by Hazel Lewry
Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit.
It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself.
- A petition to our fellow Scots, at least 101 in number, to assert and declare their rights before Parliament.
- A declaration to Parliament that the only sovereign body in Scotland is the Scottish people.
- A demand that Parliament recognises that our elected representatives possess power in our name and by our consent, and that we can withdraw our consent.
- A notification to any elected individual they can be recalled by us, 101 in number, if they vote against our expressed will in constitutional matters.
- An instruction to Parliament to protect our democratic rights as embedded in the Declaration of Arbroath.
This petition to the people of Scotland requires our parliament in Holyrood to declare an end to the erosion of our historical and democratic rights as sovereign individuals. It instructs our present Parliament to do this through the authority vested in us by one of our principle founding documents of nationhood. A document created by the people of Scotland to assert their sovereign rights and to define their relationship with the state and the crown.
That we can stop the slow wasting away of our democratic rights is a given, peoples throughout history and almost beyond counting have claimed their rights, time after time and century after century. One such instance was here in Scotland. On April 6th 1320 we created and then entrenched in our history a document that came to be a shining light of international sovereign democratic principle which came to be known to history as the Declaration of Arbroath.
This document, although so distant in time and space, is only a stepping stone for individual rights. The argument that the 1320 Declaration was not created by the people is irrelevant. Who instructed its creation is irrelevant. Who signed it, excepting that it was signed and sealed by many, is irrelevant.
What is relevant about the 1320 Declaration is that it was an international diplomatic document, recognised by the highest legal authority of the day. It was signed and sealed by multiple signatories “on behalf of the entire community and realm of Scotland,” it was a civil contract between the citizen and the state. What is also relevant is that it was accepted internationally. Of even greater relevance is that it has never been repealed or set aside by a Scots Parliament, with the assent and agreement of “the entire community and realm”.
We’re speaking about the Declaration of Arbroath as an interesting discussion followed on from a previous article I wrote, an article called the Democratic Will of the People. In this article I simply stated that across the UK there is only pretence of democracy. This pretence will remain until we, who are Scotland, choose to stop it.
In England the people must accept the will of their Parliament and they must abide by its decisions, this is not democracy. In England they can only petition or request and thereafter be ignored, unless perhaps by a change of Parliament laws are reversed. In Scotland we have the sovereign right to require. In Scotland the voice of the people is guaranteed paramount. In Scotland it is our right, in matters of constitution at least, to demand this.
This declaration was in fact one of the earliest codified constitutions. It set forth the rights of the crown as against the rights of the “community and realm”, forever separating the two. It endowed the individual Scot with rights which have never been revoked, although many have tried to usurp them through the years. Now is the time to re-declare our individual rights.
There is a phrase integral to this declaration “for as long as but one hundred of us remain alive” which has come to be interpreted through this modern day that so long as one hundred Scots choose, they will defend their nation and their rights. The interesting aspect of the 1320 Declaration is that it states quite simply that our leader, or leaders, will follow the desire of the people in the defense of our realm or they will be removed. This defense naturally includes our civil liberties and constitutional rights.
This then is the source of the request for the 101 Declaration, a request to our fellow Scots to make a demand of our elected representatives. To require our present Parliament, not to humbly beg or politely petition, but to force them to follow our will as is our right, that they do as we instruct. Based upon the numbers required in the Declaration itself, it was determined at least 101 signatures be collected to give the demand constitutional force. More would enhance the fact but are not required. We are exercising our right to demand our Parliament declare and display the fundamental tenets of our constitution.
The challenge is quite simple then, we need sufficient signatures to require Parliament to pass a present day resolution that the 1320 Declaration, a principal document of our nation, has never been repealed and that it has always been a principle binding constitutional document of our land, and will forevermore remain in force. They may even wish to declare April 6th “Arbroath Day”.
Nothing more do we require of our Parliament at this time – for much of the remainder of our protections are contained within the Declaration itself, a declaration which certainly does not exclude Unions or Alliances, yet specifically notes freedom of religion, freedom from discrimination, freedom from dominion.
The only question that remains of us in our present day is do we have the courage of our ancestors, the courage simply to tell our elected representatives to do our bidding – and to stand and be counted as they do it, so that we can choose well and fairly their fitness to continue to serve. It is us that they exist to serve and not we who exist to serve them, yet somehow many of us have lost sight of that. Or are we just too lazy to care anymore. Do we simply find it easier to talk and complain than walk tall and act.
There’s a petition outline below – feel free to comment, or just download and collect signatures.
This petition, this 101 Petition is not about politics, it’s not about any party or platform, it’s quite simply about us, the Scots, and the ongoing assertion, protection and maintenance of our centuries old basic rights. In this upcoming election “do you support this petition and my democratic rights” should be a foremost question of every potential candidate. Give the candidates an opportunity to sign; let’s see who signs and who baulks. Publicise it. Advertise it at the polling stations.
If we cannot even manage this, that 101 of us would not rise and be counted to make a demand of those we employ, then we deserve to suffer anything which is inflicted upon us. We would not be deserving of democracy as to all we would seem to no longer care about it.
If we can manage it, what then? What do we do with the signatures we’ve collected? Our electronic age makes this task simple, just keep the originals safe, but scan and email them as an attachment to email@example.com we’ll collate and tabulate them.
Volunteers, feel free to email offers of help there too. We have a few weeks before Parliament ends, are we capable in that time? The answer is in our hands. They’ll be submitted both electronically and in person if we make it happen.
Whatever our choice in this, from the highest station to the lowest in our land, the truth of our character, goals and ambitions will be laid bare, as always, by our own actions.