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Showing posts with label Section 30 Order. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Section 30 Order. Show all posts

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

The lead-up to the Referendum Deal – panic sets in among Iain Davidson’s Committee

The deal is now done - these clips of 17th Sept 2012 show the mindset of Iain Davidson's committee in the lead-up to the critical negotiations. It is a mixture of macho posturing and sarcasm by Davidson, worried queries by others, and a pervasive sense of control of the process slipping away from them.

Michael Moore's opening summary of the vital importance of the referendum and the process is concise and effective .To my complete surprise and admiration, he demonstrates a calm understanding of the process of negotiation, and expertly blocks and circumvents the lunacies of the committee's approach. These Scottish MPs arguing against the independence of their native land are not a pretty sight. Moore has risen enormously in my estimation. Unionist or not, he is a superb politician and, on this showing, a diplomat, and one who despite his solid unionism, could play a significant role in the New Scotland.

As a staunch unionist, totally opposed to independence, we must not underrate him. But he will be a worthy, honourable opponent, and he deserves credit for his role in these fraught negotiations.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

A cry of frustration about process–and my reply

COMMENT

BarontorcTuesday, August 21, 2012

Am I just becoming exasperated or what? Tell me who controls the REFERENDUM?
What has it got to do with Cameron or any other UK mover and shaker if the 16/17 year olds alongside every other person in Scotland get the chance to offer their OPINION in that referendum?
If you're worried about shouts and screams from everybody and their aunties - where they have no locus and no say - so bloody what?
The VOTES will be counted in 2015 for Wastemonster and for Holyrood in 2016 - then and only then will the future for Scotland's people be decided - in Scotland and for Scotland.
If we keep going round in "what-if" circles - we'll end up - up our own bahookies!
Leave that to the sh** stirrers - they're very good at it.

MY REPLY

You're just becoming exasperated, Barontorc. I feel that way too at times, but here is the reality – we control the referendum, but -

There are a number of ways to approach a country's independence, the main ones being  unilateral secession - either by violent revolution or velvet revolution - or by legal, democratic referendum followed by negotiation. Scotland has chosen the latter for the obvious reason that opinion is divided within Scotland and either of the first two options would create violent conflict within Scotland and suppression from outside of it.

What is proposed is a consultative referendum, i.e. one that is simply an expression of the will of the Scottish electorate and can be presented to the UK Government as such, and as a basis for negotiation. It is vital that that process be endorsed, as far as is possible, not only by those in favour of independence but also those opposed, both within Scotland and outside of Scotland.

The first requirement, an essential one,  is that the Scottish Government considers the process to be legal under Scottish and international law.

The second requirement – not essential but desirable in my view -  is that the process be regarded as legal under EU and UK law.

The third requirement – intimately related to the first two - is that the outcome of the ballot itself be beyond reasonable legal challenge.

Any discussions and any measure that contribute to the acceptance by all Scots that i) the outcome of the ballot is valid and ii) that the subsequent negotiations are conducted on a legitimate basis - and ideally the UK, the EU and the world community - are therefore well-worth pursuing.

All nationalists occasionally entertain fantasies of a Slovenian velvet revolution, where we just walk away from the UK and, after a brief kerfuffle, it is accepted. But that is a fantasy and there is no basis in the current Scottish mood for it happening.

So the occasional cries of frustration - including mine - are understandable, but ultimately unhelpful, other than to let off steam before returning to sanity.

regards,

Peter

Sunday, 19 August 2012

To be or not to be – but what is the second question?

Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, saw it clearly – or at least Will Shakespeare saw it clearly for him. “To be or not to be – that is the question.” Hamlet asked himself whether he wanted to live or die – to exist or not to exist.

I considered exploring this in more depth in relation to the referendum, only to quickly be faced with the blindingly obvious realisation that Shakespeare has an unparalleled understanding of human nature and the human condition and I don’t.

There was no second question for Hamlet. In some way I feel that fact is significant to Scotland’s choice in 2014, but without Will’s help I do not have the capacity to develop the concept.  This will regrettably be no barrier to those equally lacking in capacity but also seriously deficient in judgement who will latch on to the quote and take it further.

I can only shudder at what the Daily Mail, The Times, or Johann Lamont or Ian Davidson, or his partner in The Coalition against the Independence of Their Native Land (BetterTogether) Ruth Davidson might do with it. Perhaps that master of pompous – and vacuous -  neo-Churchillian cadences, William Hague might wrap his rhetorical gifts around the idea.

Iain Macwhirter had his own question today in the Sunday HeraldHas Salmond said yes to no second question?

While lacking the eternal nature of To be or not to be? this question has a catchy, journalesy feel to it, and is undoubtedly relevant. Well, has he, in private or otherwise? Here’s what that well-known figure, a spokesperson for the First Minister said today -

“We have always said that we have absolutely no objection to a Section 30 Order in regard to the referendum, and the UK Government has to understand that the terms and timing of the referendum must be decided in Scotland, by the Scottish Parliament – not dictated by Westminster – and that includes a possible ‘more powers’ option.  It is only right that these matters are carefully and properly considered, which is exactly what the Scottish Government are doing in our consultation.”

The ‘We’ is not the Royal ‘We’, it means the Scottish Government. If I may be so bold as to translate the statement, it means something like this -

‘We don’t need the UK’s legal approval to hold our referendum or frame our question – or questions – but if a Section 30 order helps to avoid the nuisance of legal challenges, that’s OK with us.

But we won’t be told by the UK government how many questions we will have, nor will we accept that as a quid pro quo for a Section 30 order, but since we are not hell-bent on having a second question  (despite outrageous statements about the nature of our relationship with Civic Scotland, Future of Scotland and the SCVO, and the fact that everything we do and say seems to suggest just that) we still have the opportunity of the consultation outcome, and its interpretation, to justify a decision to go for a single YES/NO question, opinion polls permitting, of course.

Such a decision would, of course, be completely unrelated to the granting of a Section 30 order.

I wonder what the Prince of Denmark – somewhere in literary eternity - will say after the referendum about all of this – and whose skull he will be contemplating as he considers the result?