*This article is an advertisement paid for by Craig Murray.

Scotland is an ancient nation and we are a people with the absolute right of self-determination as defined in Article 1 (ii) of the UN Charter. That right of self-determination in international law is inalienable. It cannot be constrained by the domestic legislation of any subsuming state, as indeed the UK government argued successfully before the International Court of Justice in the case of Kosovo.

Boris Johnson can have no veto over the right of the people of Scotland to choose their own path. The possibility should not be entertained. It is an affront to international law.

I am standing for President because I want the SNP to be a party whose overriding priority is to obtain full, completed and internationally recognised Independence for Scotland within a maximum of two years from this date.

Devolution has served the Scottish people well in enabling the SNP to come to limited power nationally and in showing the Scottish people what a competent Scottish administration can do in mitigating the effects of Tory austerity. The notably better performance of the Scottish government in the Covid-19 crisis, for which Nicola Sturgeon and Jeane Freeman deserve plaudits, has helped boost support for Independence.

But devolution has run its course. Gradualism has had its day. The Tories are determined to row back on Holyrood powers across a broad front, and at Westminster they cannot be stopped. Scots have been dragged out of the European Union and are losing their EU citizenship and rights against the will of the large majority.

With support for Independence well over 50% and solid, now is the time to ACT FOR INDEPENDENCE.

The matter is urgent as the British State becomes ever more obnoxious. In the last month, it has passed through parliament the Overseas Operations Bill, granting British soldiers immunity for war crimes after five years. Given the history of illegal wars and invasions of the UK state, this is appalling.

A separate Bill, the Covert Human Inteligence Sources Bill, gives immunity to UK security services officers and agents for illegal acts committed in the course of their operations. This is a direct threat to us.

As I was a British diplomat for over 20 years, including six years as a member of the Senior Management Structure of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, I can assure you that MI5, GCHQ and the other organs of the UK security state are targeted on us. Scottish Independence supporters are rightly perceived as the biggest threat to the UK state.

My intention is to ensure that we are indeed the biggest threat to the UK state. Anybody who believes that the security services are not already targeted on us is a fool. The security services would not be doing their declared job otherwise. This new legislation is a threat to us. Remember Pat Finucane. Remember David Kelly. Above all, remember Willie McRae.

All the more reason to strike now for Independence and get out of the UK.

Let us use the economic powers of an independent nation to build a fair and just society with no billionaires, no foodbanks and no children living in poverty. Let us build a nation with a foreign policy not dictated by the interests of the USA, dedicated to human rights, international development and support for the United Nations.

Let us move quickly to secure and Independent Scotland. Let our descendants be proud of us.

Craig Murray

Craig Murray is a campaigner for Independence, historian, journalist and human rights activist. He was Rector of the University of Dundee from 2007 to 2010, an honorary research fellow at University of Lancaster School of Law from 2005 to 2009, and British Ambassador to Uzbekistan from 2002 to 2004. He believes that since mid 2014 he has delivered more speeches on Independence to rallies and meetings than any other individual.

Craig was a member of the diplomatic service from 1984 to 2005, including six years in the Senior Management Structure of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. He joined the SNP in 2011, having previously been a Liberal Democrat (for which he apologises!) He is however a lifelong Independence supporter and refused three honours from the Crown – OBE, LVO and CVO – on grounds of Scottish nationalism.

He is the author of four books including the best-selling Murder in Samarkand and Sikunder Burnes. He is currently working on a biography of Jacobite general George Murray.