The SNP don’t want Scottish independence

There is little so galling as the self-righteousness of that pernicious bastion of hypocrisy the Scottish Nationalist Party. Nationalist pose as defenders of democracy; but Nicola Sturgeon is only a democrat when it suits her. They compare themselves favourably with Brexiteers as outward looking believers in unity and togetherness but fomenting separatism, bitterness and division is at the heart of everything they do. Worst of all, they champion the cause of Scottish “independence” when what they are offering is nothing of the sort. This is the fundamental contradiction at the heart of the Nationalist cause which will ultimately lead to failure.

A key tactic of the Nationalists is to act as if Scotland is an unwilling hostage in the UK and to belittle the historically disproportionate influence of the Scots within our union. They portray the UK Government as alien rulers with no mandate and try and divide us by wrongly insisting that the Scottish and English are irreconcilably different. Despite past reassurances, the Nationalists are refusing to respect the outcome of the 2014 referendum in which they lost by a clear margin. They have carried on regardless obsessing over their separatist agenda at the expense of everything else. Now they stamp their feet and insist a UK wide vote doesn’t apply to Scotland.

Although Nicola Sturgeon never objected to the EU referendum and therefore accepted its legitimacy, it produced a result she doesn’t like thus she now insists that it is ‘democratically unacceptable’. Perhaps her preference is for the fascist concept of plebiscitary democracy, when the result is only legitimate if it conforms with the wishes of the government? She even said that she could block Brexit, does that mean it is democratically acceptable for around 5 percent of the votes cast to overrule the fifty-two percent? Hypocrisy, thy name is Nicola.

The truth is that as long as the system advances the Nationalist agenda, the democratic deficit isn’t an issue. You will hear no complaints from Nicola that the Nationalists hold every single Scottish seat in Westminster but one; meaning half of Scottish voters are unrepresented. You can be absolutely certain that when the next Scottish referendum comes she will seek to exclude the 800,000 Scottish voters living in the rest of the UK. This clearly implies that those Scots that have the audacity to live, even temporarily, elsewhere in the country have lost their democratic rights and are not properly Scottish.

After Scotland voted in favour of the UK, the SNP demanded more powers for Holyrood. Now, rather than focussing on using their newfound powers to benefit Scotland, they are obsessing about separation. And separation from the rest of the UK, particularly the English, is what they seek; not national independence. This glaring contradiction is not discussed enough and demands an explanation; they are a party dedicated to national sovereignty and yet they wish to join an organisation designed to extinguish it. They actively desire to be ruled by the EU.

Either they are aware of this contradiction and simply cannot admit it publicly, or they are so blinded by ideology that they simply cannot see it.

During the TV debate in the referendum campaign Nicola Sturgeon spoke of the EU as if it were an association of independent nations akin to NATO or the G20. This is simply not the case. The EU is a supranational organisation with an executive body in the European Commission, a legislature in the European Parliament and the Council of the EU, a central bank and a powerful judiciary in the European Court of Justice.

As a Member State, the Scottish government would be subordinate to all of these institutions.  It would also be required to adopt the Euro, meaning its fiscal policy would ultimately be decided in Brussels and Frankfurt where its budgets would be pored over. Before long Scotland would be constrained to live within its means, leading to austerity on a far grander scale than anything the hated Tories have implemented.

The EU would have exclusive control of Scotland’s trade, monetary and fisheries policy and increasing control of agriculture, energy, environment, transport, telecommunications, foreign affairs and defence. Scotland would be bound by Treaty to represent the EU’s position in every international organisation of which it was a member and every conference it attended. That’s the situation as it stands; and the direction of travel is deeper integration at every level and less powers for national parliaments.

The SNP do not want Scottish independence, they just want to leave our successful union of nations because they want to separate from England above all else and cut off their nose to spite their face. By campaigning to leave the UK and join the EU they are asking Scotland to jump out of the frying pan and into the fire.

Ben is the Conservatives for Liberty Web Editor.  He blogs at The Sceptic Isle. Follow him on Twitter: @TheScepticIsle

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The views expressed in this article are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Conservatives for Liberty

One Comment

  1. David Smith says:

    I am English living in Scotland, have no party political allegiance, and my natural instinct would always be for union, but I don’t follow much of this post.

    A ‘pernicious bastion of hypcrisy’ – really? This just sounds like the Republican denigration of Hillary Clinton. I don’t see why a political party shouldn’t remain committed to a policy such as independence after an election or referendum. Did the Conservatives abandon everything they stood for after electoral defeat? And at the end of this piece, there is the sentence ‘the SMP do not want independence’ – if this were so, then of course there would be some hypocrisy at work. In fact, I suspect this is a half-truth: the SNP does want independence, but would prefer to have control over the timing of a future referendum – Brexit has somewhat forced their hand.

    I have never seen or heard the SNP compare itself favourably with the Brexiteers – far from it. And the idea that the SNP is fomenting division and bitterness seems laughable to me – one of the reasons why the party has been so successful is that it has been transformed from a one-issue, nationalistic party into a leftward leaning party of government (hence Labour’s collapse). The mistake made by many is to equate the SNP with English nationalism, an altogether different beast. Interestingly, the Scottish Conservatives seem to understand that the prevailing political climate is left of centre, and met with electoral advances by making the strong argument that there needed to be a stronger opposition.

    Nicola Sturgeon was quick to make it clear that all those living in Scotland should feel free to consider themselves Scottish, and are welcome here. That includes the English. I could easily vote SNP, especially after Brexit. However, it is a mistake to conflate independence with the SNP. Yes, of course the very being of the SNP is to do with independence. However, unionists need to realise that the SNP understands that a Yes to independence is not the same as vote for the SNP.

    The SNP made it clear in their manifesto that a second referendum would be on the cards if there were to be a significant shift in the constitutional position, and on this basis they have formed a government in Scotland. Thus, it is legitimate for NS to insist that the Brexit result is ‘democratically unacceptable’ – she has a political mandate. Indeed, this mandate is stronger than the one for the present Westminster government, where the new leader/PM has not been tested electorally.

    During the 2014 campaign, we were repeatedly told that the only way to remain within the EU was to vote against separation. Thus, anyone who voted against independence on this basis has been betrayed by the Conservatives who put internal party squabbles before country. The internal quarrels of the (English) Conservatives over EU were and are simply irrelevant to Scotland.

    We are left with a choice of Union: UK or EU. The immediate aftermath of Brexit speaks volumes. The PM resigned, and the Brexiteers, who never expected to win, reneged on every promise before disappearing from sight – none of them had any sort of plan, or even a vague notion of what to do next. An open goal for Labour, then…but no, it is far more important to indulge in an orgy of sectional infighting than to address the biggest issue of the day and mount any kind of opposition at all.

    Meanwhile, in Scotland, NS emerged in a statesmanlike way with a plan as to how the Scottish Government should react, and the other Scottish parties also had something meaningful to contribute. Of course, it is perfectly legitimate to reject what she has to say, but at least there was something the day after the referendum to reject. So, do I want to be governed by Westminster, where parties are inward looking, focused on tearing themselves to pieces rather than doing anything useful, with ALL of them behaving like public schoolboys in the debating society, or by a Scottish administration in Edinburgh? This is not to say that I like the present administration (for example, I totally oppose the Named Person policy), but at least there is one that is functioning, along with a credible opposition.

    There is a huge difference between Brexit and the 2014 (and any future) referenda. The SNP had a majority in Parliament, and a plan – they actively campaigned for change. For a referendum to work, the proposed change must be advocated by government. This is what fatally undermined the Brexit referendum. In a parliamentary democracy, a referendum should be used to confirm the will of parliament. Thus, the Scottish referendum was (and maybe will be) legitimate in a way that the Brexit one could never be.

    How can anyone be critical of excluding Scots living elsewhere when the Brexit referendum excluded not only Britons living abroad, but other citizens living in the UK? In any case, this is an assumption, and one that in any case assumes that Scots living elsewhere would be voting for the Union…I am not so sure!

    The argument for continued union has been fatally undermined by Brexit. The Westminster government will simultaneously arguing that separation from the rest of the UK will be economically disastrous while negotiating an exit from the EU that is supposed to be economically disastrous. It doesn’t add up. First, Brexit teaches us that such warnings can be ignored. Second, it remains to be seen how post-Brexit England fares – EU may well look a better prospect. Similarly, all the posturing about sovereignty in the Leave campaign during Brexit referendum, and the whole notion of EU being a remote, undemocratic bureaucracy far removed from the UK, can equally well be applied to Scotland’s relationship with Westminster. Indeed, although I have always seen the benefit of having the House of Lords, it is easy to see how those in favour of separation could make a far stronger case than was ever possible over Brexit.

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