THE parties which, following the Supreme Court ruling, must now be characterised as Anglo-British supremacist parties are not at all happy about the plan to turn the next General Election in Scotland into a plebiscite election and a de facto referendum on Scottish independence.

These parties do not believe that the people of Scotland should ever be asked for their view on independence and are not taking it at all well that the UK Supreme Court ruling did not make supporters of Scottish independence go: "Oh well, that's it then, let's give up on this democracy lark, sing God Save the King, and cheer for the England football team."

Labour, the Tories and even the Alex Cole-Hamilton shaped void have all condemned the plan to use the next election in Scotland as a proxy for the independence referendum that the United Kingdom has told Scotland that we cannot lawfully have.

Jackie Baillie is still adopting the classic Labour denialist approach, loftily telling The Guardian: "I'm not going to engage in hypotheticals," because she does not believe that there is a majority for independence in the country. 

Douglas Ross sniffed that "it's not up to politicians to dictate what the public should be interested in at a General Election" – which is precisely what Douglas has done at every election in Scotland since the internal party putsch that saw him appointed as leader of the Scottish Tories.

Indeed, Douglas doesn't merely dictate what the public should be interested in at an election, he continues to do so after the public have expressed their view at the ballot box and delivered a result which is not to Douglas's liking.

Denial of reality is a Conservative trait. They continue to deny the harm that Brexit has caused to the economy and the status and reputation of the UK, they deny that the Scottish Parliament has a mandate for another independence referendum, and on the BBC's Good Morning Scotland, Douglas Ross denied that the UK is not a voluntary Union, even as he refused to specify precisely how Scotland goes about obtaining another referendum following a Supreme Court ruling that Scotland cannot get one by voting for a Scottish Parliament committed to bringing a referendum about.

Even Alex Cole-Hamilton made a desperate bid for attention and demanded that the money set aside for a referendum should now be spent on those suffering from long Covid instead. Those of us suffering from long Cole-Hamilton just need to suck it up.

The bottom line here is that the UK remains a partially functioning democracy and no political party can dictate to its opponents what proposition they can put before the voters at an election. If the SNP, the Greens, Alba or any other pro-independence party wishes to put it to the voters that a vote for them is a vote to commence independence negotiations or for an immediate declaration of independence, that is a matter for them and for the voters who can choose to agree or disagree with that plan.

What Labour, the Tories or the LibDems think about it is frankly an irrelevance, they are not the ones being asked, and we are only in this position in the first place because they continue to refuse to accept the outcome of the 2021 Scottish elections. 

Meanwhile, it's time for a Broontervention. In the wake of a Supreme Court ruling that told us that the UK is only a voluntary Union for England – the only member of this so-called Union that doesn't need the permission of politicians elected by the other nations if it wants to leave – early next month, Gordon Brown is due to unveil Labour's plan for the constitutional future of the UK, which is expected to offer Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland greater devolution as well as the devolution of certain economic powers to the English regions. It's the Vow, but this time we mean it … no, really, honest, pinky promise.

What we can be certain of, however, is that these proposals will not lay out a route by which Scotland can obtain a lawful independence referendum via its own internal democratic processes. Scotland will still remain trapped by England's voting decisions and, given the British constitutional fetishisation of the absolute sovereignty of the Westminster Parliament, there will not and cannot be any guarantees that the extra devolved powers that Labour promise to introduce will not be clawed back by some future Conservative government.

This piece is an extract from today’s REAL Scottish Politics newsletter, which is emailed out at 7pm every weekday with a round-up of the day's top stories and exclusive analysis from the Wee Ginger Dug.

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