I asked Chat-GPT to write an article based on a series of tweets I’d written about Wings Over Scotland’s UDI plan. And for good measure, I asked it to weave in the titles of Taylor Swift songs. Why not?
Wings Over Scotland recently revealed a plan for a unilateral declaration of independence (UDI), which has been taken on wholeheartedly by Ash Regan, that can only be described as a fairytale, swirling with magical thinking and a total detachment from reality.
The plan sings a story we know All Too Well: A fragile 50%+1 majority vote in a Scottish or general election, being used by the Scottish Government to announce a technical declaration of independence, demand negotiations with the UK government, and seek recognition and support from the international community under the UN Charter. Alas, a closer examination of this plan reveals it to be an Enchanted castle built on the sand of faulty promises and false assumptions. It has no Style.
The 50%+1 majority vote is an arbitrary target, a filled-in Blank Space, that conveniently overlooks the broader electorate. If this majority were based on a 50% turnout, it would only represent 25% of Scottish voters—a rickety foundation for a new nation. Furthermore, the notion of declaring independence with almost half of the population against the idea, is not a Love Story. It’s an open invitation to civil unrest, resulting in a lot of Bad Blood.
The Scottish Government’s capacity to declare independence is a pesky detail Wings seems to have missed. Sturgeon’s failed Supreme Court challenge made it crystal clear that the devolved administration has no constitutional powers, rendering any declaration of independence as unlawful as one of Tim Rideout’s banknotes. The UK Government, equipped with a manifesto commitment and the power to preserve the UK, would likely scoff at negotiations based on fake referendum results, leaving Wings Out of the Woods.
The role of the United Nations in this misguided adventure is also woefully misunderstood. The UN is unlikely to act on an unlawful declaration of independence from a devolved administration. Scotland is not a colony, and its citizens are not deprived of human rights. Moreover, the UN primarily serves as a platform for chatter, lacking enforcement powers like a tiger without teeth, making it unable to compel any state to break itself up. Wings might think that The Best Day lies in UN intervention, but reality suggests otherwise.
Appealing to the international community is Wings’ Wildest Dream. Few countries would willingly dive into another nation’s internal dispute, particularly when it is based on an unlawful UDI declaration and a fake referendum. The thrilling prospect of seeking support from countries like Iran, China, and Russia raises eyebrows and is far from ideal, a situation where Everything Has Changed.
Wings’ belief that his proposal presents an “uncontestable democratic basis” is, ironically, inherently undemocratic and authoritarian, a Delicate dance with danger. It is not democratic to use any election as a de facto referendum without the consent of those opposed.
A fake referendum and unlawful UDI declaration cannot be used to shatter the UK’s territorial, social, economic, and military security, especially after a real referendum has already taken place. Wings’ attempt to challenge this authority is like trying to Catch A Falling Star.
Wings Over Scotland’s UDI plan is a fantastical fairytale, devoid of any basis in reality. The path to independence, if one exists, must be paved with pragmatism, legality, and democratic consensus, not magical thinking and a blatant disregard for the rule of law. It is time to wave goodbye to this misguided adventure, Shake It Off, and seek out more viable options. In the wise words of Taylor Swift, perhaps it’s time for Wings to look in the mirror and realise, “I Knew You Were Trouble” and instead embrace a New (Romantics) approach to finding a solution.
With Wings’ UDI plan resembling a tangled web of delusion, it is essential to remember that in the pursuit of independence, You Need to Calm Down and tread a path that respects both the rule of law and the democratic will of the people. As the enchantment fades, let’s hope a more practical, grounded, and consensus-based approach to Scotland’s future emerges; one that doesn’t involve any more magical thinking, and instead focuses on finding a solution that unites rather than divides. After all, wouldn’t it be nice if, instead of a fairytale, we could tell the story of a united, prosperous Scotland that Begins Again?
Mark Devlin is the publisher of The Majority.
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