Scotland Has Only One Move to React to Boris Johnson’s Maneuvers

The prime minister’s coming suspension of parliament means Scotland must move swiftly with a vote on independence, writes Craig Murray.

By Craig Murray
CraigMurray.org.uk

Prime Minister Boris Johnson crossed the Rubicon by suspending Parliament at a crucial time.

The United Kingdom has found itself with the most right-wing government in nearly two hundred years. I still find it hard to believe that Chancellor Sajid Javid, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and Home Secretary Priti Patel hold great offices. Even that minority of those voting who put this Tory minority government in place did not expect that. Now that right wing coup is being doubled down on by the deliberate suspension of the Westminster parliament just as the most crucial and divisive issue in several generations is being resolved.

There is an irony here. Johnson has been able to take over without facing the electorate because of the polite constitutional fiction that it is the same Conservative government continuing and nothing has changed. Yet he justifies the prorogation of parliament by the argument that it is a new government and a new Queen’s Speech is thus needed. Johnson is of course famously in favor of having cake and eating it, but the chutzpah of this is breathtaking.

As countries slip to the far right, the failure of the more decent forces in society to unite and to react with sufficient vigor is crucial. Jo Swinson, leader of the Liberal Democrats, and others need to stop their caviling and get behind opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn’s no-confidence plans.

Here in Scotland, it ought to be a matter of deep shame if we do not now immediately move decisively to claim Independence. The Scottish National Party needs to stop prattling on as if keeping the U.K. in the EU was the priority.

No. The priority is Independence, and Independence Now. If the leadership of the SNP want a referendum, they should move now to hold it within a few months, this year. Otherwise they should dissolve Holyrood and hold a Holyrood election with the declared aim of declaring Independence if there is a majority won for that. It is now inevitable that, if the SNP continues to shilly shally on independence, a new party will arise in response to public opinion, to outflank and challenge them by prioritizing independence. Hopefully Johnson’s new move will finally kick the SNP to act NOW and make that unnecessary.

Monarchy Out of Line

Meanwhile, our obsequious media is actively perpetuating the myth that the monarch can do no wrong, and is apolitical. In fact, the monarchy has been active and absolutely central to the seizure of power from the Westminster parliament in a right-wing coup. The collaboration at Balmoral between the queen and Jacob Rees Mogg, leader of the House of Commons, is only the latest phase.

The monarch appoints the U.K. prime minister. The convention is that this must be the person who can command the support of the majority in the House of Commons. That does not necessarily have to be from a single party, it can be via a coalition or pact with other parties, but the essential point, established since Hanoverian times, is that the individual must have a majority in the Commons.

The very appointment of Johnson by Elizabeth Saxe Coburg Gotha was a constitutional outrage. Johnson may have been selected by Conservative Party members, but that is not the qualification to be PM. Johnson very plainly did not command a majority in the House of Commons, proven by the fact that at no stage has he demonstrated that he does. I do not write merely with hindsight.

Johnson’s flagship policy was always No Deal Brexit. [He may now take the daring step to not bring a bill passed by the Commons and the Lords to ban a No Deal Brexit to the Queen on Monday for royal assent.] Contrary to the monarchist propaganda spewed out across the entire MSM, not only is it untrue that the queen had “no constitutional choice” but to appoint Johnson, the queen had a clear constitutional duty not to appoint a prime minister whose flagship policy had already been specifically voted down time and again by the House of Commons.

The monarchy will always be an extremely useful institution in promoting the political aims of the upper classes, not least because of the ludicrous media promulgation of its infallibility. When you have former Prime Minister John Major, senior Tories like Philip Hammond and Michael Heseltine, and the speaker of the House of Commons himself all talking of “constitutional outrage,” it is plainly preposterous to insist that the monarchy cannot, by definition, have done anything wrong.

The queen has appointed a prime minister who does not have the support of the House of Commons and then tried to conspire to prevent the House of Commons from obstructing her prime minister. That is not the action of a politically neutral monarchy. The institution should have been abolished decades ago. I do hope that all those who recognize the constitutional outrage, will acknowledge the role of the monarchy and that the institution needs to be swiftly abolished.

Craig Murray is an author, broadcaster and human rights activist. He was British ambassador to Uzbekistan from August 2002 to October 2004 and rector of the University of Dundee from 2007 to 2010.

This article is from CraigMurray.org.uk.

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39 comments for “Scotland Has Only One Move to React to Boris Johnson’s Maneuvers

  1. September 14, 2019 at 08:24

    Craig is for Scottish Independence. If it means more democracy, I’m for it. Can he demonstrate that it will mean that? Are Scottish politicians somehow real when others, everywhere pretty much, are not? Can Craig give the working class in Scotland a reason to get behind independence?

  2. Abe
    September 13, 2019 at 19:51

    Boris and the Queen
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22aXwDEUrNU

    The Monarchy and Downing Street fully support whoever possesses that awesome collection of computer hard drives from Jeffrey Epstein.

    Know whatahmean, know whatahmean, nudge nudge, know whatahmean, say no more?

    “Video, ay”, she asked him knowlingly?

    Follow me. Follow me. That’s good, that’s good!

    A nod’s as good as a wink to a blind bat Queen!

    Wink wink, nudge nudge. Say no more, say no more.

  3. Abe
    September 13, 2019 at 12:34

    A reminder about Boris Johnson from July 2019 on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
    (Brexit portion begins at 17:25)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dXyO_MC9g3k

  4. caveman
    September 10, 2019 at 12:11

    It concerns me that CN gives Craig Murray a platform for such a distorted picture of British and Scottish politics. He is entitled to his pro-independence views but he is not entitled to mislead CN readers about basic facts.

    • Brockland
      September 11, 2019 at 01:18

      … The basic facts which are? Murray deserves a little more consideration.

      The U.K. does not have a formal Constitution; they just kind of wing it on past precedent found in law and convention. Which would imply some wiggle room to make stuff up, but only a little, for the unprecedented.

      It seems within convention for the Queen to appoint the leader of the majority party PM, and, on the issue of Brexit by any means, Johnson has majority popular support based on the referendum (51.89%) and present opinion polls (54%). There seems to have been a slight increase in Brexit support since the referendum. Convention favours primacy of the war-band representative democracy called Parliament over any form of direct democracy including referenda, except the reps imposed the Brexit referendum.

      Beyond this, there seems to be some searching for obscure precedents, rules and interpretations thereof to either get rid of Johnson or keep him. If this is to be decided by a nitpicking contest, its doubtful that the Privy Council can be beat.

      If the Monarchy supports Brexit by any means, they are with the slender majority of the population.

  5. Kevin Peters
    September 10, 2019 at 11:50

    Murray reaches straight for the hyperbole “The most right wing government in two hundred years”, three words come to mind Margaret Hilda Thatcher.

    Like many another Remainer Murray has his hair on fire and fails to grasp that the Conservative and Unionist party, yes unionist party, is about to give him and the Welsh and Irish nationalists exactly what they want… Independence. Far from being grateful though in typical churlish Nat style the attitude will be why didn’t we get it yesterday.

    Nats like him will no doubt demand a share of English gold, pity that since a certain Scot by the name of Gordon Brown sold most of it off below market value proclaiming the end of boom and bust into the bargain. Perhaps Mr Murray would like some of the national debt since most of it was created bailing out Scottish banks back in 2010 by another Scot there Alistair Darling.

    As an English man I have grown accustomed to and tired of Scottish whining. Well I see no reason to keep them in this Union against their will. Just please go without further ado.

  6. dean 1000
    September 10, 2019 at 07:18

    The “obsequious media is actively perpetuating the myth that the monarch can do no wrong, and is apolitical.” What happened to Locke’s first treatise?

    Scotland would do well as an independent country. So will the Brits if they elect someone like Corbyn, now that they are free of the stifling policies of the EU.

    The rich always say they will take their money and leave is they don’t get their way.
    When they do get everything their way the economy always goes into a tailspin. From the Tulip Mania to Credit Default Swaps their wild speculation drives the economy into recession or depression. An unnecessary austerity then falls on the public to pay for the bailout of the rich. The rich, as a class, are as economically superfluous as an aristocracy is politically superfluous.

  7. Mark Moshay
    September 10, 2019 at 00:57

    No contest… Trump is far worse that said if I were Scottish I would want independence but not whole mess Boris Johnson, Farage and the rest.

    I’m not a big fan of monarchy either the Queen’s a wonderful person as far as ceremonial goes but for politics just isn’t right.

    Pardon my intrusion as an American but it seems these issues across all boundaries.

    Good luck to all of you and Scotland I hope you can get your Independence and remain in the EU.

    The mess in the UK is just that a mess

  8. James Aidan
    September 9, 2019 at 21:55

    A brilliant article. Let’s get Scotland away from this bunch of ne’er do wells.

  9. mbob
    September 9, 2019 at 21:07

    Obama’s fervent support for the neoliberal, antidemocratic TPP convinced me that he and the bulk of the Democratic party were playing for the other side. I have trusted neither since.

    This article accomplished the same thing for me regarding Murray.

  10. Ikallicrates
    September 9, 2019 at 16:27

    My British friends and I are debating which is worse: Bojo’s UK or Trump’s US. I keep telling them that no matter how bad BoJo’s UK gets, it’ll never be as bad as Trump’s US. Craig Murray has give me more evidence to support my claim.

    Murray says Scotland has only one move, which is to hold a referendum to decide whether to leave the Union. That’s one move more than Americans who oppose Trump have.

    As you may have heard, back in the 19th century several of our southern states seceded from the United States and established a new nation which they called the Confederate States. This led to what southerners call the War Between the States, and Northerners call the Civil War. No US state has attempted to secede since then.

    • Mark Moshay
      September 10, 2019 at 00:49

      You are 100% correct. As an American I’m afraid to say that Trump with Putin’s help and a syncophatic Republican Party American democracy may be seeing its final days.

      Boris Johnson is bad but at least some of the people in his own party or standing up to him. In the meantime I searched for this article interested in how Scotland is reacting to all of this.

      With my limited knowledge of Scotland I would have to say if I were a Scott I would want independence and remain in the EU

      . I would not want part of the monarchy of England or any of their crap politics by people like Boris Johnson.

      Please pardon my intrusion in your politics just my opinion.

      All my best to the Scottish people.

    • Josep
      September 12, 2019 at 04:31

      Little nitpick: Putin didn’t interfere in the election of Trump.

    • Mark Moshay
      September 10, 2019 at 00:57

      No contest… Trump is far worse that said if I were Scottish I would want independence but not whole mess Boris Johnson, Farage and the rest.

      I’m not a big fan of monarchy either the Queen’s a wonderful person as far as ceremonial goes but for politics just isn’t right.

      Pardon my intrusion as an American but it seems these issues across all boundaries.

      Good luck to all of you and Scotland I hope you can get your Independence and remain in the EU.

      The mess in the UK is just that a mess

    • Mark Moshay
      September 10, 2019 at 01:00

      Go Scotland!

  11. Vera Gottlieb
    September 9, 2019 at 15:27

    This clown has no business in government. And those Tories who voted him in as PM don’t have any business in government either. The Tories are destroying the UK – but not the rich, of course.

  12. Iron Felix
    September 9, 2019 at 15:08

    Maybe the UK needs a Robespierre.

  13. September 9, 2019 at 13:50

    The people voted to leave the E.U. But, they are still in it. Which shows “democracy” is a bloody sham. See link below for more info:
    https://graysinfo.blogspot.com/2016/06/brexit-are-serfs-finally-rebelling.html

    • Truth first
      September 10, 2019 at 14:29

      Did, ‘the people vote to leave the EU’?
      Is a vote legitimate if the voters don’t know what they are doing because some of the facts have been withheld from them? Do you really believe that votes in ‘democracies’ represent what the ‘people’ want? Was the vote manipulated in any way?
      Is the Pope Catholic?

    • Donald A Thomson
      September 10, 2019 at 20:01

      The English Ourselves Alone movement seems to believe in “One man, one vote, once”. donthomson1@hotmail.com

  14. September 9, 2019 at 11:27

    Let’s cut to the chase. Craig repeatedly claimed that it would be wrong to impose on the English the will of Scottish majority and vice versa. That makes Scottish independence logical.

    The claim that British majority voted for economic hardship as a fair price for a larger independence is poppycock. I do not have solid data, but one can make a reasonable guess that voters roughly believed the champions of different options, and while Remain champions predicted economic harm of leaving EU, Leave champions were painting a picture of UK being swamp with extra funds that could be spend on national healthcare (or additional tax cuts?), and great prosperity in general. As the prediction drifted from that period, and as the first referendum was NOT BINDING, second referendum would probably be the best way to “follow the popular will”.

    On the other hand, the plantman claim that the “national will” demands hardship and exit is a flamboyant speculation. I did not see any poll asking about that combination.

  15. Northern Observer
    September 9, 2019 at 10:28

    Craig Murray has penned a dishonest screed, to what end I cannot tell, perhaps to justify a new Scottish independence referendum so soon after a no vote was clearly registered by the people of Scotland.
    1. Boris had a majority when the Queen appointed him Prime Minister. For the Queen not to appoint him would be tyrannical and anti democratic.
    2. The Queen has no say in what the House of Commons approves or disapproves of. For the Queen to take an interest and interfere would be tyrannical and anti democratic.
    3. Proroging Parliament is an annual occurrence and a standard operating procedure between Parliamentary sessions. The current session was the longest session of Parliament since the English Civil War (1642-51). I love how commentators are using peoples ignorance of standard UK democratic procedure to whip up fear and push their agenda. It reflects poorly on to remainer commentariat.
    4. The Boris Government is asking for a General Election Now. The rebel remainer Parliament (remoaners) have blocked a General Election and refused to let the the people have their say. So sorry Craig, but who are the anti democratic fascists in this case and who are the champions of the freedom and the people? Wow looks like the Queen is on the side of democracy… I guess that is how the house of Saxe Coburg Gotha has maintained its legitimacy with the British Peoples since Queen Victoria.
    5. The meta debate is clear if you have eyes to see it. The people of the UK voted to leave the EU and become sovereign again. Ever since then a gang of we know better entitled bourgeois twats have done everything in their power to conspire with Brussels to sabotage negotiations for a good exit, and produce a crisis that would reverse the referendum and deny the will of the people. The EU has disregarded and rerun referendum rejections time and time again; they are fascists shits and the left has bent over and spread for them, even though the Corbyn left has traditionally been Euroskeptic, now they are cynically tactical. In the face of such a traitorous opposition the “far right” Conservative Party has no choice but to purge the wets and pursue and no deal brexit, with their antics the remainers have forced a no deal brexit

    Only an election can solve this, so if you want to waste column space you should champion that.

  16. janet thornhill
    September 9, 2019 at 10:04

    You only have to read Murray’s log to understand he preaches to the collectively uninitiated.
    It reeks of neoliberal jingoism on brexit where remainers (or idiots) profess to argue any point to the nth degree in order to prove they are correct all the time – it a boys club for lost souls – where new commenters are hearded upon and ridiculed with his blessing.

    As the Tsar says – “Besides, what on earth is the point of independence from London just to be ruled by Brussels?”

    The EU is not, never has been and never will be a good place to be – ask the peoples of the countries who previously had to continue voting until the EU decided the ‘right’ verdict.

  17. Realist
    September 9, 2019 at 02:55

    The England part of the UK should just secede from the rest, apply for statehood in the US and re-name itself “Oceania.” It’s clearly what those in charge want. Everybody wins because America would officially get the media-boosted monarchy its celebrity-worshiping population seems to crave.

  18. Tom Kath
    September 8, 2019 at 23:55

    “It is not difficult to tell the difference between a ray of sunshine and a Scotsman with a grievance”.

    Ditto for a remainer and a leaver, although there are obviously untold opportunities, benefits, problems, and consequences for both events.

    I can’t see why so many people concentrate so exclusively on the problems of something which so clearly MUST happen.

  19. Tsar Nicholas
    September 8, 2019 at 17:44

    Craig is deluded. I sincerely doubt that here’s much appetite in the Scottish government for a second referendum. They still can’t decide on basic issues like what currency to use, and all that North sea oil and gas they were relying on is even more depleted than it was in 2014.

    Thanks to people like Craig Murray, the UK is not in a position to deal with a Scottish referendum right now. It is, thanks to remainers like him, embroiled in a political crisis that could result in civil conflict. The electorate voted to leave and politicians in Parliament have been taking instructions directly from Brussels and Berlin to frustrate the implementation of the democratic decision.

    Besides, what on earth is the point of independence from London just to be ruled by Brussels?

  20. Drew Hunkins
    September 8, 2019 at 15:34

    Just so we’re clear — the E.U. is a major part of the exploitative capitalist global empire.

    The E.U. is part and parcel of the parasitic financial elite and their global capitalism which is intent on austerity across the entire industrialized world. The IMF, Wall Street, City of London, World Bank, E.U. and the Fed will do absolutely nothing for everyday working people struggling with exorbitant housing costs; low wages; shoddy infrastructure; non-existent workers’ rights; debt peonage via credit cards, student loans and child care. They sat back and did nothing — in fact, helped foster it — in the face of the stunning inequality that’s been growing across the industrialized world.

    The E.U. is a villain regardless of how many all-knowing cool headed liberals tell you otherwise. These same intellectuals NEVER lifted a finger to call out the rapacious exploitation we’ve been suffering under since the 1970s. They never uttered a word when our manufacturing jobs were shipped abroad, when our unions were destroyed, when our public schools were underfunded and the social safety net was eviscerated.

    • Thomas
      September 8, 2019 at 17:20

      Thank you. I think the liberals really know this, they are just so afraid of losing their privileges. Brexit has really shown the true colours of many people.

    • jacob rothstein
      September 9, 2019 at 22:30

      no argument. what gives me pause is that Brexit was initiated by the queen and jacob rothschild, presumably to protect the value of the pound sterling.

  21. Rob
    September 8, 2019 at 13:14

    Thanks to Craig Murray for explaining to those of us who are befuddled by British politics how the Queen has failed to perform her prescribed duty. The question arises as to the royal mental state. Is she calculating in her actions or merely a doddering pawn of malign forces?

  22. plantman
    September 8, 2019 at 12:37

    I like Craig Murray, but this article is baloney and he knows it.

    Let’s cut to the chase: Three years ago the British people voted in a referendum to leave the European Union. The vote was 52 percent to 48 percent. The vote was massive (17.4 people voted to leave) and historic. But the political class–which are just as obtuse to the demands of the British people as they are in the US– has refused to implement the will of the people.

    Yes, there are good reasons for this, mainly because the British economy could suffer severe downturn by severing many of the trade deals with the EU. This is true, the cost of leaving will be excruciating. Even so, the vote of the people must be respected.

    I consider myself a liberal, but the liberals are wrong on this issue. The Remainers, led by Jeremy Corbyn, have never wanted to leave and have done everything in their power to subvert Brexit. Is this what being a liberal now means, that leaders can simply discard the vote of the people when they don’t like the outcome of an election???

    I don’t think the Remainers are any more in love with the EU than the Leavers, after all, everyone is familiar with the filthy way the EU treated Ireland, Greece, Portugal and the rest while showering the banks with bailouts and QE. The main difference is that the Remainers are afraid of the economic consequences of leaving. I understand that, but the Leavers have put sovereignty, independence and self determination above their fear of economic strife. I admire that, don’t you???

    Brexit is rejection of the trend that has taken power out of the hands of national parliaments and put it in the hands of unelected technocrats and bureaucrats in Brussles. Even Murray would have to agree with that!

    Brexit is an attempt to reassert England’s sovereign right to control its own borders, fishing grounds, and laws.

    Millions of people have died to preserve these rights, but now liberals like Murray want to cast them aside because it might precipitate some economic hardship or because these rights are defended by people he doesn’t like. (like Boris Johnson or Nigel Farage)

    My advice to Murray: Grow a pair.

    • September 9, 2019 at 11:26

      Let’s cut to the chase. Craig repeatedly claimed that it would be wrong to impose on the English the will of Scottish majority and vice versa. That makes Scottish independence logical.

      The claim that British majority voted for economic hardship as a fair price for a larger independence is poppycock. I do not have solid data, but one can make a reasonable guess that voters roughly believed the champions of different options, and while Remain champions predicted economic harm of leaving EU, Leave champions were painting a picture of UK being swamp with extra funds that could be spend on national healthcare (or additional tax cuts?), and great prosperity in general. As the prediction drifted from that period, and as the first referendum was NOT BINDING, second referendum would probably be the best way to “follow the popular will”.

      On the other hand, the plantman claim that the “national will” demands hardship and exit is a flamboyant speculation. I did not see any poll asking about that combination.

  23. dfnslblty
    September 8, 2019 at 11:22

    Later paragraphs are primary.
    usa influence possible with er and Charles.
    I’ll pay more attention.

  24. Skip Scott
    September 8, 2019 at 09:30

    Great article, as always, by Craig Murray. I hope that Scotland does vote for and obtain its independence. The larger the institution, the more power concentrates, and the greater the corruption. It has been proven time and again. Waging peaceful cooperation in a multi-polar world is humanity’s only hope. Empire will not cede power willingly. It will take popular uprisings on many fronts, and a general awakening by the citizenry to the evil of empire.

  25. john wilson
    September 8, 2019 at 06:02

    Murray leaves out the difficulty that Scotland would experience in the interim from independence to full EU membership. Indeed, Scotland’s economy may well preclude it from EU membership because it might be deemed to be too small. In any event, the road to full EU membership for Scotland from independence would take years and in the meantime………………

    • David G
      September 8, 2019 at 18:14

      “deemed to be too small”

      Smaller than Malta?

    • Republican Leaning Colonial
      September 8, 2019 at 20:02

      With its oil and gas and larger than Belgium and Luxembourg I think the Scots could do very well. The Lesser UK may feel the pinch of those missing resources. The Scots have a longer period of remaining staunchly independent from the UK than they do within it.
      The latest Tory Madness May Have finally Borised Up the Monarchial system that kept the UK United – ironic.

  26. nmb
    September 8, 2019 at 03:25

    As Boris Johnson unleashes ultimate threat against Bremain capitalist faction, the British working class is suddenly in front of a unique opportunity
    http://bit.ly/2lzoHYC

    • September 14, 2019 at 08:29

      Not if Boris and Trump do a (neoliberal) free trade deal, which Britain will, in fact, have no choice but to do. Or is that so? Alexander Mercouris pointed out that a no-deal Brexit has the virtue of freeing Britain to make any deals with anyone, which sounds good. Why can’t Britain then have freed trade deals with an assortment of players, including the EU? (Trump himself favors a multiple of bilateral trade deals.) But the only free trade deal-making neoliberal neocon politicians make these days are those that favor capitalists and investors at the expense of the working class. (They have little to do with actual free trade.) Alexander would know that.

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