In the blink of an eye, in court judgement terms, the Supreme Court has ruled that Scotland is not a country, or at least, not a country that can make its own decisions without help from Mother England. They’ve ruled that Scotland is a colony controlled by the English parliament, who are the ultimate authority and have the power to deny Scots the ability to even think about the form of government they want.
Unionists will be pleased. Yet another blow to Scot’s belief in themselves. Yet another victory for those who want us all to think Scots are the lowest of the low. And yet another excuse for delay that was surely the only reason why Sturgeon sent a unionist Lord Advocate to the Supreme Court to destroy the Scottish case.
This was a case that was supposed to take months to come to a decision on, because of the volume and the complexity of the written evidence before the judges. No decision before next year was the expectation. The early date for the announcement leant credence to the view that there would be no decision, that they would say that a decision couldn’t be made because the Scottish Parliament hadn’t yet approved a referendum bill. That was my belief and that of many others.
Instead, what we got was a decision based solely on the judges’ understanding that Westminster is boss, that whatever Westminster says, goes.
There was no time to look at the evidence before them, so the evidence was ignored. The judges simply said that we aren’t going to waste our time thinking about what Scots want to do. We’ll just tell them to get back their box, learn their place and stop pretending they can think for themselves. We’ll just tell them that they can only make decisions that are permitted to them by English parliamentarians.
A judgement that was supposed to be made under Scot’s law said that Scot’s law is merely a subset of English law and when push comes to shove, English law is all that counts. A panel of five, including one Scottish judge, effectively ruled that Scot’s law doesn’t exist.
So where does that leave us now? What legal means exist for Scots to decide on the form of government we want? Now that a referendum has been ruled out (giving Nicola Sturgeon’s government another year to think about what they’ll do), what’s next? Is it the plebiscite in 2024? Or will Sturgeon ask the Supreme Court to rule on whether a plebiscite is within the competence of the Scottish Government? I wouldn’t rule that out.
If we don’t take Scot’s law into our own hands, nothing will ever happen. Let’s remember the Declaration of Arbroath. Let’s use the Claim of Right. Let’s do something before being Scottish becomes nothing but a folk memory.
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