EXCELLENT piece by Joanna Cherry on the Declaration of Arbroath and what it means to Scotland (This Union flies in face of the ideals Scotland’s historic Declaration stood for, Jun 2). It is not the only historical document that still affects Scotland and how Scots see themselves as distinct from the other nations of the UK. The Treaty of Union, the Claim of Right and a number of other documents and pieces of legislation of the old Scottish parliament are still relevant today, although Westminster does its level best to pooh-pooh anything and everything distinctly Scottish and affects to give them no credence.

I believe that the burying of Scotland’s documented past has been quite deliberate and continues into the present day. Any close reading of the Treaty shows just how underhandedly we have been dealt with, with almost every Article breached at some point, some even before the ink was dry. Just what gave the English MPs the right to do down Scotland and treat it as a colony or subsumed nation, now the northernmost part of England? Just where is the legitimacy for such actions and attitudes?

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Actually, nowhere. None exists. It has all been one massive con trick. Salvo and the other constitutional organisations have unearthed a wealth of evidence to show that Scotland has been treated so badly over the three centuries since the Union, with so much evidence buried by Westminster and Whitehall, and Scottish Unionists, that it is – or should be to any reasonable person – no mystery as to why so many Scots wish to end the Union, and soon.

Lord Cooper’s obiter is absolutely spot on from a legal perspective, and David Cameron and the Crawford and Boyle Report notwithstanding, – soundly eviscerated by Professors Walker (Glasgow) and Campbell (Liverpool) – Scotland has been undermined and railroaded into the reluctant and wholly unnecessary use of all English legal maxims and principles totally contrary to the Treaty terms, and not least being deprived quite unconstitutionally and illegally of its proper partnership status. Who had the moral, legal, constitutional or political right to do so? The first casualty – albeit Joanna Cherry does not state this in her piece – of a new approach to Scotland’s constitutional documents, including the Treaty, which was established in international law, is devolution.

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Devolution is constitutionally illegal or, certainly illegitimate, and very probably ultra vires, too. It is understandable why the leading lights agreed to it, but since England did not devolve at the same time (which it would be required to do under the Treaty terms, as a political, constitutional and legal partner) it breaches those Treaty terms, and all the legislation flowing from devolution and into devolution is equally illegitimate and ultra vires, and, ultimately a political and constitutional cul-de-sac – as it was intended by the Unionists, Westminster and Whitehall to be.

Because the Treaty and other constitutional principles of Scots Law and international law have been ignored and pushed out of the way, independence has become the only solution, and having the Treaty “sound” in

law, as well as demanding the recognition of our ancient rights which the Treaty supposedly protected, one of the main routes out of the Union. A Section 30 Order is now dead in the water, and in any case hinges on devolution being honoured, which it has never been from day one, like the Treaty before it. The Common Framework and the Northern Irish Agreement on the EU both contravene Scotland’s rights according to the Treaty. They do not just bend them out of shape, they trample them into the dust.

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I think Joanna and the other dissidents within the SNP will wait a very long time before the party’s hierarchy offer any solutions to our dilemma, the recent meeting with Mr Drakeford of Wales illustrating just how wedded to devolution and “wokeism” the SNP has become, trying to forge alliances to protect devolution, but not to advance independence by uniting, in an informal, loose alliance with the other independence parties and organisations, and setting up an across-the-board Constitutional Convention to discuss all the options, which are becoming fewer by the day.

This unwillingness to do anything that might take a modicum of power and dominance from the SNP may well be understandable in the political arena, and viewed as anathema, but the voters will punish the party for its intransigence and bone-headed adherence to highly unpopular ideologies and policies that will die very soon, in obeisance to “wokeism”, yet another cul-de-sac. It is the seeming lack of political nous that frustrates so many.

The General Election looks set to be the teaching of the lesson never, ever take the electorate for granted, or for fools either. The Scottish election will signal the end of the SNP unless it starts to take the necessary actions to save itself from oblivion, and I think it is incapable now of doing so in time. Even if the will was there, the deliberate clash of

the Special Convention and Bannockburn and the AUOB/Yes rally signals a refusal to change direction. I hope that the likes of Joanna Cherry, Ash Regan, Kate Forbes, the Ewings and all the other “dissidents” will have the sense to leave the sinking ship in time.

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