Solidarity with all protesting the imposition of an unelected King

The Radical Independence Campaign (RIC) expresses its solidarity with all those protesting the imposition of an unelected King. We condemn the fact that protesters have been charged with breach  of the peace following the proclamation of Charles’ rule in Edinburgh, and demand an end to militarised policing preventing our communities from having their say.

Last week, the final act of the UK’s unelected head of state was to appoint a Prime Minister who has come to power with the votes of 0.12% of the population. A Head of Government chosen by a tiny number of Tory party members, and a Head of State anointed by an unaccountable ‘Accession Council’, to which our MPs and representatives are subordinate.

The death of Elizabeth II means the automatic appointment, with no discussion or reflection on our future, of a King manifestly unfit to represent the modern peoples of these islands. Charles is unelected, and unelectable. He would never have been chosen in a democratic system.

Never has it been more clear that the rotten structures of the British state are unfit for purpose in the 21st century.

We are told that “this is not the time” to discuss whether we wish to remain subjects of a monarchy. But the current wave of proclamations and propaganda promoting acceptance of the new King leaves republicans throughout these islands no choice but to voice our dissent. RIC insists that now is the time, and that it is vital we demand the right to have a say about our democratic future.

The passing of Elizabeth II is obviously a historic and culturally significant moment. Many people, regardless of their feelings about the monarchy as an institution, feel a sense of loss at the death of someone who has been a constant presence in our public life. For some, it leads to reflection on our own bereavements. These feelings are valid, and must be respected.

But many others strongly feel that, despite their symbolic role, the Royal family do not represent them. There is a sense of widespread unease about having to immediately adapt to a new “King”, and the current state of officially enforced mourning creates an oppressive atmosphere to which we have not consented. For those with connections to countries colonised in the name of the Crown, it is impossible to mourn someone who acted as a symbol of one of the world’s most criminal imperial powers. This reaction is equally valid and worthy of respect. RIC rejects the idea that undue deference and sycophancy are measures of anyone’s respect or humanity.

The rush to be seen to conform to state mandated grief feels more appropriate for an authoritarian regime than a modern 21st century democratic country. The mass cancellation of events, from sports to entertainment to crucial battles for workers’ rights, causes massive disruption to the lives of millions. Ambiguity about correct protocol has seen football matches cancelled while rugby and cricket continued with minutes of silence. Citizens of Edinburgh face their city once again being shut down by road closures and armed police, in order to cater to a fantasy feudal image of the past.

Coming on the heels of years of pandemic conditions which prevented socialisation, cancelled events represent the crucial loss of a mental health lifeline for their participants. Organisers will have lost time and resources that cannot be replaced. But most importantly, thousands of people in temporary, insecure and low wage employment connected to events and hospitality will lose work, in the midst of an unprecedented cost of living crisis.

RIC demands Scottish and UK governments urgently collaborate to ensure these workers receive compensation for their loss of income.

RIC notes that MPs have been invited to make a new oath of allegiance to Charles. All elected parliamentarians, in both Westminster and Holyrood, are required to swear loyalty to the British Royal family, making this new vow a symbolic formality. Nevertheless, it is a democratic affront that our representatives do not swear to serve the people that elected them, and we call on all Scottish MPs to actively boycott this further demonstration of subservience.

The imposition of a new monarch simply crowns the completely anti-democratic nature of the British state in Scotland. Her elevation at the hands of Tory party members makes Liz Truss the 9th Tory Prime Minister which Scotland has not voted for since 1955. She has variously promised to refuse Scotland’s democratic right to self-determination through a second independence referendum, and to attempt to gerrymander the franchise. Her proposed restrictions on a future vote would have seen her fail to win the Tory leadership if imposed on her own contest. RIC demands the unelected UK Tory regime cease its attempts to prevent Scotland holding an independence referendum in 2023.

Contrary to what is often claimed, the monarchy play a key role in the continued anti-democratic nature of the British state. The monarch is consulted on legislation, leading to anomalies like the fact that the Royal household is exempt from laws against racial and gender discrimination in employment. It’s widely expected that Charles will use his audiences with the UK government to push for his own personal hobbyhorse issues, in complete defiance of democratic scrutiny. The fact that new Tory Prime Minister, Liz Truss, is to accompany Charles on a tour of the UK demolishes the myth that the monarchy is apolitical.

But crucially, it is the Crown as an institution that allows British governments to act with impunity, declaring wars or states of emergency without oversight should they so wish. The Crown Powers are at the heart of the UK’s unwritten constitution, and must be abolished if we are to live in a democratic society.

The death of Elizabeth II also marks a moment of deep reflection for formerly colonised countries and their descendants, from Jamaica to Australia. Their citizens must now decide to either amend their constitutions to recognise Charles, or move forward to a modern democratic republic. RIC expresses our solidarity with all societies shedding themselves of the legacy of British imperialism. We demand that in addition to relinquishing their role as head of state, the Royal family begin to make reparations for the enrichment of their ancestors through the plunder of the British Empire.

RIC pledges to oppose all efforts to legitimise the rule of “King” Charles with vocal and public protest, in line with the long history of dissent represented by the common people and republican movements of these islands. We call on all those who support democracy to join us.

  • RIC is supporting a solidarity demonstration outside Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Friday 30th September, 9.45am. You can find more information on Facebook.

Comments (32)

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  1. John Learmonth says:

    ‘State mandated grieving?’
    I’ll think you’ll find people are grieving because they want to not because the state is telling them to do so.
    The left will never understand human nature.

    1. Bob Goupillot says:

      Hi John. People are of course entitled to grieve. What is being challenged is the mandatory nature of that grieving. The demand that we should all be grieving. That is a characteristic of authoritarian states.

      1. 220912 says:

        But there is no mandatory grieving. There’s no law compelling it, which is what ‘mandatory’ means.

        People are genuinely sorry to see the demise of the Queen and want to express that sorrow by voluntarily turning out to pay their respects. Standing in the middle of those people, waving a bit of cardboard with ‘F*ck imper-ialism’ written on it, isn’t protesting the imposition of an unelected head of state; it’s just offending people who’ve gathered to express their ‘sense of loss at the death of someone who has been a constant presence in [their] public life’.

        ‘These feelings are valid, and must be respected,’ the article acknowledges. How is waving a bit of cardboard with ‘F*ck imper-ialism’ on it respecting the feelings of those around you? How many of those people who were thus disrespected are likely to have been won over to the cause of [radical] independence?

      2. John Learmonth says:

        I’m not grieving but I respect those that are.
        The State (however defined) has no role in what we are witnessing, it is just people freely expressing their grief and waving F*ck placards is hardly adding to the civilised debate over the future of the monarchy and all debates over whatever should be civilised, or is that an outdated western, enlightenment, ‘colonialist’ attitude?

        1. Bob Goupillot says:

          I respect people’s grieving too John. I also feel under pressure from various institutions to act like I am grieving because my everyday activities are restricted by shops closing, streets closing, armed police on roofs, lack of public transport. Also on the mainstream media only one narrative is validated.
          Another important point is that people are mainly protesting against the imposition of a head of state not the queen’s funeral. The state has consciously linked the two and continues to do so.

          1. 220914 says:

            ‘I also feel under pressure from various institutions to act like I am grieving…’

            Don’t be ridiculous! Workers have been given a holiday to mark a significant civic event, the funeral of our head of state. That’s why shops will be closed, public transport will be reduced to a holiday service, etc., etc.

            It might inconvenience you, but – for f*ck’s sake – don’t begrudge folk an extra day off! Let your hair down! Enjoy yourself!

            And relax! Those armed security workers won’t shoot you if you don’t appear to be grieving. Take advantage of the streets that have been closed to motor traffic by taking a nice relaxing stroll through them!

          2. ailsa says:

            I don’t feel forced to grieve but I am being told quite often that the whole nation is grieving which is manipulating those who are not. Two locally owned cafes on the town’s high street are being put under pressure to close. Large shops and services are closing despite some workers not wanting to have to acknowledge monarchy. One acquaintance has quit their job at a supermarket because of the bullying when they (along with several others) asked if they could continue to work on Monday so that the resulting stocking wouldn’t be a nightmare. We asked my local gym if they could open in the morning, pay staff double time for half a day (the same they’d get if they closed all day) – several of the staff were keen to do this – but the UK company has a party-line – “it is a unique experience that the whole country is partaking in”. I am quietly respectful of those who are grieving. But I am not partaking. And it is wrong for more enlightened communities outside the UK to be given this false picture of an entire country as grieving. It undoes years of good work that was moving us away from imperalistic pageantry and ideology.

          3. 220915 says:

            Ah, but ailsa; there’s a disconnect between ‘the nation’ and ‘the entire country’. Everywhere, a nation comprises not the entire country but only an imagined community of ‘right-minded’ people. That’s why independentistas (especially on the right of the nationalist movement) can deny the status of ‘true Scots’ those who dissent from their ‘right-mindedness’ and demonise them with pejoratives like ‘quislings’, ‘Tories’, ‘fascists’, ‘gammons’, ‘Brits’, etc. It’s the same disconnect that operates within English nationalism and British nationalism and most nationalisms throughout the world; nations are ‘chosen’ people, not just in the sense of their exceptionality but also in the terms of their selective constitution.

            So, in the context of the UK, ‘the nation’ (if not the entire country, some of whom are cheering and some of whom don’t give a sh*t) is indeed grieving the demise of the Queen.

  2. dave says:

    Reparations worth trillions of pounds from our oil which the English aristocracy from ‘Royalty’ down lied about going dry since 1945 (77 years) would be a small start.
    1 trillion pounds = one thousand, thousand million pounds. British F.M. NU-S.N.P. Leader Sturgeon has a BLACKOUT on that as do her MPs at Westminster who just sit there ashamed with heids bowed as they humbly accept ridicule from the 600 or so English MPs laugh at them. Orders from their British F.M. Sturgeon and Ian Blackford.

  3. Janet Fenton says:

    Itis mandated by the state (if the state is the name you give to the corporations and syndicates that operate the extreme wall-to-wall control of people without their consent) across every manifestation of the media, backed up by snipers with guns, policemen with guns, security guards with guns, gargantuan amounts of money being spent on blocking streets, closing facilities, shutting down anything and shutting up anyone that questions such an idea. The monarchy utterly and completely relies on violence against people in every way
    .I’ve been reading Ray Acheson Abolishing State Violence this week. Recommend it.
    The left? What exactly do you mean by ‘the left’?

    1. 220912 says:

      That’s not the state, Janet; that’s a conspiracy that’s supposed by some to operate an extreme wall-to-wall control over people without their consent. In the culture of postmodern society, this supposed conspiracy has taken the place that God used to occupy in our thinking.

      A state is any centralised political organisation that imposes and enforces rules over the population within a given territory. The fact remains that there’s no state-mandated There’s no law compelling it, which is what ‘mandatory’ means; nor are the state’s armed security workers shooting or pistol-whipping or even just arresting those of us who fail to grieve. I don’t see any evidence of compulsion on the part of any God-surrogate conspiracy either.

      An an explanation of why people are demonstrating or protesting their grief, the theory that they’re being compelled to sucks.

      1. K Mulhern says:

        Stockholm Syndrome is strong in the general population, if this was an organic outpouring of grief why would an orchestrated media campaign be necessary?

        The argument that people are compelled to grieve is obvious. It involved the soft power through control of the media space. You only see the hard end of it if you choose to dissent. If you hold a sign saying “Not my King” in a public place, you will probably be arrested. This is not even under historic legislation, this is the police and crime bill passed by ‘Royal Assent’ on April this year. The monarch could have stopped this but they didn’t, because they know this won’t effect them negatively, actually it now used to stifle dissent and shore up their position.

        I personally don’t want to live in a monarchy much less a capitalist one like we currently have, I find it offensive, however that doesn’t seem to give me any legal recourse, it matters less that something is offensive, but who may be offended. If I voice my opposition to this state of affairs I’m criminalized, what message does that give to people who don’t feel particularly somber.

        If we want this to change, we will actually have to confront this power, pandering to it will get us less than nothing.

        1. 220914 says:

          It wasn’t an ‘organic’ outpouring of grief; it was a ritual one, the orchestration of which is encapsulated in the rules that govern the performance of that ritual. There’s no need to postulate the hidden hand of some occult conspiracy that operates through our communications media. As a social phenomena, it functioned in exactly the same was as any other ‘mass’ demonstration does.

          (By the way: most of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act, 2022 only applies to England and Wales. Only, some of the less controversial aspects of it are relevant to Scotland, such as changes to road traffic sentencing, terrorist offences, and sexual offence legislation.)

          (Also by the way: in Scotland, you can only lawfully be arrested for holding up a sign, regardless of what’s written on it (‘Not My King’, ‘F*ck the Pope and the IRA’, ‘Pakis Go Home’, ‘Saor Alba Gu Brath’) if, in the view of the arresting officer, that action is likely to cause a breach of the peace. As I’ve already noted, the ad hoc discretion this allows our security workers is open to abuse and is something the Scottish government needs urgently to address.)

  4. SleepingDog says:

    Charles fails the UK government’s Seven Principles of Public Life on the same epic scale as his predecessor. Perhaps they’ll be quietly rewritten like the rules in Animal Farm. Meanwhile, score him on:

    “1.1 Selflessness
    “Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest.”
    Both Charles and Elizabeth could be over-the-top caricatures designed to depict selfishness. The highest and most revered British value is apparently Nepotism, which is why Charles has got his mother’s job, like she got her father’s before.

    “1.2 Integrity
    “Holders of public office must avoid placing themselves under any obligation to people or organisations that might try inappropriately to influence them in their work. They should not act or take decisions in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends. They must declare and resolve any interests and relationships.”
    Null points there too. Don’t expect any police investigations into their dodgy dealings to get too far. Essentially the job is a vehicle for family enrichment.

    “1.3 Objectivity
    “Holders of public office must act and take decisions impartially, fairly and on merit, using the best evidence and without discrimination or bias.”
    Both Charles and Elizabeth have used Consent powers to secretly exempt themselves from legislation which would constrain their freedom to be extremely partial to themselves, or discriminate against others. Their partiality is enshrined in their job descriptions (defender of the Anglican faith, for one). Merit doesn’t come into it, although apparently divine right does. God was not available for an interview.

    “1.4 Accountability
    “Holders of public office are accountable to the public for their decisions and actions and must submit themselves to the scrutiny necessary to ensure this.”
    Totally unaccountable, their shield of quasi-constitutional immunity also spills over onto their ministers. Draconian royal secrecy prevents scrutiny, and they keep crucial historical records of state as a private family archive at Windsor. Even when one of them is a Nazi traitor, their misdeeds are hushed up, they get a cushy job and a pension, and are never held to account.

    “1.5 Openness
    “Holders of public office should act and take decisions in an open and transparent manner. Information should not be withheld from the public unless there are clear and lawful reasons for so doing.”
    Obviously not, they have extended royal secrecy (as when Charles’ black spider letter lobbying was removed from Freedom of Information scope). The contents of their weekly meetings with their Prime Ministers are a closely-guarded secret. At least, more closely guarded than the red boxes they tend to leave lying around for agents of foreign powers to leaf through at their leisure.

    “1.6 Honesty
    “Holders of public office should be truthful.”
    Pity there was no live fact-checker on Charles’ acceptance speech. Basically a key part of their job is to lie about the British Empire. Also they have not confessed what they knew about imperial atrocities like the Canadian indigenous residential school murder-torture-rape-cultural-genocide that happened on their watch (if the Pope can confess, why can’t they?).

    “1.7 Leadership
    “Holders of public office should exhibit these principles in their own behaviour and treat others with respect. They should actively promote and robustly support the principles and challenge poor behaviour wherever it occurs.”
    On the contrary, the royals have rewarded and protected the foullest people and completely failed to challenge poor behaviour, notably their own. They are best friends with some of the most appalling dictators (often like dynasties) in the world. Of course, one might consider invading and occupying foreign countries, killing and torturing their people, forcing them to labour on your behalf to extract the resources of their land to give to you, trying to destroy their cultures with forced re-education programmes, to be quite disrespectful treatment.

    So that’s a resounding 0 out of 7 for both, then. Unfit all round, I agree. As Norman Baker asks, just why do these principles, as codified by the Nolan Committee not apply (like so much of our political-legal system) to those in royal office?–2

    1. dave says:

      Brilliant, true post. You are sleeping with one eye open S.D. Enlightening Scots is the secret of getting independence.

      The opposition of the English aristocrats from the English / German KING down (with a few British Pretend Scots – Alister Jack ,F.M. Sturgeon, Ian Blackford) to BLACKOUT all Scottish facts ( ECONOMIC, HISTORY and CULTURE since 1707) is the agenda to keep Scotland subjugated to England. The English owned Scottish media is carrying out the mission with help of Scots traitor British F.M. Sturgeon and is winning the battle. However with posters like yourself and BELLA CALEDONIA, ALBA and I.SP. we will win the day. The truth will win out as Scots get to know the true WEALTHY condition of Scotland and how we’ve lied to since 1707.

      It takes a minimum of 8 times exposure to get the message into the minds of recipients. Continued posts such as yours will win the day.

  5. jim ferguson says:

    “We have the technology, Captain, but still don’t have a republic or a written constitution. There’s a force-field of culturally-determined-elitist-Freudian-infantilism that we can’t seem to break through, even with fully armed phasers. Jings.”
    “Beam me anywhere but here!”

  6. Alex McCulloch says:

    What do you want to be?
    Radical or Independent?
    Bella or Wings?
    Democratic .. …or not!?

    Whilst understanding the frustration at the mega propaganda and the depressed state it can invoke – the endorsement of this article and related comments is a complete misjudgement on what to publish to progress the case for Indrpendence and persuade our fellow citizens of the need for and case for change.

    Sad really. Bye .

    1. Hi Alex – I’m not really sure what you mean by the choices you offer: ‘Radical or independent/Bella or Wings/Democratic or not?’. Opposing the monarchy process is precisely a defence of democracy.

      1. Alex McCulloch says:

        Hi Mike
        As you would probably surmise I neither support The Union nor the Monarchy but I do recognise that the current democratic will of the people is in favour of both.
        I believe we need to expend all our energy and talents persuading people to reconsider and change their position on the Uniion by articulating the positive case for Independence and how it can enable the systematic, economic and social changes that our fellow citizens desire and relate to ( as described for example in Citizen’s Assembly Report, Poverty Alliance Manifesto,, Social Justice and Fairness Commission Report)
        I am dismayed that almost all of our commentators ( and now it seems yourself too) with the talent and platform to persuade and influence positively choose to focus on negative attacks on the values and representatives of those we seek to persuade, perpetuating the binary division so feverishly cultivated by the right wing media and UK political parties.
        The people we seek to persuade are massively influenced,/lied to, by the UK media and establishment to coerce them to maintain the status quo that allows this elite few to pursue ideology serving there own interests at the expense of the wellbeing of the many and with the consequence of ever widening inequality.
        Conversely the desperation to maintain the Union with no valid case , and the implementation of ideology with no regard for the law, democracy or truth is now so blatant that the people we seek to persuade , who are not stupid, will recognise that those that supposedly represent them no longer represent their values or indeed interests.
        In light of the above using all our channels, platforms to highlight the possible alternative choices, to discredit the lies with the truth and to involve people in a conversation about an even better Scotland is, in my opinion, the way to influence change and give our fellow citizens the information and confidence to take the first radical step of choosing Independence.

        Yours sincerely

        1. Hi Alex, thanks for the comment. You say:
          “I am dismayed that almost all of our commentators ( and now it seems yourself too) with the talent and platform to persuade and influence positively choose to focus on negative attacks on the values and representatives of those we seek to persuade, perpetuating the binary division so feverishly cultivated by the right wing media and UK political parties.”
          I genuinely don’t know what you mean. Can you explain? Thanks.

          1. Alex McCulloch says:

            Hi Mike
            I mean that , assuming we all agree that Independence for Scotland will be the means to positive change for our fellow citizens, then we have a choice in what material and content is published to support that aim i.e. persuade our fellow citizens who are not aware or confident of the different path that Independence offers is viable and in their best interests.
            I do not see such content in the recognised Independence forums

            There is no conflict of interest in an even better Scotland -so the national conversation needs to be about what that could be and how best to achieve it!

            There is a need to involve, inform and inspire everyone to contribute to improving their own daily realities and own areas. They need to know their views are sought, valid and will be included in identifying new solutions for an even better society within the context of an ever changing world. It is of no consequence what political persuasion they have favoured previously – it is a whole new ball game and everyone is invited!

            It is important for people to understand that their mainstream media is blinding them with a distorted, biased, twisted view of reality and events designed to cause the binary division that safeguards the protected interests of an elite few.

            The realisation that people are being lied to and manipulated against their better interests by those they favour will be a shock to many ,initally resisted, but will ultimately serve to build a curiosity and appetite for change.

            Then we can focus on the real change that the vast majority of our fellow citizens, civic organisations etc have already stated is required.

            Key Documents describing the recommendations, new ways of working and policy options identified by our fellow citizens, trade unions, civic organisations, business community, third sector groups and our children and young people to enable an even better Scotland include:
            Citizen’s Assembly Report, Poverty Alliance Manifesto, Social Justice and Fairness Commission Report, Scotland’s National Strategy for Economic Transformation, Scotland’s Climate Assembly Report

            The different views on how to achieve the aims of our people as stated in these documents will create the dynamism and desire for solutions and change and maybe then the courage to leave old redundant ways, ideologies and political badges behind!

            Only if we change the conversation will change itself be possible.

            Or we could continue the neverendum on borders, defence, currency etc or continually highlight and attack the representatives of the people we wish to persuade – who can see for themselves that their key values are not reflected by the words or actions of those who supposedly represent them

            It is up to us to change the tone and content

            It starts with ourselves …If we are inspired by what we say and do, we will inspire others…together we will make it happen…

            A Scotland for everyone , shaped by everyone!

    2. dave says:

      Alex McCulloch. Okay FACTS: 95% of ENGLISH OWNED SCOTTISH MEDIA BLACKOUT the TRUE, and I do mean TRUE, SCOTTISH ECONOMICAL, HISTORICAL and CULTURAL CONDITIONS. BRITISH F.M. NU-S.N.P. Leader Sturgeon and Ian Blackford also BLACKOUT the exact same critical information which every Scot has the RIGHT to know. You say PUBLISH. Where ? Are you aware that the National media is owned by the same English aristocrats as the Anti-Scottish GLASGOW HERALD ? Unless you have studied the TRUE Scottish situation all you can know is what the English media, controlled by Westminster, tells you. Do you know that the National, NU-S.N.P. and Business in Scotland have an alliance ?

      The facts are found here in the BELLA CALEDONIA. The editor and posters are very well educated and the BLACKED OUT items are ZERO. I suggest that you read this media and you’ll find out how we’ve been lied to over the years by not only the English aristocrats but by F.M. Sturgeon. BLACKOUTS are the same as lying. Please encourage your friends to read it as well.

  7. Politically Homeless says:

    Well yes, and wouldn’t this message be more powerful were the free speech crisis in Scotland and the UK a matter of right wing authoritarianism only. Those who oppose these protests see them as, in effect, protesting a funeral cortege, which they think of as self-evidently tasteless and hurtful. Similarly those with a religious conviction against abortion protesting outside abortion clinics is thought of as self evidently harmful by the liberal/left. The point is, one or another faction in our democracy genuinely believes itself to be offended in either case. Any honest person would realize that the cops were trained lately in their role as attack dogs against controversial forms of expression (protecting the public from “offense”) not by supporters of monarchy and other dominant institution, but by those believing they were defending the rights of the vulnerable. With free speech you either must make a conscious effort not to pick and choose your cause – ala the Americans and their excellent First Amendment – or you simply don’t get it.

  8. Mr E says:

    Did the Radical Independence Campaign have a vote before giving forth?

    I presume they voted to become a Republical organisation, but did they vote in favour of waving ‘FUCK’ around on a bit of cardboard as well?

    1. John Learmonth says:

      The RIC hate the Monarchy but they hate the Campain for Radical Independence and those scumbags in the Independence Radical Campaign even more………SPLITTERS!

  9. Mr E says:

    I would imagine that the propesters got arrested for putting themselves in danger in a public place (with the nusance that causes the police). Similarly, you will get done for a breach of the peace if you climb Edinburgh Castle Rock, or sing the Sash at the Celtic end. I think that the people responsible would either be aware of what’s going to happen to them, or worse – stupid.

    1. 220914 says:

      Maybe the Scottish government should consider abolishing ‘breach of the peace’ as a criminal offence along with the ‘not proven’ verdict. This would bring us into line with English law, where it’s not a criminal offence. In England and Wales, breach of the peace is an old concept that hasn’t been turned into a full, modern criminal offence. In England, the Crown has to seek the permission of a magistrate to impose certain conditions on our behaviour during public protests. In Scotland, it’s left to security workers on the ground to decide on their own discretion what behaviours are or aren’t acceptable in any given context.

      Under Scots law, breach of the peace includes any conduct that can cause alarm to ordinary people and threaten serious disturbance to the community. This can include shouting and swearing, sending or brandishing abusive messages, and brandishing weapons. For the crime to be committed, the conduct has to be ‘genuinely alarming and disturbing, in its context, to any reasonable person’. It’s up to the courts (rather than you or I) to judge whether or not the conduct concerned is genuinely alarming and disturbing etc., and the onus is on the Crown to prove it. Proving that conduct is genuinely harmful is notoriously difficult, especially when the harm is emotional rather than physical, which is one of the reasons that the Crown in Scotland is keen to see the ‘not proven’ verdict abolished as a check on convictions.

      The Scottish legal profession has called into question the looseness of the legal definition of breach of the peace and the harm that it can cause, pointing out that this looseness ‘is often abused or misinterpreted by the arresting police officers’. The whole issue of our liberty and its protections needs to be addressed by the Scottish government urgently.

      1. Mr E says:

        Maybe the protesters were English or Welsh or something and were unfamiliar with the Scottish Way.

        1. 220915 says:

          The mythical agent provocateurs we sometimes hear of, you mean?

          Bourgeois radicals of the right and left are fond of postulating the intervention of conspiratorial agencies to explain their ongoing failure to persuade the supposedly gullible masses to their respective ways of thinking. Perhaps the most plausible and economical explanation is that those ‘gullible’ masses are too conservative (with a small ‘c’) to be so easily taken in or ‘radicalised’ by their respective ideological narratives.

          1. SleepingDog says:

            @Lord Parakeet the Cacophonist, are you denying that spycops acted as agents provocateurs?
            Perhaps you already know the contents of the Undercover Policy Inquiry’s final report? Spycops used to be dismissed as urban myths by people like you, yet here we are.

          2. 220915 says:

            No, I’m not, SD. I’ve no idea whether undercover security workers have acted as agent provocateurs or not; though I’d be surprised if the hadn’t since the groups they’ve infiltrated seem, by their own self-victimising accounts, to be easily led. Are you suggesting that the wee green-heidit woman, who was waving a bit of cardboard, on which ‘F*ck imper-ialism’ had been written, at those taking part in a royalist demonstration in Parliament Square, was really an undercover English or Welsh royalist agent seeking to discredit republican groups?

  10. Robbie Forbes says:


    The Treason Felony Act of 1848, which is still on the statute book ( yet another shining example of the glorious pageant which is Great British democracy and imperialism), makes it a criminal offence , punishable by life imprisonment, to advocate abolition of the monarchy in print! So maybe that explains the arrests!!

    In the words of the BBC lickspittle, Nicholas Witchell :

    “One is truly amazed that so many peasant subjects, who are strangers to the notorious Saxe-Coburg family (that famous highland clan) are apparently traumatised by the peaceful death of a 96 year old in her holiday house. Get over it.! ”

    The mainstream media love to criticise other repressive regimes, but at least Putin was elected as head of state and Russia has a written constitution. Misguided deference and respect for anti-democratic medieval institutions has no place in a modern democracy and does not justify the atrocities of empire or war crimes when we are so quick to accuse others…

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