The evident inability of Unionists to comprehend the fundamental principles of democracy is something that is frequently remarked upon. Few things demonstrate this dumb incomprehension more than their campaign to deny Scotland’s right of self-determination. A campaign which, in defiance of all propriety, they continue despite an overwhelming vote at Holyrood in favour of respecting the democratic right of the Scottish people to choose the form of government which best suits their needs.
As if to underline this gross disrespect for Holyrood, Tory MSP Annie Wells later declared in a TV interview that, while she recognises the sovereignty of the Scottish people, she does not recognise the sovereignty of the Scottish Parliament. A statement so devoid of sense as to almost defy analysis.
How does Annie Wells reconcile her claimed respect for the sovereignty of the Scottish people with her blank refusal to honour their democratic will? How can she both accept the sovereignty of Scotland’s people and reject the mandate those sovereign people have awarded the SNP administration in free and fair elections? And, while she may be technically correct in saying the Scottish Parliament isn’t sovereign, how can she be blind to the planet-sized anomaly of a parliament lacking sovereignty when it has been democratically elected by people whose sovereignty she acknowledges – however insincerely?
But sometimes it is the seemingly small things which best illustrate the British nationalists’ ignorant and contemptuous attitude to Scotland, its people and its democratic institutions. During the resumed debate on a new independence referendum, Scottish Tory leader, Ruth Davidson, got carried away with her media-bestowed status as Queen of the British Nationalists and curtly ordered Nicola Sturgeon to sit down. Cue much orgasmic delight among Britnat fanatics. But much consternation and irritation among people who actually retain a capacity for rational thought – including many on the anti- side of the independence debate.
By her discourteous and disrespectful behaviour, Davidson demonstrated her abject failure to grasp the distinction between office and incumbent. Or, much worse, she fully recognises that distinction but simply doesn’t care.
Nicola Sturgeon may hold the office of First Minister of Scotland, but she does not own it. That office belongs to the people of Scotland. The incumbent holds that office only by the grace of the Scottish Parliament, acting on behalf of the electorate. To disrespect Nicola Sturgeon in her role as party leader is one thing. But to insult the office of First Minister is to spit in the face of every man woman and child in Scotland.
Such behaviour would be unacceptable from any MSP. From one who aspires to the office of First Minister – however ludicrously – it is particularly obnoxious. And totally unacceptable.
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