I don’t really want independence

I was thinking about something the other day and I wondered if it’s really independence that we are after. Now I might be being a little pedantic with this post but sometimes when I think about independence now I tend to think that here in Scotland the word independence has become a more divisive word.

The Unionist media and unionist voters, in my opinion, have been able to take the word independence and turn it into a word that some people get anxious about, in some ways it has become a scary word and one that some people don’t want to be associated with.

The EU referendum showed us, irrespective of how we voted, a narrow-minded and insular England and parts of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. We saw the level of racism and xenophobia on social media and in certain parts of the mainstream media, in some quarters it unleashed something that had been hidden deep inside some people and was allowed to escape, a sort of endorsement to hate for some.

The EU Referendum really got me thinking about Scotland, what we are and our place in the world and it got me to revisit the whole notion of Scotland even being a country. I have often questioned if we are, legally and as a people, do we feel that way. I came to the conclusion, and I think most of us would agree, that Scotland is a country.

The Herald in November 2013 noted that “The Treaty of Union embodied the union  of the parliaments of two countries, England and Scotland, not of the  two countries. The Union of the Crowns did not unite the countries. It  placed the crowns of the two countries onto one head.  The two kingdoms  are  still distinct.”  You don’t get more Yoon than The Herald right.

The Act of Union in 1707 joined the two parliaments and the two crowns, like the EU a political union irrespective of what some yoons might say and think. The Scottish Parliament at the time, and against the wishes of most of the population if history is correct, signed the Act of Union. Therefore I started to think that what we seek is not our independence, we never signed that away, but our sovereignty.

act-of-union

Now I suppose the Scottish Government, elected by the Scottish people, could repeal the Act of Union but many feel this would be unwise and no doubt some would argue it is not within their powers even though I would tend to disagree with that. The Scottish Parliament of 1707 signed the Act and the Scottish Parliament 2017 can repeal it in my mind.

However, that would be very very unpopular in many ways I guess so the way forward is another referendum. The question I have going into a future referendum is should the question be

Should Scotland be an independent country? Or
Do you agree that Scotland should repeal the Act of Union?

I’m starting to think that the debate is not about our independence but about our sovereignty and the Act of Union. The campaign is maybe about taking back our sovereignty and the argument should be put in those terms, the yoons won’t agree, many of those on the yes side may not agree but it’s a thought and I would love to know what you think.

I know I might be being pedantic but it’s not independence I am after, we live in an inter-dependent world, it’s a return of sovereignty to the Scottish Parliament.

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12 comments

    • Anonymous

      TB

      Not confused at all. No country is truly independent and the word has become divisive so maybe the tone and the language has to change for indy2.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Bruce

  1. Kangaroo

    Maybe we should pose
    “Should the Kingdom of England go jump off a cliff?”

    Oh wait that has already been answered !

    • grumpyscottishman

      kangaroo

      Wouldn’t want that lo,l but it would be nice if they actually had an alternative to the blue and red Tories and we maybe wouldn’t be in the mess the UK is in right now.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Bruce

    • grumpyscottishman

      Alan

      That would be an awful name for a party but it’s not really the name of the party that is important, what I am asking is if we need to look at the language we are using and the fact that it’s maybe not independence we are seeking in an inter dependent world but the return of sovereignty which is the right of the voters to chose.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Bruce

  2. trispw

    You raise some interesting points there.

    I wonder if many people really know what they want.

    After all, in the UK referendum on independence from Europe, one of the things we heard over and over was a desire for British courts to be responsible for British justice… No more Foreign judges.

    So, when the British judges (to whom they wanted to bring home power) and the British courts( to which they wanted to bring home power), made a decision that Parliament must debate the triggering of Article 50, these sacred British courts and their British, superior to Foreign justice, became the enemies of the people.

    Ironic?

    Everyone has their own particular view of what they want.

    Me, I’d like to live in a country that cared a little more about ordinary people and a lot less about being deputy to the orange faced moron in the Gold House. At the moment, no matter how we vote in Scotland, that is not going to happen unless the English want it too. And they seem not to.

    I’d not desperately care about being a part of a union of countries if it were a little more equal. There’s not even a smidgen of nationalism in my world. We could be a part of Iceland, Denmark, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Netherlands, Greenland, Faroes (note, all countries who are our neighbours) and I wouldn’t much care. You have to give and take. But with this union it is always what England wants that counts, not surprisingly, given their size. I’ve nothing against them but their size and therefore power make them dominant in this union. We may as well be part of England when it comes to UK matters. (EU referendum being a perfect example.)

    So it doesn’t work for me. As we are obviously not going to be a partner of any of the arc of prosperity countries that surround us, independence is the only way to achieve the kind of society that more of less exist in these successful countries, and does not exist in the UK.

    (Incidentally, I don’t think that life in these other countries is some sort of perfection. I’ve been to some of them, I read about the others, I know that life there can be frustrating too. Just as life in an independent Scotland would be. I don’t expect perfection; I’d just like to get a little closer to it than we are now.)

    • grumpyscottishman

      Tris

      I agree with you, I don’t expect things to be perfect and there has to be give and take but I don’t want to live in a country that has zero compassion for those who are less well off, old or sick. That is a hateful country and that is where we are now as Thatchers ideals have finally found their time. It’s sick that people are being fed through the charity of mostly people with little more themselves, that old people die in hospital corridors, the uemployed are hounded to death, that is sick.

      We have got to get out of the the UK and it is not really about independence in an inter dependent world anymore, no country is truly indepenedent, so maybe we need to change the language, change the approach and talk about decision making and where that should take place. I was talking to an ultra unionist and he said that he thought a debate about sovereignty scared him more than a debate about independence as no one could really disagree with the idea of sovreignty once they understand what that meant and that he would fight tooth and nail to make sure a question like that never got any ballot.

      However we have got to win the next one when it comes and 2019 is looking increasingly likely although I am not convinced the SNP would like one so soon and I understand that but we are running out of time. If we don’t get out soon we may not get another chance in our lifetimes.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Bruce

  3. lanark

    A really thought provoking article. All we are hoping to achieve is to regain our sovereignty, what is so extreme about that? If Scotland votes Yes next time we will stand as equals with other countries, contrast Theresa May’s attitude to Ireland with her attitude to us. Ireland is smaller than us but crucially is a sovereign state, so hs to be treated as an equal. We are not, so we can be ignored.

    As I posted on Munguin’s blog, I would also suppport Scotland joining Ireland in a Dual Republic or as Tris points out an extended union with Scandinavia. One thing is for sure, we need out of the UK.

    • grumpyscottishman

      Lanark

      It’s an interesting discussion, Derek Bateman has talked about sovereignty today in an article so I might be on the right tracks. I am not so sure about jumping into another union too quickly and that includes the EU. We have been the small partner in this one for far too long and not close to get out of it yet but we need to keep going, for the sake of our kids, because this country is becoming a basket case and a hateful spiteful place, nothing I want to be a part of.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Bruce

  4. Brian

    We should not fear using the word ‘independence’, nor should we apologise for using it. If we cannot standby the word, and all it means, then we should just go back to watching Question Time..

    • grumpyscottishman

      Brian

      I understand where you are coming from but they did a similar thing in Canada and it made a difference, it took the discussion to a different level and we are going to have to do something whether we like it or not as right now, even though we are suffering the worst Tory Government since Thatcher, we are not winning and we need to be and can’t rely on an EU bounce as many people, myself included, are not convinced by the EU although I was always vote yes.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Bruce

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