When former senior politicians, out of office, seek a great cause for themselves, they almost invariably pick the wrong one. Kenny MacAskill has just aligned with Kezia Dugdale and backed federalism for Scotland.
Here’s Wikipedia’s definition -
Federalism refers to the mixed or compound mode of government, combining a general government (the central or 'federal' government) with regional governments (provincial, state, Land, cantonal, territorial or other sub-unit governments) in a single political system.
From Scotsman report on MacAskill/Dugdale initiative - "federal government is left to focus on specific national issues such as defence and foreign affairs"
The key feature of federalism is that defence and foreign affairs are reserved to the central government, and that means control of defence spending, arms contracts – both buying and selling - of military installation and bases and the ability to make war and initiate attacks and invasions of other countries.
And that's why I'll never back it …
Federalism is not a staging post on the high road to independence - it's the end of the dream of independence.
But the component states of federal America and Canada, for example (after the original native inhabitants had been either marginalised of exterminated) were never proud ancient nations. Scotland is a proud, ancient nation.
Reject federalism. If you don’t, you say welcome to The United Federal States of Britain - and say goodbye to Scotland as an independent nation. You say Welcome, Little Pretendy North Britain!
Embrace federalism and you turn into the United States of Britain, with all real power and wealth concentrated in London and the South East, bled from the component federated former nations, now reduced to provinces.
If Scotland leaves defence and foreign affairs to a federal government it’s not a nation - just a minor state pretending to be free. Leave defence and Foreign affairs to Westminster and you commit to war as the operating principle of the State and to nuclear weapons of mass destruction and perpetual war, foreign adventures and conflict as the recurring norm.
I am totally against federalism. I remember Kenny MacAskill on NATO at the 2012 SNP Conference in the great NATO debate .
What would those words mean in the context of a federal Scotland? Precisely nothing, because the top table would be reserved for the Central Government – Westminster. Of course, ‘the right kind of Scot’ would find a place in that Centre, as Blair and Brown found a place in Westminster – but not as Scots.See Dr.Wilfried Swenden's Scotsman comment Dr.Wilfried Swenden
BREXITS – HARD AND SOFT
As I said in my last blog, we are being taken out of EU against our will, regardless of any deal on terms of exit, yet the SNP Manifesto for the 2016 Holyrood election specified that as an #indyref2 trigger.
Theresa May " .it will be the UK that will be negotiating with the EU our future relationship.."
Headline: "No 10 warned the devolved administrations not to “undermine” the UK Government’s Brexit strategy."
I ask “What ******* Brexit strategy?”
Can Scots endure much more progressive humiliation in the Brexit Talks? Will they? If they can, let's fold our tents and get awa' hame...
Theresa May is the Unionist's heroine - and the woman Leave voters – including Scottish Leave voters - and to me, incredibly, SNP Leave voters - gave more power to – power to drag UK to disaster and Scotland with it. Unless #indyref2 is called …
Are we just to continue to wait for Theresa's latest broadside on the dominance of UK?
FT yesterday "Britain must pursue a ‘hard Brexit’ to create a more open economy"
When does Theresa take Nicola into The Empire Room and astonish her with British power? (scene from stage and radio play All the Way to the Empire Room by TOM PAULIN)
The clawback of devolution and power from Scotland has effectively begun: we enter next stage - delay and progressive humiliation. Our willingness to cooperate is being thrown back in our face with reaffirmations of Union dominance over its Scottish province. We've been willing to listen, to talk, to contribute positively. It's all been thrown back in our faces by Theresa May.
Canon Kenyon Wright at EICC 11th September 2014, one week before The Referendum: "it can be undermined at the whim of Westminster, at any time. Power devolved is power retained"
Iain Macwhirter nailed it in Wednesday’s HERALD. Some quotes from the eminently-quotable Iain, Scotland’s finest political journalist -
"Scotland’s Parliament is effectively diminished and made a “creature of Westminster”
“UK is a multinational state with devolution of legislative authority. You can’t behave as if UK were ..monolithic unit it was in 20th century”
”There's an ugly mood in England over Brexit as lack of any plan becomes apparent and UK Gov resorts to ..lowest common denoimator of immigration.”
"I despair at this Brexit dialogue of the deaf…”
Nicola Sturgeon: “I won't allow Scotland to be driven over a hard Brexit cliff edge.”
Will Nicola return from the the Brexit Talks with the devolved Governments waving
“a piece of paper”?
or with a real breakthrough?
or to trigger #indyref2?
We must wait and see…