Here is the central motivating belief which is driving Scottish politics at present.
It is the belief that 2014 set a precedent that Scotland can become independent, and the United Kingdom can be destroyed, as the result of a one-off referendum won by a simple numerical majority.
The reason that Nationalists have now become obsessed with having another referendum is because they believe a one-off referendum won by a simple numerical majority is all that is required for their ambition of an independent Scotland to be fulfilled.
This is such an easy, straight-forward way to achieve their wildest dreams that it consumes them with its appeal – and we all suffer as a consequence.
Think about this!
The bar to the destruction of the centuries-young United Kingdom has been set extremely low!
Is that all it need take?
One referendum, regardless of turnout, and regardless of the majority – which could be anything from 1 person to a few hundred, can break up the United Kingdom? (By the way, we don't hold to the idea that there would be any sort of "United Kingdom" left if Scotland broke away. The Scotland/England Union is the keystone of the United Kingdom.)
The "ties that bind the UK together" end up being one flimsy thread of a referendum?
It seems crazy when you think about it.
Naturally, seeing that the bar has been set so low, and seeing how easy it could be to achieve, the Nationalists are obsessed with having another one, and if necessary another one, and so on, until they get their way.
Their obsession corrupts the entire Scottish body politic and shows no sign of going away.
By making it so easy for them, us Unionists are encouraging their obsession!
To defeat obsessionalism, you have to deny the reward. You have to put it out of reach.
It seems painful at first, but eventually it works.
WHAT TO DO
If we want their referendum obsession to go away, then we have to put their reward out of reach.
It must be extremely difficult for them to achieve their prize.
That means, firstly, a second referendum should not be allowed.
Secondly, if it is allowed, then there has to be a variety of additional "Constitutional Locks" which prevent an easy break-up; that is, legal hurdles which stand in the way of separation and which must also be overcome.
These can be things like required thresholds on turnout and majority, and required majorities in both the Scottish and British parliaments.
In other words, breaking up the UK has to involve more than winning a one-off referendum by a simple numerical majority!
What can we do to start with?
For starters, we need to state this regularly...We don't believe, nor do we accept, that the UK can be broken up by a one-off referendum won by a simple numerical majority!
Yet, it seems that all the pro-UK parties accept that if a second referendum were to happen and if we were to lose, then that alone would be enough to break up the UK, and its result would have to be accepted.
Well, we don't accept that!
You know, our politicians talk about "strengthening the Union". They had a (poorly attended) debate in the House of Commons on that very subject on the afternoon of Monday 23 July 2018.
We are thankful to the few who spoke for the Union, but not one of them pointed out that an obvious way to strengthen the UK is to ensure that it cannot be broken up by a referendum alone; and that there should be additional Constitutional Locks and legal hurdles against the break-up process.
To be able to articulate that though, they need to...
GET THEIR 'PHILOSOPHY OF UNION' RIGHT...from the start!
Let them start articulating the fact that the United Kingdom is a far more unitary, stable and permanent creation than hitherto some have imagined.
Let them start articulating the fact that the United Kingdom is a Unitary State and One Nation which cannot and should not be defeated by a simple one-off political device, such as a referendum.
Too many politicians, who are supposed to be on our side, inadvertently take the Scottish Nationalist view that the UK is merely some kind of "temporary arrangement" which can, and should, be constantly open to debate.
For example, the ScotNats are always saying that "Great Britain" or "Britain" or "the UK"... "is not a nation, but a political state". This makes it easier for them to advocate the unravelling of this political state.
They take the view that it is some kind of "provisional" structure...where we agree to get along...for the time being.
Imagine if the United States of America – which could be argued to be 50 little countries – took that view.
Imagine if the USA were to allow their States to secede by simply having a vote in a one-off referendum. There could be States seceding all the time. The USA would be thrown into absolute chaos.
Rather the USA makes it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for a State to secede legally. The USA is not a "provisional" relationship and consequently holds together fairly well. Nobody is seriously worried about any State breaking away – at least not any time soon.
Indeed, no country can survive for long on a generally accepted assumption that its existence is merely "provisional". It is only a matter of time.
Thankfully, authentic Unionists such as A Force For Good believe the UK to be also a Country and a Nation.
We believe us to be something substantial and integral beyond a mere "political state"; something that can't simply be pulled apart; something that is joined together by many ties that bind, socially, culturally, historically, economically, constitutionally; something that can't be defeated merely by a one-off referendum won by a simple numerical majority!
Our frame is far more solid. It is harder to break apart.
We see the United Kingdom as a Nation of Families, not just a "Family of Nations".
In this regard, it doesn't matter which view is "absolutely correct" – our view or the ScotNat view – because the fact is there is no cosmic arbiter on that particular question. All that matters is which view you hold to, work from, and promote in physical reality.
As we say, too many of our politicians don't have a properly-formed Unitary understanding of the UK which would work naturally to hold us together.
They do not see the UK as a genuine Nation in and of itself, which has a right to be properly protected against the referendum device by a range of constitutional safeguards.
It is our job to educate them to the importance of our view, and to help them devise these constitutional safeguards.
As usual, the people who understand that weakness in elements of the British political class most clearly are those who are most opposed to our Nation.
For example, Gerry Adams was unfortunately correct when he noted:
"It's now quite clear that the so-called United Kingdom is held together by a thread. And that thread can be unravelled as a result of referenda in Scotland, or elsewhere or indeed in Ireland."
[ Source: BBC Radio Ulster 'Inside Politics' programme, reported by Stephen Walker, BBC NI political reporter, "Gerry Adams: United Kingdom union hanging by a thread", 7 February 2014. See video on this page, from 0.52 at bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-26082515 ]
Well, that's not good enough!
We can't have a Nation which is held together so precariously, and which can be destroyed so easily by a one-off referendum won by a simple numerical majority.
CREATE 'CONSTITUTIONAL LOCKS' AGAINST SEPARATION
Right now, because the route to "independence" seems so tantalisingly easy, the ScotNats obsess about it. Their obsession consumes them, to the detriment of the rest of Scottish society.
If the route to destroying the UK was actually much harder, then a lot of the Nats would lose their enthusiasm and they'd stop being fundamentalists.
We need to start creating various "Constitutional Locks" which prevent such things happening.
At the very least, let's start to talk about it!
When the ScotNats realise that their dream is going to be a lot harder to achieve than they hitherto have imagined then a lot of the puff, obsession and fundamentalism will go out of their movement.
As they naturally deflate, many of them will relax and concentrate on having a normal life.
At that stage, we can start approaching something resembling a normal country again!
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