by Colin Campbell
THE SNP yesterday presented their long-awaited plan to hold a fake referendum. And, like any fake document, you need to hold it up to the light and see whether it’s worth the paper it’s written in.
There was predictable jubilation among nationalists – it reminded me of March, 2017, when Nicola Sturgeon made another big indyef2 declaration.
In the general election three months later the SNP lost a third of their MPs.
One thing is clear this time around. They have hurdle over hurdle to overcome before they get anywhere near the challenge of setting up a referendum which would be boycotted by more than half the population.
Even if they ever did get there, all their work would have been in vain.
But yesterday was no time for the SNP/nationalists to break their habit of a lifetime and start facing reality. “Indy here we come” was the battle cry.
But first of all they have to win a majority in the May Scottish Parliamentary elections. A few months ago that seemed a foregone conclusion. But recent polls, including one yesterday, pointed to them getting a majority of only one seat or no majority at all. The SNP are mired in sleaze as a result of their one-party state arrogance, and pursuing their independence obsession – all that truly matters to them – in the middle of the pandemic is tarnishing them further.
If they do win a majority, Sturgeon will request a Section 30 order for a legal referendum from the Prime Minister and he will refuse it.
That will set Sturgeon and co on course for holding a referendum sanctioned by their majority in the Scottish Parliament and “dare” Westminster to challenge it.
If the UK Government decide to to challenge it in the courts, rather than just ignore it, they’re almost certain to win.
The SNP would then have the option of plunging ahead and trying to hold an illegal referendum. Their foaming at the mouth supporters would brook no wavering or hesitancy about them going down that treacherous path.
One obvious problem would be in trying to get non-SNP led councils, like Highland Council, to participate. Why should they have anything to do with an illegal enterprise?
Maybe the SNP/nationalists could set up their own voting centres and count the votes themselves. As only independence supporters would be voting, they might as well do just that. It would be boycotted by opposition parties and more importantly the majority of voters in Scotland. When Catalan extremists, who nationalists consider virtually blood brothers, tried to do the same the turnout was only 43 per cent.
So the fake Scottish referendum – yielding 100 per cent support for independence – would have zero credibility and would be a farce.
Those opposed to the break up of the United Kingdom could afford to look upon all this frenetic nationalist hullabaloo with calm detachment, in the certainty that it would lead absolutely nowhere.
The fake referendum prospectus outlines what’s proposed. It says:
“The election on May 6 will be absolutely crucial. Here’s why. If there’s a pro-independence majority in the Scottish Parliament after the election, there would not be any democratic justification for any Westminster government to deny Scotland’s right to choose. Taking into account the ongoing COVID pandemic, the referendum on Scottish independence should be held in the first half of the next Scottish Parliament – and it will be the Scottish Parliament’s decision to take. No UK government can deny Scotland’s right to choose.”
Yes they can, and they will. This is the kind of wishful thinking verbiage the SNP have been spouting for months. Constitutional issues are reserved to Westminster. Without a Section 30 order from Westminster, any referendum not sanctioned by the courts would be illegal and would have no validity. Period.
“The Tories desperately want to spin the ‘once in a generation’ argument in an attempt to deny Scotland’s voice. However, all parties, including the Tories, signed up to the Smith Commission report published after the referendum in 2014, which explicitly stated Scottish democracy isn’t a one-time event. It said: “It is agreed that nothing in this report prevents Scotland becoming an independent country in the future should the people of Scotland so choose.’ If the people of Scotland elect a pro-independence majority, the UK government cannot deny Scotland’s democratic will.
Yes they can, and they will. We had our “once in a generation referendum” in 2014 and Boris Johnson, rightly, isn’t going to let them wriggle off the hook on that. Maybe the nats would go beyond their “once in a generation” mantra for indyref2, and upgrade it to “once in a lifetime”, or “once in a millennium”. It wouldn’t matter. If they lost it a week later they’d start campaigning for indyref3.
“The Scottish Government is committed to a referendum which is beyond legal challenge – ensuring it is properly recognised here in Scotland, and crucially, by the international community including the EU. This is to make sure that if the people vote for independence in the referendum, this can take effect.”
An illegal referendum without Westminster approval would be spurned by the EU and the “international community”. The nats’ fantasists have said they’d appeal for support and legitimacy to the UN and even sleepy Joe Biden. They’ve even suggested that “foreign observers” could be drafted in to “observe” their referendum. Their idiocy would become apparent, to those who were interested, not just at home but on a global scale.
“The draft Independence Referendum Bill proposes the same question as used in 2014 – ‘Should Scotland be an independent country?’ – with ‘No’ and ‘Yes’ answers on the ballot paper. After the Bill is introduced to the Scottish Parliament, the Electoral Commission is required to consider the wording of the question and publish its views as soon as possible. The Scottish Government also intends to translate the question into Gaelic, subject to Electoral Commission consideration.
The Electoral Commission would have nothing to do with the wording of a question on an illegal referendum. The Scottish Parliament would be unable to “require” it to do anything. And as far as the majority who’d boycott it would be concerned, they could print the question in Gaelic, double Dutch or Swahili if it so suited them.
“Since 2014, we have further extended the franchise for the local government and Holyrood elections – and the same will apply to the independence referendum.This means that all of these groups who live in Scotland will have the vote: All those aged 16 and on referendum day. Citizens of all nationalities legally resident in Scotland – including EU citizens, refugees and those granted asylum. Prisoners serving sentences of less than 12 months.”
At least they haven’t extended the franchise to 12 or 14-year-olds. This is where the cynicism of the SNP really scrapes the bottom of the barrel. This has nothing do with “giving young people a say in their future”. They believe an all-singing, all-dancing SNP with a reservoir full of face paint will attract the support of kids who won’t ask or think about difficult questions, as they’ve yet to encounter any of the basic complexities of adulthood. As for EU citizens, it has been a calculated SNP policy to exaggerate the threat of Brexit to those already living here and try to scare the living daylights out of them, while at the same time holding forums to alleviate the fears they’ve stirred up in the first place, and present themselves as the migrants’ natural friends. As vote-winning tactics go, this double-dealing deception is sick.
“Scotland has what it takes to thrive with independence. We can build a fairer, more prosperous society as an independent country, with all the powers we need to grow our own economy and invest in our public services. Evidence clearly demonstrates that Scotland is big enough, smart enough and wealthy enough to emulate the success of other independent countries of our size – such as Ireland, Denmark or Norway.”
The evidence the SNP have singularly failed to provide is what currency an independent Scotland would use, how pensions and mortgages would be affected, how they’d fill the gap caused by the loss of the extra £2,000 per head in public spending we receive compared with people in England, and how trade with the rest of the UK – by far our biggest trading partner – would be affected. As for becoming like Norway, I refer you to the post on Lesley Riddoch, the Nordic Princess, who seems to believe all our junkies and alcoholics, tens of thousands of them contributing to the worst drink and drugs problem in Europe, would give up their bad habits once we gained independence and take up cross-country skiing and other healthy outdoor pursuits, Norwegian style. It’s not just the nationalist lunatic fringe that have lost it. Even some of the softly spoken ones, like the Nordic Princess, don’t seem to be quite all there.
“As an independent member of the EU, free from the damage of a hard Tory Brexit, Scotland would be part of the huge Single Market – seven times the size of the UK.”
That would mean our currency would become the Euro. The SNP deny this and try and lie their way out of it, as they do all inconvenient truths, but the Euro it would be. The EU dominating Germans would be our overseers. And there would, with absolute inevitability, be a hard passport controlled border between Scotland and the rest of the UK. These facts alone are enough to sink any hope of a legal independence majority.
The overriding question remains whether Sturgeon and all her money-grubbing acolytes at Westminster and Holyrood really want another referendum, legal or illegal, or whether they are merely spinning their supporters along to get the vote out in May so they can continue to enjoy their cosy and lucrative lifestyles.
But what they have succeeded in doing is galvanising those who see through and are utterly sick of these charlatans and are determined to make their mark at the ballot box and try and get rid of them once and for all. The arrogant, conniving, lying SNP may be in for a shock in the upcoming elections. Feelings are running high and I certainly wouldn’t bet against it. A break from their threats, warnings and bluster is now well overdue.