With the news that “Theresa May has moved to block a new Scottish independence referendum”, the predictions on what will happen, if the Scottish government announce that it intends to hold a second referendum made in my last post, which it has now done, are already taking shape and, as implied in that post, the British Prime Minister’s announcement might even represent a best case scenario for the SNP at the present point.
Next week Nicola Sturgeon will seek the approval of the Scottish Parliament to open discussions with the UK government on the details of a Section 30 order, which will facilitate the holding of a second referendum by transferring the necessary power from London to the Scottish Parliament, and the Scottish Parliament will give her that approval. That transfer of power will allow the Scottish government to set the conditions for the next referendum.
That Theresa May would want to deter that happening before the Brexit negotiations have been completed was always certain and we might be sure that Nicola Sturgeon was aware of this. Therefore, while an element of academic caution might be advisable, it is easy to conclude that an excellent piece of political brinkmanship by Sturgeon has handed her government the moral high ground at this early stage and with that a number of voters who might have voted “No” at the last referendum, but who are becoming increasingly disillusioned with the high-handed attitude we see on a daily basis from May and her cronies.
With the upcoming vote in the Scottish Parliament, and with the British government unlikely to react to that vote, the campaign for independence will enter the next stage. However, that should be accompanies by a number of strategies going forward.
Firstly, with the unionist rag, ‘The Scotsman’ announcing that “an online petition calling for a second independence referendum bid to be dropped has reached over 145,000 signatures”, it could be time for the Scottish government to start its’ own online petition and that might be accompanied by pro-independence demonstrations throughout the country. This is important because, even if the country is probably split 50/50 at the moment, the pro-independence movement is more steadfast and, especially with the pig-headed arrogance coming out of London, it is more likely that many of the softer unionists will change camp.
Secondly, the Scottish government’s political brinkmanship last week has already had a desired result for the independence movement. However, calling a referendum, even if the British government refused to recognize it, might be an even more poignant example of political one-upmanship. With the British mainstream media using everything at its disposal to undermine it and with the government in Westminster refusing to recognise the result, there could very well be a reaction in Scotland that would see independence as inevitable and all the more so if the Scottish government can approach the OSCE and get them to observe the referendum.
Finally, while it is an extremely risky strategy, the Scottish government could declare unilateral independence from parliament if the Westminster government continues to block a referendum. Of course, as stated, that could be a dangerous venture . However, it should at least be remembered that what creates a recognised state, is not a referendum, but rather it is that state being recognised in the United Nations.
An independent Scotland is as inevitable, as an independent Ireland was in 1916. Then the British government turned the rebels, from being dangerous lunatics, into martyrs by executing them.Moreover, while martyrdom is what it took in the empire’s heyday, in today’s Scotland it is sufficient to show that, even if the remnants of that disgusting empire is no longer allowed to practice the same type of cruelty on home soil, the arrogance of the British authorities’ towards the Scottish people is as crystal clear as it was towards the Irish people then. It is that arrogance which the SNP and the independence movement will continue to provoke over the next few months.