Contrary to popular opinion, the Republic is not merely a form of government Scotland can choose to adopt after independence. As was the case in Ireland in 1916, the proclamation of the Republic is at once the reaffirmation of the sovereignty of the Scottish people, a declaration of our national independence, and the most powerful instrument by which we can come together to realise and secure an independent Scottish Republic.
Yet, the fact remains that the politics of independence is a national movement locked in an existential struggle with the British state and all the poison that that can bring to the fight. Not being the most social of people, “Jihadi Jason” – iScot Magazine’s witty new epithet for me – is all about winning the fight. Truth be told, I don’t feel particularly loyal to the Scottish National Party or to any pro-independence party. Political parties are useful instruments, but we mustn’t forget that they are also very human institutions. They attract professionals and careerists – journeymen.
Last time round, in 2012, the Scottish and British governments agreed on a Section 30 Order. In the Edinburgh Agreement arising from this the negotiated terms and conditions of an independence referendum were laid out, giving the Scottish people – for one day – the freedom to decide the constitutional future of their country. It is altogether likely the Scottish government feels that the best way forward from here is to seek another Section 30 and, in effect, have another referendum in the form and likeness of the 2014 referendum.
It gets worse for unionism, however, with individual unionists clutching at straws in their efforts to delegitimise the independence movement’s grievances and invent their own. Examples of this abound, and we are well familiar with them: The claim that the Scottish government’s baby boxes will only result in the incineration of our wee bundles of joy, that Scottish infrastructural investment – lauded everywhere else in the world – is here nothing but a “vanity project,” and that independence will only hasten an invasion by space aliens (yes, they said this).
Apparently we are British because our passports tell us so. This is the merry-go-round of unionist circular logic, the snake eating its tail that has kept us in the chains of British state irrationality for three centuries.
We can at last dismiss the absurd notion, propagated by the opposition parties, that the Scottish people do not want another referendum. The people of Scotland have spoken through their elected representatives in our own representative parliament, and our answer is that we do want another vote.
Whether we remain in union with England or retain membership of the European Union are decisions for the people of Scotland to make, and the problem is that we do not have the independence to make these decisions for ourselves.