“In the UK there is the illusion of democracy”

Monday July 25th 2022

Christine Grahame MSP in Parliament Main

Christine Grahame MSP writes her monthly column for Midlothian View

In the UK there is the illusion of democracy just as there is the illusion of a “Union” exposed by the farcical Comedy of Errors from Boris Johnson through to the two combatants who supplanted him to take his place.

Like all comedy it is rooted in tragedy. These two with their rampant ambition know no bounds when appealing to the minutiae of their electorate-the Tory members. No wonder they are cagey about the size of the membership ranging from 100,000-160,000 imposing (yet again) policies on Scotland we never voted for. Deportation of desperate immigrants to Rwanda-not a problem, The battle to tax or not to tax? Fodder to that “electorate”.

Scottish referendum – nae chance – even though both have said in the past that matters of the constitution should be put to a referendum. Both laud Margaret Thatcher, remember her? Liz Truss has the advantage – with blouse bow, and who can forget the Zhivago Russian outfit, straight from the Thatcher archives.

Now we are compelled to apply to the Supreme Court just to see if the Scottish Parliament has the right to hold a referendum – consultative – just as the Brexit one was!

The “Now is not the Right Time “mantra of course translates into “never”. Then there is the defence “once in a lifetime” but that was without the substantial change in our circumstances – Brexit which Scotland opposed.

Vote “yes” and Scotland will be thrown out of Europe. Give me strength. Passport controls, lorry parks at Dover, Northern Ireland anyone? There is no written UK constitution. The Union did not mean Scotland was absorbed into England where Parliament is sovereign. No, in Scotland the People are sovereign and that is why the Queen is Queen of Scots not Scotland.

We have shown through the ballot box the will of the people 45 SNP MPs to 6 Tories. In the Scottish Parliament 64 SNP to 31 Tories. Yet it is blocked by Westminster which deludes itself as the bastion of democracy. If the Supreme Court rules against, it would be interesting to hear what other democratic route the Scottish Parliament can take. Whether you support Independence or not, it cannot be right that one nation prevents another nation determining its future. The UK went to war to allow the Falkland Islands, not even a nation, to choose its future in a referendum. Or does that veto just apply to Scotland?

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