SNP are playing by a rule book that’s long since been ripped up

GOD love Ian Blackford. Time without number he has justly tried to hold the government to account (Blackford makes formal call for Cummings probe, June 1).

He has been a far more effective, and de facto, leader of the opposition whilst first Corbyn and now Starmer have been doing goodness knows what. Their performance in the face of the two worst crises to hit these nations in decades has been woefully shameful.

I frankly don’t know how Ian finds the time to do everything he does. Like all other SNP MPs and MSPs he invests hard time in trying to hold the government to account. I would ask, however, if it has occurred to him and them – as it has done to me for some time – that this is all just a total waste of time.

READ MORE: Blackford: lack of PM action means we need Cummings inquiry

We are faced with an anarchic political party with an obscene and entirely unjustified 80-seat majority that, frankly, just doesn’t care about Scotland. Scottish politicians are just noisy little inconveniences who have to be ignored, snubbed, disrespected, abused and trampled at every turn.

They are never consulted or invited to comment, the results of manifold elections are ignored, they can be shouted and jeered down in “the mother of parliaments” and they can expect no favour from any media quarter.

Scotland exists for its whisky, golf and huntin’, shootin’ and fishin’, end of story. I admire our First Minister, and those of her Cabinet colleagues, for trying to play by the book, but can they not realise there isn’t a book any more? It was ripped up a long time ago, constitutional democracy in the UK is being squeezed out of existence by the week, lying and cheating are the order of the day and, of course, the arch-snake Cummings has been running amok through the corridors of power for some time.

READ MORE: Ian Blackford: The PM’s defence of Dominic Cummings is endangering lives

My personal belief is that his County Durham excursion was entirely premeditated. Not only has his anarchic ego had a massive boost, but he has flouted the “rules” with impunity, he’s untouchable and he’s just kicked all his backers hard between the legs. The weekend’s gatherings south of the Border are his backers saying: “Sod you, if you can do it, so can we!” And he knows this exactly. 1-0 to Cummings.

As George Kerevan says, there’s no point in asking for a Section 30. It’s part of the book that has been ripped up. We have to find a way to agree that all traditionally legitimate avenues have been journeyed down time and again and we have to do it differently, ignoring England as it has done us, and appealing to the international community for support and recognition and unilaterally, if necessary, seceding.

The primacy of the Declaration of Arbroath must be tested. The Treaty of Union was, in fact, a prima facie breach of the Declaration of Arbroath as it did not have the backing of the people of Scotland, with whom sovereignty resides now as it did then. “The UK” fights dirty, and will fight even dirtier. We need to realise this and measure our response accordingly, but certainly not through the extinct traditional systems and mores.

Jim FinniePitlochry

THERE is a real danger that the independence dream will die because we are too nice, too idealistic and dreamy. The SNP may well win next May’s Holyrood election and be mandated to pursue another indyref. The PM will disdainfully refuse. Yet another mandate tucked behind the clock on the mantelpiece, as the the Wee Ginger Dug would describe it.

So I propose that the SNP insert into their manifesto a solemn promise of further specific action if a legally binding referendum is indeed refused next spring. They could promise UDI, but geographical proximity to England and a tiny population by comparison would almost certainly result in that Declaration of Independence failing.

READ MORE: An Independence Tsar could be what our movement needs

My preference is that we hold an independence referendum which fully acknowledges Westminster’s refusal to sanction it, but nevertheless is legally binding. Obviously it won’t be binding on the UK or on any international body like the EU. It will, however, be fully binding on the Scottish Government who, in the event of a Yes vote, must immediately open negotiations with Westminster for secession from the Union. A constitution will be drawn up and a date for independence set. A refusal to negotiate by Westminster seems likely, but we proceed nevertheless. A constitutional crisis follows, which could well ultimately be decided by public opinion throughout the UK backing our right to secede.

I can foresee two potential problems and there may be more, but with careful planning and unbreakable determination we should prevail. Under UK law, our vote will be branded illegal. But the world knows the plight of Scotland and I believe the international community of nations might well side with us or at least stay neutral. Once we succeed, the EU will be as welcoming as they would be had we secured freedom via an agreed referendum such as indyref1. Any application from Scotland shall be decided solely by EU policy towards enlargement at that point in time.

Secondly there could be a Unionist boycott of the vote. That is definitely not an insurmountable hurdle and could be allowed for in the rules for the vote. For example, if there are four million eligible voters, then a simple majority of two million plus one will force the Scottish Government to initiate secession. An outcome of that magnitude (or even greater) is achievable if we run a good campaign.

What I propose is democracy in action. We could, in a matter of a couple of years, have moved completely away from governance by a parliamentary system controlled from outwith by wealthy, powerful and shadowy individuals. A strong constitution for an independent Scotland could prevent the same sorry state of affairs ever occurring here: “Of the people, by the people, for the people”, or perhaps “Liberté, Fraternité, Égalité”. Some poetic idealist better start thinking up the slogan for Scotland reborn. The elite shall have had their day.

David CrinesHamilton

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