Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Scottish independence: Jim Sillars says the SNP do not have legal or political authority to lead negotiations after Yes vote, does that mean the SNP would be forced to hold an early election to seek a mandate or would they ignore it, would make any deal with Westminster also void?

Dear All

Jim Sillars in saying something which should concern all of us in the unlikely event that Alex Salmond and unpopular Nicola Sturgeon manage to pull off independence.

He says quite straight forwardly that the SNP does not have the legal or political authority to lead the negotiations that would follow a Yes vote.

Gis opinion is quite interesting and worthy of discussion and certainly taking round the block a few times.

Sillars says  the Scottish Government is not “the democratically elected Government of Scotland” but the administration of a devolved parliament.

When stop and think it through his point is entirely valid, and he also highlights what I have repeatedly said for some time regarding the SNP MSPs, they are pretty poor. The SNP has loaded up their MSP ranks with basically party drones. Thus there isn't an effective alternative to the SNP clique.

Sillars also says that the negotiating team must not be picked by government or parliament but a “national transitional council” led by an experienced public servant.

In reality that would not happen under Salmond and Sturgeon, they want control so that they can finish negotiations in time for Holyrood election of 2016.

Writing in Holyrood magazine, he said:

“According to Nicola Sturgeon during the debate on the White Paper on November 26, Alex Salmond and she will lead the team who will do the negotiations with the Government in London. Very graciously, she said they would want the likes of Gordon Brown, Alastair Darling etc to join. Now, where lies the legitimacy for that claim to be the leaders who form the team, and have the authority to invite others to join? It comes, says Nicola, because the SNP is ‘the democratically elected Government of Scotland’. That’s not true".

This is quite interesting, is what Sillars says correct? Technically yes, Salmond and Sturgeon run a devolved administration, not a sovereign government.

He added:

“Alex Salmond is First Minister of an administration elected to divide up a bloc grant, and exercise a limited range of powers that don’t include economic policy, defence, foreign relations, social security. An administration lacking those powers cannot be taken seriously when making a claim to be a Government in the full sense of that term. Calling yourself one, doesn’t make you one. In Scots law I can call myself Elvis Presley instead of Jim Sillars, but that doesn’t make me a singer.”
I have to say I agree with his assessment where I think if goes sideways is on the issue of the SNP giving up control, it wouldn't happen, and neither will they hold an election immediately afterwards if they won without giving some sort of show of how they managed to get a 'good deal'.

A National Transitional Council won't fly because it would require everyone on it to be equal.

So would Colin Fox of the SSP be on it with his party having no MSPs?

What about Tommy Sheridan and his mob?

Does Patrick Harvie and the Scottish Greens qualify?

Does Ruth Davidson and the Scottish Conservatives?

Would Scottish Labour have equal footing as the SNP?

Who sets the bar and who decides the rules?

It would appear that the only way forward which would be fair would be to hold an immediate election, whoever wins that picks the team.

One thing is certain trying to add in Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling plus some other heavyweights to balance the Nat lite team is problem because they aren't going to follow the SNP lead.

I don't think Sillars idea will come to pass but it does raise some interesting questions which could end up in Court.

Does a devolved Government without a mandate automatically become sovereign?

That is definitely worth a trip to the UK Supreme Court to watch be deliberated.

If it comes back as a no, would the SNP Government recognise the Court's decision?

If not, then could the UK Government be acting illegally by negotiating if starts a process with the SNP?

Would all agreements then be technically void?

As I previously said Alex Salmond and unpopular Nicola Sturgeon haven't done the work, that is now coming home to roost, their drone class MSPs aren't any help so it looks like the status quo is the way to go until such time as a proper bid for independence can be made without Salmond and Sturgeon.

Alex Salmond has left it too late to alter course and as he has committed the Nationalists on paper, he would look incompetent have to go back and do a re-write.

The SNP claims to be a party of independence however it is quite clear now that they aren't seeking independence rather than they want interdependence.

This is something that the next bid for Scottish independence should address along with all the other work which has been left out due to stupidity, laziness and sheer incompetence.

That line about having "too many talented" people rings rather hollow and loud now from Salmond.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University


Anonymous said...

This scenario would allow any citizen to mount a challenge in court and there are some really bitter NO supporters who would probably give this a go.
Interesting as you say.
I'm in total agreement with Sillars all Snp Msp's, certainly in the West are just nodding dogs. In for the money, most couldn't hold down a proper job.

Anonymous said...

This sounds more and more like the "Yes" campaign was thought up, over a beer or two, in some wee pub somewhere.
They have no organisation, absolutely nothing has been thought through, and it's all just tit-for-tat claptrap.
Legally, they don't have a leg to stand on.