Showing posts with label devolution. Show all posts
Showing posts with label devolution. Show all posts

Saturday 31 December 2022

Dependency Supporters

Choice between Scotland’s independent sovereignty and the politics of DEPENDENCY 

Language really matters. I agree with the Wee Ginger Dog we must stop calling those who “advocate dependency” - unionists, which implies a positive working together, when this is not happening  at all. Scotland is ignored, Scotland’s resources have been plundered, and her voice suppressed. Its crucial we stop using the false term “unionist” and instead call those who want to hold Scotland back – “dependency supporters.” This UK is very much not a partnership – the term unionist is fake and  misleading. A union refers to a partnership (or marriage) one in which each partner has an equal say - of compromise, collaboration, negotiations. 


Culture and language drive and are ahead of our politics. This is about Scotland’s voice.

The policy makers in London are using derogatory language against those who believe in Scots sovereignty. – they use terms such as ‘separatist’ and ‘nationalists’ to imply Scots are driven by ideological greed, ignorance, selfishness, divisiveness. While they know full well most Scots want to work in an indy nation in the EU trading block and be international, left of centre and outward looking. 

For centuries Scotland has been a seafaring international and trading nation with our great seaports (now mostly closed apart from apart from Aberdeen). Scotland does not need to trade via the bottleneck of Dover - we can trade direct to Europe as Ireland does.


Succession actor Brian Cox suggests the British isles can be a “Federation of sovereign states, one in which we can all b citizens and participate, and have an equal say and pull together for the common good of all.” At the moment this is not happening here UK, because this is not a partnership. Its about 3 smaller nations being dependent on all rules, policies and decisions set in London, for the benefit of the south of England, in a highly centralized monarchy/ parliamentary sovereignty/ power structure, where the Crown is used to assert power, for the benefit of the empire state not the people. And operates its dirty money London Laundromat. Much more centralized than a century ago.

(Please note – Labour and Conservatives are English political parties. After Scotland’s indy Scotland needs its own political parties, which would naturally evolve here, to cover differing views. Scotland’s indy is about more local and accountable government.) 


Some refer to England as the “parent state” and they believe they own Scotland. By contrast most Scots believe that back 300 years ago in 1707, Scotland, as one of the oldest nations in Europe, with its rich diverse history, and deep lasting connections to scholarly learning in Paris from the time of Reformation - as explorers, as mercenaries, and innovators. - that Scotland entered into a voluntary partnership with England for trading reasons. At that time Scotland had 1million people, England had 4 million. Historians tell us Scotland was never a colony – yet if surveys asked the English or Scots if they believed Scotland is a colony, they will surely say yes – as we do not have self government but are ruled from the capital of another nation. 


There’s been a general ignorance of Scots history and Scots culture is not celebrated by Dependence supporters. That’s if Scots know any of their history, after decades of being only taught English history in our schools. Scotland was not conquered in 1690, even though Cromwell tried and got as far as Dunnottar castle. In fact Charles II was crowned firstly at Scone on our Stone of Destiny. Culloden was the last pitched battle here UK – there were Scots on both sides, as well as French and Irish. These were religious battles. Crucially at Charles III ascension he pledged the freedom of Scotland’s church. 

The big question is, how efficiently does Devolution work – with civil servants in London making decisions? What does devolution mean, when Scotland is allowed to run only some of its affairs? 


It’s a confused, messy picture. Do dependency advocates think that devolution works well, because most Scots are totally confused - what is reserved, what’s run here? Does Scotland run its own energy policy (no, the UK runs energy but has had no energy policy), does Scotland run its economy and tax (no). After leaving the EU, the London government now interferes in many devolved matters. So its even more confusing. Tories appear intent on wrecking devolution settlements. 


Back before WW1 Scotland ran more of its own affairs. This isn’t about Edinburgh becoming another centralising London either but about greater local control. This isn’t about personalities – its about the wider yes and civic movement. A good plan is for a Citizens Assembly to grow our ideas for the way ahead, organically from the ground up. That’s the only way to grow support for our independence. It appears from studies that many Scots are very confused over what devolution means, what independence means in todays world of interconnections over trade (as in the EU). I believe it would be very helpful for all sides, ideas and views, to clarify what both these arrangements really will mean. 


It all depends on whether you see the UK as a free democracy or an empire state more concerned with the global empire – than the people who live here. The UK requires radical reforming on all levels and to put people first! This is a struggle between Westminster sovereignty and the sovereignty of the Scottish people. Since union 1707 Scotland has always been run separately with a Secretary of State. Of course the uK likes confusion and has no constitution. We need clearer and simpler details of what devolution and independence means for us. Most voters are confused and I am sure the UK encourages confusion just as there no clear constitution. 



Monday 30 November 2020

Sean Connery : Scots Hero


Sadly died. He was the best known Scot of recent times across the word as the most charismatic Bond.

He defined the role.


He was a true believer in Scottish independence and helped to campaign for the Scottish devolution vote in 1997.

For the restoration of our Scottish parliament he was the voice of the Pro-independence broadcasts. His involvement was a big boost for the SNP’s indy campaign.

Following Salmond’s election as party leader in 1990, Connery was the biggest force driving momentum. There was a Connery day when he scheduled a photo call with Gordon Brown on a boat flying a saltire in the Firth of Forth and headlined a cross party rally in the Old Royal High school – when he said – 


“The issue of self government went beyond any political party.” With 100 hours remaining he cautioned, “We don’t have much time.”


George Kerevan wrote, “Connery’s own time came to an end last Saturday but not before he made a lasting difference for Scotland.”

Saturday 30 September 2017

Gerry Hassan and Michael Keating (Professor of politics Aberdeen) at EIBF 2017

Gerry Hassan and Michael Keating (Professor of politics Aberdeen) - 'THE EVOLUTION OF DEVOLUTION'
They discussed debates on how to build bridges, with many questions over frictionless borders and if this is possible to preserve communities. They felt that there was too much noise and not enough silence or consideration. Hassan criticised the SNP timidity in government, and claimed that there are no leading thinkers who identify with social democracy and its values are not nurtured. I wasn't sure I understood this comment because I read many informed and educated journalists in both the Herald and National newspapers who believe in social democracy.

They asked, how can we nurture non-party spaces? A future Scotland cannot be about certainty, or the conditional politics of independence or unionism. How do we move on from the entrenched divides, and that we require more 'open mindedness'. The voices of middle Scotland have many 'close-minded warriors' who don't want to have a debate between independence or union. There are important questions over what kind of self government is required for our economic and social project? How to find a shared destination and how do we get there?

They said there was an absence of a think tank not made up of political parties, for a new national project. They spoke of the evolution of Scottish devolution and that London’s shadow over the UK (with 40% of the UKs GDP) was similar only to Moscow’s over Russia. Other issues raised included - taxes for a fairer Scotland.; welfare powers; childcare are ways of tackling poverty; and social inclusion. 

The Westminster parliament was an empty vessel and they spoke of the hope for more self-government within an EU framework. Bulgaria has a huge amount of power and socially more equal than Scotland. Is there a contradiction between social growth and equality? Smaller countries are often more socially equal.
The constitutional questions have several levels – the nature of the state and federalism and devolution as positive forces.
The Smith commission was a political compromise. Political society asks the right questions – but the parties don’t listen - they only fight and not hearing the bigger issues. There has not been enough post mortem since Indy Ref, too much silence.

Then there was the 'British nationalism' and the talk of borderlands, such as by Rory Stewart. – perhaps we only disagree on the framework? Borders are both entrances and exit and there is the innovation of open borders and frictionless borders. They wondered about the peace process in Northern Ireland and the border there. National is both good and bad.  However Brexit has thrown all of this out of the water.

The hope to address what kind of society are we going to look like? There was far too much short termism and they felt that politics was too emotional. Politicians not offering more self government and in fact it is far from certain what they are offering? How is independence formulated are and not what people want – the question are more about the kind of self government. They felt that many have not understood what Independence means or the degree of sovereignty.
Then there is the decline in unionist Scotland – society and power changing with catalysts for further change. Political parties in pockets of money. The economy is unbalanced and the economic model is not working and the banks have not been reformed. The redistribution of money is only slightly more under Labour, Corbyn offers managed capitalism with fixed exchange rate. 

They argued for opening up politics and not having professional politicians and for Scotland cultural change and a second revolution. Civic Scotland is engaged in this debate. There was no discussion over the lack of any Scottish media. Is Scotland going to stay in Europe? The SNP have to change with the times and with the rate of change they suggested. What is the differences between Devo Max and independence  anyway – the difference is miniscule.