I CONGRATULATE Lorna Slater on her election as co-leader of the Scottish Greens. I wish her every success in her new political post. There is, however, one thing she needs to get clear if she is to play an important role in Scotland’s political future as part of any “progressive” political force.

In discussing Scottish independence, Lorna is reported to have said “we have to go through the legitimate process for this” and in relation to a referendum “we need that Section 30”. Well, that does not sound to me like someone who understands where Scotland’s sovereignty lies or who understands progressive politics.

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Something which is legitimate, as I understand it, is something which conforms to current law, or conforms to establishment rules. Progressive politics is all about challenging the rules of the establishment, and challenging unjust laws.

Indeed if this had not been done regularly and persistently by our ancestors, we would have no freedom and no democracy. These advances were achieved by progressive people in the past challenging the “legitimate” establishment; not by meekly complying with it.

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Now what is the important “legal” or “constitutional” significance of her Section 30 order? Where exactly does it figure in our constitution – oh sorry, I forgot, we don’t have a constitution, at least not one we can read and have access to, all we have for a constitution is what the establishment decide it is, from time to time, and inform us. I for one, do not accept that this process has any real constitutional validity.

For example, our un-written constitution is supposed to be firmly based on convention. Now we do not have an elected Prime Minister in Westminster, we have someone appointed by the Queen who “commands a majority in the House of Commons”. Well that constitutional convention has just been ignored, because the Tories are afraid to go to a General Election right now, so they have forced the Queen to appoint someone as Prime Minister who clearly does not command a majority in the House.

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Now Scottish sovereignty rests with the Scottish people, therefore in legal terms a decision of the Scottish people can’t be other than legitimate. There is no dispute about the Scottish Parliament having the legal power to organise a referendum in the current system as I understand it, provided it is “advisory”.

Well now, if the Scottish Parliament held such an advisory referendum, and the Scottish people by majority voted for independence, the Scottish Government would then have a clear decision from the “sovereign” on this matter. If the Scottish Parliament got this sovereign advice then they would be required to act on it, since it would then be legitimate.

It should be remembered that the Brexit referendum was merely an advisory referendum. The Westminster Parliament has a different view on sovereignty from the Scottish people and the Scottish Parliament.

So I as a progressive I want to see the Scottish Parliament proceeding with a progressive set of policies. So long as these policies are acceptable to the majority of the Scottish people I do not need any other sign that they are legitimate. Where does Lorna require approval from to make Scottish policy legitimate?

Andy Anderson

GOT my mail shot today for the upcoming council by-election in Aberdeen. Some no-mark Conservative prospective still perpetuating the myth that she’s not a nasty Tory but actually part of the even less effective Ruth Davidson party. Why are they so embarrassed to go under the flag of something they so obviously believe in? The word deceitful comes to mind!

Steve Cunningham