Tom Harris and Liz Truss to secure the Union
At first it sounds like something from The Onion “Liz Truss set to secure the Union with new law to make it harder for the SNP to win”, but it’s not, its the Scottish Daily Express getting all over-excited about The Sunday Times scoop by Jason Allardyce (see here).
It is a sign of absolute desperation but also doesn’t make any sense. John Boothman writes: “UK ministers are considering introducing a referendum act that could wreck the campaign for Scottish independence. It would require more than half of Scotland’s entire electorate, rather than a simple majority, to vote to leave the Union before it would be allowed. The Sunday Times has learnt that senior government figures want to legislate quickly to introduce new barriers to independence in the event that the Supreme Court rules later this year that SNP plans to stage a referendum without UK consent are unlawful.”
Why the fear? They state that this is what they will put in place if the Supreme court rules against the Scottish Government.
What do they want? They want it to be illegal and then impossible?
Still, the cocktail of abject fear and desperation is palpable. Even the lackeys and faithful scribes know it’s a death-note:
The oleaginous Alex Massie squirms that he “doubts anything will really come of it” (it will):
It’s likely to be perceived as constitutional gerrymandering and will push people towards independence – Alex Massie on Liz Truss’ referendum rigging scheme pic.twitter.com/t9cNAKdVMt
— Phantom Power (@PhantomPower14) September 4, 2022
… and poor Stephen Daisley has the fear:
“Across eight ComRes polls between May 2021 and June 2022, median combined support for another referendum within five years stood at 49 per cent. Across seven Panelbase polls between March 2021 and April 2022, the figure was 54 per cent. So 60 per cent is a hurdle but you wouldn’t have to be Aries Merritt to clear it.”
Neither are capable of recognising it as a disgraceful attack on democracy, and the country they purport to be from.
The accounts by these outlets are extraordinary.
Ben Borland, the Scottish Daily Express Editor talks of “The plan to defeat Nicola Sturgeon” as if she was an individual parachuted into post – rather than the elected First Minister.
Daisley too is a delusionist: “Let’s imagine a not-too-distant, all-too-plausible future in which the UK is in recession, burdened by vast public sector debt, and the prime minister of the day decides to embark on a programme of austerity. Let’s imagine, too, that the SNP still controls the Scottish government.”
I think by ‘controls’ he means elected.
As Liz Truss fails upwards crashing through the glass ceiling – she ascends to the throne with a platform of madness, a regurgitated Thatcherite agenda of wild reactionary politics, none of Daisley’s scenario is implausible, it is with us now.
As John Denham said: “It is hard to imagine anything more damaging to the long term future of the union than a UK government (whose majority rests on English MPs elected by less than half of those who voted in England) imposing such a high bar on Scottish independence.”
But these people are not interested in democracy. do not have democratic values just as we have watched them enjoy standards in public life descend into the sewer.
One detail from the Express which is worth noting is the origin of this latest ploy.
“The plan appears remarkably similar to calls for a “Clarity Act” from former Labour MP Tom Harris, who now acts as an advisor to Scottish Secretary Alister Jack. The Dumfries and Galloway MP is an influential figure behind the scenes in Whitehall.
Mr Harris has pointed out that Ms Sturgeon herself had backed the idea that another referendum should not be called until there was clear evidence that independence was the “settled will” of the Scottish people. However, she has backed away from this position under pressure from hardliners in the Scexit movement.
Writing in the Daily Mail earlier on Saturday, he said: “A Clarity Act or protocol (the name hardly matters) would provide some certainty to the whole nation as to whether another referendum was in prospect or not. Assuming that the threshold of support for independence was not going to reach the 60 per cent level for at least some time to come, elections at local, Scottish and UK level could once again be fought on the issues, not the constitution.”
Ah, bless Tom.
There’s devil in the detail.
Bill K Golden notes on Twitter: “So Scotland the Tories are considering changing the rules on how a Scottish referendum is run. Basically if the unionists don’t vote they win!!
Mr Daisley has noticed the same thing:
“There might be another problem. Among the many extra powers the Tories surrendered to Holyrood in 2012 and 2016 was substantial competency over elections. I’m not a lawyer and couldn’t tell you whether the SNP would be able to work around an enhanced majority requirement by legislating for compulsory voting, but I can tell you they would use every power at their disposal to overcome it.”
In a referendum Unionist withdrawal means they lose. Under their gerrymandered scenario it means they win.
The have lost and therefore they are manipulating the vote and suppressing democracy so they win.