Is London going for the Madrid solution?

Alasdair Galloway

A couple of days ago, I took some exception to a short letter in the Herald from well-known Unionist Martin Redfern. It read

FM’s pointless foot stamping

READER’S Digest version of Nicola Sturgeon’s current constitutional posturing: hijacking the general election to stage a de facto referendum is a foot-stamping exercise since the law doesn’t allow her to hold as many referendums as she wishes, whenever she chooses.

It’s immaterial whether she gets more or less than 50% of the vote – the UK and therefore the EU and UN won’t recognise her interpretation of the result. End of.

Martin Redfern, Melrose, Roxburghshire

My (unpublished) reply to this was

Has Martin Redfern really thought through the last paragraph of his letter this morning? When he writes that it doesn’t matter whether the vote for independence is “more or less than 50% of the vote”, does he really mean that no matter how much more than 50% the vote might be?

However, when he continues that “the UK and therefore the EU and UN won’t recognise her interpretation of the result” of an unofficial referendum, he is absolutely correct. The Catalans, brutalised by the Spanish state’s Guardia Civil in the course of their attempt to register their support for their independence, proved that in spades. Oh yes, the international community clucked away, condemning the violence. It was even suggested Spain might be suspended from the EU. What happened? Nada!

There is no point looking to the international community. The Chagos Islanders, ejected from their home by the UK on behalf of the US, prove that, as they, and Mauritius, have won against the UK in every international court imaginable, to no effect whatsoever. The UK simply ignores the judgement by whichever court has heard the case most recently, including the International Court of Justice, and carries on regardless. The international community will talk and condemn, but more often than not, do nothing.

Craig Murray wrote four years ago that “One day, all supporters of Independence are going to be forced to get their heads round the fact that London is going for the Madrid solution, and we are not going to achieve Independence without using peaceful, non-violent routes which are nevertheless going to be deemed illegal by the Establishment.” GW Weir wrote similarly yesterday. Unionism will have to understand that democracy will have its way, and the responsibility for obstructing it will be theirs. Like Mr Weir I hope it is not a heavy one.

Alasdair Galloway

You might notice the reference to Gavin Weir (see my other piece about voting thresholds), but basically, I think he and I are on the same page – that if you frustrate enough people’s democratic wishes eventually we end up with extra political action. Hopefully it would never goo beyond a non-violent type, but that is a difficult aspiration. Despite Ghandi there was considerable violence in India prior to its independence. Obviously I hope Scotland would do better in this regard, but it is equally obvious that there will be no referendum or independence debates with Westminster for the foreseeable future, unless we force the issue. The position that Liz Truss adopted was exceptionally crude – just don’t speak to them – but with Sunak (and probably Starmer as well) the strategy is to close down any debate with Scotland, putting flesh on the bones of “now is not the time”.

Craig Murray wrote the above four years ago, and I thought he was right then and think he is right now – perhaps more so. The Supreme Court decision surely means that in the absence of a political earthquake in Westminster the Section 30 order route is done, at least for now. For the First Minister to express her hope that it will still be possible, despite the views of the successive Prime Ministers (one of whom wouldn’t even talk to her) as well as the current Leader of the Opposition, all backed up by the Supreme Court, seems to me to be risible, and thus we have to start to consider other courses of action. As, I think, Sir Charles Gray (Leader, at the time, of Strathclyde Region) said in 1992 when it became clear that John Major had won the General Election, “perhaps we need to live a little dangerously”, for it should be clear to all but the purblind that independence is going to have to be prised from the cold fingers of Westminster.

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37 thoughts on “Is London going for the Madrid solution?

  1. The situation in Scotlandis quite different.

    Support for an Ibdependencevote is 60% of those who would vote.

    In Catalonia there was a 30% turnout. Nota majority.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sorry Gordon, but my point doesnt really concern the relative levels of support between Scotland and Catalonia. My point is that when the Spanish state decided to kick the shit out of those of their citizens who were prepared to vote to leave, there was an outbreak of “oh my goodness, isnt that awful”. The human rights brigade was in full cry. What happened? Nothing at all. The Spanish got a rap on the wrist, and then ……
      But taking your point on, does it really matter what the level of support for Catalan independence was. If it was low, does the vote matter? If it was high, what might the state have done?
      I contrast their experience with our own in 2014. OK, it ended in disappointment, but the actual event went off with most damage, I think to Jim Murphy’s shirt and an egg. Sadly I think we could well be headed for different, more conflicting experiences in the future.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes mostly without damage……..except for the knuckle dragers in george square.
        Now think on, how much more effort they will put into it when they realise, they have been permanently separated from their beloved butcher’s apron.
        In george square they were theoretically celebrating a win.
        After such a dramatic loss they will need to be contained effectively.

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    2. I honestly can’t see that myself. I remember the turn-out on the streets and feeling envious that we couldn’t conjure up numbers anywhere near that in Scotland.

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  2. The democratic route is only closed down currently because Sturgeon the Unionist and her dud SNP are in the pocket of our colonial masters. Do you think they would have made this supreme court ruling if we had immediately withdrawn our MPs for Westminster proclaiming to the World their is no democracy here for us. His would have embarrassed even a UK, government. The mother of all parliament’s the one big mother of a lie. They have enough on their hands with imposing direct rule on Northern Ireland without Scotland joining in.
    Desolve the Union.

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    1. With respect I don’t think for one moment that Nicola Sturgeon is a unionist nor that the SNP is a dud party. It is clear you are not a fan but many accept their emphasis on a democratic solution though it obviously takes longer than anyone would like. However I don’t think they are just sitting back and enjoying their power and positions, certainly the ones I follow are out there doing stuff to win over people. Using Maree Todd as an example, her involvement in promoting sport and health is consistent, ongoing and will do as much to promote an independent Scotland as any civil action I believe

      You say that Westminster has enough on its plate imposing direct rule in N of I but a mass walkout of Westminster SNP MPs or mass resignations at Holyrood to force an election here could be just the excuse Westminster wants to declare the government in Scotland is broken and to take steps to impose further Westminster control. They really don’t care what happens to the Scottish people or what they think, they just want to annihilate the SNP as the biggest current threat to the status quo. I’m not sure Alba is in a position to step into the breach if that happened and fear their desire for a more bullish approach might even set us back

      This site is one of the few places where the SNP actually get recognition for what they do. I have no problem reading alternative views and can accept both anger and frustration about a process which is slow moving. I would however prefer to see the personalised attacks on any individual or party left to twitter – I really don’t think they get us anywhere

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You dont get it , with the presence of our MPs at Westminster we give the colonial imperialist parliament legitimacy quite the opposite of what you are saying . Take a lesson from Sinn Fein we have 59 SNP, MPs who have become imbedded into the British state. I have voted SNP all my life for them to end the Union not to become part of it .

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        1. With respect again, who are you to say I don’t get it? You have explained your point of view and I have put my alternative view. I’m pretty sure our Westminster mps would rather be working elsewhere given the lack of respect they are shown and the uphill struggle they face to change things. Very easy for us on the sidelines to criticise and somehow know better what would work, not sure it’s that easy. I’m quite happy to hear what you say but as I disagree with you on this I want to make my view clear and hope you can be OK with that. We’re going nowhere until we can hold proper conversations and debate points rather than overrule other opinions or dismiss them as wrong. Tell me how you think sinn fein have managed things better – as someone born and brought up in
          N o I I think they have become more effective since they agreed to talk rather than just fight or protest.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. The Tories introduced the hated Poll-Tax in Scotland as a trial . Despite much protesting from many quarters here it wasn’t until rioting in the streets of London that the tax was withdrawn .
    I don’t foresee rioting in Scotland’s streets as a a way forward – but some form of peaceful protest(s) , be it here or elsewhere , may be more fruitful .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. PS …which is a sad day for democracy when one cannot effect political change through the ballot box .
      Does Westminster Government never learn from their history of undemocratic behaviour in Africa , India and Ireland ?
      Answers on a postcard to …Sunak , Starmer , et al .

      Liked by 1 person

  4. There is nomajority to call MP back from Westminster etc.

    There is recourse to appeal to UN. Westminsteris pnce againbreaking International Law. Supportingself determination and self government if people voteforit.

    Did anyonebelief the illegal Blair Courtwouldagree. Going through the hoops to Independence. If people votefor it.

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  5. At the time the Spanish police were rampaging through Catalunya, the Labour MP, Lisa Nandy, was interviewed about independence for Scotland and she said that she felt that the actions of the Spanish Government with regard to the Catalans ‘was right’ and implied that it was appropriate for Scotland.

    She has just published a book (an manifesto for her leadership when Starmer gets the boot???) in which she argues that people should be trusted an allowed to make decisions. She quotes at length from her experiences in Wigan, prior to and after Brexit, where she was one of the few Labour MPs in the area to retain her seat by tacking towards anti-immigration (herself the daughter of an Indian immigrant) and English/British nationalism. She sees no irony in opposing independence for Scotland and ‘trusting the people’.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. All well and not good, but isn’t Scotland in a different position to Catalonia, historically and politically? That’s what I always understood anyway.

    As things stand and if any avenue is blocked or met with violence from the EngGov/cabal, in which to hold a referendum, then Scotland’s status is of a colony, it cannot be anything else.
    Why can’t Scotland hold a referendum if it chooses, on any matter, is that not what governments do? If England could hold the Brexit referendum without Scotland’s consent, then if Scotland is not a ‘colony’ as the SC uttered, Scotland should be able to hold a referendum on anything they choose.

    England’s Brexit forced onto Scotland is a massive injustice and an anathema to any notion of democracy.

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    1. The positions of Scotland and Catalunya are, indeed different in the aspects you mention. But, nevertheless, there are some parallels and, since the Supreme Court ruling, Scotland’s constitutional situation has been made more similar to Catalunya’s vis-a-vis Spain. However, Spain actually has a constitution whereas Britain-England makes things up to suit the circumstances of the time so that its dominance is maintained ….. until it needs to change the ‘constitution’ again and tells us that what obtains at any one time is actually part of a long established traditions and customary practices. And, if you don’t like these long established traditions and customary practices there are others that can be invented.

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      1. Catalunya is part of Spain by right of conquest, rightly or wrongly thems the rules. Yes there was Treaty involved, but like Belgium created by a Treaty through other states, other states agreed that Catalunya was now part of Spain, legally Spain can do what it likes. Likewise the introduction of Canada has as much relevance to the debate as the nonsense comparing the the Treaty between Scotland and England with an agreement with NewZealands 42 tribal chiefs.
        Treaty of Union was signed by two sovereign states, neither England nor Scotland remained independent but by Treaty retained their own laws and constitutions.
        The Union Parliaments authority is limited by the Treaty, that the Parliament has over reached its authority is a matter for the international court and they will only become involved if the people of Scotland vote to leave the union. Despite the SC’s ruling, the Union Parliament is now in the realms of acting unlawfully.

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  7. Talk is cheap and it should be abundantly obvious to all of us by now that no matter what Government is in power in Westminster they are not going to allow Scots to determine their own future as things stand. Personally I hold the same view as Craig Murray in that as we have apparently exhausted all legal and political means we need to consider other alternative (yet peaceful) ways to prize that objective.
    So my question to every Nationalist is what ‘alternative and legal means’ is going to be successful? For example using ‘the climate activist’ approach by hindering access to roads to say Faslane or other MOD bases. Moreover what lessons can we learn from all of the other 90+ nations that have exerted pressure on the British State to gain their Independence? Suggestions please on a post card.

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    1. Dont feed the trolls ! 8 Years and 6 mandates of nothing my friend is denial. Fellow Patriots victimised, no campaigning, come on. You want unity then get some one in who can unite the party instead of destroying it. The Supreme Leader has had her chance , she is the least possible person to drive this forward her record speaks for its self.
      You always do what you always done you always get what you always got.
      Dissolve the Union.

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        1. This is exactly the enabling behaviour how democracy and debate is subverted and shut down . 44 years of being a member of the SNP only to find the Murrells running the SNP like Kim Jong Un North Korea. I am no troll I want Unity and independence the First minister does not. It time for a change at the top before we are all stuffed and end up a part of a Greater England. Hirst, Murray, Salmond. Dònt you get it yet . Only a few months ago Sturgeon was putting out feelers for Fedrealism. She has her own agenda. Mine’s is independence nothing else, even being kind to her you must realise her record of achievement is the most dismal of any leader we have ever had. The buck stop with her.

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      1. I repeat talk is cheap so I’m waiting to hear your and other alternatives on how we achieve Independence peacefully and in accord with International law.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. This maybe this is news to you but a plebiscite election should be for independence not for another mandate to nowhere taking it as a referendum which will be ignored by the colonial masters . MPs stand on a desolve the Union ticket and when a majority are elected the MPs are withdrawn from the parliament and the treaty of Union is desolved.
            This was SNP official policy for or 50 years but the real trolls dont want to acknowledge this.

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  8. I really do not agree. Scotland is not Catalonia, is radically different from Catalonia, and has a great many friends and allies in the EU. Moreover, unlike Spain, the UK has spat in the EU’s face – repeatedly. It has no friends there. The reaction will be totally different and I expect that such a de facto referendum would be widely recognised and accepted. It will probably take some time and effort for that recognition to be universal at worst.

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    1. In the EU an important attitude toward the UK is one of schadenfreude (the experience of pleasure, joy, or self-satisfaction that comes from learning of or witnessing the troubles, failures, or humiliation of another) following Brexit. On the other hand, I suspect too that they are glad to see the back of them.
      However, I think we need to be clear about the limits of this. As above, I doubt that the EU will do much to help us secure independence, though I am much more hopeful that they will extend support to us if we look to join the EU, or even develop a Norway type arrangement.

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        1. That will be an enormous help. A game changer. BUT the issue is timing – at what stage will do this? My guess is that it will be when the “heavy lifting” has been done. Dont expect them to pile in early on. They will wait to see what the outcome is likely to be. Their recognition will be a sign that we will win, rather than helping us to win.
          Remember too, though, that there are member states who would not welcome Scotland. Spain is certainly one, and not only Catalonia, but the Basque region too. Belgium has been threatening to come apart most of my life. The French have separatists (or what they style as) in places like Brittany. Italy is a bit precarious as well with the north threatening to secede from the south. It’s not a slam dunk.

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          1. Oh, I absolutely agree that they will not step in early on. But I am quite confident that once Scotland declares its independence, their recognition will come about quite quickly. The same with the Nordic nation not in the EU.

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  9. What do you call the Right to Self Determination without the right to exercise it?
    Devolution.
    The millstone around Scotland’s neck devised by a duplicitous Labour party whose leader at the time claimed Holyrood would have little powers beyond an English parish council.
    He made sure about that.

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  10. The Catonlians did not vote for it.nThere was not the necessary majority. A 43% turnout. 1Million EU citizensnot allowed to vote. Etc, etc. There was nota majority. That was theputcome. Catalonia has more autonomy than Scotland. A province. A different system. Scotland in a supposed equal union. Obviously not. No taxation without representation.

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    1. Again, not my point, which concerned the reaction – or lack of – of the international community to the brutalisation of part of the Spanish community for engaging in a democratic event. I take your point that Catalonia is not identical to Scotland, but is similar in that there is a demand for separation from a country whose community effectively holds it prisoner. I am taking no view about what is going on in Catalonia – my view concerns the conduct of the international community and that depending on them would not be a good idea (though in that they are likely to back us when/if independence has been achieved, there is a question of timing).

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  11. To get Independence vote for it. SNP and Independence suppotincreasing. Vote all the opposition out. When there is no opposition Independenc will follow. There will enoopposition. Independence will follow

    Like

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