – using it only as a means of self-advancement even when they legislated to avoid snap elections. She isn’t listening to Sturgeon and won’t until the Brexit process is over and it’s too late.

To her we are bleating about needing her permission to hold a vote. Please, please, Theresa. Be nice and say Yes.

We are currently utilising Defcon Three – Force readiness upgrade above the normal. That means we’re angling for action and getting ready to repel. (Sorry about the warlike tone) It does not mean we’re deadly serious here and you’d better believe it.

Weaponising (here I go again) the general election to say every SNP vote is a demand for independence strengthens the case and drags the referendum issue along in its wake. In other words Defcon One – War is Imminent. (Are you scared yet?)

I see no contradiction in letting the SNP carry on with their politically correct requests for acknowledgment for a popular vote from Her in Downing Street and hundreds of thousands of voters declaring that for us it isn’t about the method of delivery any more. It is the actual hard fact of independence we’re voting for and we consider every single vote an endorsement of that ideal.

If we openly argue for national self-government while others emphasis a referendum, then one supports the other. Voices complaining that this is splitting the campaign miss the point. There is only one objective but there are multiple voices and approaches to achieving it. We don’t all think the same way and it would be spooky if we did.

I’m not disagreeing with anyone who wants a referendum but I am changing my emphasis away from a cri de cour for someone else to deliver my civil rights to a statement that I and others want an SNP or Yes majority to be taken as a mandate – one that no democrat can ignore. How many elections can we win hands down and still be angling for another referendum – like dookin’ for apples? I see the Unionist Press now indicates that the loss of any SNP seats, which seems inevitable to me, will be taken as failure and loss of credibility even if Yes parties win an overwhelming number of seats and 50 per cent of the vote. They, on the other hand, have only to win a seat or two or even hold Edinburgh South to claim a major victory. This is the world of distorted democracy we inhabit. I these circumstances, it seems reasonable to me to step up the game and leave London in no doubt what’s at stake in the June election.

To those potential switchers who need to be wooed carefully towards Yes – Hello, by the way – I simply say that the time to pretend the SNP is soft on independence to sway your vote is over. The stark truth today is that Scotland needs a lifeline to escape this horrendous Brexit debacle, and quickly too. Waiting to see what turns up in Boris Johnson’s briefcase won’t do. Hoping Liam Fox can sell enough electric cattle prods to Asian dictators isn’t the answer. Expecting this regressive Prime Minister, who is currently manipulating the parliamentary process for party gain, to turn into Scotland’s Mother Theresa, is for your dreams.

If you can’t hack independence in these circumstances, you never will. And that’s true for us all. For Scotland. This truly looks like the parting of the ways. Either it’s stepping off dependency into self-sufficiency in Europe or it’s downhill to right-wing hell. You personally might ride the storm but the country you know today won’t. The powers will go back. The privatisers will take over the NHS. Essential immigration will end and the tax take will decline. The demographic will age further. The London elite will organise what they can for themselves – as ever.

I’m not voting for a referendum. I’m voting for a country.

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29 thoughts on “Defcon One, Please

  1. I feel like we’re in a holding pattern.

  2. … and boycott all britnat media while we’re at it.

  3. second that Derek, well said.

  4. After the No victory in 2014 the only way our Unionist opponents are going to accept the end of their Union is if we one day win an Independence Referendum. Nevertheless I see the coming general election as an unusual opportunity and hope the SNP campaign saying that a vote for the SNP is a vote to immediately commence Independence negotiations and that the Indyref should be held after the negotiations.

  5. Gavin C Barrie

    Thanks Derek, that needed saying.

    Westminster- faced with 56 of 59 Scots MPs elected on an independence ticket; 62% of the Scots nation, and every region of our country voting to remain in the EU – decides that ignoring us is their best tactical option. That is not the behaviour of a fair-minded administration.

    So just what do we do? Another referendum, should Westminster agree, at a time of their choosing? And too late- tactically no doubt – for Scotland to remain in the EU? Do you really believe that Westminster, post Brexit, free of EU regulations, would respect a result for independence?

    Westminster will declare that the coming general election result had nothing whatsoever to do with Scotland’s particular wishes… “We voted as a United Kingdom…”

    So how do I retain my EU citizenship?

    • Westminster- faced with 56 of 59 Scots MPs elected on an independence ticket; 62% of the Scots nation, and every region of our country voting to remain in the EU – decides that ignoring us is their best tactical option.

      The SNP MPs were not elected in 2015 on an independence ticket, they were elected on a pledge to stand up for Scotland, which is another thing entirely. As for the 62 per remain vote for the EU in Scotland , I hate to break it to you, for instance but Edinburgh voted overwhelming to remain in both the EU, and the British Union. It is clear we need to win over the more conservative opinion in Scotland to gain independence. You don’t do this by acting in an aggressive, belligerent or intransigent manner. I think some of the more committed independence supporters need to take a step back at the moment. It is only 20 years since the return of a (devolved) parliament to Scotland, and that was after an absence of almost 300 years. An independence supporting party only achieved major office and power ten years ago, and have had to work under a highly constrained set of powers. It is also less than three years since we lost the first independence referendum. Moaning on a internet site is not going to win people over to independence, nor is demanding too much too soon.

      • Exactly what do you think the SNP stand for ? Has it escaped you that Independence is the ultimate aim of the SNP . Waiting and being nice to people who will never, whatever the circumstances however bad this Union becomes ,vote for Independence, it’s a case of I am alright so bugger the rest, A true Tory view , a Party with no moral compass, who have been investigated by the UN & the Red Cross over their treatment of disabled people, and shortly have a good number of their MPs charged with electoral fraud, and you want to be nice and reasonable.
        Get a f/in Grip .

  6. I strongly suspect we WILL have a referendum regardless of what May or Westminster says. It must be before the conclusion of Brexit negotiations and after the electorate are aware of what the Brexit deal entails.

    Right now the Scottish Government, in keeping with the 2014 referendum, are seeking an S30 order. That is NOT about seeking to hold a referendum in itself, but about seeking to hold a referendum which is mutually legally acceptable and binding. So far as I understand, Scotland can hold consultative referendums on any damn thing we please, every day of the week and twice on a Friday if we feel like it. The problem being legal challenge in the aftermath.

    How and ever, a very recent precedent has been set by a government not a million miles away of a consultative referendum which is in the process of being carried into action and law as we speak. No one challenged the popular outcome, (they didn’t dare), only the nature of how the outcome should be debated and administered.

    I also strongly suspect that the wording of the SNPs GE 2017 manifesto will be worth reading. I’m willing to bet the kid gloves will be coming off for the upcoming fight.

    Just a feeling like,but I don’t think anyone should be in any doubt by this point that Scotland’s First Minister has been utterly consistent in her and her governments message. They should also be in no doubt that our First Minister does not bluff or play games with people’s lives.

    Politics in the UK is in full on car crash mode right now. People aren’t just uncertain or unsettled anymore, they’re frightened and with good reason.

    The SG have been calm, measured and consistent throughout this chaos and folk have given them their backing. They know what’s at stake and they know, better than most, what the repercussions will be if May becomes Queen, Empress, Goddess of Westminster with a couple of decades of Conservative hegemony squared away and the GRB enacted along with the Henry VIII clause.

    I’m not a politician. I’m no strategist or policy gonk either, yet I find we have to put our faith in those very folk because they’re doing what we can’t, won’t or don’t. Am I nervous at putting my trust and hopes in other folks hands? Do I feel like constantly sitting at their shoulder and telling them when they’re not getting it right, moving fast enough, moving too fast, being too quiet, being too loud not being enough of all of the above at the right time?

    Does a bear poop in the woods?

    I’m only human, but so are they.

    They’ve had my trust for the past decade because they earned it. I can give them another couple of years surely, because they’ve earned that too.

    • Agreed. NS has already said that she has a plan if TM rejects the S30 thing. Like you I want to be there holding our politicians hands through this or at least being in the know, but I’ll just have to put my trust in NS. She’s the first politician that I have felt that I can put my trust in. I’d rather it took a wee bit time and got the right result than wade in and mess it up.

      But we must have another Indi Ref before Brexit. That’s out timetable.

      • I agree, I think ScotGov’s next move, until the GE intervened, will be to pass a referendum bill in Holyrood absent a specific Section 30 order and assuming the arguable legal point that we have precedent and the original one on our side.

        Organise a referendum and make Westminster take us to court. Make them choose democracy or acting like the Spanish government. Make them go to court to deny Scotland’s right to self determination, if they dare.

        A much better strategy than us going to court to force a Section 30 order, don’t you think?

  7. Cadogan Enright

    Your calls for a tougher line on Scot Ref would be more convincing if you stopped doing ‘softly softly’ with BBC Scotland and called them out as the worst example of a propaganda voicepiece of the London Elite its is possible to conceive

    The ‘bit misguided but will come around’ nonsense just gives them aircover

  8. Compltely agree. We need to grab this chance.

    Last sentence says it all,

  9. As far as I am concerned I am no longer a UK citizen until I get My state pension I hope there still doing that triple lock.

  10. “I am not voting for a referendum – I AM voting for my country ” cheers !

    • He didn’t write “ for MY country.” Anne. He wrote “ for A country.” I know you may see this as nit-picking but it isn’t. To say you are voting for YOUR country, when you mean Scotland, could be construed as treason in the eyes of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

      However, I am in full agreement with you (I expect you mean that you are voting for Scotland). I will be voting for MY country in the next general election and in the local elections and in any other election which may require my vote. I will be voting for MY country; and that country is Scotland.

  11. graeme davidson

    YES I would go further and put in the SNP/Green manifesto that if a majority of independence supporting MPs are elected in Scotland ie 30 or more then Scotland is independant and state that as such the GE is the referendum in the eyes of the independence parties. Very very clear so the voters know. And state following such a result then Scotland will seek recognition from the UN and start to negotiate with Westminster.

  12. Demand a S30 order before parliament is dissolved with the date to be decided by the Scottish government or GE2017 becomes Indyref2.

  13. Gavin C Barrie

    Well said Macart, particularly your first paragraph.

    Muttley79; ” I hate to break it to you, but Edinburgh…”. I am not a politician by any measure, nor am I enthused by politics. It does, going by data around the media, seem that the core Unionist vote in Scotland is between 20 to 25%. And so to me, the task is to try to inform the 75% – less Indy supporters, of the impending doom that awaits the people of our country following Brexit.

    During the Thatcher years I was a company director, and in the midst of Youill and Dodds profitably rushing up the A77 with coal trucks, our workforce decided to strike for a pay increase! I appealed to them to see sense, their welfare being more important than a few pence per hour.

    And that is my instinct now, we are not in a pipe smoking theory group discussing political procedures, this is for real. We need to assert ourselves. Belligerent? If that’s how you view it Muttley79

  14. I don’t think we can take it slow. It was the Council of Europe forced the UK to give us our referendum on devolution. If the UK can’t hold onto Scotland and the West of Shetland oil until they have safely Brexited, their credit rating post Brexit could be junk. While the negotiations are going on the EU can, if they want to, put pressure on May over blocking Scotref.

    After Brexit, if we ask permission for Scotref the UK can say “never is the time” or “ask us again when the oil is gone”. If the Scottish government tries to run its own referendum after Brexit, the UK can shut Holyrood. Out of the EU there is no one to stop them. Getting to independence post Brexit could be a lot harder.

    For some Brexiters and funders, was the plan to get the UK out of the EU fast before Scotland left with its now not secret oilfields? The timing of it all fits. Scotland got McCroned again.

    I think most of that oil needs to stay under the sea. As an independent country the oil is handy for the credit rating and the transition to renewables, but while we are in the UK it is a burden to Scotland.

    I’m no expert on any of this. I’d be really happy to hear reasons why I’ve got this wrong.

  15. I have a feeling that TM called this early election amongst other things, in the knowledge that they are now being confronted with the realities of BREXIT and are fearful of the negotiations with the EU insofar as it looks bad.

    We are reasonably certain that the outcome for the UK is not going to be as good as membership and its ‘pie in the sky’ as to whether or not the new trade agreements with other countries will compensate. It would be my view that they are now aware of the problems about to hit them and know their only chance of being in office will be to have the general election before the ‘shit hits the fan’ so to say. Once again putting party before country.

    I, like many when first hearing of this GE was carried away with the immediate opportunity it offered for declaring the time is right for using it as a means for a vote for independence. On further reflection, I now consider that the Scottish Government has the right plan for holding the referendum before the UK exits the EU and the bare bones of the terms for exit are known.

    This path gives time for the consequences of BREXIT to seep into the voter’s minds and be better informed of the problems and consequences of how their lives are going to be affected.

    It looks like EU and younger people will be able to vote in a new referendum, the two groups who are most likely to vote in favour of independence but barred from voting in a GE.

    A vote for a strong SNP presence in both local council and UK elections adds to the legitimacy of our demand for independence and could give the SG greater leverage as to how and when the referendum takes place.

    I still worry about illegal tampering with a referendum and suggest an independent European panel be set up to monitor its operation?

  16. We win most of the Council Seats up for grabs , we elect every singe MP , the SNP follow Mayhem and call another election for Holyrood , the SNP get a thumping majority , Then What ? Mayhem still refuses a referendum . I for one am getting more than a little pissed off on this merry go round ,
    Another approach is necessary we cant go on like this ,as far as i am concerned the people gave their answer to all the broken promises in the 2014 REF by electing all but three MPs , that was the point the SNP should have said stop the people have spoken , Christ even Maggie knew she couldn’t hold a whole nation hostage for ever .
    Mayhem will never negotiate on anything its her way or no way so stop trying to be nice , treat her like she will be treated by European leaders , smile then do exactly what she dosnt expect .
    Events have triggered a early election despite all the waffle , it is because the CPS in England are knocking at the door this is the reason for the screeching u turn by this untrustworthy unelected PM .

    • Alasdair Macdonald.

      Sadly, in politics we often have to engage in ‘brinkmanship’ before a resolution is achieved, and, sometimes, things can go over the brink.

      The forthcoming General Election is about the future of parliamentary Government in the UK – and I hope that we in Scotland are out of it pretty soon. Mrs May is seeking endorsement of her ‘Henry VII’ powers policy to enact policies which she refuses to specify. These powers are to prevent proper parliamentary scrutiny of the government’s actions.

      By again voting strongly in Scotland for pro-independence candidates in the GE – and that means, in every case, SNP – then we indicate our refusal to accept this Government. If it continues to be intransigent then we have to consider other courses of action. But, firstly, on June 9, we have to be able to say – again- ‘those of us who live in Scotland wish to manage our own affairs.’

  17. steady,,,,,,,,steady………steady boys/girls……..don’t vote till you see the whites of their eyes………but……..but….they have blood red eyes………we know they are vampiric.and will suck every last drop from our body and soul………steady………steady………now……now…… vote till you boak

  18. Colin alexander

    The Scottish Parliament has endorsed an independence referendum due to Brexit in the main and broken promises of Home Rule.

    The UK Govt has so far refused to agree. They haven’t said no, they just ignore the letter requesting a S30. They can do that for as long as they want.

    The Scottish Govt cannot force the UK Govt to do anything. Westminster is sovereign.

    The Tories view Scotland’s MPs as UK MPs. Scotland votes in 59 UK MPs. That most of them are now SNP is of no consequence to Mrs May. As long as she has a majority and can win votes is what counts.

    She is seeking a good majority to cover the votes of Brexit rebels in her own party. And five years more now that it’s becoming clear Brexit won’t be a quick process.

    Where does that leave Scotland?

    Unless the SNP have some amazing master plan that’s been kept a secret so far, we face waiting till the UK has taken Scotland out of the EU and Single Market. The UK has snapped up Scotland’s fisheries, agriculture and whatever else they fancy taking from the EU delegated powers.

    The clock is ticking. If Nicola Sturgeon is determined to give Scotland’s people a chance to stay in the EU or EEA/EFTA then she does not have the luxury of waiting to see if the UK Govt will one day condescend to allow Scotland to have another independence referendum.

    The pressure must be ramped up on the UK. An ultimatum. Agree now to a future referendum or the SNP will make each and every election an election on independence. UDI.

    They could do it now in this election.

    The SNP are a minority at Holyrood. Could they do a Theresa May? Force another Holyrood election standing on a mandate of UDI?

    There are options but, is there the will?

    Theresa May has taken a gamble, but she believes the odds are in her favour.

    In this GE the media cannot focus solely on anti-independence. The Unionist parties will be required to compete against each other and cannot concentrate on an allied anti-independence campaign.

    Brexit is already looking to be a big problem.

    It seems to me to be the ideal time to seek independence. If the UK won’t allow it by referendum, then why not seek it by UDI?

    It’s a risk, but so is waiting and waiting. The SNP manifesto has not been published yet.

    I hope the SNP make the right decision this time.

    They will have to have answers on the economy and currency. If they fail to stand for independence this time again, I suspect as in 2014 the SNP have failed to come up with the important answers.

  19. Yes,ForTheKids

    Derek, I agreed with alot of what you said in your last post but at the end of the day if we don’t have a real majority, through referendum or popular vote, any UDI due to Westminster’s FPTP system giving us a majority of MPs on a UDI ticket could incite genuine violence. No way the hard core British nationalists will accept that. We have to win and win well with a genuine majority. Yes, other countries have used that route but we have 50% of our country brought up and indoctrinated by MSM, schooling, etc. into being proud to be British and have yet to question it as we have, never mind the hard core nutters.

    If an out and out declaration is made that a vote for the SNP is a vote for UDI in this election we’ll lose. The demographic between 2014 and now hasn’t shifted much and the grey vote will never move. I genuinely laugh when people talk about changing minds of people so set in their ways, having read the same paper and therefore guff for decades. It’s not a function of the people themselves, who no doubt were great people, it’s a function of the ageing process which debilitates all of us eventually in terms of new, fresh ideas. People of that generation won’t accept new thinking, will rely on what previous experience and/or propoganda has taught them and genuinely believe their “time” was better, no matter the circumstances they were in. The only way we can win is if we counter the grey vote and mobilise the young who want to join the world but are too busy enjoying themselves to vote.

    I genuinely hope we get to the point where we as “Scots”, no matter where we come from, can look after this beautiful place in the world, care for those less fortunate and lay foundations for those who come after us rather than being an afterthought in, let’s be honest, someone else’s country.

  20. I believe it should state in the SNP ( and Green) manifesto that a > 50% retun of pro-independence MPS
    should be enough to be declare ourselves independent. No more permissions!No more begging!


    Fifty Per Cent Plus 0ne; The percentage of the vote required to determine the future direction of any democratic nation.
    The right of Scotland to self-determination is internationally recognised.

    In judging the validity of that self-determination, the method used to measure support for independence can be almost as important as the vote itself.

    An Independence referendum to measure the level of support for independence is the policy of the current SNP administration. This is a perfectly acceptable process provided that the conditions under which the referendum is held are determined by the Scottish people.

    Where these conditions are under the control of a external nation, in this case the English, [by virtue of their overwhelming majority at Westminster], the right of self-determination is at best, conditional and at worst non-existent.

    How can we eliminate this obstruction to Scotland’s internationally recognised right of self-determination?
    The power to address this anomaly rests in the hands of the Scottish Government. If we are seriously committed to independence, the UK government should be petitioned to remove from the statute book, the requirement to seek a section 30 order before an independence referendum can be organized. If this request is rejected, the SNP policy to determine the level of support for independence should be changed as follows:

    At the next and every subsequent Scottish or UK general election, a vote of over 50% for pro-independence parties will be accepted as a declaration of independence by the Scottish People.

    The Scottish people have a right to make this decision without interference from an external nation.

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