Just when you thought that the depth of the democratic deficit could get no deeper, or the contempt shown for the Scottish people could get more stark, the Tories deliver. Hiding behind a pre-recorded interview, the Prime Minister has ruled against a referendum ahead of a Scottish Parliament vote this week.
The problem for Theresa May and her cohorts is not their terminal decline, nor the complete void of credibility in the wake of David Davis’s performance yesterday, it is not even the howls of derision her decision will cause, after all, ‘Who cares?’, right?
It is the simple truth that the Brexit shambles is dangerously out of control threatening economic carnage not just to Scotland but to the rest of the UK. But more than that there is no end in sight. As the First Minister wrote: “if PM thinks we won’t know terms of Brexit by autumn next year, she must think her own timetable will fail.”
The irony of The Prime Minister that Nobody Elected arguing about people making decisions ‘in the blind’ in the context of Brexit – a vote based on lies for an outcome still bafflingly unclear – is hysterical.
This is a democratic outrage of historic proportions. It’s reckless arrogance from a detached and deluded elite.
It is immediately being dressed up as a personal feud between two ladies, but this characterisation is unlikely to hide a the reality of constitutional crisis.
The level of denial and lack of consciousness is extraordinary. The Prime Minister said:
“To be talking about an independence referendum would I think make it more difficult for us to be able to get the right deal for Scotland and the right deal for the UK.”
Nobody in their right minds has faith in this as the Conservative government stumble and stagger towards negotiations in a European community now strengthened by the Dutch election results.
They can rule without consent, without mandate and without goodwill. They can deny a leader standing on a manifesto promise and they can deny democracy, but they do so at their own risk.
There is also the very real suspicion that the Conservatives want to make sure that the 170,000 + EU citizens living in Scotland are disenfranchised before any referendum.
It will be interesting to see if Labour and the Liberals fall into line with this, because ultimately this is not about the First Minister, or the SNP, it’s about the credibility and status of the Scottish Parliament and those who are elected to sit in it.
If Britain exists only because no-one can vote to leave it, it is finished. That is political capture not parliamentary democracy.
Still, it should make Theresa May’s proposed ‘tour of the devolved nations’ a lot of fun.