Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Unionist move's oppression of the young

The office of Scottish secretary was supposed to be abolished when devolution came in? All voices were quite certain it would be. So what happened? Ooh it feels quite useful to have a focal point in the Cabinet for putting up barriers to what the devolved government can do, as an layer of insurance for the union. That was the Labour government who first made that choice, so it's only thanks to them that Cameron has a Scottish secretary at all.

So today the said Michael Moore has been offering terms for a referendum, if held on a faster timescale than Salmond wants, to have a binding result. Is this necessary? Generally no referendum's result is binding unless the British parliament has passed a law saying it is, because default sovereignty is with parliament. But where national self-determination is involved, so is international law. At United Nations level going back to the decolonisation era and the UN's early principles against conquering countries, in votes on independence the country concerned has a sovereign decision: self determination. That stands over any British law on competent status to call the vote.

The present unionist position is going against that international law. But any problems with courts striking down the referendum, as today's papers are full of imaginings of, will also be the SNP's fault if the SNP continues to ignore the court change described twice in this blog. The court change, the development since 1999 that court decisions are always open-endedly faultable on their reasoning and are no longer ever final, is exactly what the SNP needs to stand up to any unionist court antics to declare void a Yes result to a vote called by the SNP.

A vote imposed from British level should also be held void, illegitimate, if its franchise excludes any population groups who would have a vote anywhere in the world. The Tories are following their demographic as the home of narky old bigots against youth, they are against votes at 16 and their proposed terms for an authorised referendum by 2013 specifically exclude votes at 16. Though Moore himself is a Lib Dem and going along with this. Folks with the vote's result ahead of them for a lifespan will live with the memory of contemptuous rejection from taking part in it, when they have the vote in the Isle of Man, Jersey, Guernsey, Austria, Nicaragua, and Brazil. To have self determination be a sovereign principle of international law, for votes on it that can happen anywhere in the world, means having all votes on it held on no lesser a franchise than exists anywhere. A No vote on an 18 voting age will absolutely not legitimise the union, nor a Yes vote legitimise its end. It will not be a conclusive outcome, it will not be visibly sovereign.

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