Is the SNP really not doing enough or is that just media neglect?

Nicola-Sturgeon-580735

By Contrary:

Looking at the wider context like this helps us to see the array of forces that may want to act against Scottish independence – I think it is something to be conscious of, but not fearful of. The political route to independence is the best route – I don’t really believe the likes of the US state are really that interested, except in the context of working with the UK state, so it is the UK state backed by much money that is the main issue still – politically there is more manoeuvrability and we have legal considerations on our side, and so the UK government cannot be seen to deny Scotland a choice politically (though it appears to be doing that just now, it is a can-kicking-down the road exercise really).

The way the UK government has ignored Scotland; politically that is a huge mistake on their part (one I am sure they think the can remedy by the usual methods, at a later date, when they are finished with this current fiasco). They are keeping the SNP at arms length and trying to ridicule them (more than usual) because the SNP keep trying to present plausible solutions and occasionally making sense (can’t have that, when you are trying to cause chaos). Unfortunately, politically, the SNP cannot be seen to cause the ‘distraught’ uk government any more upheaval,,, than it has already caused itself. Is the SNP getting rubbish advice? Meh, maybe. But maybe not. They are stuck between a rock and a hard place at the moment. Internationally, I think public opinion and a fair few EU politicians, would see any move towards independence (referendum) at any point as positive – but that isn’t to say the big boys/girls (and all variations in between -rolls eyes-) at the UN would be sympathetic, or, more importantly, that our own swithering electorate would be sympathetic. Politically, it does have to be timed right. We have the full array of BritNat propaganda to contend with as it is, we do not need the entire Westminster politicians as well as our own BritNat Scottish ones howling about how inconsiderate the SNP is, on top. To swithering voters, it would seem valid.

There is no doubt we have a majority in favour of independence at the moment, but not by much (which I wonder about, it really should have been gaining traction and steadily rising, so what IS stopping people?), and not enough to weather the storm of -media negativity-looming emergencies-fear-idiot BritNat reasoning- etc. There is potential for the uk government to actually start a war – or similar major crisis, we really don’t have that much armed forces left to go do war things – to avoid the inevitable. The numbers should be firmly near 60% in opinion polls to allow for any potential drop. Is it essential? Well, only if we feel the need for it to be successful right now.

I personally would just go for an independence referendum now, but I know there are too many people in Scotland that have never really experienced hardship, have no concept of struggling (I believe it is the middle classes that swither the most, and have fully bought into the neoliberal ideology) – they are the ones that need to feel the pain of no deal Brexit. Then there are those people in increasing numbers that do experience hardship and poverty but tend not to vote because certainly the system is not working for them – would they go out and vote? What would be the motivation? The swithering masses that can’t be predicted.

If you consider the amount of money thrown at the leave campaign, it seems remarkable we had a 62% vote for remain, but then we had all our politicians supporting remain,,, this is good in that (a) it isn’t just money, but political ideology can still influence people, and (b) none of the Scottish politicians were in the loop at the time (re destabilisation of the EU). It means that, if Scotland was left to its own devices when debating independence, we will not have to contend with too many sinister motivations. It makes you think too, what would be the result of an independence referendum if all our politicians actually had Scotland’s best interests at heart and supported independence?

A thought on the plan to disrupt the EU: it isn’t working, so does that mean the UK decides to stay in to carry on disrupting from within? (Then, do we have a harder time getting our referendum?) Or, are they that desperate to keep trying, and the uk goes down the no-deal route? (Independence a certainty).

Anyway, I don’t have any viable alternative to the SNP, and even if they are not seen to be doing ‘enough’, it is the path they have chosen – much of the perception of not doing ‘enough’ is because of (lack of) media coverage, and our own frustration – there are a lot more factors at play this time around, and we won’t get the breathing space for reasonable debate that we had at the start of the last campaign (it all got a bit shrill and irrational towards the end, so I’m guessing it will ‘start’ in that vein this time round). To tell the truth, we don’t need much debate time, a couple of weeks should do it.

Anyway, the SNP are trying to be a representative to everyone, which isn’t a good thing for a political party because you just please no one in the end, and I certainly don’t fully support Nicola Sturgeon’s strange ideologies personally, but I don’t have to, to support her in the main task, and we do alright from the SNP in the Scottish government – they DO have Scotland’s best interests at heart, and the DO run things well – but that won’t get us independence. I suspect there is a lot more going on in the background than we would want to know – the SNP continually pushing to get article50 extended makes me think there is a need for it (from a Scottish perspective, not just to be nice to the non-Scottish parts), so it might get messy. We are going to be countering a lot a moronic BritNat bile, repeatedly, very soon and need to keep at it however tired it gets, so I think resting up for the next couple of weeks would be a good thing.

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11 thoughts on “Is the SNP really not doing enough or is that just media neglect?

  1. Bugger (the Panda) February 16, 2019 / 10:10 am

    I read an article bu Joanna Cherry on the state of play for Indie. She was a typical cautious lawyers
    .
    Basically it will take time to get the plan assembled like the one in 2014, all 800 pages of it..
    Then there is the legal niceties of getting the EU on side and the UK Gov as well.
    I would have thought that a lot of this would already be in place but they also seem to be placing a great emphasis on Angus Robertson’s polling interpretation.
    Then she said the the £ should be kept for a few years, to ensure the £ would be stable and presumably farming exports to England continued

    My estimate of all this was 3 to 5 years including the nuts and bolts of separation.

    I might not be around

    Like

  2. Isabelle Gow February 16, 2019 / 3:15 pm

    It has been suggested that there is no need to “ask” for a ref. We are equal
    Partners so we say Dissolve the Union then set up a ref to confirm yes with it being said that if we have 50 per cent turn out and 50 percent plus one then that’s it! Hope Nicola is listening. There is no better time when there is chsos and splits in main parties. We can decide all the other issues in another ref later. I suspect, however, there are things going on behind the scenes and Common we’ll have a proposed constitution etc. We can’t keep waiting.

    Like

  3. Contrary February 16, 2019 / 10:18 pm

    Aye, Bugger, there are many in the SNP councilling caution, because they are expecting some kind of stability to miraculously appear out of thin air – wishful thinking I’d say. I wasn’t expecting to see the above comment get posted though!

    I’ve been writing some of my opinion on this in anticipation of sending it to someone in the SNP, along the same lines as your thoughts – I am sure it will be ignored, but what I am writing has meandered too far away into suggestion-land it is now nearly that 800-page report. Sigh. It puts in stark relief exactly how complex, and expensive, things are going to be setting up an independent Scotland – I’m insisting on strict deadlines and giving timelines and doing things concurrently – it’s a lot of work. But the fact of the matter is, these things are not going to change, and so delaying is not going to make things any easier. Well, okay, if you know the uk is out of the EU, it will be a bit easier to put forward some proposals. The stuff about keeping the British pound needs to be dropped too – I think being fiscally independent will be one of the easier tasks – they want to keep the pound for foreign exchange stuff and keep business happy I suspect – meh, I suppose I won’t necessarily argue with them, but it’ll make negotiating debts/assets harder if there isn’t a clean break on currency.

    One thing I am insisting on is a short document for a plan on how the transition will be carried out, and all the bullshitty detail stuff can be put into supplementary documents. My list has 17 points, and doesn’t include the ‘if – then’ flexible options,,,

    I’ll go check see if it is readable and might post.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Contrary February 16, 2019 / 11:23 pm

    Draft of structure of a cunning plan for independence:

    Say, a document, in the event of a vote for independence, Scotland should:

    1. Immediately appoint a negotiating team, these will be chosen from/by —-, and affirmed through the Scottish Parliament / committee, no longer than one week after the vote date.

    2. The negotiating team will be given a brief that will be led by this document and its supplementaries, details will be decided and agreed on by parliament/committee and the team, within 4 weeks of the vote date.

    3. Key matters that will need to be negotiated are: (a) defence, (b) debt, (c) assets – how all these will be apportioned. Options that result from these negotiations will be presented to the Scottish public for consultation before any final decision.

    4. Discussions will be held on (a) broadcasting and telecommunications (b) social security (c) taxation (d) business registration (e) all reserved and semi-reserved matters, to determine the best method of hand-over of powers and how much cooperation we can expect. These should not require public consultation unless there is a major change in policy.

    5. Discussions will be held regarding (a) legal matters (b) health care (c) education (d) policing (e) fire service, to determine the level of cooperation there will be between states. Only if there is major change will the public be consulted.

    6. The outline of a framework for future trade agreements with the uk will discussed by the negotiating team and uk government, and an agreement made before the union ends. Public consultations will be made, and representatives of Scottish business and industry will take an active part.

    7. In the event of any refusal to negotiate by the uk government, legal advice will be sought from the UN (relevant department). In the event no legal route can be found, Scotland will immediately dissolve the treaty of union, and apply sanctions until negotiations can resume.

    8. Immediately after, and not later than one week after, the current Scottish government will apply for EU membership, and will appoint a negotiating team to ensure an agreement is reached at the same time as Scotland dissolves the treaty of union. Any major changes from our current status with the EU will be consulted on.

    9. Immediately appoint a central bank for government, this will be done with agreement of the Scottish Parliament.

    10. Begin appointing tax revenue staff and setting up tax collection systems that will enable an easy transition, through the Scottish government. Auditors will be appointed and all will be answerable to the current Scottish Parliament. Tax laws and rules will remain as they are in the UK until after the first Scottish general election.

    11. Expand social security and appoint staff and systems to enable a smooth transition of payments, through the Scottish government and parliament. Updated policies can be made through the current parliament, if they can be implemented at the same time.

    12. Create Customs and excise department, and a team appointed to analyse import and export options. Ports, shipping, airfreight options should be identified and plans to upgrade any infrastructure or build fleets should be presented no later than six months after the vote.

    13. Debate proposals on defence in parliament, and present options for consultation within a year of the vote.

    14. Create a written constitution, that is simple and can be understood by all. Options should be decided on by consultation, and the final constitution decided on by a vote.

    15. By the end of 18 months be in a position to dissolve the treaty of union and make all fiscal, economic and political decisions itself. Political parties wishing to stand in Scottish elections and represent Scottish citizens must be registered in Scotland, and if elected swear fealty to the Scottish citizens, based on any impending outcome of the new constitution.

    16. Put in place legal mechanisms that enforce the need to debate, put viable proposals forward and decide on a preferred political system within 10 years of the union being dissolved.

    17. Have a general election within 6 months, or soon after, depending on the outcome of negotiations and a stable electoral commission being in place. This election should be serious one with registered political parties putting forward clear policies for the economy, tax systems, foreign policy etc. At this stage, membership of international bodies such as NATO can be debated. The method by which each party would bring forward their revised political system should be included.

    Each part could have the detail set out in a supplementary document and interrelate each part that is relevant. The negotiations regarding debts and assets, and defence, will be the most complex and likely have the biggest knock-on effect, so goals will need to be set out, but vague enough to allow negotiating flexibility. We want an outcome where we give nothing away, and only gain, – is this possible or likely? Is the uk government likely to be fair – probably not. All our ‘share’ of assets will have to be carefully checked, as well as supposed debts. It is unlikely there will be a common defence policy between the uk and Scotland, so that must be planned for – hopefully the Scottish government/parliament can have a viable defence system planned that does not rely on the uk government agreement for anything. Trident is a big negotiating point, and a pragmatic approach should be used – it would be best to have it out of Scotland and far away, and faslane could be used for so much more, apart from the ethical considerations – but if we can get rent for it, that might pay for some of the set up costs to get the country up and running fully independently. Or we just tell them to remove it if there is no negotiating.

    Stability and certainty – set out a clear timetable – ensure everyone including those that did not vote for independence has a choice and a say at each stage – be concise and use plain English – do not conflate party politics with constitutional issues – ,,,

    -anyway, it’s just a draft but if anyone reads this and thinks of something else, or sees a stupid mistake, let me know, it would be useful. It’s a plan of action mind, not ‘this is how things are going to be’.

    Liked by 1 person

    • johnrobertson834 February 17, 2019 / 9:39 pm

      Impressive thinking. Remember I’m (just) ex prof of media politics not straight politics so your ideas outside my usual field. I’m happy to post it on its own if you do an intro paragraph.

      Like

    • Contrary February 17, 2019 / 11:08 pm

      Well, it was more your social science background I thought would be useful – because in fact the list itself is irrelevant, it is just a ‘why not do something like this’ as I was trying to reduce a huge rambling epistle into something coherent. Asking myself – what is it I actually want to say, and how do I convince the person that this is a good idea – — but is it a good idea? I expect that is where I should go for an intro,,, I want to know if other people would actually feel ,,, okay, so,,,

      So, most people are feeling very uncertain (Brexit), and the SNP keep delaying calling an independence referendum until they know the outcome of the Brexit fiasco – until things are more certain – and seemingly do not feel prepared without that. I would like to suggest to the SNP that it is THEY that should be offering certainty and stability and should not be waiting for anything from Westminster. Obviously our (England – Scotland) lives are forever bound, we are next door after all, and decisions will have be made based on Westminster politicking, but does an independence referendum and the future negotiations really depend on Westminster to such a great degree, and we must wait for them to (never) sort themselves out? We will always be plagued by the vagaries of Westminster, and many of us just want that to be gone.

      But before I suggest anything, like another empty demand from a panic attack, I would like to present a possibility – so I need to know how people would feel if they were presented with a procedural plan with a rough timetable on how decisions would be made, who would be negotiating, what role the Scottish government and parliament would take, and how often and in what manner the public and institutions would be consulted – would this type of plan give people certainty or some form of surety?

      I’ve written out as a rough example of 18 points that seem to be of reasonable length, and each of which could be expanded on in supplementary material (which should include ‘if point X fails, then point Y will need to be extended by 2weeks’ sort of thing) – this is just to try and outline what I mean by a procedural plan, but if you have any insights to what should be included/changed, it would be good to know –

      ———

      In the event of a vote for independence, Scotland should:

      1. Immediately appoint a negotiating team, these will be chosen from/by —-, and affirmed through the Scottish Parliament / committee, no longer than one week after the vote date.

      2. The negotiating team will be given a brief that will be led by this document and its supplementaries, details will be decided and agreed on by parliament/committee and the team, within 4 weeks of the vote date.

      3. Key matters that will need to be negotiated are: (a) defence, (b) debt, (c) assets – mainly how all these will be apportioned. Options that result from these negotiations will be presented to the Scottish public for consultation before any final decision.

      4. Negotiate and have confirmed land and sea borders, in accordance with international law. Any alteration to legally entitled borders will need to be agreed upon. An exclusive economic zone should be created. Any major changes will be put to consultation.

      5. Discussions will be held on (a) broadcasting and telecommunications (b) social security (c) taxation (d) business registration (e) all reserved and semi-reserved matters, to determine the best method of hand-over of powers and how much cooperation we can expect. These should not require public consultation unless there is a major change in policy.

      6. Discussions will be held regarding (a) legal matters (b) health care (c) education (d) policing (e) fire service, to determine the level of cooperation there will be between states. Only if there is major change will the public be consulted.

      7. The outline of a framework for future trade agreements with the uk will discussed, and an agreement made before the union ends. Public consultations will be made, and representatives of Scottish business and industry will take an active part.

      8. In the event of any refusal to negotiate by the uk government, legal advice will be sought from the UN (relevant department). In the event no legal route can be found, Scotland will immediately dissolve the treaty of union, and apply sanctions until negotiations can resume. All negotiations should be concluded within 18months of the vote.

      9. Immediately after the vote, and not later than one week after, the current Scottish government will apply for EU membership, and will appoint a negotiating team to ensure an agreement is reached at the same time as Scotland dissolves the treaty of union. Any major changes from our current status with the EU will be consulted on.

      10. Immediately appoint a central bank for government, this will be done with the agreement of the Scottish Parliament. The relationship between government and bank should be clearly stated, and a timeline for establishing the independent currency set out within 8 months of the vote. Any financial markets required for international trade should be proposed and an outline plan for their structure within this time and not later than a year after the vote.

      11. Begin appointing tax revenue staff and setting up tax collection systems that will enable an easy transition, through the Scottish government. Auditors will be appointed and all will be answerable to the current Scottish Parliament. Tax laws and rules will remain as they are in the UK until after the first Scottish general election.

      12. Expand social security and appoint staff and systems to enable a smooth transition of payments, through the Scottish government and parliament. Updated policies can be made through the current parliament, if they can be implemented at the same time.

      13. Create a Customs and excise department, and a team appointed to analyse import and export options. Ports, shipping, airfreight options should be identified and plans to upgrade any infrastructure or build fleets should be presented no later than six months after the vote.

      14. Debate proposals on defence in parliament, and present options for consultation within a year of the vote.

      15. Create a written constitution, that is simple and can be understood by all. Options should be decided on by consultation, and the final constitution decided on by a vote.

      16. By the end of 18 months be in a position to dissolve the treaty of union and make all fiscal, economic and political decisions itself. Political parties wishing to stand in Scottish elections and represent Scottish citizens must be registered in Scotland, and if elected swear fealty to the Scottish citizens, based on any impending outcome of the new constitution.

      17. Put in place legal mechanisms that enforce the need to debate, put viable proposals forward, and decide on, a preferred political system within 10 years of the union being dissolved.

      18. Have a general election within 6 months, or soon after, depending on the outcome of negotiations and a stable electoral commission being in place. This election should be serious one with registered political parties putting forward clear policies for the economy, tax systems, foreign policy etc. At this stage, membership of international bodies such as NATO can be debated. The method by which each party would bring forward their revised political system should be included.

      ——-

      So, if you were presented with something like that as a ‘template for independence’, would you feel reassured, or horrified? Does it imply more, or less, certainty? How do you think union-supporters would feel about it?

      I believe that ‘Certainty’ comes from the WAY you go about things, not what it is you actually do – if you don’t keep people informed and stick by your word, uncertainty prevails. I’d like to to present that to the SNP as something they should consider, that is, they can offer certainty WITHOUT knowing what the Brexit outcome will be – and put it forward as something that should still be done in the event of remain.

      There is no point in going into details about the economy or tax when that will likely change – those are not constitutional matters -, and we have to accept there will be a proportion of former-unionists involved in making decisions as well.

      P.s. I’m happy for people to say it’s a shit idea, that’s why I’m asking.

      Also, here’s the Green New Deal song again, because it is good to be cheerful

      Green new deal song

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Brian Doonthetoon February 17, 2019 / 10:31 am

    Hi Contrary.
    Negotiation regarding the maritime border in the North Sea (particularly the 6,000 sq m moved in 1999) and confirmation of Scotland’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)? International arbitration could be required.

    Like

    • Contrary February 17, 2019 / 5:03 pm

      Good points Brian, I was just assuming that what counts as Scotland’s under international law, would be ours, but yeah the border ‘moved’ – this is a major negotiating point.

      Like

  6. Daisy Walker February 17, 2019 / 11:00 am

    They may well have a plan – I really hope they do, I’m sure they’re working towards one.

    It’s just that if No Deal was always the establishment’s plan (and that increasingly holds water), that leads to riots somewhere in UK, which enables a State of Emergency to be put into play, which enables them to shut down Holyrood.

    All the plans in the world won’t help us at that point if the ScotGov are locked out of the office, and removed from the levers of power, to deliver them.

    It would be tremendously useful and re-assuring if the SNP leadership would acknowledge this risk exists, and hypothesises how they intend to govern Scotland in that eventuality – with or without plans for Indy.

    Brexit is an Establishment Coup, designed to protect the 1%’s ill gotten gains from Colonialism from the new tax haven legislation, and they absolutely need Scotland’s wealth to fund it.

    So far its all going to plan, and if Indy Scot is to save our Country, at the very least we need acknowledgement that this is the likely sequence of events the British Establishment will invoke.

    Kind regards to all and thanks for all the articles.

    Liked by 1 person

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