By Mark McNaught
However catastrophic and heart-wrenching the ‘no’ decision was, even some in the Unionist parties have said that this should begin the path to a more federal UK. ‘Yes’ or ‘No’, Scots overwhelmingly want more powers to govern themselves. Remember ‘More Powers Guaranteed’?
The United Kingdom prides itself on its unwritten constitution being adaptable. Surely it can adapt to Scotland having its own written constitution within the UK drafted and enacted by Scotland.
Westminster won’t do it, so Scots must. After all, there is nothing in the UK constitution which prevents it. It may be the only way to guarantee more powers.
Scots should propose what powers they will require to remain in the UK long term, not some hodge-podge of rinky-dink powers which will inevitably prove unsatisfactory.
The most compelling argument for independence was that Scots could create a better society to raise their children, so they do not have to leave for London or abroad to seek fame and fortune, in addition to safeguarding their natural beauty and resources. Londoners are always complaining about overcrowding, so a prosperous non-London is in their interests too.
Such a constitution could include the following provisions so that Scotland could build a fairer, more prosperous society.
* UK Parliamentary supremacy ended for Scotland: Guaranteed permanence of Scottish Parliament, no retaking or overriding of powers
* Constitutional mechanisms for Scots calling referendums.
* Control of its electoral commission and voting system
* Full control over broadcasting and license fees and a homegrown Scottish media
* Control over registration and taxation of land, with all land uniquely registered in Scotland
* Per capita allocation of all UK petroleum reserves directly to Scottish government and regions with full transparency
* Control over Energy and Water policy
* Capacity to set contracts with privatized industries and services and take into the public domain if they are not following their contractual obligations
* Aristocratic privilege not recognized in Scotland
* Right to collective bargaining and labour law
* Control over income, import, and corporate tax within Scotland
* Exception from TTIP treaty and secret corporate tribunals
* Constitutional protection from any form of NHS privatization
* Power to set Scottish MP’s residency requirements and method of election
* Separate status on EU referendum with ability to remain in for Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland if the UK votes to separate
* No constitutional role for Monarch other than symbolic head of state
* Elected Scottish President fulfills constitutional role
* No UK judicial review of Scottish laws
* Scottish control over industrial policy
* Full control over environmental policy
* Power to set their own school curriculum so Scots can learn their own history.
In addition, the UK gets to keep what it holds dear, and Scots choose the government they want with full powers to construct a better society. Maybe it would be ‘the best of both worlds’ that Unionists keep going on about.
* The UK maintains control over monetary policy and the pound.
* The UK retains its territorial control over the seas
* The UK retains its prized international status and control over foreign policy
* The UK can keep the flag and the Monarch as still head of state intact
Perhaps Scotland could cease from sending more Scottish MP’s to Westminster and no longer fund the Westminster Parliament. Given Scots elect 2% of the Parliament when you include the House of Lords, its not like they have any influence anyway.
Any such constitution could be amended to accomodate a future independent Scotland – for example oil and gas revenue would then be allocated geographically.
I was eaten alive by what happened early Friday morning, as I know many of you were. I spent nearly 3 years of my life obsessing and writing about what an independent Scotland could be, and that pales in comparison to what many of you have accomplished. No one has any reason to be ashamed, except if you don’t harness this amazing energy and drive and find a way to accomplish your dreams.
Who knows whether this could happen? But you’ve shown an unimaginable drive, creativity and intellect to get on the cusp of independence.
How much time and energy does Westminster really want to spend before finding an equitable constitutional arrangement for the entire UK? They could get it sorted in a UK-wide constitutional convention, then get back to dysfunctional governing.
This movement has awakened a sleeping giant. Since Alex Salmond will never seek another referendum, you can.
[Newsnet Scotland has started a petition to have broadcasting devolved and brought under the control of the Scottish people. The petition can be found by clicking HERE.
We would encourage everyone to sign this petition and make others aware of its existence. This is important now that Lord Kelvin has announced he will be taking input from Scottish organisations on further devolution.
Lord Kelvin has said he will present his recommendations on 30th November.]