Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Scottish devolution vs. Falkland sovereignty

In Prime Minister's question time on the
15th June there appeared, to me, to be a slight contradiction of policy towards territory of Great Britain.
One MP, I forget his name, wanted clarification that the Falkland Islands would not be returned to Argentina and would remain British territory.

Interestingly there were also questions regarding the future of Scotland within the union and the plans of the SNP to move to greater autonomy and possibly devolution. This was met with Mr Cameron saying that Scotland will always be part of the union.

It seems to me an interesting double standard. The Falkland Islands, which were absorbed into British sovereignty because of a technicality as the Navy dealt with some pirates operating from them as Argentina was not interested get the right to stay within British sovereignty if they so wish BUT Scotland, a country of its' own right with its own democratically elected parliament cannot move to break from the union. If anything they have more of a right to independence than the Falkland islands because they were a sovereign nation absorbed by political manoeuvre and almost genocide violence.

Don't get me wrong I think that if Scotland broke from the union it would be disastrous for both our nations and it wouldn't feasibly work, however if their democratically elected parliament, under Alex Salmond does institute moves for devolution, a policy that his party, the SNP have long stood for then who are we to block it. If the people of Scotland held a referendum on independence and voted "Yes" then the British parliament would have to honour it. So I am not sure what Mr Cameron is talking about, he may not have meant it to sound as it did but to me he seemed to be denying the right of the Scottish parliament to represent its constituents wishes.


  1. History lesson needed here, Mr. Sams (which I know you love). Didn't James IV of Scotland become James I of England? Technically, didn't the Scots take over England, and create Great Britain? If so, how does that affect devolution? Also, what is the SNP's opinion on the monarchy? Would they stay part of the Commonwealth, and how would that answer affect devolution?

  2. It was James the VI however his lineage was diposed by William of Orange in the glorious revolution and the pretenders (James II, James III and Charles III the bonnie Prince) led many a Jacobite rebellion.
    The line was finally broken when the last Stuart Monarch, Anne, died Childless and the German King George I of Hannover took charge. It was under his son George II that the scouring of the Highlands took place and the government of the day subjegated the Scottish government to the at the time with the "Act of the Union." so there is some resentment.
    You know I don't know the SNP's stance... I'll look into it ;-) damn fine question!