The mask has well and truly fallen from the ugly edifice of the cruel, callous, and calculating Tory party. Their flimsy allegiance to the idea of democracy is now blown asunder.
Asked yesterday if they would participate in a Scottish Parliament organised independence referendum IF it was ruled legal by Scotland’s highest court they said NO, they would boycott such a vote. They are revealed today therefore as an anti-democratic bunch of cowards running scared from the sovereignty of the Scottish people. They are not just unelected to run Scotland they are unfit to run Scotland.
The year 2020 has been a difficult one across the UK and the world. Over 64,000 have died prematurely from the Covid19 virus and close to two million have contracted it across Scotland, England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. The worldwide statistics are equally grim. Well over 72 million cases have led to 1.61 million deaths. Perhaps the criminal negligence, bumbling incompetence and cynical corruption displayed by the Boris Johnson gang of millionaires, spivs and bullies during the past 12 months has accelerated the discontent and dismay in Scotland but the desire for independence has never been higher.
Tory Covid19 Failures and Brexit Lies Have Increased Support for Independence
In the face of arrogant indifference and failure to treat the pandemic seriously in February, which led to at least 20,000 unnecessary deaths; a fiasco over supply of lifesaving PPE for frontline health and care workers, which cost hundreds of lives and a £10 billion-odd overspend; and clear evidence of rancid nepotism in the awarding of Covid19 contracts to Tory donors and friends of Cabinet members, more Scots are scunnered with the Tories now than even in December last year when they were comprehensively rejected at the ballot box. Remember the number of Tory MPs elected in Scotland was more than halved from 13 to only 6 of the 59 seats available last year and their vote shrunk to only 25% across Scotland. Johnson and the Tories have the support of barely one in four Scots.
When the Brexit package of lies and deceit about deals and positive outcomes is added to an equation which saw 62% of Scots reject withdrawal from the EU in 2016, it is clear allegiance to the British Union has never been weaker in Scotland than it is today. England and Wales are getting what they voted for regarding Brexit, but Scotland’s democratically expressed opinion is simply being ignored. Is it any wonder then that an incredible sixteen opinion polls in succession have now recorded majority support for Scottish independence with some indicating support as high as 58%?
Westminster Will Not Agree to a Section 30 Order – We Don’t Need It
No wonder Boris Johnson has steadfastly confirmed he would refuse to agree to a Section 30 Order request from Nicola Sturgeon to hold IndyRef2 after the SNP win next May’s Scottish election. He and the dogs in the street know he will lose that referendum, so rather than allowing the people to decide he will close down democracy. Even if the highest court in Scotland agrees a Scottish Parliament organised poll is legal, he would boycott it and encourage other unionists to follow suit. It is an utter disgrace that the pathetic Labour red Tories in Scotland and the Liberal (UN) Democrats have refused to say whether they too would boycott such a legally sanctioned poll.
The SNP leadership really must raise their game now in the face of such Tory intransigence and denial of democracy. There should be no more rubbish about seeking a Section 30 permission slip from Boris Johnson. We know already he would not agree to it as senior SNP MP Angus MacNeil has explained eloquently but more fundamentally we cannot ever accept that the question of determining Scottish self-determination is at the whim of Westminster.
The Section 30 route pursued by Alex Salmond after victory at the 2011 Scottish Parliament election was a product of that moment in time. Up until then it had always been SNP policy that a majority of MPs elected to Westminster from Scotland was the trigger for independence negotiations. Section 30 Orders are a new phenomenon which shift far too much power into the hands of the oppressor and take all the power out of the hands of the oppressed. Scotland has an inalienable right to decide its constitutional future. The Act of British Union is a voluntary agreement, not a legally binding one in perpetuity.
Seize the Day – IndyRef2 Must Be Held in 2021
In line with the call from the former leader of the official YES Campaign in 2014 the SNP must make clear that they endorse Dennis Canavan’s advice and include a firm commitment to IndyRef2 in their May election manifesto to be held next year regardless of Tory opinion. Failure to ‘Seize the Day’ as Dennis suggests could prove fatal to the chances of independence and to the future fortunes of the SNP. They would be foolish to ignore Dennis, several senior SNP politicians and the grassroots independence movement who are impatient for progress and desperate for action.
Last month the Westminster leader of the SNP felt compelled to apologise for failure to use the multiple democratic mandates for IndyRef2 they have already been given and issued a cast iron commitment that IndyRef2 would take place next year:
“That referendum will take place and we need to plan that that referendum must take place in 2021”.
The use of the word “must” leave no room for misinterpretation. Failure to deliver on such a firm promise would be dire indeed. But that commitment cannot be dependent on Westminster’s permission for it as it will not be forthcoming. If the SNP leadership really do believe only Westminster has the right to decide when a referendum can be held, they really are not worthy of my support or of those 50% plus who currently invest their independence hopes in them.
The Tories have displayed their utter disregard for democracy with their boycott stance on a legally sanctioned referendum. They must not be allowed to hold the rest of us back. The SNP must announce that IndyRef2 will take place next autumn at the very latest, regardless of Tory boycotts and Westminster permissions. Every independence supporting party must include a commitment to such a referendum in their May manifestos next year. Should the independence supporting parties win a majority at that election then the question is answered and IndyRef2 takes place by Autumn 2021. Unionist boycott or no unionist boycott Scotland will be free by 2021.