Supreme Ruling

So, the UK Supreme Court has ruled and ruled decisively.

There is no democratic path to a referendum regardless of what mandate is repeatedly obtained through the ballot box.

That’s a dangerously stupid thing for people to be crowing about.

Further, they were very specific: you don’t have the right to self-determination. You got that? Your right to decide your future governance is in the hands of a government you didn’t (and can’t) elect.

But the unabashed glee that the ruling is being met with by Unionists everywhere might need to be checked.

This ruling breaks the concept of a Union based on partnership and consent. The idea of a voluntary union is revealed as fraud and myth. That is the reality now set in stone that has to be defended in public debate.

This ruling is unambiguous, but so too is the exposure that the case for the Union has been abandoned in favour of legal protection. The law has essentially replaced rational argument and vision for a common future.  The commentators in your timeline and massing on media platforms for an orgy of self-congratulation know this. This is a victory based on supressing democracy.

But what these commentators have forgotten is that this is not a nationalist movement, this is a democracy movement, and suppressing democracy movements doesn’t have a great track record.

There is a strange melancholy that the Union has been brought to this, but I think it’s worth remembering that its they who have given up. As you watch the barely concealed ecstasy of the judicial authoritarianism remember ‘“be careful the rise might be the fall”.

But if the ruling lays-out the power of the British state it also defines the limitations of the devolved parliament. When we voted on the 11 September 1997, we thought we needed a parliament. It turns out we need a democracy after all.


Comments (65)

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  1. Dave Millar says:

    That’s that then. Predictable. And no English PM is going to give his/her ‘permission’ for an Indy Ref; they’d always be known as ‘the PM who broke the union’.

  2. Alex McCulloch says:

    The really important point for our movement to recognise & respond to today , is not that we are being ” held prisoner” but that we have not involved, informed or inspired sufficient numbers of our fellow citizens to believe in Independence. When we do that Independence follows.

    1. MacGilleRuadh says:

      Sadly I think that is correct Alex. Far too little effort has been put into making the case, answering the hard questions in a straightforward manner and campaigning by the SNP. If the polls had been consistently 65%+ in favour of indy even Westminster would have caved by now. The fact it is still 50/50 after the last 12 disastrous Tory government years is an absolute indictment of the SNP.

      1. Alex McCulloch says:

        The SNP have shown consistent progressive government, delivering significant improvements, albeit sometimes less worse, to our citizens daily lives versus the UK norm.
        Alongside they have , as a political vehicle, persuaded a majority that a decision should again be taken on Independence only 10 years since the first Referendum. What is needed is for the movement to both support and amplify the Scottish government Independence papers and policies and to use all energy to involve, inform and inspire our fellow citizens of the alternative choices and direction that can be enabled by Independence. Whether of a socialist or conservative persuasion those unconvinced can clearly see that their current representatives no longer reflect their values and aspirations. As a movement we need to desist from criticising either Scotgov or Westminster and instead articulate what Independence can enable , supporting all others who do the same.

      2. Matt says:

        A couple of years ago I was interviewed by Gerry Hassan, featuring in an article in The National about soft Noes and what was required to persuade them. It’s economics and the transition plan, and I think those are common concerns for people like me.

        Since then I haven’t seen anything credible from the SNP on either of those two subjects that have shifted my viewpoint. ‘Denmark is a small country, we will be like Denmark’ isn’t enough analysis for me.

        1. John Wood says:

          How much analysis would be enough? Perhaps nothing anyone says will be enough? I think it is pretty clear that Scotland has been robbed blind of its resources, including its so called ‘human resources’ for a very long time, and the process continues. Yet we have the examples of our neighbours, from Iceland to Norway and Denmark that are clearly far happier and more generally prosperous than Scotland. Where I live, in the west Highlands, was actually part of the kingdom of Norway until 1266. We would be much better off now if we’d stayed there. The UK is now a disaster zone, owing to the greed and corruption of those that have run it over the last couple of centuries (including certain wealthy Scots). I cannot imagine any analysis conceivably demonstrating that we might be ‘Better Together’ in a forced union with our southern neighbours. Enough of the lies and nonsense. It’s time for a divorce.

          1. Matt says:

            And that’s the problem right there. You’re convinced, I’m not convinced, but nobody is putting the effort into convincing me. Apparently it’s obvious……

        2. dave. says:

          Really Matt. If you are depending on information from the British Leader of the NU-S.N.P. you’ll never get any on just how wealthy Scotland is. She along with her other British party Leaders have blocked it out. That blackout includes the 97% of the English owned media up here.
          Here’s proof: Countries with the same approximate populations as Scotland’s 5.6 million. Rankings in world wealth.

          Norway. 2nd -wealthiest. 5.4 million population.
          Eire (Southern Ireland). 4th – wealthiest. 5.0 million population.
          Iceland – 5th – wealthiest. 0.3 million population.
          Denmark – 8th – wealthiest. 5.8 million population.
          None of the above countries have anywhere near the resources which Scotland has. Here is a list of our Scottish resources which none of the above countries can come even close to. Oil Fields in the North Sea…/… Petroleum industry w/ Aberdeen the oil capital of Europe../…Nat Gas…/…water…/…electric power stations…/…Neuclear…/…renewable resources…/…wave & tidal energy…/…wind farms…/…mfg of computers & electronic machinery…/…textile industries…/…Harris Tweed…/…SCOTCH WHISKY…/…agriculture, sheep, dairy farming, poultry, barley, wheat, potatoes etc…./…forestry…Huge seafood industry, fish, shellfish…/…mineral resources, coal, zinc, iron, shale oil…/…food, shortbread, haggis, confectionery etc…/… human resources, our inventors of refrigerators, TV and literally over a hundred Scottish inventions. .
          We can add to that our Scottish heroes blacked out since 1707 and replaced by English history. Ever heard of Admiral Thomas Cochrane? I’ll bet not.
          This is a part of a 6 month project which I worked on and sent to Sturgeon who refused to acknowledge it and buried it. That’s when I left Sturgeon’s S.N.P. when it became obvious that she was and is a unionist. So now you know why you had no knowledge of the fact that Scotland is one of the wealthiest countries in the world even the wealthiest. Our taxes and revenues in the trillions of pounds yearly are collected by Westminster. We receive a paltry amount back under the Barnett Formula and told that we are 22 billion in the red every year. If you stop and think about how 5.6 million people can be in the hole of 22 billion pounds every year you’ll realize what a ridiculous lie that is.
          Sturgeon has never refuted even questioned that Westminster lie.

  3. Alvin Vertigo says:

    The aim has been achieved: to show the Union is not a union. Recent U.K. commentary, that Scottish independence would harm the rest of the U.K., is the secret being spoken out loud. The union is over now. The colonisation is clear. Will this change minds?

  4. George Gunn says:

    So we vote at the next General Election, whenever the PM is forced to hold one. We all vote SNP. There are no Tory MP’s in Scotland. Maybe one Labour MP. A couple of Liberal Democrats. It could turn out that way. But what then? UDI?

  5. Squigglypen says:

    UDI. We are a free people…walk away.
    Won’t worry the Sassenachs..they’re busy watching their beloved football team..’we’re bringing it home”…while home disintergrates around them…

    1. Alastair McIer says:

      That kind of talk is precisely why a lot of people remain unconvinced. I don’t know if you were trying to make a joke and it didn’t quite come off, but that kind of anti-English rhetoric is precisely what our opponents would have everyone believe it’s all about, and the Independence movement has its work cut out for it convincing people that we’re not all like you.

  6. Dougie Blackwood says:

    Power Devolved is Power Retained. Never was that phrase so tellingly made clear.

    We can huff and we can puff but the vast majority of English MPs have decided, and enacted legislation so that, the ancient nation of Scotland has no clear route to independence. We are unable to decide whether we have had enough of English blundering, xenophobic oligarchic and Eton educated rule.

    I’m angry, and feel that is time to get the gloves off. We should not just allow the can to be kicked into the long grass again. Perhaps we should be considering some form of real civil action that might arouse “Middle England” to join our wish for separation.

    1. Alex McCulloch says:

      Truky, the only worthwhile action is to involve, inform ans inspire sufficient numbers of our fellow citizens to believe in Independence. When we do that Independence follows.
      Anything else is counter productive and only further entrenched the status quo- exactly the divisive trap we have fallen into.
      Our fellow citizens are subjected to mass misinformation and bias, we need to find a way to involve them in a conversation about an even better Scotland, what that could involve and why it will be a better choice for them, their families and communities

      1. dave. says:

        Alex McCulloch: Yes, quite correct Alex. But let’s add the reason: Who has denied the Scottish people? For 9 years it is F.M. Sturgeon. I left the NU-S.N.P. party as did many others a few years ago when it became so obvious that Sturgeon, being a unionist, was working only to keep Scotland as a colony of England. This was proven when she said that she is British just a few months ago. So, she is the exact same as the 3 English branches at Holyrood which all have English Leaders. She invented the lie that we Scots had do get the English Gov’t’s permission to be independent.
        As a sovereign country all we need is the Scottish Gov’t to declare independence. Then the English Gov’t would have 2 choices:
        1) Go along with it or
        2) Challenge it in a Scottish court.
        It is just that easy.

  7. Dr Andrew Craig says:

    It’s a good outcome because it throws into sharp relief the undeniable fact that the Union is a lie and a myth perpetrated and enforced in Westminster. Scotland is not in a voluntary union of equal nations and never has been. It is now impossible to argue otherwise. That is the clarity that was needed. If there is no democratic way out so long as Westminster is in control and English-based parties oppose independence, then Scotland will have to find a way to break out. The UKSC has done us a favour by making the case for Scottish independence in the strongest possible terms. Denying people their democratic right to self- determination never works in the long term, as we shall see. As Nicola Sturgeon commented. “A law that doesn’t allow Scotland to choose our own future without Westminster consent exposes as myth any notion of the UK as a voluntary partnership & makes case for Indy.” Stand by for pro-indy activity on the wider international stage and in the court of public opinion both within and without Scotland.

    1. dave. says:

      Dr. Andrew Craig. It was the British F.M. Sturgeon who went to the so-called UK Supreme Court in London and asked for ‘legitimacy’. She perpetrated the myth not Westminster. That after begging Boris and the other English PMs for permission. As a sovereign nation all Sturgeon had to do was declare independence and let the English Gov’t either accept it or challenge it in a Scottish court. It’s just that simple.
      Sturgeon is a unionist and all her inactions over the last 9 years proves that beyond a shadow of a doubt. Just like the English Labour branch at Holyrood Sturgeons S.N.P. is on its way down the toilet. Apart from accepting their huge thousands of pounds weekly salaries plus more thousands in tax-free expenses from Westminster they have done nothing except keep the Scottish nation in a poor and getting poorer situation.
      Alba, the ISP and all true Indy groups will get our independence and it won’t take another 9 years.

      1. Alan Crerar says:

        So, Dave, how much do you think your comments will further the cause of independence? The Alba Party (TAP) is on 1.5% of the vote, ISP a little higher, Greens a little higher still. Not more that 5% of the total. Do you think they can get that beyond 50% within the next two years? The Unionist Parties (45%) would love it if we tried. If ever there was a time for ALL Indy parties to put forward positive but differing manifestos for how they would like to build a better Scotland it is now. They’ll lovid if we all squabble with ourselves. In fact, they will be actively encouraging it.

        1. dave. says:

          Hullo Alan Crerar. My comments about the British S.N.P. Sturgeon are based on fact. I’ll get back to that in a minute. I am a YES supporter and was a member of the true S.N.P. since Billy Wolfe was our leader. I had no problem having a face to face with Billy. After Billy I had no problem with Alex Salmond engaging in ideas. I say ‘I’ because I’m confirming a personal experience, however every in those times had the same opportunity. Please try to contact the current leader Sturgeon and you’ll be told as I was by her snippy assistant twice not to contact her again.
          You are correct Alan in that all Independence parties and groups should work together. The only party which refuses to do that is the Sturgeon led S.N.P. Why? Because their leader, Sturgeon, is a unionist. Alex Salmond has called to-day for all Indy parties including Alba, ISP, S.N.P. and all Indy groups to get together to form an Indy front. Meanwhile Sturgeon has called for a de facto vote to be held inn 2024 which she declared she thinks will give we Scots permission to have a referendum in 2030 or 2050 or?
          Here is short revue of Sturgeon’s Indy efforts over the last approximate 9 years.
          1) Has never declared that she wants independence.
          2) Has declared that she is British and that Scotland will always be part of Britain.
          3) When Westminster was debating the Ukraine-Russia issue an Alba MP stood up and demanded that Scotland’s Indy position be debated not only did the 3 English parties boo loudly, the S.N.P.s voted in to represent Scotland ALSO joined their English BOO buddies.
          4) When both Alba’s Scottish MPs were booted out of Westminster for again demanding Scotland’s independency not one of Sturgeon’s S.N.P. MPs walked out with them. They just sat wi heids doon embarrassed to be Scottish.
          5) Sturgeon’s continued begging to her English PMs for permission to hold a referendum.
          6) Sturgeon’s asking the English supreme Court for permission to hold a referendum.
          7) Sturgeon’s blackout of the fact that Scotland is one of the proven wealthiest countries in the world through our resources and culture.
          8) Sturgeon’s refusal to say anything positive about Scotland by hiding behind her sparce weak attacks on Westminster’s aristocrats.
          9) Sturgeon’s refusal to hold a referendum which we Scots demanded since 2014.
          Fact: Scotland does not need a referendum (Sturgeon lie that we do) as being a sovereign country the Scottish Government can declare independence to-day and then England has two choices: Firstly, go along with it or secondly, take Scotland to a Scottish court.
          It is just that simple. Now please tell me how my remarks do not help independence.
          My background is in marketing and sales, for many years with a multi-national company. I’ve talked the talk and walked the walk. I can tell you that Sturgeon is a useless, gutless and traitor to Scotland. She has never had any intention of Scotland being independent in fact, the exact opposite. She is on the English Branch Labour at Holyrood extinction road. It is not about Alba or ISP it is about independence.

  8. Alan C says:

    I understand how the Irish must have felt in 1919.

  9. Axel P Kulit says:

    OK. the court has ruled out a referendum which might have resulted in another NO vote. Next option is?

  10. John Wood says:

    Yes indeed. So much for the Claim of Right, that ‘king’ Charles swore to uphold only a couple of months ago.

    A bunch of self-serving lawyers have taken it on themselves to over-rule the sovereign Scottish people.

    It’s time to tear up the Act of Union and declare UDI.

    1. Squigglypen says:

      At last! Another who sees it a waste of time to negotiate with the English government.
      Why are we asking for permission? Walk away.
      For Scotland

    2. Axel P Kulit says:

      The judges interpret the law, they do not make it.

      The problem is with the law, not the judges.

      We need to deal with the lawmakers, not the judges.

      Otherwise we may descend into mob rule.

      1. John Wood says:

        It is not the judges job to pick and choose which law to interpret, to suit themselves and the ‘British’ state. My point is that the Claim of Right is fundamental to ~Scots law, and has been for hundreds of years. It was formally accepted by the Westminster Parliament only a few years ago, and Charles has sworn to uphold it – as every monarch is required to do on ascending the throne.

        In Scotland, the Scottish people are sovereign, not the Westminster Parliament. The Act of Union was passed by the Scottish Parliament with specific provisos that recognised Scotland’s continued status as a sovereign nation. The ‘Supreme Court’ know this perfectly well but have chosen to ignore it.

        If they seriously think Scots will accept this legal nonsense they need to think again. This isn’t about ‘nasty nationalism’. It is about a very long established principle which they have chosen to ignore. Of course the Scottish Parliament, as the democratically elected body representing the sovereign Scottish people, has an absolute right to hold an advisory referendum anytime it pleases.

        I’m surprised that the Scottish Government even asked them.

      2. John Wood says:

        It is not the judges job to pick and choose which law to interpret, to suit themselves and the ‘British’ state. My point is that the Claim of Right is fundamental to ~Scots law, and has been for hundreds of years. It was formally accepted by the Westminster Parliament only a few years ago, and Charles has sworn to uphold it – as every monarch is required to do on ascending the throne.

        In Scotland, the Scottish people are sovereign, not the Westminster Parliament. The Act of Union was passed by the Scottish Parliament with specific provisos that recognised Scotland’s continued status as a sovereign nation. The ‘Supreme Court’ know this perfectly well but have chosen to ignore it.

        If they seriously think Scots will accept this legal nonsense they need to think again. This isn’t about ‘nasty nationalism’. It is about a very long established principle which they have chosen to ignore. Of course the Scottish Parliament, as the democratically elected body representing the sovereign Scottish people, has an absolute right to hold an advisory referendum anytime it pleases.

        I’m surprised that the Scottish Government even asked them. Mob rule? is that a new name for democracy? I can’t see there’s anywheremuch lower to ‘descend’ to than the imposed, corrupt, totalitarian fascism we put up with at the moment.

      3. dave. says:

        Hullo Axel. HOME RULE to me and everyone I know means independence. Can you please explain what else ‘home rule’ can mean?

        1. Axel P Kulit says:

          The same situation in which Northern Ireland finds itself. It can be ruled directly from Westminster if the UK desires.

  11. Robbie says:

    Suppose we could always go to the European court of human rights because our democracy is being denied to us ,that staunch brexiteerTory MP Owen Patterson is ,but of course he “ENG titled “

  12. David B says:

    “this is not a nationalist movement, this is a democracy movement.” Well at least one of the comments above didn’t get the message.

    I thought the most interesting point in the judgment is that Scotland already has means of political, economic and cultural self-determination. My view is that we need to make better use of them. Maybe independence will then follow, maybe it won’t. But the present situation is that we are freely electing SNP ministers who encourage “commercialisation” of the public sector and tell workers only to ask for “affordable” pay rises. We’re privatising the care service, selling off wind rights, cutting local government powers and preserving the regressive council tax. If we’re not changing those things now, I doubt independence will make any difference.

    1. BSA says:

      Judging independence by the record of devolution, a system devised and crippled by the British Government is so very imaginative. Maybe you think we could do more with income tax for instance or maybe we could persuade the BBC for once to be the essential forum for mature debate over the changes you propose. Independence makes all the difference including the option of deposing the SNP who are kept in power largely because people seek protection from British excess and who see them, rightly, as the only effective vehicle for independence.

      1. David+B says:

        BSA- we can do more with income tax, property/ land value tax, SNIB investment, the planning system, an infrastructure levy, public procurement, public grant conditions, the ScotWind auction process, devolving powers to a local level, taxing second homes to name a few. And you’re right, it’s not very imaginative. It’s just a statement of plain fact.

        The SNP Trade Union Group weren’t even allowed to have a conference debate on better and more creative use of existing powers. That doesn’t look like self-determination to me.

    2. John Wood says:

      Agreed! I propose a new political party. Maybe called ‘People and Planet’, that insists on the needs of people and planet before private greed. And refuses to vote for any candidate, of any party, that will not make that commitment and be held to it.

    3. JP58 says:

      The Scottish electorate have voted in a Parliament with a significant majority for an independence referendum under a PR voting system.
      The SC has ruled that Westminster (90% representing constituencies outside Scotland) decides whether Scotland can have an independence Referendum.
      Please just reflect on the full ramification for democracy in Scotland for coming years and how this ruling sits with UN policy on self determination.
      The reality is that the more likely Yes are to win a Referendum the less likely Westminster will be to grant one under Section 30. I am convinced Cameron only agreed to 2014 referendum as opinion polls were 2:1 in favour of No at time and he judged that a hefty No victory would finish off independence and SNP. The reality was that Westminster got the fright of their lives and will do everything to avoid any referendum they think they may lose.
      Demographics show that younger voters in Scotland are more pro-independence so this issue is not going to go away.
      As for making better use of current powers some observations:
      1.As we can see at present with current cost of living crisis whatever happens at Westminster will have a considerable impact on Holyrood power and policy. Impact of Truss/Kwarteng the Hunt/Sunak austerity budget.
      2.Post Brexit Westminster seems keen on retaining as much power as possible.
      3.With up to 50% of electorate voting SNP/Green/Alba because of a desire for independence what incentive is there to ‘make devolution work’. Probably more mileage in Holyrood showing up limitations of devolution as today’s ruling and Brexit vote have so clearly shown.

      1. David+B says:

        The SC said the right to self determination applies only to colonised peoples, or those with no access to social, economic and political expression. Tbf, that doesn’t sound right to me.

        On your points:
        1). Yes. And that would continue to be the case after independence. Especially given the plan to keep Sterling for a prolonged period.
        2). Agree. Doesn’t explain why we’ve not reformed council tax in 15 years, or why we’re privatising care under the guise of a ‘national care service’.
        3). Good point. I’d not considered there’s effectively a majority who want devolution to fail (SNP, Green, Tory, Alba etc.) Probably explains a lot about how Holyrood is operating right now.

  13. Lesley Docksey says:

    Is there anything to stop the Scottish government from holding an ‘advisory’ referendum? I don’t think so. Don’t forget, that wretched Brexit referendum was advisory, done solely to test how the people felt about leaving the EU. (The announcement that the referendum would be an advisory one is recorded in Hansard.) The result was a tiny 4% majority which the Brexiteers gleefully claimed was ‘an overwhelming majority’. It wasn’t. It was far too close to be a genuine win. And David Cameron could have simply pointed out it was no more than an advisory referendum. Instead he walked out of No. 10, and we’ve all (that includes England) been left with the mess – or as Scotland would say, the ‘shite’.

    So, have yourselves an advisory referendum, without some of the corrupt cheating that went on before, and if the result is more than 5%, or even better, 10% in favour of independence, all you have to do is point to the so-called government in Westminster which turned an advisory referendum into a full referendum.

    Scotland often has to point out that it didn’t vote to leave the EU. Well, neither did a lot of the English like me. It was all the English retirees in Wales that turned their vote to Brexit. Hopefully, Wales will also get round to becoming independent. Then all those English who seem to think they are exceptional, important and better than anyone else, will learn some humility and learn that they are just people, like the rest of us.

    1. David+B says:

      Lesley – legally, yes there is. That’s what the entire court case was about. The court ruled the power to hold an advisory referendum on dissolving the Union is reserved to Westminster.

  14. Murdoch Allan says:

    You guys keep going on about democracy and our right to self determination. We had a referendum which was a once on a generation chance to change and we voted no. We can’t just keep being distracted from day to day politics and the shambles the SNP are making of governing us by this nonsense. Stop wasting tax payers money, accept that the country voted to stay part of The Union and get on with sorting out the mess you have gotten us in to.

    1. JP58 says:

      One of ‘you guys’ as you politely termed us replying -if the Scottish electorate had not voted for parties that stood on a platform of holding another independence referendum within the lifetime of the parliament by the biggest majority yet (under PR) I may have been inclined to agree with you.

      However I am a democrat therefore I do not agree with you.

    2. James Mills says:

      ”Once – in – a- generation ” – took a while for a numpty to raise their head and quote that lie !

      1. Murdoch Allan says:

        Facts show that people lower themselves to personal insults when they know in their hearts that they have lost the argument.

        1. Drew Anderson says:

          Hide behind a perceived as hominem attack all you like, but “once in a lifetime” wasn’t in the Edinburgh Agreement.

          Incidentally, both Corbyn (at the dissolution of Parliament) & Johnson (during the election campaign) used phrases that included “once in a lifetime” with reference to the 2019 UKGE. Can we expect a lengthy delay before the next election, while we establish what a generation is?

    3. Andy says:

      The once in a generation line is a misrepresentation of what was said by Alec Salmond in an interview “In my opinion, and it is just my opinion, this is a once in a generation opportunity for Scotland.” An opinion is of course not a promise by any stretch of the imagination. Other similar statements made elsewhere by him and others have also been subjected to the same misrepresentation.

      In fact, after the referendum the Smith Commission Report on further devolution promised during that referendum campaign which was agreed and signed by all political parties recognised “It is agreed that nothing in this report prevents Scotland becoming an independent country in the future should the people of Scotland so choose.” (Chapter 2, section 18) [cut and paste link].
      One would assume the way the people of Scotland so choose is by electing a majority of parliamentarians with that in their manifestos. Unfortunately the Supreme court has declared that a majority of parliamentarians cannot fulfil their manifesto promises. That is fundamentally undemocratic.

      There never was any commitment made by anybody to “once in a generation”.

    4. SJD says:

      Please outline what this ‘mess’ is please. There is very little a regional administration dependent on a block grant can do when the mother ship seems intent on scuttling itself with such wastes of your beloved tax payers money as the whole Brexit project.

    5. BSA says:

      You mean the SNP ‘shambles’ the BBC keep going on about ? That ‘shambles” ? You swallow that ?

    6. Alastair McIer says:

      Hi, Murdoch. I think, as a Queen of the South supporter, I can help clear up your misunderstanding here. When we got to the Scottish Cup final in 2008, it was very exciting. I was there, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

      Pundits at the time were very fond of using the phrase “Once in a lifetime event” in the build-up to the game.

      Does that mean Queen of the South are barred from entering that competition for the next 80 years? Will we ever hear a newsreader say “And in a controversial move, the SFA have disqualified Queen of the South for failing to live up to their solemn promise not to reach the final again in our lifetimes”?

      Once in a generation was an estimate of the likelihood, not the timescale. Since 2014, a generation’s worth of hugely unlikely political events have, indeed, occurred.

      1. Murdoch allan says:

        Hi Alastair,

        I love the comparison and I truly hope that your great team don’t leave it too long until they get to another cup final – maybe even win it. Thankfully football is much easier to manage than the politics of referenda. Whether or not the once in a lifetime comment was agreed or even mentioned there has to be some sensible discussion about how often we have these types of debate – they are decisive, cost a fortune and are a distraction to the day to day business of running a country. If Wee Jimmy Cranky wasn’t able to stand behind the independence debate and was being judged on normal politics she would have been booted years ago.

        1. SleepingDog says:

          @Murdoch allan, timescales and trigger/progress conditions are something I would expect to feature prominently in negotiations for a high-bar, path-smoothed political agreement. You can find examples of these around the world.

  15. Paddy Farrington says:

    This is not the judgement that the UK Government sought through its lawyers, who argued for the case to be thrown out, and to maintain the fiction that the Union is based on consent. In this sense, today’s judgement at least has the benefit of clarity, by placing the issue firmly in the arena of politics.

    It is now up to us to build a broad consensus for democracy and for self-determination in Scotland. First and foremost, we need to recognize that, at present, we do not have such a majority: barely 50% agree that Scotland should be an independent country. In these conditions, any talk of UDI is not just unrealistic, but positively counter-productive. The time for arguments and endless recrimination about process is long gone; the politics of alliance that we need to achieve democracy and self-determination is what should concern us before all else. The next general election, which the SNP will fight on the single issue of independence, is one staging post in that campaign; I doubt it will be the last. We need to prepare for the long haul.

  16. SleepingDog says:

    Did the ruling say under what constitutional changes Scotland would gain the right to self-determination? A constitution that cannot be changed is a prison. A constitution that cannot be democratically chosen or changed does not belong to a democratic state. Yet some British quasi-constitutional experts/shamans like Martin Loughlin argue that the benefits of the British constitutional framework is that it can (somehow) be changed, incrementally and pragmatically (I am not sure how the right to self-determination can be given incrementally, somehow creeping in from the Outer Hebrides perhaps). What is the constitutional path towards Scottish self-determination? Ditto for Wales and Northern Ireland and all the other parts of the British Empire with vary degrees or complete lack of self-governance.

    1. Niemand says:

      This is now the key question. What puzzles me is why it isn’t the first question being asked by the SNP right now (unless I missed it). The judgement itself opens up such a question. Drilling down to the basics it has already been hinted at various times in terms of consistent polling in favour of independence so why not demand what is the legitimate route to another referendum in those terms? If the answer is essentially no answer then that strengthens the ‘prisoner’ argument no end and would quite likely lead to greater support for autonomy. But it would take a skilled political leadership to negotiate such a thing and not empty grandstanding.

      1. SleepingDog says:

        @Niemand, that is also my view, that a political negotiation (with give and take) is feasible, some constitutional path towards opting out. My guess that if Scottish negotiators offered a high bar, a receptive (or in-trouble) Westminster government would offer a smoothed path in return. I can foresee the kinds of series of events that would lead to such a softening of Westministerial lines on this, but none that can be forced. Remaining agile, not making silly or serious mistakes, allying with global self-determination movements and those elsewhere in the British Empire, developing deeper and wider critiques of the British Empire, being active in useful and emergent politics, and producing alternate political-social-economic models which address critical global problems first, would seem sensible. In other words, prepare for the End of Empire.

        1. Niemand says:

          Very well said SD. I really do not think this the current dead end so many seem to think it is.

  17. Squigglypen says:

    Just heard GBNews presenter who was interviewing Conservative MP in front of Holyrood ( telling us that Scotland didn’t want independence)that SNP was the same as BNP and in fact SNP meant the Nasty Party. While interview was going on Scots stood behind the MP with YES cards and the Saltire flag. We were told by GBNews that the Saltire doesn’t belong to the SNP but to the Scots and they became concerned for the safety of said Conservative.( 3 guys behind him doing nothing. Apologies to the viewers and children for the fruity language by the people behind…..)
    Anybody out there still think we can negotiate independence with a corrupt media representing the English government?
    For Scotland!

    1. dave. says:

      The fact of the matter is that the real point is missed out by about 90% of the posters here.
      It was the British FM Sturgeon who went begging to the English Gov’t then the English supreme court. So, her do-nothing plan worked 100%. The Sturgeon brain washed NU-S.N.P. are blaming the wrong people. The blame lies 100% with F.M. Sturgeon.
      We do not need permission for a referendum. All we need is a declaration of our independence. THAT’S ALL. It was Sturgeon who year after year refused to do anything. The plain fact is that F.M. Sturgeon is a unionist. The pathetic acceptance of that fact by the Sturgeon S.N.P. MPs and supporters who post in the National and Business in Scotland confirms their cringe, not only to a foreign country but also to a traitor, F.M. Sturgeon and the executive of the NU-S.N.P. Alba and the ISP with all true indy groups will declare our independence and it won’t take another 9 years.

      1. Alec Lomax says:

        Alba couldn’t get themselves arrested. As for the iSP, I recall they won less than 60 votes at an election in East Lothian.

  18. Donald MacD says:

    Mike, Its the Hotel California Union – “you can check out any time you like but you can never leave” .. Scotland checked out a while ago.

    1. Murdoch Allan says:

      When did Scotland “Check out”!

      Even in the light of disastrous UK governments the SNP have never won more than 50% of the popular vote – and that’s making a massive assumption that all of their voters want independence.

  19. Ian Paterson says:

    The path to independence will never be through the establishment. That has never been a possibility. The only path to independence is through convincing fellow Scots that Scotland is better that way. Polls have always been around 50/50. Until a real majority of Scots want it, it will always be a non-starter. Indy advocates need to stop howling at the moon and do something real and practical to create the popular will.

  20. Politically Homeless says:

    The real victory for the Unionists isn’t that the UK courts delivered this supremely obvious and legally quite justifiable ruling, it’s that it took “cunctator” Sturgeon 8 years to get the clarification, or 6 if you count starting from the Leave vote, which was the precise moment she had a clear mandate for another indyref. Without this ruling, it was always possible for the SNP to paint its critics to the “left” as irresponsible “zoomers” and maintain strategic ambiguity about concrete strategy. The latter having the salient benefits of both A) not actually having a strategy to have another vote on independence, which the Sturgeonites have never actually wanted, and which creates a permanently frustrated independence demographic electing SNP MSPs and B) not admitting any defined criteria for success or failure except (see A – electing SNP MSPs.)

    Why aren’t we hearing this dissonant truth, except from pariah-media (Wings)? Why instead the trite and pretty redundant stuff about “prisoner in the union”? Well, Scotland is now an SNP fiefdom, including and especially, the media-cultural-arts-quango sector.

    1. Alec Lomax says:

      Someone who takes Wings seriously. Bless ! Campbell admitted voting Lib Dem, spends most of his time attacking the SNP rather than the Tories. I guess he prfers the balmy climate of Bath to that of Scotland.

      1. dave. says:

        Alec Lomax and all numbered posters in particular. The British F.M. Sturgeon said not only that she is British, but that Scotland will always be part of Britain which of course means England. What part of that do you not understand? For that matter what part of that do the NU-S.N.P. party MPs and supporters not understand? Beating around the bush pretending that Sturgeon wants independence has been proven to be nothing but a packet of lies since 2014. The NU-S.N.P. like the English Labour branch up here, is well on its way down the lavvy where it belongs. the lies have caught up. Nobody in their right mind would ever vote for Sturgeon again. Of course, she will retire with her huge thousands of pounds a year pension and probably will end up in the House of Lords in payment for her service to her aristocratic bosses in London. Meanwhile Scots will continue to get poorer and poorer dying young from freezing and lack of good nourishing food which they can’t afford.
        Yes voters 50% from almost Zero in 2014 under Alex Salmond. Yes voters 50% from 50% in 2022 under F.M. Sturgeon. 9 years of nothing.

        1. Wul says:


          Great Britain is a geographical area. Scotland will always be a part of (joined to) it. Subject to variations in the earth’s crust and place naming. Best to let this one go.
          Tell us about your plan for obtaining independence. I’m looking for ideas.

          1. dave. says:

            Hullo Wul. First, when we are independent are you going to call yourself British? You know that in just about every country in the world that Britain means England. It was the English aristocracy who came up with Great Britain which is actually the U.K. From the many countries from Continental Europe to South America and the East I have continually corrected that Scotland is not Britain. But to your main question of a plan for
            Scotland to become independent. All the Scottish Gov’t has to do is declare independence. the English aristocrats then have 2 options :
            1) Accept it. or
            2) Take the Scottish Gov’t to court in Scotland which they (English and Scottish aristocrats) will lose.
            So far all we’ve received from the S.G. is English law. I have difficulty understanding why every other country formerly of the so-called British Empire just do it. The latest being Barbados. While all we get from the S.G. is about 9 years of telling us we can’t do that without Westminster permission. A sovereign country as Scotland is doesn’t need permission from any foreign country. Brexit broke any agreement under English law which was based on 2014 Guarantees from England’s 3 political leaders.
            It seems that when the British leader Sturgeon tells her S.N.P. MPs to beg to Westminster but never challenge them about Scotland’s independence they just go along with it. Are 50% of us gutless? Why is Sturgeon never questioned in Holyrood about the 9 year kick the can game she plays? Her latest proposal is de facto in 2024 or 25 and that’s only to beg again for permission. I left Sturgeon’s S.N.P. a few years ago when it became obvious that she is a unionist which she herself admits. Are We to believe that a British F.M. is going to lead Scotland to independence? What is the S.G. Gov’t waiting for? another 9 years. Why does Sturgeon refuse to get together with Alba, ISP and all the other true Indy groups. I am an independista. It’s not about Alex Salmond or Colette Walker or me. It is about Independence. Sturgeon has taken a very simple independent movement and deliberately confused her MPs and supporters with mistruths and convinced them that she is the only one who can deliver independence and sadly the majority go along with her. I would ask you to read my reply to Matt on the 26th of November @ 11.15PM on this page ‘Supreme Ruling’.

          2. Axel P Kulit says:

            I recall reading that Alex Salmond wanted home rule not independence. I am not sure if the is still the case.

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