No SNP, the blame doesn’t just lie with Westminster

No SNP, the blame doesn’t just lie with Westminster
Guest article from Jonathan Rainey
On Wednesday 23rd November 2022, the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom handed down a judgement that would effectively solidify Scotland’s existence to the current union of the UK. [1] All 5 judges unanimously ruled that the Scottish Parliament does not have the legislative powers within the Scotland Act of 1998 to hold another Independence Referendum without consent from the UK Government in Westminster. The consent refers to Section 30 of the Scotland Act of 1998 which allows Holyrood to pass laws in areas that are normally reserved to the parliament in Westminster. [2] It came after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced to the Scottish Parliament on 28th June 2022 that a new independence referendum would take place on 19th October 2023 and that the case regarding a new bill surrounding Holyrood’s powers to hold a referendum would be taken to the UK Supreme Court by Lord Dorothy Bain QC, a Sturgeon appointee [3][4]. The arguments were put forward by both the representatives of the Scottish Government and UK Government for 2 days and the case was discussed on behind the scenes by the judges who came to their ruling. Even Dorothy Bain herself disagreed with the legality of the proposed bill which didn’t help the case and somehow sprung the party itself into action to be represented as well which the Supreme Court also accepted but still rejected their arguments in the judgement. [5]
On 17th of January 2023, the UK Government issued it’s first ever S35 (of the Scotland Act) order since devolution to block the Gender Recognition Reform Bill from becoming law in Scotland, causing major controversy along with the bill itself which proved to be divisive amongst the Scottish people themselves. [6][7] The debate on whether to support the bill or not has become marred in mud-slinging not just between the pro-Indy and pro-UK camps but also between pro-Trans activists and those who just want to have an open & honest discussion about women’s private spaces as well as the side effects that can happen upon transition, including when Kids as young as 4-years-old can decide to change gender [8]. In their quest to show how bad Westminster is, which let’s face it already has been proving a threat to our liberties as of lately including pushing the censorious Online Safety Bill [9], found to have used the MOD’s Rapid Response Unit to spy on public figures criticising the Covid-related lockdowns that took place for 2 years & even flagged posts to Twitter so that they can censor them [10], doesn’t quite tolerate MPs making criticisms about Covid Vaccines [11], tried not to follow through on honouring the will of the people of the entire UK for voting Leave since 2016 but the Conservatives managed to beat them away from it in the 2019 General Election (by since trying to have light concessions to the EU of their own), don’t want you to transfer decentralised cryptocurrencies into Cash thanks to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) [12], want to implement a ‘programmable’ Central Banking Digital Currency (CBDC) that would place financial controls on what you spend money on [13], have blocked some public figures from entering the country because of their ‘controversial’ views – thank goodness we weren’t going to be offended anytime soon as if we already have to enough to feel disgusted at [14][15]-, have been pushing gun control for many years since the late 19th Century & want to do more controls including with Crossbows – as if restricting our ability to use self-defence against violent criminals was bad enough – [16][17], want to tax you more, etc, the SNP have tried to use woke identity politics using certain marginalised groups including the Transgender Community & the cause surrounding it to further the cause of why we should be independent from Westminster, hoping that by doing just that more people, especially on the far-left, left-wing and centrist areas of the political spectrum will catch on but in the process, has ended up backfiring against them. If their agenda is to also get rid of free speech (tried before with the Offensive Behaviour at Football Act 2012 which thankfully got repealed in 2018 [18]), appear to like the idea of kids being scared & encouraged to protest about Climate Change in schools [19], also disarm the people [20], lock us down for the past 2 years over Coronavirus [21], push woke identity politics, push a green agenda which involves getting rid of petrol & diesel cars off the roads by 2030 [22], getting us off of North Sea oil & gas which they ironically supported for the cause of fuelling our independence financially [23][24], make sure that parents have gradually less rights over their kids [25][26], overseeing drug deaths reach all-time highs since the mid-2010s [27] and allowing the NHS to go downhill (despite health being one of the main issues allocated to the Scottish Parliament since devolution in the late 1990s) [28][29], etc, maybe it’s time to look in the mirror before going out of their way to loudly criticise everyone else, otherwise you’ll probably end with a similar fate to Sturgeon as of 15th February 2023.
Since after the original referendum of 18th September 2014 but especially going through 2016, it has been quite obvious that the mainstream part of the pro-Indy movement is not really that interested in helping Scotland to be genuinely independent, after all you need only look towards their unending appraisal of the larger union known as the European Union since the majority of Scots (62%) voted to remain in the EU during a UK-wide Referendum held on 23rd June 2016 where the overall result was 52% Leave and 48% Remain. It also has been apparent that it isn’t quite enough to say that you’re for Independence without having to automatically agree on other issues; for instance, praising the possibility of Scottish YouTuber Count Dankula facing a 2-year prison sentence for posting an edgy comedic video of him winding up his now-wife by teaching his pug Buddha to raise it’s right paw whenever Nazi phrases got said to him and being very vehemently anti-trump to the point where debate surrounding his other side is not tolerated [30]. Many more instances, however, seemed to accelerate their appearance through 2020 to the present time; from praising the Covid lockdowns so much that they wanted the Scottish Government to completely shut the border with England to stop drivers going over it [31] to giving full support to the Climate Action protestors especially at the COP26 Summit when it was held in Glasgow in November 2021 [32] and insisting that you have to be ‘anti-racist’ following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, USA in 2020 [33][34]. Some other hidden demands have actually been dividing the movement like we’d never seen before which include the aforementioned Trans Debate and the division over then-Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf’s Hate Crime Bill in 2021 (which since became the Hate Crime Act) and the outcome of the Alex Salmond rape trial in 2020 going into the next year with a public inquiry [35][36]. Speaking out against the SNP including Nicola Sturgeon for even the most legitimate of reasons including on what happened to £600k worth of Independence Campaigning money [37] seems to be viewed as an abominable sin in the mainstream part of the movement, but mostly the SNP party loyalists, who will ensure that your comments translate to you disregarding the entire cause of independence, even if you actually voted Yes in 2014 with no regrets, and thus you shall be condemned to the dark corners of the world never to be seen and heard from again, though it must be emphasised that not everyone in the movement buys into the division. The main words & tags you often hope to never hear as a pro-Indy supporter from your fellow people include the following:
1. Tory (it never gets old when inciting those who are primarily working & middle class against whoever they call one, even their own kind, and ages like fine wine despite the ever changing informal definition of the word)
2. Unionist (throw in a few bonus words like Yoon and/or rag upon seeing any media outlets pushing talking points you disagree with and you score some good points amongst your peers)
3. Secret Mi5 Agent (we don’t want the intelligence agencies interfering in the cause & a new referendum, would we?)
4. Right-winger (because Scotland has always been a left-wing & socialist country)
5. Traitor (if only being pushed into the grips of the Maidan was a bonus)
6. Albists (lately a new phrase coined by former Runrig Keyboard Player and current SNP MP Pete Wishart to describe those who support or are perceived to support the ALBA Party, because trying to think of a word other than Ableists sounds like the perfect move)[38]
7. Homophobe and/or Transphobe (*gasps* we don’t want you oppressing the LGBT community here, you better not have any secret motive to kill all the gay people or else)
8. Hateful (because speaking loudly that you’re full of love and tolerance in one particular setting is more important in order to signal your virtue)
9. Bigot (it does mean having strong opinions to the point where you exclude other kinds of opinions which could counter yours but it doesn’t matter, that word has to be used)<br /> 10. Your favourite football team in your social media profile – if you happen to be a pro-Indy Rangers FC Supporter, watch out!*
No matter how much you try to explain that you are not any of those things, words that trigger your anxiety to go off usually tend to succeed in making you angry and thus wanting to eliminate the so-called ‘threat’, occasionally in a larger group that’ll help you to get the job done quicker. Getting the threat off of social media, banned from speaking publicly or even being fired from their jobs would prove to be extra bonuses for scoring brownie points to make you feel better now that you have more room to speak than the other. If the bigger consequences don’t hit you, trying to engage in discussions on matters of civil liberties being robbed from us & how we can make our country freer is often met with light or assertive assurances that your concerns on whatever subject is being talked about will be discussed after we achieve independence. Can you honestly imagine an English Brexiteer loudly declaring that issues around Grooming Gangs harming young girls & women in England need to be put to the side until after the UK left the EU? It is this kind of attitude with lots of examples probably also not reported on yet that is ultimately causing support for the mainstream pro-Indy movement as well as the SNP to gradually collapse, though it admittedly does rise automatically whenever Westminster seeks to exercise their powers over Scotland or when the SNP actually does something genuinely decent but that’s besides the point. Cries from pro-Indy figures including Jim Fairlie Snr (father of the current SNP MSP by the same name) and Jim Sillars to properly unite the independence movement together which include confronting actual issues plaguing the movement as well as, most importantly, tolerating diversity of thought, have been met either with a wall of silence or being told in social media comment replies to shut up. You’re left with 2 scenarios at that point; Either you bend the knee to the ideological whims of the mob by apologising & pledging to ‘repent’ of your (perceived) sins or stand up for yourself and face more consequences in the so-called ‘Big Tent’ Party, as Kate Forbes MSP found out the hard way when expressing her Christian beliefs on abortion, transgender issues and same-sex marriage as part of the run-up to the leadership race. [39] I personally can recount one instance of intolerance towards ideas of expression when I participated in a pro-Indy as well as anti-war March towards Faslane Naval Base in Argyll & Bute on Saturday 31st July 2022 [40] and I decided to bring 2 flags with me to fly at the event (1 was a buff & blue saltire flag representative of the type described by Robert Burns in his 1792 poem ‘Here’s a Health To Them, That’s Awa’ and the other a personalised Gaelic Saltire Gadsden Flag which was also used at other anti-lockdown protests). After getting myself into position in the queue before the event started, I attached and flew both flags with my hands. A few people in the queue curiously asked me about the flag which I answered them about it and they kept their conversations civil. However, one of the stewards saw my flag and asked me just like the others in a similar polite manner but then asked me if I could take the latter flag down. When I asked him why, he claimed that the flag represents the American Far Right which includes all US Republicans & Trump Supporters. After a series of too-ing & throwing between the 2 of us, which I thankfully didn’t lose my temper, including making a bizarre analogy about someone deciding to bring a Nazi Swastika to a freedom march (to which I explained that the swastika represented a horrible centralised authoritarian country that suppressed free speech & committed the worst atrocities of the 20th Century, just like Communism also did, hence the Hammer & Sickle Flag would be just as horrible to see), he eventually backed off appearing to convey his concerns to another steward but thankfully didn’t kick me out of the event. It’s fair to say the confrontation was witnessed by a few other people in the queue that just wanted to be there to have a good time. Pity that bringing a Ron Paul liberty quote flag underneath a Saltire at the May the 4th 2019 Glasgow March didn’t stir up so much resentment there in the nice atmosphere. [41] If the Pro-Indy movement is to turn it’s values from one of love for one another in a genuine sense of the word, tolerance including of each other’s viewpoints on other issues which shouldn’t be kept behind until after Independence, and most importantly aiming for freedom to then policing each other with fingers wagging all the way on words & opinions as well as lifestyles deemed (big emphasis on deemed) to be unacceptable, is it any wonder that we are in the dilemma we’re in? For trying to justify a new referendum, why not try to investigate the 2014 results to see if you could find any corrupt practices & ballots so that it would be justifiable in making it null and void so that in turn a larger number of people would be united to say yes to a new referendum as well as Independence? Why not actually present decent economic solutions to help fix the financial problems we are seeing to this day instead of making points that show many economists you have no idea what the heck you’re talking about? [42][43] Why not also advance more ideas in every way you can think of in protecting & preserving our own liberties in every way possible to make us the free country it should be? How about, most importantly, pulling up your trousers and admit your mistakes in order to fully fix the problems we see here? But no, the solutions, especially in the short term, always have to be based on feelings against whatever different things England does, even if it means sacrificing our own freedoms & liberties just so that we can ‘own the Torys’, and we as a people can only take so much from you before we declare we have had enough of you at the Ballot Box, provided that we don’t continue to submit to silencing ourselves, that is.
*For the record, I have no interest in football at all.
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