Sunday, 2 March 2014

A Bodyguard of Lies

1. The biggest lie: Scotland has been legally and constitutionally subsumed by England in the UK Parliament

This is biggest lie on which much of the Better Together campaign hangs and is predicated on:  Scotland was subsumed by England at the time of the Treaty of Union. This is a lie which was given provenance by Bagshotte and other mid 19th Century 'Constitutional experts'. The Treaty of Union makes clear the sovereign parliaments of both Scotland and England were temporarily suspended by the Treaty of Union and lent their parliamentary sovereignty severally and jointly to the UK Parliament at Westminster. This a very different position to the one claimed of Scotland being subsumed.

The point of lending anything is at some point you may well ask for it back. Further as Lord Cooper pointed out in McCormack versus the Lord Advocate in 1953 the constitutional implication of this joint lending is that neither original parliament's legal and constitutional practices are dominant in the UK Parliament each remain inviolable and unique. The assumption of the superiority of only English legal and constitutional practices in the UK Parliament is in error and contrary to the Treaty of Union which preserves Scots Law and constitutional practice for all time - where 'all time' means exactly that. Thus the singular constitutional concept of the 'Crown in Parliament' has no legal or constitutional equivalent in Scots Law and constitutional practice as 'the considered will of the people of Scotland is paramount' not the Scottish Crown nor the UK Parliament. The issue of the importance of the 'considered will' was recently tested in AXA and others vs the Scottish Parliament and others (2012) in the UK Supreme Court. The UK Supreme Court agreed with Lord Cooper stating the UK Supreme Court did not have the authority to set aside any bill, act or statute of the Scottish Parliament which reflected the people of Scotland's considered will.

The protection offered by the Treaty of Union to Scots Law and constitutional practice was evidenced in Blair and Straw's attempt to spring Megrahi as a part of Blair's 'Deal in the Libyan Desert' with Gaddafi. To this end Blair and Straw rushed a prisoner transfer bill through Westminster then sought to apply the bill in Scotland for Megrahi's release. The Scottish Law Lords made clear this attempt to spring Megrahi by means of an English Law Bill was 'ultra vires' (outside the law) as Megrahi was prosecuted, convicted and held under Scottish legal jurisdiction and could only be transferred or released in accordance with the provisions of Scots Law. Once again demonstrating the myth of the superiority of the 'Crown in Parliament' is just that - a myth.


2. The Scots are subsidy junkies dependent on London and Westminster / Scotland's too poor, too wee, too stupid...

Too poor?

It is better if I just direct you here on the subject of too poor.


Too wee? 

Well Malta manages OK, as do Iceland and Greenland we could also chuck Luxemburg or the Principality of Monaco - if we compare ourselves with more equal population sizes there's Norway, Denmark or New Zealand - see too poor link.

Too Stupid? 

Scotland produces more graduates per head than most other EU nations, our principal universities are world renowned and in the top 200 in the world. We are world leaders in research and development of reusable energy technology and its applications and our specialist oil and gas extraction and recovery companies and consultants have a world wide market for systems they designed and put into use in the North Sea worth over £6 billion in foreign exchange to Sterling in 2011-2012. (see also 'too poor') In fact Scottish folk and companies are still leading the way in commercial and industrial innovation and entrepreneurship - just as we always have done - Fibre Optical digital computing? That'll be Heriot-Watt University. CAT Scanning? Edinburgh University Medical School in the 1970's  - the list of devices, products, systems we use or rely on on a daily basis which have started life in Scotland and are still being developed, are numerous. Damn - nearly forgot Chamber's famous dictionary ....

3. The Union of the Crowns


NEVER, EVER, HAPPENED - OK?

It just never happened. In case I am not being clear:
 

There never was or has been a Union of the Crowns as part of the Treaty of Union or at any time before or since.

One head, two separate crowns, two separate realms, two separate legal systems, two separate constitutions (Scotland has a basic written constitution in the form of the 1689 Claim of Right which is more of a contract between the Scottish Crown and the people telling the Scottish Crown just what it can and can not do and it can be booted out if it breaks the contract).
 

4. The Treaty of Union was signed because Scotland was bankrupt

Nope - this another 'porkie' which has been trotted out so often it has taken on a patina of truth. Scotland only went into rapid economic decline after the Treaty of Union was signed. There are a lot of reasons why the Treaty of Union was signed but Scotland being 'bankrupt' was not one. In the decade prior to the Union, Scotland's economy, according to Micheal Lynch in his 'A Short History of Scotland' (EUP), was growing at around 2.8% per annum based custom and duty returns ( a rate of growth Scotland has never reached as part of the UK Union). The Burgh's recovered their losses over Darien rapidly via burgeoning international trade. The Jacobite Lords had used money they had been given by London as bribes in the years after the 'Glorious Revolution' and recouped their losses from the same source as they were paid not to support a King 'over the sea', a king who they did not have much time for, thinking James 7th venial, ignorant and small minded. It was only the Tory Lords who were in the 'poop', as the Burghs were starting to look at calling in the mortgages the Tory Lords had taken out with them to invest in Darien - the new middle class wanted their cash back or the Tory Lord's estates in lieu. The Church Estate went along with the Lords Estate for its own benefit. Having been persecuted and run ragged by James 7th it was happy to go along with any plan that would prevent the Catholic Stuarts ever getting back on the throne of Scotland. The Treaty of Union ensured Hanoverians, good protestant Hanoverians, ones who could not meddle and were not allowed to meddle with the Reformed Church of Scotland in any shape or form would be on the throne.

The Lords and Church Estates signed up to the Treaty of Union for that good and grand esoteric logic - self interest.

So if you take these four basic lies which are recycled on a daily basis in one form or another just what have the Better Together campaign have which has any substance? Any substance at all?

The answer is 'not at lot' the Better Together Campaign's bodyguard of lies only have power if we either believe them or fail to challenge them at every turn and in so doing allow them to have 'power'.

(Churchill is claimed to have said - "In war, the first victim is the truth which is so precious, it can only be protected from its fate by a bodyguard of lies".)

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