Wednesday 17 April 2019

Stand, and be Counted

Thanks to our high-level contacts in Bute House, we have received a smuggled copy of Nicola Sturgeon's post-Easter speech:

"This is for everyone who lives in Scotland. And when I say ‘everyone’ l mean everyone. Whether you are old or young (and especially if you are young). Whether you are a voter or not, born in Scotland, or not.

If you live in Scotland, then this is for you. Because we who live here, in this Scotland of many peoples, know that Scotland has been hurt.

It has been hurt by the continued abuses of the Westminster parliament. Abuses, and I use the word advisedly, highlighted by the Brexit process.

I am not going to restate my views - they are well-known - on Scotland and the European Union. I know that the people who live in Scotland have a range of views on that issue, and I hope that an independent Scotland will decide, in its own way and its own time, the relationship that it wants with the EU.

Instead, I want to talk about the awful, chaotic, mismanaged and damaging Brexit process.

The process led, if that is the word, by not one but two political parties utterly riven with internal dissent. The process that completely ignored the views of the governments of Scotland and Wales, and that failed to listen to the many and varied voices of the four nations. The Brexit process that was all about party factions and divisions, and nothing to do with you, your family, your job and your wellbeing.

The Brexit process has shown us, if we did not already know it, that Scotland is ignored at Westminster. Ignored, and abused, our MPs scorned, and our views dismissed. But this is not about hurt national pride. It runs much deeper. Because the Brexit process has shown us that the famously unwritten British constitution is not fit for any modern purpose. It fails to guarantee a voice to the four nations. And, now that we know that the Sewel convention is another broken, empty promise. it fails to guarantee powers for the Scottish parliament, meaning that anything that we, or the Green Party, or the Tories, Liberals or Labour propose in the Scottish Parliament, can be overturned at the whim of whoever happens to be in power in Westminster.

And Brexit has exposed the corruption at the heart of Westminster politics. Corruption in the form of lies, easily said, readily repeated across a complacent media, and painted onto the side of a bus. Many people have lost faith in politics - what little faith we may have had - because we have been so extensively lied to. That is bad news, very bad news, for democracy. It will take years to repair the belief in a political process that can find solutions to our shared problems. Politics has been corrupted, bent to the needs of the Tory party.

Brexit has also shown us the power of small nations in the European Union. Remember that Malta – which is smaller than the isle of Arran – had the power of veto over Theresa May’s Brexit agreement; powers that were never offered to Scotland.

But out of this chaos of Brexit waste, there is a new vision emerging. A vision of a renovated Scotland, a Scotland that can stand up on its own two feet. Stand up and say 'enough' to Westminster. Stand and decide where its destiny lies – in the corruption of Brexit Westminster, or in our own, modern, independent nation, governed by the people who live here.

To allow us all to consider, debate, and then decide Scotland's future, I have written today to the Prime Minister notifying her that we will be requesting a Section 30 order in Westminster, as soon as the new Parliamentary session starts.

I expect that the Government will follow precedent and grant our request.

But in case it does not, the Scottish Government will hold a public consultation in the form of a vote on the issue of Scottish independence. The Scottish Government has a triple mandate to do this, and we shall not shirk our responsibilities.

I said at the start of this announcement that this was for all of us who live in Scotland. We all have our own views on how this nation should be governed, and I would urge everyone - and I pledge to do this myself - to listen to the range of views that will be expressed as we delete our future. 

Let us all take that step together, as we stand up to be counted, for Scotland.”

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