In a democracy, the electorate are not bound by any previous election or referendum results so the people of Scotland have the right to choose independence if they wish, writes Angus Robertson.
Come in agent ‘Union Jack’ – your mission is complete.
Within only weeks of losing the general election, the Secretary of State for Scotland, Alister Jack, has reminded voters north of the Border that the bad old Tories are back and they don’t believe in Scottish democracy.
Since being soundly defeated by the SNP and losing half their seats, the Tories have been trying to find a way to deny the electoral mandate for an independence referendum without sounding like tinpot dictators. That’s not an easy circle to square, given the SNP have won four elections in a row with a manifesto commitment to do just that, and the Scottish Parliament has voted for it too.
The latest wheeze is to suggest that, despite the SNP winning 80 per cent of the seats, it does not constitute a mandate because more than 50 per cent of votes were cast for unionist parties. By that flawed logic the Tories didn’t have a mandate for the Brexit referendum, given a majority of votes in 2015 were cast for pro-EU parties.
It’s really not that complicated in a parliamentary democracy: the mandate of the winning party is respected.
No previous election or referendum binds future electorates to accept governments, policies or indeed referenda results. There is no “generation” or “lifetime” restriction on anything. In a democracy the people are sovereign, not election losers like the Tories who have not won an election in Scotland since 1955.
The UK cabinet’s man in Scotland thinks there is no democratic route at all to secure an independence referendum. That is a constitutionally and democratically illiterate position shared only with tinpot dictators.
Ironically he is fast becoming the best recruiting sergeant for the independence movement.