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Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed that she will, in light of the British government’s complete refusal to negotiate with Scotland over its hard Brexit plans, seek the authority of the Edinburgh parliament to agree with the London government the details of a Section 30 order – enabling the Scottish parliament to legislate for a second independence referendum. In doing this she reiterated the mandate her government has been given by the Scottish people, but also made it clear that she remains open to any discussion with Theresa May’s Brexiteer government. This process, Sturgeon said, will begin next week.
In predictable imperial fashion the British Prime Minister struck back at the First Minister in a BBC interview, stating that “politics is not a game.” Mrs. May, like every British premier before her, has developed a habit of infantilising the efforts of Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. While we are meant – presumably – to stand in awe of British statecraft, those we have elected to represent us in Scotland are merely “playing politics.” The inference here is that we are children; too wee, too poor, and too stupid to know what is best for us. Britain of course is the real adult in this debate.
Butterfly Rebellion (@Butterfly_Reb) March 13, 2017
We happen to disagree. We do not accept this dysfunctional adult-child relationship in our so-called partnership of equals. Politics in a mature society is established on the fundamental principles of democracy and freedom. In Scotland we have freely elected a government with the highest share of the constituency vote in the history of devolution. The mandate our government has to chart our course to independence is “beyond doubt.”
It is Theresa May who is playing all the games. After throwing her toys out the pram over the rights of EU migrants and taking her ball home in her willingness to risk failing to reach any deal with Brussels, she is gambling with the peace and security of Northern Ireland and the welfare of the entire economy of the United Kingdom. She can throw a tantrum all she wants, but in contrast to Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP government she has no mandate whatsoever – and this is the biggest game of all. No one has elected Mrs. May – no one in Scotland or anywhere else in the UK – and her Conservatives, with less than half the seats of the National Party in Holyrood and a single Scottish MP in Westminster, are having a laugh if they think they represent the will of Scotland.
Scotland decided overwhelmingly in the June referendum that it wished to remain within the European Union, and the right, sensible, and grown up thing for our First Minister to do is to defend the expressed democratic will of the people of our country. May’s argument is that by acting to protect our will Nicola Sturgeon is risking the future of the country, yet the Prime Minister’s UK is not a country. She has every right – if the people of England wish to be led by someone even they did not elect – to take her country where its people have decided to go. She can leave our country well alone, and this is precisely why we have elected the First Minister we have.
By suggesting that we in Scotland do not want another referendum – after Scotland’s leading pro-British newspaper The Scotsman has published a poll showing support for independence to be at 50 percent – May is being both naughty and petulant. Half of a country seeking self-determination does not hope to achieve this by not having a referendum. Perhaps the Scottish unionist press is beyond her reading level.
Next week, whether this Downing Street scallywag likes it or not, Scotland will again be setting out on a reflective and considered democratic journey towards an independence referendum. Of course the question of Europe is contentious – with a third of the independence movement having voted Leave. Yet, while it is not the sole reason for our independence hope, the issue of EU membership was the fracture in UK politics that made a second Scottish referendum possible. Brexit was and is the “significant material change” that has made today’s progress a reality.
Regardless of the fact that the majority of Scotland voted in favour of staying in the European Union, this is not what we will be voting for – we will be voting for Scottish independence. We will be voting to bring about the political conditions of national self-determination which will allow us, the people of Scotland, and not others to decide what is best for Scotland.
As of today then our campaign to secure Scottish independence in another referendum begins. The phoney war has ended. The unity of purpose and the sheer strength of will that was the Yes movement of September 2014 has dissipated between then and now. Our ideas and our political visions have diverged, and this has been a natural consequence of the deflation following a campaign of such astounding intensity. We have not, however, wherever we are in our own individual political journey’s, stopped seeking what we first set out to achieve.
Now it is time for all of us to come together in that same singular purpose – setting all other things aside – to recover that massive intensity. Here at the Butterfly Rebellion we have elected a campaign board and over the coming days we will be deciding on a course of action. It is our intention to campaign positively and with every ounce of strength we can muster for independence – however great or small that may be. We invite everyone in Scotland who answers Yes to the question “Should Scotland be an independent country?” to come on this journey with us. Everyone, regardless of any other political opinion or party preference, is welcome.
Our blogging will continue, and continue to be free. It is our intention, however, to constitute ourselves as an active campaigning organisation to raise funds for the independence campaign and get boots on the ground all over Scotland. Everything we do will be done to the highest standards of legal and moral transparency and accountability. We are looking for the best people and the most committed people to work with so that together we can complete what we all started – and win the greatest victory of our generation. This is our time.