Nothing ever changes. The glorious partnership of nations, the steadfast and true marriage of England and Scotland (Please don’t leave us, we love you) exists strictly on the terms of the larger of the two countries. We Scots don’t have a say. We never have had a say.
The redtop chip paper wrappers are speculating that, should First Minister Nicola Sturgeon look Westminster squarely in the wattery eye and call an ‘advisory’ referendum (as Brexit was prior to Westminster ratification), the Ruth Davidson Party of Scotland, recently unmasked as heartless, elitist, selfish ruthless power-hungry Tories (who would have thought it as that never gets mentioned in any of her election campaign material) will walk out of the Holyrood chamber in the cream puff, chanting ‘now is not the time, now is not the time.’
Apparently the government of Scotland acting on a democratic decision made by the people of Scotland would be, in the Ruth Davidson Party’s opinion, wholly unconstitutional, which roughly translates as London isn’t getting everything their own way.
That’s easypeasy to sort out, I hear you say. A quick thumb through the wordy tome which the UK’s (as a democracy) written Constitution must surely be, will settle that argument. Oh, that’s right, there isn’t one.
Going back to the very beginnings of the Union Theresa May’s, near 10 month now, strategy of sitting sniggering at Scotland with her headphones stuffed in her lug holes listening to ‘Learn More About Saudi Customs’ and the middle digit of her right hand held up in front of her in the direction of Wallace’s Monument. is nothing new in its arrogance and it’s demonstration of the sheer inability to actually recognise that more than the London government has a view, and a view that is entitled to be respected.
Most of us know that some time before the 300 odd years relationship we hear about constantly like it’s the result of stone etchings handed down to Moses, England initially didn’t want to be in a union with Scotland because they felt that we didn’t have much to ‘share’ with them, and they didn’t trust a Scottish king to rig the game in their favour.
Then, after invading the place and putting it under martial law for a bit under Cromwell as Lord Protector, kind of like David Mundell with a cutlass, a codpiece and a funny hat, years of actively blockading it from trading with countries that might damage their own trade interests, and eventually pulling London finance out of the desperate Darien Scheme (and hindering resupply to the Scottish colony, effectively starving them out) sending the Scottish economy into a tailspin, the early signs of what’s now known as the Brexit spirit came to the fore.
Frightened of the French, who they were always squaring up to, fearing that the Jacobites would help Johnny Foreigner to invade, and aghast at uppity Scotland daring to suggest that they might want a bit of a say in who their own monarch might be now and again, and trying to negotiate the heinous despicable ability to freely trade Scottish goods around the world, suddenly a Union with Scotland was considered the dug’s sphericals, from their point of view. There’s that auld ‘strength and security’ motto coming to the surface again.
In retaliation for Scottish insolence, and just to keep minds focused, legislation was put before the House of Commons in 1705 decreeing that commissioners should start negotiations for union and if the Scots refused to take part, and progress was not made towards the ‘right’ decision by Christmas, all Scots in England would be considered alien, and all Scottish exports would be banned, further crippling the Scottish economy. Henceforth Scots would be subjected to endless repeats of Ye Olde Great British Boot on Throat. Nice.
How to do it though without putting the tableful of contraband Claret up in the air? Easy, promote the Union as a means of strengthening, pooling and sharing resources ( heard that afore) placate the Kirk, whose taes were being trodden on at the time, and then rig the negotiating team by bribing figureheads in the opposition to pick the ‘right sort’ of nobleman in the Scottish parliament to discuss terms, effectively to vote themselves out of existence.
Petitions ( again nothing changes) were sent to Edinburgh by many burghs and counties of Scotland protesting the draft Articles of Union, dismissed by the Duke of Argyll as mere paper kites, and even unionist supporters of the time, like Sir John Clerk, estimated that ‘ not even one per cent (of the Scottish people) approved of what the former ( those tasked with forming the Union ) was doing.’
Oh what a great thing it was, the birth of the Union, that thing that is so ‘ precious’. Bells rang out in London, bonfires were lit, there was a service of celebration at St Paul’s Cathedral. In Scotland? There was rioting in the streets for months and hardly a public mention of it which wasn’t followed by a spit into the nearest gutter.
Sovereignty exchanged for cash, debt cancellation and patronage, and 61 seats at Westminster (2 more than we have now, and if the Tories get their way on boundary changes there will be even less).
We’ve never had a say. We are expected to conform and comply with Westminster’s control. In this ‘partnership’ arrangement there is no room to do it any other way. That is why it must end.
Go for a walk Ruth. We’ve long had experience of your kind.