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Showing posts with label The Act of Union. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Act of Union. Show all posts

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Defining Scotland’s independence

Before defining independence, let’s define dependence …

To depend is to be controlled by, or have an outcome or outcomes determined by something or somebody else.

To be dependant, a person or group of  people are reliant on another, especially for financial support, and be subordinate in some way to another.

Dependence is the state of being dependent and reliant on something or somebody else, and dependency is anything subordinate or controlled by another.

Scotland is currently all of the above, with some reduction of the the state of dependence resulting from The Scotland Act of 1998 and the establishment of the Scottish Parliament in 1999. This partial reduction in dependency is called devolution – statutory granting of certain powers by the central state, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, to Scotland, which up to 1707 was a kingdom and independent state.

This devolution of powers is de jure unitary and the enabling legislation can be amended or revoked entirely by the central government - Westminster - by another act of the UK Parliament. Scotland has therefore a limited, and conceivably temporary reduction of its dependence.

Independence is the fact or process of independence – it is the state of not being dependent, or the process of ending a state of dependency.

Independence is the natural state of free individuals and free peoples, and the history of the human race on our planet has been in large part a history of struggle to achieve that independence or recover an independence lost to another.

But individuals always recognised their vulnerability in a hostile world, and that brought a recognition of the values of cooperation with others and the reality of a state of interdependence. Accepting therefore the necessity of a measure of dependency to achieve true independence was inevitable, providing the individual could opt out at any time, sacrificing the benefits of interdependency for personal freedom and accepting the vulnerability that came with that freedom.

Such early interdependent groups were always significantly influenced by two things – family and location. The bonds of kinship and the emergence of stable communities - when a nomadic lifestyle was supplanted by one based on agriculture - allied to geographical features and natural boundaries of territory led inevitably to the idea of a country and nation.

Scotland is a country and a nation, but it is not presently a state. Independence - and only full independence – will make it a state again. As the independent state of Scotland, it will still be interdependent, and that interdependence will be expressed through agreements on trade, commerce, culture and defence. Scotland will be part of the communities that we share these islands with, the English, Welsh and Irish peoples, of the European Community as a member state, of the Scandinavian communities as their near neighbours, and with the global community of nations through a seat in the United Nations.

But Scotland’s relationship with others will be by free and voluntary agreement as a sovereign nation state, and the agreements regulating its interdependence with others will be determined by negotiation and sealed by agreements and treaties that will last until Scotland decides that they no longer serve the interests of its people.

Such a relationship was intended by the Act of Union of 1707. That Union, initially of two free and sovereign kingdoms, has ceased to serve any purpose it may have had in its highly controversial and bitterly contested beginnings.

It will be ended when the Scottish people decide that they wish to be free of it, and they will make that historic choice soon, after full democratic debate, in a single referendum expressing their democratic will.

Any attempt to distort and misrepresent facts by biased and inaccurate media coverage, or attempts to frustrate that democratic will by the profoundly undemocratic forces of the British Establishment, or attempt to gerrymander the results or distort and pervert the process by the Westminster government will be recognised as such by the Scottish people, and they will respond appropriately within the law of Scotland, the spirit of international law and principles of liberty and equality.



The only principles I need to guide me in my choice are these -

Independence is the fact or process of independence – it is the state of not being dependent, or the process of ending a state of dependency.

Independence is the natural state of free individuals and free peoples

I want a nuclear-free Scotland – free of nuclear weapons and bases

I want a Scotland with full fiscal and tax raising powers

I want a Scotland with full control of its foreign policy, defence capability and the decision to commit its defence forces

I am prepared to trust my elected government to negotiate all matters relating to these objectives. I expect them to consult with the Scottish people on detailed measures only to the degree that it does not prematurely show their negotiating hand or constrain the necessary flexibility that all negotiators must have.

I do not require a second referendum to ratify the agreement reached on the detailed terms of the independence agreement, providing none of the deal breakers above are compromised.

I reject totally the rights of any other country or nation to vote in that referendum, or to claim a right of veto over it, or its results in any shape or form.

I am one voter and one voice, and I can only hope that a majority of those eligible to vote in a Scottish referendum will share my position. I will abide by the democratic decision of that referendum, providing it is conducted legally and properly in accordance with principles of Scots law, UK law where relevant under the Act of Union, and the principles of international and European law.

I will live with a result I don’t like providing these conditions are met, but I reserve my human right and my rights as a free Scot to reject any outcome where these conditions are not met.