14:48 16th March 2016.
I look and I wonder at things during the day, I can’t follow twitter news all day obviously, but I saw the headlines, clicked the little ‘x’ button and continued on with my day.
I get to later on and wonder what’s been happening. We’re in a strange time. We know reality in our day to day lives.
The narrative that politicians place and particularly those in the UK Government, just doesn’t resonate with truth and respect.
A tale about leaving the EU is one thing, but a tale about the UK getting the best deal for Scotland is another tale entirely.
I almost typed ‘whopper’ there.
It’s a stretch to see, Mrs May might sincerely believe that she’s following the Brexit vote and taking a line of unity and strength to give a strong negotiating position in future to achieve a post Brexit deal with the EU. I see that. It’s her position.
Now, this one. It’s a stretch too, the Edinburgh agreement followed the 2011 Scottish Parliament elections, a firm and clear majority of MSPs within an electoral system designed not to give such a majority.
Alec Salmond as First Minister had a clear and unequivocal right to have a referendum on independence.
We know the outcome and the story and the aftermath. The outcome in the Smith Commission wasn’t fair.
The vote at 55/45 wasn’t decisive, it was open and similar to brexit guilt, there was indyref guilt, many voting from ignorance, many thinking it wouldn’t do any harm.
The morning after though, didn’t see concession toward ‘Home Rule’ as some in Scotland seemed to have thought. The margin was thought enough to be decisive.
Tories pushed the issue of it being ‘once in a generation’, the aftermath was simply and literally EVEL.
English Votes for English Laws, an assertion that Westminster still called the shots and that influence and voting by non English MP’s over England only issues as the Labour Party had regularly until then done wasn’t to be tolerated.
2014 became 2015, the ‘indyref guilt’ fed through in the elections for Westminster.
An unprecedented SNP number of MP’s across the country 56/59. A wipe out for Labour.
But, England and Wales went Tory. David Cameron no longer needed a coalition, he no longer had to be moderated by Clegg and his liberals, he had a majority and he decided to tackle head on the thorny issue of Brexit.
What Cameron didn’t realise was that he was opening the bottle, releasing the genie.
I’ve visited England a fair bit in recent years, going to theme parks, visiting London, seeing relatives in Oxfordshire, travelling through to go to France.
I’ve visited England since childhood for one reason or another, but in the past few years it’s felt different.
Yes, it has familiar road signs and shops sell the same stuff with the same currency, but there was more people and busier towns and cities and insane traffic jams.
The economic recovery after the bank crash happened down there, it thrived. Factories, Works, Offices, Business Parks Dualled Roads, Motorways.
London was nothing like I recalled as a teenager, it was cleaner, full of wonders and busy, teeming.
Across the way, people in shops, theme parks and restaurants served me, some English, some not, some white, some not. Accents with European, African and Asian lilts and wonder of wonders the occasional Scot.
The diversity of people amazed me and the odd time my accent caused issues. Thankfully, never that often.
But, reality bites and the economic wonder in the south of England has to be seen and it’s different and strange compared to the West of Scotland that I know from everyday life.
It’s different to the Scotland most British-Unionist Scots know too.
You see a world class transport system in London that is modern and efficient but creaks with numbers. We have nothing like it in comparison in Scotland.
Shopping districts and centres in London that are far ahead of anything we have.
Economic confidence and a sheer power that generates tradesmen, businesses and opportunities.
But, back to the script. Brexit worked through disaffection, as I said many service jobs in retail and hospitality had different people from different places, sometimes the brightest and best, sometimes someone just willing to take every hour they can get as a chambermaid or a bartender.
It’s visible and different place to Scotland being relatively more homogeneous and relatively less busy and relatively different.
We can throw a pile of reasons at Brexit. That Bus. The NHS promise, personality politics of Boris and ‘ol Nigel.
It worked, Cameron’s once in a generation gamble on putting Tory splits over Europe to bed failed.
The Eurosceptics rose and in a rare moment of Tory instability, we even saw the likes of Andrea Leadsom throe their Top Hats into the ring after a truly awesome turn of revenge made on Johnson and Gove for their backstabbing of Cameron.
After all Tories have gotta Tory.
Now, as part of Better Together in 2014, statements were made.
Ah, but ‘Better Together’ was a cross-party group working together to keep Scotland in the Union.
It wasn’t any single party. It wasn’t any single policy. It was at arms length to Labour, it was at arms length to the Tories.
It was plausible deniability.
It was a creation of that moment. It’s promises won’t be upheld (after all, no-one ever bothered to deletethat twitter account.) in exactly the way that the infamous Vow won’t be upheld.
The words of Gordon Brown’s ‘Home Rule’ tour won’t be honoured either.
Brown’s realisation that The Smith Commission didn’t deliver.
So, we are where we are.
The Vow wasn’t delivered, some Scots thought voting No was a path to a slower, surer safer version of Home Rule.
Brexit, in contrast was delivered with gleeful Speed
Ms Sturgeon painted as irrelevant as were the first ministers of Wales and Northern Ireland. Devolved territories weren’t about to be consulted as equals.
62% of Scots wanted to remain in the EU. Leaders of ‘Scottish Labour’ and ‘Scottish Conservatives’ campaigned for Remain.
However, after the dust cleared, after their parties settled their leadership issues, both Kezia Dugdale and Ruth Davidson followed the line of their UK parties.
They painted the SNP as using Brexit solely as an excuse for independence.
There’s no clear plan for Brexit, nothing in place.
As a follower of David Allen Green and his Law and Policy tweets and his reasoned and cleverly written articles, I’ve seen nothing that convinces me that The Department for Exiting The European Union has the resource, leadership or wit to make a competent job of doing so.
Gina Miller was vilified by the English press to the extent that even her skin tone was made darker on photographs on front pages.
The UK Supreme Court was seen as an impediment to Brexit. The case brought by Ms Miller served to show the inept thinking in Whitehall.
Theresa May pressed on and ultimately The European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill passed through the Commons and the Lords and this morning received Royal Assent.
I may have the wrong document, but the Bill is as below
That is what Westminster and the press and media and everyone has been trumpeting in hundreds and thousands of fevered words.
It’s a triumph of whitewash. A triumph of style beyond substance.
I was born a few days before the UK entered the EEC. The European Communities Act is massive.
So are the treaties creating the EU and so is the document that allows the Article 50 notification to be served.
Are Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP really so unreasonable to believe Brexit is based on nothing?
Are they so unreasonable to ask for permission for another referendum based on the situation materially changing from 2014?
We are in a land beyond sense and reason where the Queen has signed Royal Assent to a one page act permitting Theresa May to serve the Notification?
We have seen the UK Supreme Court thwarted by the passage of this sliver of paper.
It’s madness to me. Ultimately I can’t see discussion and compromise over Brexit.
The Tories won’t ‘U Turn’ on this, there’s no ‘soft landing’ to be had.
The EU won’t topple.
The EU won’t hesitate to say bye bye to the UK. There’s not a ‘deal’ to be had.
Free Markets come with Free Movement. The ‘common market’ isn’t a separate thing to be negotiated into.
The statements from Brussels and from EU member countries are pretty clear. There’s no mixed method based only on commerce and trade.
If we’re at an impasse. If we can’t make Westminster see sense, then it’s time to dissolve the Union.
Our opinions and views and desires aren’t served by it. It is not the country we thought it was. It is not the family of nations that some claim it to be.
We need #Scotref, we deserve to have our opinion on this Brexit before it removes our rights and abilities in Europe.