We were all soaked to the skin after a trek which took almost two hours to complete but when such a massive number of people attend a march at less than three weeks’ notice in the midst of weather so bad that it was deemed unsafe to erect a stage to facilitate a rally at the end of the march then you know in your blood that the support for change is real and powerful.
However today only those who refuse to see can remain blind to the reality that Scotland will have to defy Westminster to secure her freedom as the chance of securing Tory Prime Minister Johnson’s agreement to hold a new referendum is non-existent. Just as I have to accept the hair on my head will not stop receding and thinning so the grassroots independence campaign and the SNP in particular must accept that Boris Johnson' response to the request for a Section 30 Order to facilitate a second independence referendum will be a resounding and resolute NO.
British Empire Was Built On Bloody Subjugation
Amongst the vast majority of the independence family this is no revelation. The campaign is grassroots to the core but well engaged with the political shenanigans and reality of the British state and educated and aware of how that state operates. The entity that once controlled two thirds of the world’s surface through a combination of brutal subjugation, cynical manoeuvring and deliberate deceit and bribery designed to keep subjects divided and distracted while their colonial masters continued to plunder and pillage all the wealth and riches they could muster is an expert in self-preservation.
The British Empire was once all powerful globally but now represents only a pale reflection of its former glory as country after country fought hard, often with weapons and much loss of life, to secure their independence and freedom to control their own resources and dictate their own destinies. Some nations threw off the restrictive and repressive yoke of British rule between World War I and World War II but most, sixty two, have become independent since 1939. Of the sixty two countries who have declared independence since 1939 none, not a single one, have regretted it or asked to return to British rule. That is because self-rule amounts to self-respect. Independence is not an unusual state of affairs it is a perfectly normal condition.
SNP Support and Tory Weakness Led To Edinburgh Agreement
In May 2011 the SNP defied the political pundits and civil servants who had designed a mixed first past the post and proportional List voting system which was supposed to ensure no party in the devolved Holyrood parliament could ever secure a majority government. The SNP secured a majority and pressed the then Westminster Tory/Lib Dem coalition government under David Cameron to allow a legally binding independence referendum. By October 2012 such an agreement, The Edinburgh Agreement, was signed.
Read that Agreement thoroughly and you will find absolutely no reference to a “once in a lifetime” referendum. What is also significant for present purposes however is that the Tories were in such a weak position they had to enter into a coalition with the Yellow Tories within the Lib Dems who were willing to sell their principles for a seat in a Ministerial Mondeo. What is crucial is that the widely perceived opinion at Westminster during this time was support for Scottish independence was not high enough to constitute any danger to the precious British union. Some thought support was as low as 25% or as high as 30% at most. Such opinion was no doubt informed by opinion polls like the one from YouGov in 2011 which placed support at no more than 28%.
Tories No Longer Weak – Colonial Master is Emboldened
After the December 2019 General Election the Boris Johnson led Tory Government has a huge majority over of over 80 and is in need of no coalition or other party support to implement their right wing political agenda. Meanwhile support for Scottish independence in all recent polls has been between 45% to over 50%, certainly in a dangerous territory for those who fear the loss of Scotland from the British Union. It is this conflation of circumstances which explain the watershed remarks of the Johnson appointed Colonial Master Secretary of Scotland, Alister Jack, yesterday.
Mr Jack, a multi-millionaire land owning Tory MP for Dumfries and Galloway who up until recently was hardly known in his own household let alone across Scotland, said he had advised Boris Johnson to not grant a section 30 order.
Speaking on the BBC's Politics Scotland programme, he said:
"Nicola Sturgeon has asked for the Scottish parliament to have the right to have referendums in the future at times of its own choosing.
"That is unacceptable."
"I have written to the prime minister on this subject this week and he will be replying very soon to Nicola Sturgeon's letter of 19 December."
"It would be wrong for us to give the right to the Scottish parliament to set referendums and the context and the timings for the simple reason that Scotland would be plunged into 'neverendums'.
"Nicola Sturgeon has said she fully expects a rebuttal from the PM and my advice to him is to say that".
The MP for Dumfries and Galloway whose party lost over half its seats in Scotland in the December 12th election and saw over 8% of its vote disappear went further than ever before in the denial of democracy and ruled out even the 2021 elections in Scotland making any difference to the Tory government. He said that the SNP should have to wait until "a generation or a lifetime has passed" before another referendum was permitted.
Tory Democracy is No Democracy – SNP Must Take Control of Matters
So there you have it in black and white. No agreed referendum from Westminster regardless of the loss of the UK General Election in Scotland or the outcome of the Scottish General Election in May next year.
It is an entirely understandable but wholly undemocratic position to promote. The Tories have a large majority which can keep them in power with ease for the next 5 years. They don’t care what the SNP or other parties say in Parliament. In fact they regularly shout down SNP MPs or walk out when they start to speak such is there lack of respect and concern for their views. They also know another independence referendum would result in a decisive vote for Scotland to break away from the British Union. Contrary to the years of deceit and lies pedalled by the British puppet media Scotland is not subsidised by England but actually subsidises the whole of the UK. The British Establishment simply can’t afford to let Scotland go.
Unionists may moan that we independentistas have had our vote and we should act like democrats and accept the majority decision of September 2014. The 45% of the vote we achieved then was a truly remarkable achievement given all the odds stacked against us. The full mobilisation of the British State apparatus across the press, media, celebrities and Royal Family were deployed to argue for the British Union and still 45% voted YES to independence, including a vast majority of those under the age of 40. But we are democrats. We do believe in democracy. But democracy to us is a process, a living organism that evolves and develops. It is not a single one-off event that forever and a day must be accepted. Otherwise why have elections for parliaments and councils every four or five years? Because in a democracy you are allowed to change your mind and be given the opportunity to express that change of mind via regular elections.
Democracy is a Process Not a Single Event
Since 2014 there have been 4 general elections across the UK. Three of them were UK wide and one was the Scottish election of 2016. The party of Scottish independence, the SNP, has won every single one of those elections in Scotland. In the 2016 election they stood on a specific policy commitment to deliver IndyRef2 if they won. They did win and went on to win in 2017 and 2019. Four weeks ago they won 80% of Scotland’s Westminster seats, 48 of the 59 available. On Saturday around 100,000 assembled in atrocious weather conditions to demand the right to vote in another referendum. Yet yesterday the Tory colonial master told us to shut up and get back into our boxes of accepting British rule as no referendum would be ‘allowed’ for another ‘generation’ or in the ‘lifetime’ of the current First Minister.
In November Mr Jack was seeking votes and indicated that perhaps an SNP victory in 2021 but not in December ’19 would influence the granting of the Section 30 referendum permission order. Eight weeks later and that talk is reduced to the mush Tory promises are worth. Only a fool trusts the Tories and we in the independence movement are no fools.
The road ahead is actually clearer now. No cowering in submission because Westminster says no to a Section 30 Order. No stringing us along with the myth that a renewed mandate in the 2021 Scottish election will make a difference. The time for bold and decisive action is here. The combination of the election victories, the support of the Scottish Parliament for IndyRef2 and the withdrawal of Scotland from the EU despite the 62% vote for remaining is an almighty cocktail of justification for the SNP to inform Westminster that IndyRef2 is taking place with or without their support. We don’t ask them we politely inform them and as far as I am concerned our First Minister Nicola Sturgeon should arrange the press conference for Saturday 1st February inside the Scottish Parliament to inform Scotland and the world that September 2020 will see the sovereign people of our nation be consulted again of the form of government we wish.
SNP in London Must Settle Up Not Settle In – Use The Mandate
Never before have the demands ‘Use The Mandate’ and ‘Name The Date’ been so important and appropriate. The independence supporting politicians in Scotland last year asked the grassroots movement to display in mobilised bodies that there was an appetite for IndyRef2. That request has been more than delivered by All Under One Banner, Hope Over Fear, Forward As One, and hundreds of YES Groups and independence campaigns. The grassroots have delivered. Now its time for the politicians to deliver.
The SNP MPs were sent to Westminster to settle up, not to settle down. After the Brexit formal withdrawal of 31st January each of the 48 independence supporting MPs should return to Scotland and work like never before to deliver a YES vote for independence in the September IndyRef2 poll. No ifs or buts or maybes after 2021. The IndyRef2 referendum has to be called on 1st February and we have to get on the streets and into every household to guarantee a massive YES vote in excess of 60% this time. It is time for Scotland to control her own destiny and write a new history full of compassion, internationalism, love and cooperation. Our future is bright but only if we seize the opportunity now.