When the Advocate General says Westminster is sovereign and the Scottish parliament is not he is presuming a definition of sovereignty which is fundamentally foreign to the Scottish national constitution. More than this, he is assuming a unicity – a singular notion of sovereignty and power in a singular British state – that has never before been made explicit. He is giving England’s idea of sovereignty priority over that of Scotland. This engenders a worrying logical problem; unicity renders the heretofore existing duality of legal understandings impossible.
Where does this mindless obedience lead us? We know fine well where this behaviour leads; history teaches us all we need to know, and this is precisely why we refer to the defence of “only following orders” as the Nuremberg defence. This leads to the deprivation of civil and political rights, the creation of categories of political crimes, and to the exact same thinking that brought us the re-education camps and concentration camps of the totalitarian and authoritarian régimes of the not so distant past – and this is no facile comparison.
There is absolutely no question that this video is racist, and it can do nothing but put his motives for teaching his partner’s pug to give a Nazi salute and respond to “Gas the Jews” in a starker, uglier light. Mark Meechan comes across as an expert at doing himself no favours. On the one hand he is trying his best to convince a judge that his video was a joke and that he is a comedian, and then on the other he is making racist parodies and linking up with Tommy Robinson at Rebel Media to advocate freedom of speech. Yes, you read that right – Tommy Robinson.
Britain is no different with regard to its power structure than any other bureaucratic state. Power is not truly in the hands of the people – the demos or the representatives it elects. In the bureaucratic state, which all democracies are, the locus of power is the upper reaches of the state bureaucracy. What makes the United Kingdom different – even from many other constitutional monarchies – is that this bureaucracy of state is thoroughly dominated by the hegemony of a medieval royal estate.
Democracy – and it is difficult to accept that in 2017 we still find ourselves having to explain this – is all about the will of the people over the ambitions of those in and behind government. The Partido Popular, the ruling party in Madrid, is a minority government that now no longer has the support of Congress for the actions it is carrying out against Catalunya. In reality what we have is a western government using military-style measures with a military police force against an apparently “illegal” act of democracy without the consent of its own parliament.
McHarg writes that the requirement for a Section 30 order – that is the permission of the London government to call a referendum – is not actually an expressly reserved matter.
If we wanted to – which of course we don’t – we could have a referendum on independence every six months. There is nothing in law – be that Scots law or the British law that has been imposed upon us – that states we cannot do this.
This notion of “divisive nationalists” is a staple in the repertoire of every Scottish unionist. Somehow the idea that Scotland can and perhaps should be an independent country – a state in its own right – is treated, as if by magic, to be the only politically divisive issue.