At the end of the day it’s what we’re all fighting over, arguing about the world over. The personal aspect for us that Scotland should have the right to “reap her own harvest and ring her own till”. Yet with the deep conservatism towards change so often displayed by the Scots’ voter the biggest question is perhaps how best to get there!
We also need to be clear that there is no real democratic right in the United Kingdom for its peoples – to get to vote every half decade or so and have no say whatsoever in between is what we’ve been trained to, like performing seals, but it’s certainly not real democracy. We vote, but there’s no way to make those we vote for keep their promises, and they know that. This is not democracy. It is the system being copied in Scotland today.
In Scotland we need a democratic independent nation, one which represents itself with quiet dignity on the worlds stage once again, but which path to take to get there, and how best to walk it. How best to define that democracy so that the expressed will of the people is the path of the nation?
One area it seems most agree on is that the gradualist approach to independence is working, for the present, with each peak advancing just that little bit higher and each valley not being quite so deep as the last. The ideal might be put as how to best combine the two approaches gradualist and instant, but in a way where we use both as a cohesive strategy rather than the apparent haphazard one we have just now.
Perhaps it’s already underway by default, every time there is an upsurge in the instant, the gradual movement inches along a little bit more, but while its certainly working for now it looks set to take another three centuries of fiscal servitude at achieve the real goals with Westminster clawing back whatever it can every opportunity.
I’m talking another three centuries as it’s a very common thread and most seem to agree that Westminster will not “give” Scotland her rights until oil has pretty well run out in somewhere between thirty and seventy years. Basically Westminster needs Scotland’s energy. With Scotland poised to be the renewable energy warehouse of Europe for the foreseeable future it’s simple to see how the energy need of Westminster won’t change after all and by extension that Westminster will never “give” Scotland her freedom, Scotland will have to take it!
But how does Scotland take her freedom in a gradualist way, while working for the instant gratification of full autonomy with or without the approval of Westminster, for it is an illusion that “Westminster must give” in a democratic system. All that’s needed in a true democracy under international law is the approval of the Scots people. How do we who really care and are invested in our nation shake a multitude from apathy.
One thing that’s been a common theme in my journeying through this world is that wherever I meet folk who know of Scots they have some very strong impressions of us, rarely bad. Amongst the strongest themes are that we’re contentious and stubborn, or to put simply we’re not afraid of an argument but once we entrench our position that argument’s largely wasted because we’ll find ways to just push back. Although I rarely hear it mentioned I also know there’s a very strong sense of right and wrong that runs deep in the Scots’ psyche. Loyalty is the other aspect that often comes up.
We certainly can lay claim to understanding ourselves as much as anyone can, and as change comes mainly in two ways, that of force or through accepted democratic will, perhaps we need to look at what that understanding of our own nature can lead to socially and politically for us. How can we change our own politically entrenched positions to ensure the needs and futures of our children and grandchildren are best served either within or outwith this Union. It is indeed by looking at our next generation we have the truth of our three centuries of defined betrayal and what we must protect them from.
As we the Scots argue and fight over Independence, would we not be better served by opening up the engagement on more than one front, take the fight for self determination to the point that Westminster is constantly on the wrong foot. We should pick our arguments wisely and sensibly as we march towards Independence but get straight to the heart of the matter in individual points as we progress. We have enough proof that Scotland mainly benefits when Westminster is wrong footed by Scotland.
I noted a post to the “Fair and Free Elections” article that said we can demand a referendum “as long as 100 of us remain alive”, a cornerstone statement of the Declaration of Arbroath. In our modern day should this not remain our right? At the earliest opportunity should we not put a petition before the Parliament with 101 signatures demanding the declaration be formally acknowledged by our present Parliament as a founding document of the Scots Nation? If that’s refused then garner popular support for a wider petition. Have that document officially recognized in our present day as it’s a document few politicians could vote against re-entrenching without being caught in a cleft stick. Simply asking the party leaders if they support the same would likely provide some interesting and very entertaining answers!
Petitions for referendum(s) could follow, but we choose the subject wisely. Not for FFA or Independence for the first, but to set and entrench our rights to demand a referendum on any subject the Scots see as required. This a “neutral” issue until now, one that Scots can choose freely in, where there are little pre-conceived or entrenched ideas of loyalty, other than the common misconception of “I have a right to a vote”. This is a perceived right of the Scots, a right where the establishment must fight against what is obviously be the will of the Scottish people for if we were to be allowed annual or biennial referendums on subjects of our choice what on earth might we exercise our democratic rights to demand? Perhaps one day we’ll demand a referendum on Independence or FFA, and that can’t be allowed to happen? What if we said NO to bank bailouts or higher taxes, PPI or Trident?
Petition Holyrood to reaffirm our rights to be a sovereign people with a voice, nothing more is needed for now, unless we vote en-mass for Independence. Simply reaffirm that we the people are sovereign and require this modern parliament to re-entrench our ancient rights. Politically it will difficult to argue against, for to argue against such a petition is to argue against democracy itself. Follow the corporate lead on this, wherever you place your bet, simply make certain as best you can that even when you are seen to lose you win your way to the final outcome. The Unionist Parties can’t accept an expansion of democracy in Scotland, for such loosens the Union stranglehold, and there’s no telling where it would lead to afterwards, we might actually start demanding a say on the “reserved” issues of the original Scotland Bill, voting them out one by one, starting perhaps with broadcasting and energy before working our way through the rest of the list!
Isn’t it time we started using our national traits to our benefit, instead of chasing the Union psychologists and their less than subtle but very effective broadcast propaganda. We must engineer a change in Holyrood to re-affirm at least a portion of those ancient rights. Use the umbrage and our democratic power to shift existing loyalties and entrenched positions as we claw our rights back from Westminster on our way to our rightful place of a nation with a voice once again. For nothing is more certain than that Westminster will never voluntarily return those rights to us.