Scottish independence: Nicola Sturgeon can't delay any longer, it's time to hold a political convention on leaving the UK – Kenny MacAskill MP

In December 1921, elected representatives from Ireland were in London negotiating the Irish Free State’s establishment.

Nicola Sturgeon addresses independence supporters at a rally in Glasgow's George Square in 2019 (Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

A century on, SNP MPs still seek to help administer the British state. Johnson should go because he’s a complete charlatan with no moral compass. His jaiket’s on a shoogly peg at Number 10 but then what?

During the 2014 referendum campaign, I joked to audiences about how my parents had loathed Ted Heath, only to become admirers of his doughty opposition to Thatcher.

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His war on the miners in the 1970s was benign in comparison to the full armoury of the state unleashed by his successor the following decade.

And so it continued with Cameron taking actions that even the Iron Lady had foresworn. What I said next was, will it be Boris Johnson and we’ll look back at the halcyon days of David Cameron? Something said light-heartedly has in fact become a tragedy.

Now, Theresa May even looks positively benevolent but who will follow when Johnson falls? It won’t be a return to the One Nation Tory grandees but a successor from the likes of Sunak, Truss or Gove. They’re equally complicit in the debacle that has unfolded and have been an integral part of the kleptocracy that Johnson has created.

For sure every opposition MP should vote for his removal but the duty of those elected on a mandate to protect Scottish interests isn’t to administer the British state but to get Scotland out of it.

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Only that can provide our country and its people with the protection from a continuation of the line of Tory governments that has run and ruined our land, despite being rejected in every election since 1956.

But what do we get from the SNP representatives in London? Faux outrage, petulance and calls that the people of Scotland won’t stand for it. However, the people are required to do just that as long as their elected representatives refuse to act.

And, while in 1921 the Irish were designated as plenipotentiaries, the SNP give themselves grandiose titles such as shadow ministers. The Irish negotiated the Free State, the SNP have gained nothing despite repeatedly claiming ad nauseum that they’re settling up, not settling down.

This charade cannot be allowed to continue. Johnson has rejected a referendum and his successor is not going to have it particularly high up his or her agenda.

Scotland will still be expected to know its place and Scots just to soak it up. Opportunities pass Scotland by and many more of its citizens are impoverished, and not by accident but by design.

That’s why a convention of Scottish elected representatives needs called. To be held after May of next year, it should include not just MPs and MSPs but councillors. That should then be the basis of Scotland deciding its own future. Its deliberations can then be put to Westminster and the outcome ratified as in Ireland by a referendum.

In 1967, Winnie Ewing said: “Stop the world Scotland wants to get on.” Now Sturgeon says, not so hasty. But it’s now time for action.

Kenny MacAskill is Alba Party MP for East Lothian

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