Scottish independence: Whatever Supreme Court decides over referendum, it's game on either way – Kenny MacAskill

Within a matter of weeks, the UK has resembled a modern Ruritania, then endured a failed social and economic experiment, and now’s facing imposition of severe austerity caused by it.

Tax cuts for the wealthy may have gone but the price is being paid by the poor and homeowners through looming cuts in public services and rising interest rates.

Its why independence is needed more than ever. Britain’s becoming a failed state and a laughingstock internationally. But where’s the push for Scotland’s escape? A new PM there will almost certainly be but there’ll be no early election. ‘We need to stabilise the markets’ will be the mantra as the Tories play for time. Hunt and maybe Sunak will likely manage that, the markets having gorged enough and why kill the goose that lays the golden egg?

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The visceral contempt they’re now held in by the public will hopefully do for them. But will it and, anyway, what’ll change? When they do call an election, the political and economic landscape might well look different, and the mantra that stability’s required and change would jeopardise it will be repeated. Whoever thought in the early 80s that Thatcher could be returned. It wasn’t all a Falklands factor, political gravity had been shifted right. Anyway, there’s a war in Europe at the moment and who knows where that may head.

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Hopefully none of that comes to pass and the rightful judgement of the electorate will see them suffer. But what would change? The SNP claimed that Starmer was a return to Blair. No, he’s not. Sir Keir’s further to the right than even the warmonger-in-chief. Tory austerity’s to continue and policies that even Blair would have shunned have all been adopted, not just inherited from the Tories.

It’s why independence is essential. But the First Minister’s strategy to achieve that has been truly lamentable. The reference of Scotland’s democratic will to the Supreme Court was an own goal of gargantuan proportions and likewise the instruction of a Lord Advocate who had neither belief in it, nor passion for it.

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When the final decision comes, it’ll be time for reflection we’re told. Maybe for Nicola Sturgeon’s future career but not for Scotland. Instead, it’s time for action. If by some quirk of fate, the Supreme Court deigns in favour, then it’s game on for next October, though it must be said that the SNP seem stuck in the traps. Belated and inadequate papers don’t make a prospectus, let alone a campaign.

But if it’s a no from their Lordships then it’s not game over, but game on – although it must be with a different strategy. Scotland’s right to determine its own future is based on centuries of history and democratic legitimacy. It must be prosecuted by demonstration at home and by demands in international courts and amongst the world community.

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Nicola Sturgeon's strategy to achieve independence has been truly lamentable, says Kenny MacAskill (Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA)

But it also requires a Scottish Constitutional Convention to be called where Scotland’s elected representatives can decide who speaks for Scotland: a Prime Minister, whoever that maybe at that stage, and a party unelected in Scotland in my lifetime or the people entrusted in elections by the Scottish people, and with a mandate to decide their own destiny. That’s what’s needed now, not reflection.

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Kenny MacAskill is Alba Party MP for East Lothian

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