Sunday, 14 July 2013

That Was a Week that Was ...

With hind sight I wonder if those of us promoting the 'Yes Campaign' will look on the last week and be able to say this was the point the Better Together Campaign lost the plot, this was the real tipping point?

On the face of it there was the usual guff coming from Westminster and their London media poodles continuing the too wee, too small, too stupid attack on Scottish Independence while also apparently talking up Darling's latest launch attempt of a positive campaign message from 'Better Together'. The Better Together campaign felt, for once, they had their ducks in line. Darling's speech would be ahead of Wee Eck's giving them a media 'lead' in their own tame media - what could go wrong?

Someone in the MoD misunderstood the 'plan' and decided the time was right to brief 'off the record' on the latest wheeze to keep the unloved nuclear detterent and its future replacement - let's annex a couple of chunks of Scotland after independence and call it England, that sounds a good scare story, that sorts out the SNP's claim of being able to get the nuclear detterent out of Scotland - job done; surely.

What looks a smart, cunning, devastating idea amongst the 'wonk's in London does not always translate as such in Scotland, this 'kite flying' was a classic of the art of shooting yourself in the foot (if not both).

So let us remember the time line which is always the first thing any politician sets out to blurr when they have made a total balls up.

Sometime on Wednesday one of the Guardian lead writers gets let in on the 'annexation' wheeze. As he does not have a clue about Scotland or its politics he can only see this through Westminster eyes - a killer punch. He files his story at Guardian Towers who love this idea and see it as a major coup, a feather in their cap. Late in the Wednesday evening the SNP media people pick up the story and start creating their counter attack. At this point it appears that Better Together still do not know about the 'support' story and are happily briefing about Darling's super-duper positive speech for the Union due to go out to an invited audience and YouTube at 1000 on the Thursday.

Around 0700 'Better Together' waken up to what is going on, the media is running with the 'annexation' story and the SNP are already on the attack. Darling gets on the phone to Cameron and I have few doubts the conversation was less than civil. The week of pumping Darling's positive speech by the Scottish end blown by Westminster in around three hours. Darling is not the story, the story is the idea that an independent England would think of trying to annex a part of an independent Scotland. An idea redolent of everything the bulk of Scots do not like about the English establishment's colonial attitude. The Darling carrot and MoD stick becomes the stick with which to beat Darling. It is clear from the damage limitation action that this was a London 'wheeze'. How much Darling knew about this 'wheeze' is unclear - except possibly he was promised a big idea to help his umpteenth relaunch of Better Together. It is clear it was a planned move. Menzies Campbell rapidly ran around the London media studios in major denial mode and making clear the problem was the massive advantage the story had just given the SNP and the Yes Campaign and not the idea of the possible 'annexation'.

The problem with the soon to be English Establishment is after 300 odd years it believes its own spin that Scotland was subsumed by England in the Union Treaty and has the cack handed idea they tell us and we Scots just do - hence the 'annexation' idea. It is a problem exacerbated by a number of so called 'constitutional experts' who pander to the same line that Scotland is subservient to the 'English crown in parliament' as is the people of Scotland's sovereignty. The same set of experts seek to deride Lord Cooper's judgement in McCormack vs the Lord Advocate (1953) which upholds the constitutional practice of the Scottish people being sovereign (Claim of Right 1689) and points out the idea that any parliament is not bound by its predecessors has no validity in Scots Law and constitutional practice, laws and practice which remain independent of Westminster for 'all time' in terms of the 1706 Treaty of Union. Lord Cooper also stated that for 'all time' in the Treaty meant exactly that. Further, any changes to the Treaty could only be made by negotiation between the sovereign parliaments of the original signatories - England and Scotland. This point of law and constitutional practice was conceded by the Lord Advocate on behalf of the Westminster Parliament in 1953.

The impact of all this is the United Kingdom ceases to exist in any legal or constitutional basis if it is  the sovereign people of Scotland's considered will to end the Treaty of Union. The importance of which is skated over by the idea of the supremacy of Westminster over the Scots is simply this, as soon as a 'Yes' result is announced the Treaty is no more, the UK is no more as it only exists within the terms of the 1706 Treaty and the negotiation of the details of the split of current Westminster functions and assetts can only take place between the sovereign parliaments of England and Scotland, as original signatories.

Here is the big problem for a Westminster establishment which sees the Scots as 'subsumed' they are barking up the wrong constitutional tree and there will be a constant series of these type of communication failures between the Westminster and Scottish end of 'Better Together', based on this fundamental constitutional error they persist in peddling. The time to identify the areas required to be negotiated is in the run up to the referendum but again this would expose the constitutional problems of many of the Westminster establishments 'scare' claims by forcing what the actual situation is, into the public domain. A 'Yes' vote also means there will be no Westminster MPs elected from Scotland to the Westminster UK Parliament in 2015 as it has ceased to exist and returns to being the sovereign English Parliament. I believe the 'Yes Campaign' are aware of the real constitutional position and impact a 'Yes' vote delivers and will spring this on 'Better Together' at some point in the next 14 months. 

In the meantime, long may Westminster continue to successfully shoot their own 'Better Together' campaign in Scotland in both feet.

1 comment:

  1. You are correct, and when you think about it, it is obvious. Yet even the best among our number are so conditioned that they regularly shoot themselves in the foot and thereby serve to damage the very cause they espouse.

    George Kerevan: "I dare say (for form’s sake) that . . Scotland might have to apply for membership under Article 49 of the EU Treaty" (NNS FRIDAY, 19 OCTOBER 2012 "Leading the way into a bright, new Europe")

    Given that Scotland can only become independent by dissolving the internationally recognized bilateral Treaty of Union with England and any contingent INTRA-state treaties of unions derived therefrom, I wonder how George Kerevan can dare say that.

    This the statement is in this respect, borne of a doctrinaire colonial mindset.

    "The threatened breakaways by Scots" . . . ? Really? This is textbook Britnat-speak.

    To echo and expand on the text of the article herein, the British Union was created by Scotland and England, in their joining in 1707.

    We know that because the Treaty tells us it is so in Article 1:

    " . . the Two Kingdoms of Scotland and England, shall . . be United into One Kingdom by the Name of GREAT BRITAIN."

    That is, the 'United Kingdom of Great Britain'.

    When Scotland becomes independent again by virtue of the dissolution of that united kingdom, there will BE no residual UK or rUK. How could there be? It is like insisting an "rMarriage" exists after a divorce. It is demonstrably a fantasy.

    Rather there will RE-emerge the two sovereign, original, and successor states: the Kingdom of Scotland and the Kingdom of England.

    How could it possibly be that upon dissolution of their union, England would be the sole heir to the rights and obligations of any INTER-state treaties COLLECTIVELY entered into by the principals of the former UK?

    Legally and logically, how could England retain the rights and privileges of EU membership, yet Scotland be deemed a non-EU state?

    IS Scotland expected to bear its share of the burden of the liabilities of the former UK yet to be denied its share of its assets? What would the legal basis be for that?

    England did not absorb Scotland - Scotland and England joined in a political lawful union akin to a marriage, and their independence will be restored upon dissolution of that union. Each is then heir to the rights and obligation of any INTER-state treaties and agreements entered into be the former UK.

    On the other hand, if Scotland IS in the end, determined to be a brand new state, then it can not be burdened by the debts of old.

    It is one or the other - share in the benefits and liabilities of the former UK, or be reborn debt free.

    Christian Wright