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.
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.