Democracy or domination, dignity or disdain

There’s a definite whiff of desperation about the anti-independence parties in Scotland these days. And by whiff I mean the overwhelming stench of a pile of rotting corpses on a sunny day. It’s clear now that they only have one tactic for winning a second Scottish independence referendum, and that is to try and prevent another referendum from ever taking place. They know that when that referendum does eventually come about, they’ve as good as lost.

How exactly can you campaign on a platform of assuring Scotland that it’s a valued and loved equal partner in a family of nations when your actions over the past five years have proven that Scotland is no such thing? You can’t, is the short answer. The promise that Scotland would be an equal partner in a family of nations wasn’t merely broken, it was crushed, filtered so that any grain of truth was removed and discarded, and the remainder shot into a black hole so that it’s no longer accessible from this universe. The Conservatives might be venal, they might be avaricious, they might be underhand, authoritarian, and anti-democratic, but they retain a tiny modicum of awareness that tells them that the people of Scotland won’t swallow the lie of a partnerhip of nations ever again.

Ever since David Cameron stood in front of Downing Street the morning after the independence referendum of 2014 and told us that it had really been about England all along, and that he would introduce measures to restrict the voting rights of Scottish MPs in the Commons, Scotland has been sidelined, marginalised, and treated with contempt. You can’t on the one hand offer Scotland the guarantee that the powers of Holyrood would be entrenched in law and put beyond the ability of any Westminster government to alter without the express consent of the Scottish Parliament, while the other hand grabs as many powers back as it can and dismisses Scottish attempts to resist.

The history of the past few years speaks for itself. Anyone who sets out to campaign on the basis of telling Scotland that this country depends upon the security and stability provided to it by the UK will be ridiculed, laughed at, and mocked in derision. The UK has been mired in confusion, instability, and chaos for the past few years, the extreme right has taken over the Conservative party, the Labour party is consumed itself in internal battles. Labour is being brought down by accusations of anti-semitism, the Conservatives are doing their level best to deflect accusations of islamophobia. It’s only because the media assists them in their deflections that Conservative racism, xenophobia, sectarianism, and islamophobia is not as big an issue in this election as the accusations of anti-semitism which Labour is facing.

It is now a mainstream position in British politics that the results of elections in Scotland can be ignored. Democracy itself is threatened. All the main British parties are ignoring the mandate which the Scottish Parliament already possesses for another independence referendum. They get away with this shocking contempt for democracy because the media does not hold them to account for it, even though they apparently have no solid reasons other than the claim that it wasn’t written in the 2016 SNP manifesto in sufficiently large letters.

All those British parties are equally determined to ignore the result of this coming General Election in Scotland. It wouldn’t matter to them if the SNP wins a substantial number of extra seats, increases its vote share significantly, they tell us that won’t count as a mandate for another independence referendum. Just because. Because they say so. Because it suits them. Because the media helps them by not holding them to account for it. That’s a fundamental undermining of the basic principles of democracy. Yet that’s where we are in the UK today. To campaign against Scottish independence in another referendum means defending that position. That’s not a good look for any political party. That’s why they don’t want another referendum any time soon, because they know that they have nothing positive to offer the people of Scotland, nothing positive to say. All they have are threats, scare stories, bullying, and intimidation.

Our public services are threatened, bruised and battered, like never before. There are only so many sticking plasters that a Scottish Government can put on the open wounds created by a UK Government which controls the economy and the budget – yet it’s the Scottish Government which gets the blame for the macroeconomic decisions of the British state. The trade deal that Boris Johnson seeks risks the future of the NHS, it will see standards in food, consumer and employment rights plummet. Continuing Tory rule will see even more homeless people on our streets, even more kids going to the foodbank with their parents instead of the supermarket, even more elderly people freezing in homes they can’t afford to heat. The post war British consensus that delivered free health care, free education, a social security system that offers a safety net for all, decent public services that guarantee dignity, it’s been shattered and destroyed by those who preach about the values of Britishness. The only way to save them is by rejecting the British state that has rejected those supposedly British values, values that are really values of basic decency and humanity.

There is no prospect of an end to this self-inflicted misery any time soon. Boris Johnson’s campaign slogan in this election “Get Brexit done” is the biggest of his many lies. Brexit isn’t the process of taking the UK out of the EU, it’s the end state. Brexit isn’t over and done with when the UK leaves the EU, it’s only just beginning. It’s like telling us we need to get an uncomfortable and unpleasant journey done, and ignoring the fact that the destination is even worse. The journey may be uncomfortable, but Johnson’s destination is a hellhole.

There’s only one way to escape, only one route that leads to common decency, to dignity, to democracy. That’s to vote for a party that campaigns for Scotland to have the right to determine her own future, and not to have its future determined for it by people like Boris Johnson who neither know us nor care about us. There’s a simple choice in this election – democracy or domination, dignity or disdain, development or devastation. That means voting for the party that wants Scotland to have a say. There’s only one party in this election with a realistic chance of winning seats that offers that choice – that’s the SNP.

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72 thoughts on “Democracy or domination, dignity or disdain

  1. How many times has the treaty of the union been broken by England’s political leaders since 1707?
    could anyone help me with this information?

  2. Yup, the media have a lot to answer for in all this, without the mass propaganda operation in support of this nest of thieves and liars, they wouldn’t have gotten away with half of it.

    A depressing but worthwhile read is the Glasgow Uni lecture by Ivan Rogers from last week, the Daily Fail won’t serialise it is has no pictures and gives the wrong type of information to the masses. Instead it is Demonic Cummings topics of the day, Labour antisemitism to the south and SNP killing kids to the north,
    Scotland desperately needs a SNP landslide and Indy2, as it looks likely the Charlatan in Chief with media support will be singing “Jingo Bells” all the way into No 10.

    • Nope. Sorry Robert. You were unable to post without using the words England or English in a negative way. I’m not going to authorise any more of your comments until you can post here without using those words.

  3. Martin Kettle has another (yawn!) ‘Project Fear’/’Betray us Together’ piece on the break up of the Union in today’s Guardian. (Can’t be bothered to share it with you here – look for it yourselves.)

    In other news, sad to hear of the passing of Clive James. RIP.

  4. Excellent post Paul and thank you for writing it. Like many today I was proud of our First Ministers manifesto and the way she delivered it. I have many friends in England and Wales and they constantly say to me “if only we had somebody like Nicola Sturgeon battling for us they way she does for Scotland”

    I made a comment on WGD last year saying the next referendum will be a dirty nasty affair by Bitter Together and already I can see there lies being rehearsed and potential promises and lies being made.

    We are a different Country now (street wise and pi–ed off with Unionism)

    Whatever they offer to prevent a no vote just say NO,

    rant over folks sorry, john.

  5. Boris Johnson calls himself a One Nation Conservative. He does not believe that there are 4 nations (actually 3 nations and a bit of a nation) and his one nation is the English nation!

    • I mùst admit whenever any of the Tories call themselves one nation Conservatives I always think yep that’s right – England.

  6. The mistake they made was to make British identity look like it was on loan. From that point on, the only case they can make is that of supplicant looking for handouts. Sticking up for that wretched lie killed the labour party in Scotland, and frankly good riddance to them. The most recent and I think the last mistake they made, was allow the Tories to define what being British in Scotland means.
    An English party in Scotland, with a bullingdon bully to hide behind.

  7. I fully agree with the content of this article.

    I have two other reasons for wanting independence: Julian Assange, and the Skriplas.

  8. I received snp leaflet through the door and took the time to read thoroughly, it is a new name on it I haven’t heard of before, and included a reply/response leaflet on voting indications, and a little box for opinions,
    Well I was not impressed with the candidate. If it had not had snp wrote on it, you would have thought that it was a Tory candidate, he mentioned farmers and fishing and big industries, he even went on to say “He would roll up his sleeves” to work for the people in the community, anyone remember David Cameron rolling up his sleeves in 2014.
    I returned the response questioner yesterday and actually wrote he was coming across as someone like David Cameron and wished I had also mentioned the name Thomson (but regretfully didn’t). A brief mention from him on independence,
    He appeared to favour a few elite families that have a monopoly on fishing here and on big farm land owners, and larger industries, a possible future Tory? Maybe. Or a Tory that realises he will not have a career if he does not jump over to the right side of a Scottish fence. He is still a youngster judging by his photograph, hopefully he will grow out of it, ( couldn’t make out if he was doing the power stance)
    I also informed him I would be voting snp again despite his leaflet.

    • Maybe this candidate is the first of what will become the “Right grouping” in Independent Scotland’s parliament. I suppose we can expect Scottish MPs from across the political spectrum in the future.

    • Don’t you think that if his constituents are fishermen, farmers and they have ”big industries” in the area that’s what they’d want to hear about, James? Favouring and mentioning elite families and land owners in his leaflet comes across as being beyond the pale to me. What about naming him James, out of interest? See if any of us know who he is and then maybe we could check out his credentials and leaflet online.?

  9. In other news:

    – 16 and 17 y/o to be able to vote in Senedd Cymru/Welsh Parliament Elections (In time for 2021 Election)
    – Ditto for Council Elections (- coming soon)
    – Foreign National given vote in Senedd Cymru/Welsh Parliament Elections
    – National Assembly to change its name to Senedd Cymru/Welsh Parliament (May 2020)
    – Politicians to be called Aelodau o’r Senedd/Members of the Senedd

    • Starting to get worried that Wales might overtake Scotland soon and be independent before us. Anyway good news for Wales. The Welsh are waking up to how the UK will never be any good for Wales.

      • Join the party, Cubby. And join the Party, too! You know I belong to both National Parties – all perfectly legit.

        We still have a lot to learn from Scotland politically – but I’m glad my presence here (and elsewhere) ensures the learning is a three-way street. (Three way? Yes – Scotland learns from Cymru, Cymru learns from Scotland , and I learn from both. Not sure if anyone learns anything from me, mind …)

  10. Many thanks Alan for link, perhaps that should be an eye opener for those in Scotland whom are still undecided and think England’s political elites will play fair after/when or if we obtain a referendum,
    Sooo why do we still believe here that the treaty of the union is still valid, and what leads us to believe that we have to seek permission for the sovereign people of Scotland to vote on the independence of our country,
    Can anyone else here add any other instances where the treaty of the union has been broken?, it’s really interesting to find all the knowledge I do not know, and would be beneficial to others on our Indy sites. I have to admit this was new information to me.

  11. I really hope someone from the SNP is following these independence websites and getting a flavour of people’s thoughts ,
    I have been following most sites from before 2013 and have seen some excellent ideas to inform the general public and pauls whole set of ready to go billboards or ideas for posters have been some of the best , unfortunately they haven’t been taken up or used as far as i can see maybe there is better talent and ideas out there but it’s well hidden !! .

    My own idea for the last few days would be concentrate on one single thing the danger to the NHS and the Scottish NHS in particular because Johnstone as we know has been making noises that he has our NHS in his sights , all the more worrying when Labour at holyrood refused to back the SNP bill to put it out of harm’s way , and labour wonder where the voters went , jesus wept at their actions . a totally baffling set of individuals and not a Spine between the lot of them .

  12. What I don’t get is that they keep on banging on about their ‘precious Union’, yet the ‘Union’ between Wales and England (far more an Anschluss of my country than was the case with Scotland – at least you had the pretence of a discussion in *your* Parliament, and for that ‘parcel of rogues’ to sell you out, whereas we did not in 1535), was annulled as of 21 December 1993 by an Act of the Westminster Parliament. And that *before* devolution.

    Could not a similar piece of legislation – revoking the two Treaties of Union between England [sic.] and Scotland, similarly annul yours? Why, we had been united with England for longer and much more … ahem … intimately than Scotland ever was. And they think the 1706/1707 legislation can not be abolished?

    Get thee back home, John Bull – and think again.

    • Seemingly Boris Johnson withdrew from the Andrew Neil interview at short notice tonight . No reason was given – but it was probably because he is a big feartie !

    • Fake news so far – the ‘BBC Politics UK’ Twitter account is a parody (though uncomfortably near the truth…). Looks like the BBC have already leaned on it to change its name – now ‘HD’ after Hal something who runs it.

  13. There is obviously no mandate for Indyref2 because it wasn’t written in phoney olde world scroll parchment font on the front page of the Daily Record like the infamous vow. Using a proper political manifesto just does not cut it in the extreme right wing world of the Britnats.

    It would appear Nicola Sturgeon in going for a mandate once again by putting it in the SNP manifesto is repeating her mistake over and over again. SNP put your mandate on the front page of the Daily Record. We all know the Britnats honour such vows. Serious vows are only those on the front page of the Daily Record.

    What a disgrace the UK is.

  14. There is no democracy for Scotland in the UK. Nicola Sturgeon said today there is a democratic deficit. I say that really means there is no democracy. There is only lies and propaganda from Britnat politicians and Britnat media.

    Just watched an appalling “fact check” from Sky news.

    Deficits compared major economies 2019. That was Sky’s heading. Sources: Sky/GERS/ IMF

    What an appalling joke of a comparative bar chart. It had Norway at the top with the biggest surplus and Scotland at the bottom with the biggest deficit. All the countries featured were independent except of course Scotland. A pretty important fact not pointed out by the Sky reporter. It allows the UK to present any figures it wants for Scotland. The IMF was clearly the source for the other countries and the UK propaganda GERS for Scotland. Why the hell SKY was noted as a source is beyond me.

    This crap analysis would not pass a first year school economics and statistics class. Cyprus was included in the top six of countries in surplus. Malta was also included. Hardly major economies as per the heading. How can there be annual deficits for 2019 when it is Nov 2019 and there is still a month of 2019 to go.

    This fact check was prepared to counteract Nicola Sturgeons speech from earlier today. Sadly people in Scotland will be taken in by this crap.

    • ”All the countries featured were independent except of course Scotland.”

      This type of ”reporting” just cracks me up Cubby. They know exactly what they’re doing. On the other-hand if ordinary Scots can’t see that their country must be one of the richest in the world, with the natural resources that we have, they are sadly lacking. Or have brainwashed minds filled with Unionist dross now.

    • Aye Cubby
      I watched it at my brother’s house.
      A disgrace of a report.
      After pointing out to my brother some things to consider, englandland wasn’t there it was UK, 2019 and it’s fiscal year ends in April 2020, AND you’re paying for this tripe to be sent to your home as FACT.
      Who is fact checking SKY?
      This was lazy journalism at best, at worse it was blatant PROPAGANDA.

      • Not only do they use the TV (invented by a Scot) but they are now using bar charts (invented by a Scot – William Playfair) to pump propaganda into our homes to tell Scots they are rubbish. Any union that that does this is not a Union but a prison camp.

  15. The Unionist media and the UK establishment, TV celebrities, authors and anyone else who had a mouthpiece during indyref 1 bombarded us with love and beseeched us to stay. “Scotland puts the great in Great Britain” and all the other tosh they served up for us back then. They have used up their store of love bombs. There will be no love bombs left in their arsenal. Yes they think we are stupid but I don’t think that they think that we are so stupid as to swallow another barrage of love bombing. This time around it will be maximum fear and scary stories. If the polls continue to show a majority for Yes before the vote then they will Sh!t themselves and roll out the threats. When they become desperate they will use the last resort which could mean a refusal to accept a yes result. Before we get to that stage, and I bet they have already gamed this in their planning, they will attempt to turn Scotland against itself by seeking to divide us by trying to convince our brothers and sisters in Orkney and Shetland that they really aren’t Scots and that they should succeed by voting no in the referendum. They don’t want us they want our wealth and believe me they will not easily give it up even if it means annexing the islands. I’m not usually conspiratorial but when you have a power as big as the UK and you are a threat to their finances then they will fight tooth and nail to protect it.

    Let’s keep this in perspective. The UK is the 5th largest economy in the world and we claiming our sovereignty and wealth and denying them is a very very big international event that will be the biggest international news event of the time it will be huge . It won’t be as simple as a yes majority then shake hands and move on. It will be a very big and drawn out affair. The facts are that they can’t survive without us and they know it and they will do everything legal and illegal to keep our wealth.

    All I’m saying is let’s not wear the rose coloured glasses. We need to have 20/20 realism and be prepared for some very dirty tricks coming from the establishment. We ain’t seen nothing yet.

    Sorry for the negativity but I think we just need to remain grounded and not get carried away with confidence of a clean fight. There will be no marquess of Queensberry rules.

  16. ..”All I’m saying is let’s not wear the rose coloured glasses. We need to have 20/20 realism and be prepared for some very dirty tricks coming from the establishment. We ain’t seen nothing yet.

    Sorry for the negativity but I think we just need to remain grounded and not get carried away with confidence of a clean fight. There will be no marquess of Queensberry rules.”

    Good post Malky and I don’t think that you’re being negative at all.

    Gillian McGregor, Director at the Scotland Office, taking over says it all for me.

    • MI5 more like…. I wonder how many agents and No whisperers they have stationed in Orkney and Shetland?? Just a thought. I suppose MI5 will be monitoring me and perhaps everyone on this forum by now. Hi ya spooks 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

  17. Petra, the young snp candidate name is RObrtson and he is for Banff and BUchan area, yes there is fishing here and Seafied is the largest land owner in the area and a lot of farms are rented from him,

  18. Sorry meant to add. I think he is lord seafield and I believe his families name appears as one of the sigitures on Treaty of the Union, not a lot of work around here, most farms do not need workers as machinery has replaced them, and most of the boats employe non locals, people are travelling 15 to 25 miles on average to get to work each day. Not a lot of small businesses even Tesco,s closing this year, this area needs lots of smaller businesses in all there guises to keep its population here, my own son immigrated to New Zealand 18 years ago for a chance of a better life.

    • He comes across as being an ideal SNP candidate James, so let’s hope that people give him the opportunity to prove himself. Did he mention Lord Seafield by name in his leaflet?

      Sorry to hear that your son has immigrated. Still losing our youngsters! Just about every family in Scotland has experienced the sadness of no longer having our loved ones living nearby. Six of my nieces/nephews, all highly educated, are living abroad now (2xUS, Saudi, Netherlands, Brussels and England!). My sister-in-Law is in the US, my only sister is in Australia and my father, a Labour Convenor, scunnered with the way things were going here, emigrated to Australia too and died there. And of course aunts, uncles etc, etc. It just goes on and on hopefully will end, to some extent, with the opportunities that will emerge with independence.

      • I thought it was sad to hear about your families diaspora Petra. On the plus side I hope they are all doing well in their adopted countries.

        I suppose the families of our immigrants that come to Scotland feel the same.

        • All doing well Andy and acting as great, constructive ambassadors for Scotland. Hopefully some will decide to return home eventually though. I also think that knowing that our folks face challenges when starting anew abroad shapes our attitude to immigrants arriving here where we’re more welcoming and supportive.


          I find it strange that when Labour politicians are being confronted with the IFS’s negative report on Corbyn’s economic policies, such as on BBC’s PoliticsLive with bully boy Neil, they don’t mention that 160 economists and academics actually support them.

  19. Brilliant article Paul, pity it cant see the light of day on the MSM which based on the latest Yougov Poll is clearly winning the strategy to have a Tory Majority to get Bullying Regressive Egregious Xenophobic Intolerant Treacherous done

  20. They’re not even bothering to disguise their disregard for the voting public at this point. The usual suspects don’t really give a shit what they say or what they do. They certainly don’t consider that there is CLEARLY already, a great deal of societal fallout. Nor will they accept that their practices are directly to blame for the state of the UK we see today. Same pretty much applies when it comes to the media.

    There is another thing people might consider in the responsibility stakes… You get who, (but not necessarily WHAT), you vote for.

    Unless of course you actually do want epic fibbers sitting in some other parly, in another country, making your life a bloody misery and using a massive democratic deficit to undermine a partnership, then you do get who and what you want.

    THAT really should cause folk some sleepless nights. 😎

  21. Great post Paul.I see Jowan Swansong of Irritable Vowel fame has taken my local Snp Candidate to court re something in the candidates election materials about how Jo accepted a donation from a company with a fracking licence . Sadly Jo won the case and at the moment the leaflet can’t be posted but I hope the case is appealed. Jo must be worried if she is going to those legths. No worries most people who live in East Dunbartonshire as I do know Jo is nothing but a pop up MP a liar a chancer and a hypocrite so having the court case story all over the BBC news app has only added fuel to the fire. Lets not forget Jo was the person at last general election with the dodgy election expenses for all those undelivered leaflets.🤔

  22. Amid all the media hype about how poor the choices are for the country ( sic ) , hardly a mention of the FPTP voting system .
    A proportional voting system would immediately emasculate the two main parties and bring the UK into the 20th Century ( at least ) and give voters a more representative Parliament . Strangely , this gets very little traction in the UK media – wonder why ?

    • Spot on Millsy. Their voting system lies at the very heart of Westminster’s stinking, undemocratic, political system and if they don’t change that baseline the UK, more so England when we leave, will continue to go right down the stank. There’s no mention of this by the media because most of it is complicit in keeping these two parties (two faces of the same erse) in power to everyone else’s detriment.

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