Podcast: The fine lines between success and failure

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Andrew Tickell

Andrew Tickell enjoys studying failure. The law lecturer, political blogger and media commentator kicked off this theme as part of a conversation about our dearly beloved (unelected) Prime Minister, who has called an election next month in order to award herself some legitimacy.

Derek Bateman

Well that’s our script for the “bloody difficult” Tory leader in her pending wartime fantasy involving Europe.

Andrew arrived in the studio to discuss all this and more with podcast host Derek Bateman, during a day when Mrs May’s party took an unprecedented number of council seats across Scotland, mainly as the Labour vote dropped to embarrassing levels.

Her tartan sidekick Ruth Davidson is claiming it as a victory for “the union” of course. And why not, what else would she be claiming?

You can tune in by clicking on the audio file above, via your usual podcast channels including iTunes, or using our RSS feed: http://www.buzzsprout.com/57229.rss

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17 COMMENTS

  1. Please Derek no more of these elegantly argued “we’re screwed” interviews. Can you not find someone with a grasp of how we CAN seize the initiative and advantages we have?

    • Might I suggest, like Craig Murray etc, that we take the Scottish majority of 40-50 ‘independence’ MP’s and 50% of the vote at the GE on June 8th to the UN General Assembly, just to move things along a wee bit.

      • It’s edging that way or to something similar!

        When the ruling party of a state with a slim majority is facing court action over the last election where it cheated, I think says it all.

        The SNP has played by democratic rules, others are not!

  2. For any UK government to put no Scottish Indy Ref in a manifesto would be to disenfranchise all Scots, the UK is allegedly a union of four individual nations. Nearly half of Scots voted YES at the last referendum and many will not take kindly to having a rerun denied by diktat from Westminster. I could see trouble ahead.

    • I think putting a ‘no Scottish Indiref’ clause in the tory manifesto is a double-edge sword because unless the tories get an overwhelming majority of the vote in Scotland, in practice, they will not be able to deny that referendum. It will scream of assault to democracy if it is the people in England, Wales or NI (over a 90% of the electorate of the UK) who gets to decide if Scotland will have a referendum or not, I believe that would also go directly against the right to self-determination.

      On the other hand, if the tories get a 50% of the vote or less, they don’t win, meaning that they must concede on that referendum.

  3. I listened with great interests to this podcast and I must admit I felt sadness while listening to the helplessness that this intelligent young man was transpiring. I cannot possibly believe and refuse to accept that there is absolutely nothing that legally Scotland can do to stop this madness within a democratic union and in the second decade of the 21st century.

    This bright young lawyer claimed that there is always room for tinkering with the law and develop it further. It is not set and stone. And he did really sound infectiously enthusiastic about it. Well then, I ask, why is constitutional law seen as set and stone and as a static dinosaur with regards to Scotland, particularly when there is not even a written constitution in the UK? How is it possible that in the second decade of the 21st century a country with less than a 10% of the population of an allegedly democratic union of 4 can be gagged and subjected to the political will of the country with most population within that union and there is absolutely nothing that constitutional lawyers can do to stop this and restore democracy?

    I am sorry Derek, but I felt sick after listening to this podcast. We are facing decades of tory rule by imposition of another country. We are facing a Tory rule that is dragging Scotland out of the EU and the single market against its will and throwing Scotland into economic and social turmoil. We are facing a tory party in government that is going to abuse its position of power to use our country’s assets as bargaining chips. We are facing a tory party that is already threatening with re-writting the devolution settlement to excuse a power grab to the detriment of Scotland. We are facing a tory party in government that has stolen UKIP clothes and that has enlisted bigots and xenophobes in its own ranks. I have more than enough with attempting to digest this while I know that there is no way 59 MPs can stop this by simply following the rules at Westminster, rules that others have created and I feel claustrophobia every time I attempt to think this.

    I do not want to feel that I am being bashed on the head even more this time by Scottish people themselves that decided to let their hope go. I want to see and want to listen to positive things, to hope. I want to see a way out. Sadly this podcast did nothing to add hope, quite the opposite, in fact.

    I would like to say that unless Scotland starts believing in itself and its capabilities to take control and change its own situation and its own destiny, there is absolutely not a chance in hell that others will believe it either. We have to believe in ourselves first and show it.

    • You are right Maria, Scotland’s people have to assert their own independence. That starts with the SNP securing (again) the majority of Scotland’s Westminster seats on June 8th. It is these MP’s who are then ‘holding’ the sovereign will of the Scottish people, requiring them to act in our country’s best interest. Constitutionally, the Union of Parliaments certainly came about through a simple majority of Scotland’s (then unelected) MP’s (or ‘Commissioners’), which suggests the Union can therefore be undone in the same way, more especially now that a democratically mandated referendum has been refused. Constitutionally we should also remember that Scotland is not a province or a colony or a possession of Westminster, but rather was a joint ‘creator’ of the UK Parliament we have today, and which should be able to be undone in the same way it was created. However, like the Baltic States etc the UN General Assembly may request a referendum to ratify any declaration. That would seem one way to force Westminster to ‘allow’ a referendum in Scotland, which could also imply a referendum organised and ratified in Scotland, not in Westminster. My concern is that Nicola’s MP’s, most of whom are recent unionists lets remember, are perhaps more social democrats than national patriots, and arguably at a time of national independence we really need the latter far more than the former.

  4. Hi Maria,

    If only we had some form of recent national vote to judge what the people of Scotland wanted when it came to their future. Like a referendum held not 3 years ago?

    • The result of the independence referendum 2 1/2 years ago is already obsolete Bob. It is obsolete because we were offered a picture of the UK that is not longer real. The people voted under the premise that remaining in the UK would mean remaining in the EU, Devo Max for Scotland, the permanence of HOlyrood and independence from Westminster in devolved matters, job, pensions, social and financial security in the broad shoulders of the UK and an equal partnership in the Union. All those premises turned out to be fake, therefore changing the circumstances and making the vote not longer applicable.

      • Hi Maria,

        Right… But SNP not offering full EU membership, are they? In Westminster manifesto?

        Permanence of Holyrood not in doubt, not sure what you mean here?

        Pensions – will Scotland cover current UK pension obligations if independent, or new arrangement?

        Not sure they turned out to be fake? Bit confused if I’m honest Maria, almost like you’re making stuff up?

        • “Right… But SNP not offering full EU membership, are they? In Westminster manifesto?”

          What is the point of offering full EU membership in the Westminster manifesto for the SNP Bob, when they can not give it to Scotland? The only way they can give it to Scotland is by Scotland becoming independent.

          “Permanence of Holyrood not in doubt, not sure what you mean here?”
          The Supreme Court ruling in January made it patently clear that our ‘autonomy’ is just pretend and it can be removed at any time by Westminster. Have you not been listening, Bob?

          “Pensions – will Scotland cover current UK pension obligations if independent, or new arrangement?”
          In my view, all our contributions so far are being pocketed by the UK treasury, not Scotland’s treasury. Therefore it is for the rUK to foot the bill for the bulk of our pensions portion generated by our contributions during our working life until the time of independence. Once independent, Scotland will have to foot the bill for the portion of pension corresponding to our working years until retirement. In this day and age it is very simple to see the contributions that one has made during their working life. They only need our NI number.

          “Not sure they turned out to be fake?”
          Well, take the unionism glasses off then Bob. What exactly of what the BTogether promised in 2014 turned out to be true? Nothing at all from where I am standing.

          “Bit confused if I’m honest Maria, almost like you’re making stuff up?”
          That is your problem, so please do not project your confusion on me. It is your prerogative to turn a blind eye so Scotland continues under the control of a bunch of English MPs that do not give a toss about Scotland or the Scottish people, but do not expect me to turn a blind eye too.

  5. We are a nation of Haves who will not give up their comfort unless Independence offers a better future. It may be that as the consequences of Brexit undermine that comfort there may be some movement but what will we as a nation do if the UK refuses a referendum?

    I can’t see there being support for UDI from the Haves.

    I believe the answer is Scotland being in control . He who controls Scotland’s public finances will control the future.

    It is within the existing legislative powers of Holyrood for the Scottish government to raise all public funding through a new taxation model such as Annual Ground Rent. While still a member of the U.K we could be reimbursed the UK taxes we pay by the Scottish government through its Barnet formula receipts.

    By taking this control of public funding the resentment from RUK will be enormous. It won’t be tolerated by the UK government. However because AGR can deliver a significant saving for the Haves as well the Have-nots as well the certainty of public funding the comfort will be under attack from the UK and not Independence.

    The Union at that stage will be unsustainable and the de facto separation will be complete and it is then a short step to de iure Independence

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