The Oppositions response to Johnson’s survival, for the time being anyway, was underwhelming to say the least. Starmer for a trained lawyer, and one to be fair of some justifiable note, was particularly woeful at Prime Ministers Questions. Veering from Partygate to the NHS but laying not a glove on Johnson with any issue. Ian Blackford had the better sound bite but still failed to hit home. In Scotland the First Minister’s statement on a referendum was long on why but short on how?
Labour will be awaiting the Wakefield by-election which it’s hard to see how they can lose. But what of the SNP? They’re producing papers on independence but its action not words that people are wanting. Information that could have, and should have, been produced years back won’t pay the fuel bill or fill the tank on the fore-court.
We’ve now reached the perverse situation where essential workers struggling to meet their fuel bills at home, are actually paying not just to get to their work but to carry their work out. The Treasury mileage allowance of 45p has been that way for quite some time now and’s the basis not just for tax relief but the marker for both public and private sector rates. With fuel now near £2 a litre many a care worker or health visitor’s finding the miles clocked up just doing their job is being funded by them.
It’s why time’s of the essence. Yet, still the SNP vacillate. Mandates for a referendum have come and gone, talk there’s been a plenty but action there’s been none. If there was ever a time for a Scottish Constitutional Convention to be called, it’s now.
We have a Government in Westminster rejected comprehensively by Scotland in 2019 as they have been in every election since 1955. A Prime Minister who has lost the confidence of over 40% of his own parliamentary group. Most seriously of all, a crisis in our land as people struggle to heat their homes, feed their kids and the economy goes down the pan through Brexit insanity. It’s a government devoid of legitimacy, let alone decency or ability and where action to protect Scotland’s required.
Rather than further papers or ever more bluster from Mr Blackford and his colleagues that Scotland wont stand for it, when the folk have to endure it as their elected representatives fail to lead, there needs to be action. In any event if there’s to be a referendum next year then the ground work needs laid and not just in the legal advice and legislative procedures.
Gathering the support of the Scottish people’s essential. Its why a Constitutional Convention should be called bringing together the elected representatives MPs, MSPs and council leaders. It has been done before but doing it again isn’t superfluous but the basis for action.
It can firstly insist that it’s the democratic right of the Scottish people to decide their future. It can secondly give support to options available to achieve that and enter into discussions with the UK Government. Finally, it can be adjourned pending discussions between UK and Scottish Governments regarding a referendum. if Johnson and his cohorts reject Scotland’s democratic right to a referendum then the convention can become the basis for legitimacy for further actions
Scotland’s future should be in Scotland’s hands.