Our Claim of Right can only be honoured by voting Unionist

Our Claim of Right can only be honoured by voting Unionist

by Jonathan Stanley
article from Monday 5, June, 2017

ON THURSDAY Scotland will vote in the UK General Election where we face a choice of two futures. On one path we vote for two Scottish Governments and on the other we vote for none.


In 1989 a group of unionist politicians convened to declare the Claim of Right as follows:


We, gathered as the Scottish Constitutional Convention, do hereby acknowledge the sovereign right of the Scottish people to determine the form of Government best suited to their needs, and do hereby declare and pledge that in all our actions and deliberations their interests shall be paramount.

We further declare and pledge that our actions and deliberations shall be directed to the following ends:

To agree a scheme for an Assembly or Parliament for Scotland;

To mobilise Scottish opinion and ensure the approval of the Scottish people for that scheme; and

To assert the right of the Scottish people to secure implementation of that scheme.


This was arguably an attempt to appease soft nationalism but over time it has become the de facto unionist declaration for Scotland because every SNP parliamentarian has always opposed its principles and delivered paralysis in Holyrood and marginalisation in Westminster.


For some that's progress but in reality it means we have effectively no government for Scots. Instead we have civil servants in Victoria Quay and Whitehall seguing past Nationalists and Unionists obsessed with the constitutional question. If we vote in a Unionist majority we have a chance of leaving this roundabout and rejoining the real world, if we vote Nationalist we pass Go without collecting anything and waste ever more time locked into constant bickering, dodging ever issue that needs urgent redress because all they want to focus on is independence.


We claimed the right to be governed as we see fit. That succeeds anything scrawled in Arbroath by clerics and has led us by popular consent to devolved government within the UK. We should raise our expectations both of Holyrood and Westminster and move away from centralisation of power and the peacocking of Z rate MPs who have wasted two years achieving absolutely nothing beyond being the terrier in the manger, barking and soiling the hay and all to be appear ever so self important.


Enough, please!


In some seats Labour is the best option to stop the SNP, Liberal Democrats in others – but both risk a coalition to put the "progressive" lleft back in power. This leaves only one credible option that is honest and objective: Vote Unionist, whichever party you think has the best chance. For me that's Tory and to be honest in the vast majority of seats it is the best choice.


This is not a vote against independence or a referendum, regardless of what some say. It is a vote for stopping the merrygoround and making Westminster take Scotland seriously – and forcing Holyrood to get on with the day job without any excuse of being distracted by more calls for you know what.


We need unionists elected, we need them in whatever government we elect and we need to bludgeon this obsession by the SNP to force them to crack on and deliver devolved services. It is that simple.


This is not an ordinary election. We are not voting for one but  – by intervention and influence – two governments – and we need both to function. The SNP will not respect the claim to right so it falls again to unionists to deliver the governments we deserve.

Photo: Canon Kenyon Wright Chairing the Scottish Constitutional Convention.



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