by Peter Thomson
I have read the transcript of Mr Moore’s speech. It can only be described as a travesty of the truth, cringeworthy in the extreme, and holding complete disregard and contempt for the fundamental legal basis for the sovereignty of the Scottish people.
For Mr Moore to state Westminster can impose the flawed amendments to the Scotland Act, on the people of Scotland, no matter the vote at Holyrood on this issue, demonstrates the Secretary of State’s complete ignorance of Scottish constitutional matters and their entrenchment in Scots Law. In truth, any relationship of Mr Moore’s speech with the ideas or philosophical wonderings of David Hume are tenuous in the extreme.
Let us be clear, there is no UK legislation in force which makes Scottish constitutional practice subservient to English constitutional practice. The rights of the sovereign people of Scotland have long been entrenched in Scots Law and further established by the 1689 ‘Claim of Right’. In 1953 the Lord President of the Court of Session ruled that there was no legal basis for Westminster’s assumption of solely English constitutional practice as Scottish constitutional practice was preserved and protected for ‘all time’ by the 1707 Treaty of Union through the guaranteed independence of Scots Law. ‘All time’ meant exactly that.
The problem for Mr Moore lies in Westminster being run as a parliamentary democracy. Parliament is sovereign, whereas Scotland is representative democracy where the people are sovereign. This has been ‘fudged’ from an early date in the Parliamentary Union by the setting up of the Scottish Grand Committee as a means to get round this dichotomy. The problem now becomes real with the Scottish Parliament being reconvened from its temporary suspension in March 1707. The serious question needs to be answered: where does the expression of the people of Scotland’s sovereignty lie and is to be exercised?
According to Scots Law and Scottish constitutional practice the people of Scotland exercise their sovereignty through the Scottish Parliament which means that without the agreement of the Scottish Parliament Westminster can impose next to nothing, especially where it directly impacts on the people of Scotland’s sovereignty. For the First Minister of the Scottish Parliament to concede any of the rights and privileges of the people of Scotland’s sovereignty exposes the First Minister to indictment under Scots Law for treachery and treason against the sovereign people of Scotland.
All of this was moot until 2007 when a minority SNP Government was formed. It was assumed that the election of the SNP was a ‘blip’ and in 2011 normal service of Westminster hegemony would be resumed. The election results of May 2011 refuted this arrogant presumption by the Westminster Parliament as the SNP were returned with an outright majority in the Scottish Parliament. The outright majority implies that the SNP are now responsible to the sovereign people of Scotland for the exercise and protection of our sovereignty in accordance with Scots Law and constitutional practice.
All of this leaves Michael Moore’s claims in a very tenuous position as they fly in the face of Lord Forsyth’s assessment that a majority SNP Government at Holyrood need only to win a vote to end the Treaty of Union and it will be ended. Neither of the current parties of Westminster Government have any high level of support amongst the sovereign Scottish people that would allow them to claim to be speaking for the sovereign Scottish people. They have no mandate from the Scottish electorate to do so.
Michael Moore’s wittering to the David Hume Institute brings us ever nearer to point where Westminster going to cross our metaphorical Rubicon by trying to impose an ill advised bill on the people of Scotland without their tacit agreement via a vote in the Scottish Parliament. The point when Moore tries to impose the flawed 1999 Scotland Act amendment bill is the point where the SNP will be forced to act or be revealed as just yet another group of spineless ‘toom tabards’ willing to sell Scotland down the river.
I am increasingly of the opinion that the end of the Union is not far off and Moore’s continuing arrogance is setting the fuse for a sudden break up of the Union. Carrying through to action the content of Moore’s ‘toys out of the pram’ tantrum, to the Hume Institute, could well be the match that sets it all off.
Now just where is my ‘tin lid’ I last used in the Falklands …