Monday 21 July 2014

Angel's Advocate

The Parliament of Westminster

The Treaty and Acts of Union in 1706 and 1707 were between two parliaments - those of Scotland and England.
When Queen Anne opened the first session at Westminster after the union she stated it was the parliament's first sitting.
It is contained within the Treaties and Act of Union that only those bodies who created them can dissolve them.  Therefore to dissolve the union Holyrood will become the independent parliament of Scotland with full and all powers pertaining to state and Westminster will become an English parliament with whatever other arrangements staying in situ pertaining to the remaining UK.
So a Yes vote invalidates the Westminster parliament as it currently is and means it must be fundamentally altered. What an opportunity.
Moving on from that, in 1953 the Lord Advocate stated "The principle of the unlimited sovereignty of Parliament is a distinctively English principle which has no counterpart in Scottish constitutional law... Considering that the Union legislation extinguished the Parliaments of Scotland and England and replaced them by a new Parliament, I have difficulty in seeing why it should have been supposed that the new Parliament of Great Britain must inherit all the peculiar characteristics of the English Parliament but none of the Scottish Parliament, as if all that happened in 1707 was that Scottish representatives were admitted to the Parliament of England. That is not what was done." 


The containment of monarchic power, indeed the very concept of what it is, has always been very different in Scotland from simply handing royal prerogative powers to the Prime Minister and placing sovereignty in Parliament.  Go back nearly 700 years to the declaration of Arbroath 1320 stating 'if he (King Robert the Bruce) should give up what he has begun, seeking to make us or our kingdom subject to the King of England or the English, we should exert ourselves at once to drive him out as our enemy and a subverter of his own right and ours,'  This is very clear.  If the monarch ceases to act as approved by the rest of us, they're gone.  They have no option to, as the Claim of Right 1689 accuses James the Seventh, 'invade the constitution of Scotland and alter it' from
 'a legal limited monarchy, to an arbitrary despotic power; and in a public proclamation, asserted an absolute power'
'hath invaded the fundamental constitution of the Kingdom, and altered it from a legal limited monarchy to an arbitrary despotic power, and hath exercised the same'
There is no 'divine right of kings' here, the monarch is first among equals and works for them.  If the monarch acts against the wishes of the rest using autocratic power they are no longer valid as leader.   That being the case and in the essence of Scottish nationhood, it's clear that Elizabeth Windsor has already invalidated herself or at the very least seriously put into question her role as monarch of Scotland.  In the act of using her power of veto to prevent a private member's bill which sought to make power to go to war parliamentary rather than a royal prerogative power see here  she used an autocratic power to retain an autocratic power, acting expressly against the sovereignty of the people, acting to prevent determination of the considered will of the people and acting against the principles of equality and representation contained in the monarch's appointed role as expressed in the Declaration of Arbroath.  She asserted absolute power and exercised despotic power.
Upon a Yes vote Scotland will have no monarch as leader until the considered will of the Scottish people, which is paramount and sovereign, is determined.  In this age that can only mean democratically. 

Tuesday 15 July 2014

Initial Response to the Draft Interim Constitution of Scotland

The monarchy providing hereditary Heads of State for independent Scotland is a totally anachronistic prospect which contradicts several aspects of even the interim constitution.     

1.      Sovereignty of the people.  How can the people be truly sovereign while retaining an actual sovereign*?  *'noun - supreme ruler, especially a monarch’  The monarchy will be symbolically and spiritually oppressive, even if we are successful in declawing and defanging it from the current death grip on democracy it enjoys in its integral position in the Westminster system.

    2.      Human Rights.  The rights to vote, stand for election and determine their own destiny are denied  to  members of the ‘royal’ family pertaining to the position of head of state, and the right to elect our own representatives at state level is denied to us. 

3.      Equality.  This perhaps the most contradictory of the statements contained in the draft interim constitution. 

At 28 the claim ‘Every person in Scotland is equal before the law and has equal entitlement to its protection and benefit’ is factually incorrect.  The monarch and the heir are currently exempt from certain parts of Freedom of Information legislation.   Not only that, none of the rest of us enjoy a right of veto over government legislation, before it goes through parliament, on things which affect our private interests. 

To state that every person ‘is entitled to be treated with respect and without discrimination on the basis of personal characteristics’ is in direct opposition to encouraging extreme deference and providing status and position due to one bloodline - a situation which permeates society with a snobbery and obsequience that is not only legitimised but promoted and actively encouraged by governmental structure.

To state that the government ‘must seek to promote equality of opportunity’ is the direct opposite of no-one but members of one family having the opportunity to be Heads of State. 

To state that the rights, powers and privileges which attach to the Crown would continue after independence, albeit subject to the constitution and Acts passed by the Scottish parliament, seems to be attempting to have a foot on two horses which are about to take off in diametrically opposite directions. It would be quite impossible for the current rights, powers and privileges which attach to the Crown to continue after independence if we are in any way serious about sovereignty of the people, human rights and equality. It simply does not compute.