THE penny seems to be dropping with certain anti-independence politicians that the Supreme Court ruling this week might not prove to be the death blow to hopes of independence that they thought it was going to be.

Instead of holding the independence campaign below the waterline, the ruling has achieved a few important things, none of which are beneficial to opponents of independence.

Perhaps most importantly of all, the parties formerly known as Unionist can no longer pretend that this is a voluntary union in which Scotland's voice is heard and respected. The UK is a blatantly unequal state in which some constituent nations have more power than others.

Scotland and Wales need the permission of England's elected representatives in order to ask themselves if they wish to remain a part of the UK, but the reverse is not true. If England were ever to decide to revisit its relationships with Scotland and Wales, it would not require the permission of the elected representatives of Scotland or Wales in order to do so.

This inequality calls into question whether the United Kingdom is indeed a union at all, since Scotland and Wales depend upon England's permission to ask themselves about their status – the UK appears indistinguishable from England and her dependencies.

The anti-independence parties are not Unionist, they are Anglo-British nationalists who seek to keep Scotland subordinate to political decisions made in England and who are happy to see the democratic choices of voters in Scotland being overruled by politicians who represent English constituencies.

Ludicrously, Douglas Ross is still attempting to maintain the fiction that this undemocratic prison remains a voluntary union. In doing so he merely exposes his own hypocrisy and the moral, democratic, and intellectual bankruptcy of Anglo-British nationalists who cannot even bring themselves to admit their own nationalism.

Ross pointed to the referendum of 2014 and said that Scotland could have an independence referendum when all parties were in agreement. However, the only reason Cameron agreed to that referendum was because, in his arrogance, he believed that the No side would coast to an easy and overwhelming victory. That is not a mistake that Westminster will make again.

The Conservatives and Labour are opposing a referendum now because they know that there is a very real chance that they will lose it.

In other words, the Anglo-British nationalists have a veto on whether Scotland can have a referendum. It is for Labour, the Tories and the irrelevant LibDems to decide whether Scotland can hold another referendum, not the people of Scotland.

The anti-independence parties, according to Ross, have the right to go above the heads of the people of Scotland and to prevent a referendum, even when they have put that proposition to the electorate of Scotland in a democratic election and lost.

Ross's claim that this is still a voluntary union is a pathetic joke. The Anglo-British nationalists will never agree to another referendum if they fear that there is an outside chance that they are going to lose, and will not agree to another referendum if they are confident that they will win, saying that there would be no need for one.

The other important thing achieved by the Supreme Court ruling is to change the nature of the independence debate.

In 2014, the Better Together parties told Scotland that it needed to remain a part of the United Kingdom in order to maintain democratic standards in government. With this ruling, the repeated attempts of the anti-independence parties to deny the validity of Holyrood's mandate for another referendum, and the second unelected prime minister in the space of months, it is now clear that democracy can only be guaranteed in Scotland if this country becomes an independent state.

The LibDems' Alex Cole-Hamilton harrumphed that the First Minister was being “Trumpian”, asserting that he was elected to oppose another referendum and he would continue to oppose it.

But what is Trumpian is for Cole-Hamilton and his three – count them, three – pals in Holyrood to imagine that it is legitimate for them and the minority of anti-referendum MSPs to prevent the will of the Scottish electorate being carried out by appeal to a law enacted in Westminster by MPs who had no mandate from the voters of Scotland.

The Scottish Parliament election of 2021 was an election, not a referendum, the clue is in the name “election”. But we are now in the ridiculous situation where Anglo-British nationalist politicians are trying to retroactively change the rules of that election because they disliked the result.

As the First Minister pointed out in the hours after the Supreme Court ruling was published, the campaign for independence is now a campaign to secure democracy itself.

This piece is an extract from today’s REAL Scottish Politics newsletter, which is emailed out at 7pm every weekday with a round-up of the day's top stories and exclusive analysis from the Wee Ginger Dug.

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