Continuing our short articles de-bunking the oft-heard, and very tiresome SNP Themes. Here we address the notion that "Westminster has no right to block a 2nd IndyRef".
The Scottish Nationalist frame – their way of looking at things – is that Westminster is essentially a "Colonial/Imperial Master" which long ago captured poor little old Scotland and has been abusing it ever since.
For Scottish nationalists, the bottom line is that Westminster is illegitimate.
All complete rubbish, of course. But that is how they see things.
In that view of things the British Parliament has no moral authority to do anything...at all!
So it is important to establish the legitimacy of the British Government in Scotland from the get-go.
It is the British Parliament, and the Government it forms, which is the collective Parliament and Government which represents us all, wherever we are from in our Islands.
We elect people to represent us, not primarily on the basis of our Scottish, English, Welsh or Northern Irish identity (although some of us do that) but upon the basis of our different ideologies.
Everyone goes to Westminster and they trash it all out, publicly.
Despite it often appearing a bit of a muddle, it actually works. It holds us together...relatively peacefully. It is not perfect, but it works. No doubt it can be improved.
In any case, we participate in this British-wide democracy, both voluntarily and keenly!
1. WESTMINSTER HAS GREATER DEMOCRATIC LEGITIMACY THAN HOLYROOD
Indeed, the British Parliament enjoys far greater democratic legitimacy in Scotland in terms of turnout than does Holyrood.
Here's the figures>
Westminster General Election Turnout in Scotland
2001 - 58.2%
2005 - 60.6%
2010 - 63.8%
2015 - 71.1%
2017 - 66.4%
AVERAGE = 64.02%
1999 - 59% (the first-ever)
2003 - 49.4%
2007 - 51.8%
2011 - 50.4%
2016 - 55.6%
AVERAGE = 53.24%
Let that sink in. Westminster enjoys greater democratic legitimacy in Scotland than Holyrood! You don't hear that said very often, but you should.
So firstly, on that basis alone – on the basis that more people vote for Westminster than for Holyrood – the British Parliament and Government has the right to forbid a second separation referendum.
2. IT IS THE DUTY OF THE BRITISH PARLIAMENT TO MAINTAIN THE UNITED KINGDOM
Secondly, the Parliament of the United Kingdom is the primary body tasked with holding the United Kingdom together in the first place.
That's its job.
The British Parliament is the national Institution which has the responsibility and duty, on behalf of us all, to keep the UK together.
It must "defend the Realm". That is, it must defend it against outside aggression, but also against internal threats which seek to break it.
Westminster's first priority is to hold the UK together in the first place. It has a perfect right, duty and responsibility to hold the United Kingdom together!
We utterly depend upon it to do so. If it does not do that, then what else will do that?
It should not be shy in doing its job.
3. WE VOTED TO KEEP WESTMINSTER AS THE SUPREME PARLIAMENT
Thirdly, the 2014 referendum delivered a Mandate whereby a majority of Scottish voters demonstrated that we are happy to stay part of the UK; meaning that we acknowledge Westminster as the supreme Parliament with the right to make these ultimate decisions.
4. HOLYROOD DOES NOT HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO DEMAND A REFERENDUM
Fourthly, Holyrood is a devolved Parliament in a vertical, not horizontal, relationship with the British Parliament.
Devolution is British State Power exercised by Subsidiary Bodies. Holyrood is a subsidiary arm of the British State. Our graphic, above, explains it well!