September 18, 2014 - No. 75
Referendum on Scotland's Independence
People of Scotland Go All Out to
End Union with England
Glasgow, September 14, 2014. At a 2,000-strong rally for independence,
a large section of people march on the
BBC's Scottish headquarters on the River Clyde to denounce
its coverage of the referendum as biased and lies.
• People of Scotland Go All Out to End Union
• Keep the Initiative! All Out for a "Yes" Vote!
- Workers' Weekly
• NATO Intervenes in Scottish
• Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in a
Future Scotland - Professor Alan Miller, Chair, Scottish
For Your Information
• Background to Demand for Scottish
• Democracy Declaration of Scotland (1992)
Referendum on Scotland's Independence
People of Scotland Go All Out to
End Union with England
More than 4.2 million people are registered to vote in
referendum being held in Scotland today on whether it should end its
union with England. This is 97 per cent of those eligible to vote, the
CBC reports. TML Daily wishes them success in their
endeavours to end the 307-year-old rule of the
English monarchy over them. Reports indicate that the British ruling
circles have gone into utter panic, stopping at nothing in their effort
to make sure the Yes vote does not prevail.
Today, despite the existence of the Scottish Parliament,
decision-making continues to lie with the British monarch under the
Westminster system of government. Something called the Scotland Office
makes the decisions on all matters which fundamentally affect the lives
of the people. For instance, after winning
the Scottish election in 2011, when the Scottish National Party (SNP)
called for the devolution of the Crown Estate income to Scotland, the
Scotland Office decided against the division of the Crown Estates.
In the United Kingdom, the Crown Estate is a property
owned by the Crown. The Estate is one of the largest property owners in
the United Kingdom with a portfolio worth £8.1 billion, with
properties valued at around £4 billion, and rural holdings valued
£1.049 billion; and an annual profit
of £240.2 million, as at March 31, 2012.
The Crown Estate owns 94,015 acres of land in Scotland
and the legal
right to salmon fishing in many rivers in Scotland. In fact, more than
half of Scotland is owned by just 500 people, few of whom are actually
Scots. The Duke of Westminster alone owns 91,000 acres of land in
Sutherland. And the Scots
are deprived of this income!
It is high time the people of Scotland were able to
own affairs in a manner suitable to themselves. In this issue, TML
Daily provides readers with information which explains what is at
stake in the Scottish Referendum.
Keep the Initiative! All Out for a "Yes" Vote!
The past week has seen a significant closing of the gap
in the Scottish referendum polls to the extent that it is now widely
recognised as too close to call. Alongside this, it has seen the
official No campaign fall completely into tatters. The now very real
prospect of a Yes vote has sent the entire British establishment
into panic. They are increasingly turning away from any reasoned
campaigning and to other means. The result has been that this final
pre-referendum period has taken on the character of the pro-Scottish
sovereignty camp on one side versus the Westminster cartel on the
other, the latter further exposing its true
nature with every new attempt to drum up support and cajole the
population into voting No.
Wednesday September 10 saw all three cartel
party leaders head up to Scotland, after [Prime Minister] David Cameron
and [Labour Party and Opposition Leader] Ed Miliband
agreed to cancel Prime Minister's Questions. The desperation was
particularly evident in the unimpressive and patronising "man on the
street" tone of Cameron's plea that "I think people can
feel it is a bit like a general election -- that you make a decision
and five years later you can make another decision if you are fed up
with the effing Tories, give them a kick and then maybe we'll think
Meanwhile, the role of the Labour Party has been to
block the working class reaching a decisive conclusion, by spreading
confusion and acting to split the vote. The Labour Party has been
actively taking a stand against Scottish self-determination and
sovereignty, while dividing the working class on the basis
of separation or unity, as well as on the basis of pragmatism on what
allegedly works better, in place of the principle of
self-determination. The traditionally Labour-supporting Guardian
newspaper has also announced its support for the No campaign, joining
the Financial Times and the
rest of the monopoly-controlled
At the same time, the financial oligarchy is bringing
out its guns. Bank of England governor Mark Carney is again raising the
spectre of the [effect on the] currency, trying to sow further doubt.
banks Standard Life, Clydesdale, Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds
announced plans to relocate or establish legal
entities in England in the event of a Yes vote. Retail giant John Lewis
has also intervened, warning consumers to expect higher prices in an
independent Scotland. Internationally, Deutsche Bank contributed to the
hysteria by claiming that independence would be a "historic" mistake
and send Scotland into a "Great
Depression." The pulling-out of Chancellor George Osborne and Mark
Carney from the G20 meeting [on the weekend of September 20 in Cairns,
Australia] is also an attempt to add to the climate of
emergency and panic.
Letter from First
Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond
to David Cameron asking for an urgent investigation into the Treasury actions
to destabilize the financial markets before the referendum -- click to
The effect of these interventions remains to be seen,
but winning a No vote through fear will be an empty victory indeed.
This blatant attempt to hold a gun to the head of the Scottish people
should be condemned. The aims of the financial oligarchy and their
representatives in Westminster stand exposed. It is
to the credit of the Scottish people that they have kept the initiative
in their own hands in the face of such massive pressure.
Not only is a vote for Scottish independence a stand for
self-determination and sovereignty, not only is it a shot in the bow of
British imperialism, but it also opens up a whole sphere of discussion
on how Britain is constituted, where sovereignty lies, and that the
Constitution should embody the rights of the people.
It is precisely this discussion that the British ruling elite fears so
calls on the working class and people of
Scotland to vote Yes. We call on the working class and people of the
whole of Britain, and indeed Ireland, to forge a greater unity in
discussing the need for a Yes vote, and to take up all of the issues of
rights and democratic renewal across Britain and
Ireland. We advocate a voluntary and equal union to build unity on a
new basis, a new kind of union of modern sovereign states. With this
outlook, we call for a Yes vote.
Throughout, the official No campaign has been trying to
deny that change is possible, that the British system as it stands is
set in stone, that a break-up of the United Kingdom is unthinkable. The
attempt is to spread confusion about what is and is not possible, what
an independent Scotland would and would
not be able to do. For further development in favour of the working
class and people of Britain, bringing about the end of the archaic and
backward United Kingdom is a necessity. The fight to take Scotland's
nation-building project forward will be opened up with a vote for
Scotland as an independent country, and
the people will be in a more favourable position to tackle the
concentration of power in the EU, withdraw from NATO and unite around a
constitution based on rights and establish an anti-war government.
Other forces have alleged from a chauvinist position
that a "Yes" vote would split the working class, as though the working
class does not support the right to self-determination and is not
imbued with the spirit of proletarian internationalism.
In stark contrast, the positively fought independence
campaign has proved that yes, it can be done, while the No campaign has
exposed its negativity and moribund nature. The British establishment
has become a stuck record trying to prove what is not possible,
blackmailing the Scottish people and throwing blocks
in the way of any progress or discussion.
This referendum period has proved what a defunct force
the British establishment is, devoid of any kind of forward thinking,
while patient discussion has been opening the door to all sorts of new
The fact that such a turnaround in the polls could
happen so quickly, as the Scottish people gain confidence in their
decision, has struck such fear into the heart of the British
establishment, who are truly afraid of lifting the lid, amongst all the
people of Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland.
NATO Intervenes in Scottish Referendum
NATO too is afraid of
Scottish sovereignty. In an
warmongering open letter intervening in the referendum on Scottish
independence, 14 former chiefs of the British Army, Royal Navy and
Royal Air Force arrogantly warned that a vote for independence would
undermine defence in both Scotland
and the United Kingdom. "The division of the UK may or may not be
politically or economically sensible, but in military terms we are
clear: it will weaken us all," they threatened, a message echoed by
Obama and Harper. The Scottish people increasingly see that collective
security lies in the defence of the rights
of all and not subjugation to NATO and U.S. nuclear bases in Scotland.
TML Daily is
reprinting below a pertinent article by
Finian Cunningham, originally published by Press TV on September 13.
Scotland: Vote Yes for World Peace
- Finian Cunningham* -
There's one good reason for why
should vote yes for independence: the breaking up of the United Kingdom
would be an imminently good thing for the sake of world peace.
Anything that lessens the power of the London-centered
Kingdom is bound to be a good thing. So, if Scots walk away from the
Union on September 18 by voting to establish their own separate,
sovereign nation, that will deliver a positive blow to further weaken
Britain's legacy as an imperial power.
British Prime Minister David Cameron has said so
indirectly. This week [September 7-13] Cameron has run up the Scottish
flag over Downing
Street and begged the Scots that he will be heartbroken if they should
leave the "family of nations" that he euphemistically calls the United
Kingdom. His desperation reflects
the deep concern among the British ruling establishment over the impact
Scottish independence will have on their power.
If the No campaign should lose the referendum, the
Party has the knives out for its leader. That's how serious the London
government is taking the potential loss of Scotland.
Cameron has previously warned that Britain's standing in
will be much diminished if Scotland goes independent. That's why the No
campaign, spearheaded by the British prime minister, is called "Better
Together." Yes, better together, but for whom? The London-based British
establishment, not "the
plebs" north of the border.
Cameron's view has been backed by other NATO allies. US
Barack Obama and Canada's premier Stephen Harper have both come out to
endorse the British status quo and to hamper Scotland's independence.
Anything these warmongers wish for, then the opposite is bound to be
the right choice. It
is no minor matter that major American nuclear facilities have been
placed in Scotland, including the Trident submarine base at Faslane,
just 30 miles outside of Glasgow, and headquarters of the Royal Navy;
7,000 navy and civilian staff work at Faslane for the Royal Navy and
defence company Babcock Naval Services -- the largest number employed
on a single site in the country. The
economy of Fortress Scotland is heavily biased towards the military to
the detriment of socially productive activities. According to Scottish
Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, the Ministry of Defence has 374 sites
in Scotland and owns land
covering almost 25,000 hectares, an
estate thought to be worth £1.3 billion. Twenty five thousand
are employed directly by the Ministy of Defence in Scotland, at least
15,000 of whom
are serving either in the Army, Navy or RAF.
Historically, the English
ruling class has used the nations of
Scotland, Wales and Ireland to expand their power base centered in
London. That's why the English conquered and colonized its neighboring
nations first before setting out on its global conquest as the British
Empire. The English rulers forced those
nations through a series of "unions" into the so-called United Kingdom.
Scotland was nailed in 1707, as was Ireland in 1801. The Irish partly
seceded in 1922 but only after a cruel and bloody War of Independence.
Britain still clings on to the territory of Northern Ireland.
There is a searing reason why the London government has
and nail to maintain the Union down through the centuries and latterly
over the upcoming Scottish referendum [on September 18]. London knows
without the outer territories its power will be greatly diminished. It
will no longer be able to "punch
above its weight" in the world, as the English establishment likes to
Great Britain lost its allure long ago, but with
Scotland taking its
leave, that will surely deliver a crippling blow and reality-check to
British pretensions. The Scots will also enliven separatist sentiments
in the remainder of the UK: Northern Ireland, Wales and the remote
English regions, such as Newcastle in
the far northeast and Cornwall in the far southwest. All these regions
have suffered economically and culturally from the centralizing power
of the English establishment based in London.
Scotland's oil wealth from the North Sea has been
siphoned off for
the past 40 years by a London government that has squandered it on tax
cuts for the rich and reckless, criminal overseas wars of conquest.
It's time for the Scots to harness that wealth for their own
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning
of the First
World War. Millions of Scots, Irish and Welsh were slaughtered in that
war, sent into battle by English rulers. Many other wars have since
been fought to prop up imperial Britain and give it a much-undeserved
global status as is manifested
by its position today on the Security Council of the United Nations.
Britain is a warmongering, destructive entity that
destabilizes world peace through its "special relationship" with the
United States. Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, Pakistan, Iran, Libya,
Syria, Ukraine anywhere you care to look in the world to see people
suffering from conflict or duress you will see the
nefarious presence of Britain.
There are many positive reasons for why the Scottish
now create its own destiny. After centuries of subjugation under the
English yoke, they deserve to chart their own path of freedom.
But one good reason, among others, is this: Scottish
a vote for peace by delivering a hammer blow to Britain's imperial
pretensions and warmongering. William Wallace, Robert the Bruce, Bonnie
Prince Charlie would be proud of ye!
Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
in a Future Scotland
[On February 5, 2013] the Scottish Government has
discussion paper on its vision for a transition process towards
independence, should Scotland vote 'Yes' in the referendum in October
There has already been a huge amount of debate around
the publication. One criticism from the 'Better Together' campaign is
that a timeframe of around 15 months would not be sufficient to carry
out all of the detailed negotiations required. The 'Yes Scotland'
campaign and the Scottish Government, of course,
rebut this. Politicians, academics, the media and the Twitterati have
all drawn attention to the myriad of complex points raised in the paper
on currency, the monarchy, infrastructure and share of national debt.
However, there was more in the publication that should
be scrutinised. In particular, the Scottish Government has progressed
the debate on the legal protection of economic, social and cultural
(ESC) rights, proposing that a wide range of such rights be included in
a written constitution, should Scotland become
independent. This is very welcome, although it needs to be more widely
understood that the legal protection of ESC rights does not depend on
the outcome of the referendum, and they should certainly not be seen as
To put it simply, ESC rights are universally recognised
human rights that secure for everyone what is required to live with
dignity: adequate housing, education, work and the highest attainable
standard of health. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948
is the foundation of modern international human
rights law. Since then the UK has signed up to a number of
international treaties that recognise such rights. However the UK has
been repeatedly criticised by the United Nations for failing to bring
those rights into domestic law.
Highlighting ESC rights is a significant step forward in
the debate. ESC rights are already incorporated in many other
countries, such as Finland, Iceland, India and South Africa, and
countries in central and Eastern Europe and Latin America have
enshrined these rights in their constitutions. These rights are
important in times of economic austerity, establishing an objective
basis for the fair prioritisation of limited resources.
For example, in 2009 the Latvian Constitutional Court
agreed with pensioners that the Government should have explored less
harsh measures to reduce the deficit before a substantial reductions in
state pensions. And in Germany last year the Constitutional Court ruled
that ESC rights requires the state to ensure
"a dignified minimum existence" to asylum seekers.
Securing these rights in the laws or constitutional
framework of Scotland and the UK would allow individuals across the
country to challenge policy and budget decisions based on whether they
are reasonable, whether they adequately prioritise the most vulnerable
and the realisation of the essentials of a life with
dignity for all.
As Scotland's National Human Rights Institution, the
Commission is developing Scotland's first National Action Plan for
Human Rights. This will help to ensure that Scotland is firmly on a
path to progressively realising all human rights, in realistic and
practical ways. It will set a roadmap to fill the 'gaps' in
human rights protection and build on good practices.The development of
the first National Action Plan has received warm cross party support in
Scotland, and will be published by the end of this year. Securing in
law all of the human rights to which we are all entitled, including ESC
rights, would help ensure accountability
and would empower people to defend rights where they are imperilled,
and challenge bad decisions.
The commission continues to work independently to
promote and protect all human rights of everyone in Scotland. This
spring  we will publish guidance and continue to engage with all
of view to ensure the protection of universal human rights is a central
part of Scotland's constitutional future, whatever
form that may take after the referendum.
For Your Information
Background to Demand for Scottish Independence
The process of the
movement for democratic renewal in
little known outside that country. Posted below is information based on
an article by Tony Seed, published in Mac-talla, the annual Gaelic
edition of Shunpiking, Nova Scotia's Discovery Magazine in May 2002.
The article explains the background
of the movement for Scottish independence and the issues involved.
The Demand for Scottish Independence
Nearly three hundred years after the abolition of the
parliament in 1707, the country elected its own legislative authority
in 2002. This followed twenty years of Margaret Thatcher's savage,
anti-social rule at home and war abroad. In 1979 the Tories buried the
nationalists in the first referendum
on home rule. But by 1982, parties promising independence received 75
per cent of the vote. The movement was based outside bourgeois parties,
a political project that built a broad political consensus on the
question of sovereignty. For instance, the Campaign for a Scottish
Assembly crafted A Claim of Right
Scotland in 1988, declaring the sovereignty of the Scottish
title was a reference to the Claim
of Right Act 1689, an Act of the
Parliament of Scotland which limited the power of the Scottish monarch
(at the time, William and Mary). It was signed by all then-serving
Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs,
with one exception.
The Scottish Constitutional Convention, which first
March 1989, invoked the will of the Scottish nation. The Claim of Right
We, gathered as the Scottish
acknowledge the sovereign right of the Scottish people to determine the
form of Government best suited to their needs, and do hereby declare
and pledge that in all our actions and deliberations their interests
shall be paramount.
We further declare and pledge
that our actions and
deliberations shall be directed to the following ends:
To agree a scheme for an
Assembly or Parliament for
To mobilise Scottish opinion
and ensure the approval of
the Scottish people for that scheme; and
To assert the right of the
Scottish people to secure
implementation of that scheme.
The Claim of Right
was signed at the General Assembly
Hall, on the
Mound in Edinburgh -- on the 30th March 1989 by 58 of Scotland's 72
Members of Parliament, 7 of Scotland's 8 MEPs, 59 out of 65 Scottish
regional, district and island councils, and numerous political parties,
churches and other civic organisations,
e.g., trade unions.
The massive 'Scotland
Demands Democracy' demonstration at the European
Summit held in Edinburgh, December 11 and 12, 1992. More than 25,000
participated and endorsed the Democracy Declaration of Scotland, read
by the actor Sean Connery. (Photo
courtesy of Alan Miller)
By seeing sovereignty as vested in 'the people' rather
than in the
Crown-in-Parliament at Westminster, it drew a sharp distinction between
Scottish and English constitutional thinking and practise of governance.
At the April 1992 General Election in Britain, 75 per
Scottish voters supported parties calling for a Scottish Parliament. A
government that won only 25 per cent of the Scottish vote, with only 11
out of 72 Scottish Members of Parliament, ignored this clear majority
for constitutional change in Scotland.
In response, the Scottish people oganized the massive 'Scotland Demands
Democracy' demonstration at the European Summit held in Edinburgh,
December 11 and 12, 1992 and put the British state on the dock before
world opinion. Over 25,000 people participated and endorsed the Democracy Declaration of
read by the famed actor Sean Connery. It was also endorsed by civic
organisations, the Labour Party, the Liberal Democratic Party and the
Scottish National Party. The Democracy Declaration united the new
movement for a Scottish Parliament in the 1990s.
In the end, it was long burning aspirations for
sovereignty and the
stimulus of Thatcher's socially divisive, centralist regime -- founded
on neo-liberal economics -- that convinced Scots in the September 1997
national referendum to vote for restoration of the Scottish parliament
and a distancing from London.
In fact, in the 1997 general election neither Scotland, Wales nor
Cornwall -- the "Celtic fringe" of the Empire -- returned any Tory MPs
at all. The result came three months after sovereignty over Hong Kong
was transferred to China, with the Black Watch playing Auld Lang Syne.
Devolution was the British response to the demands of
Welsh and Irish people for national recognition and their right to be.
"Constitutional modernization" is integral to Tony Blair's New Labour
program for creating new arrangements under the banner of "Making
Britain Great Again" in the global
economy. This self-serving process tells us something of what Blair and
Bush have in mind when they bully all countries, big and small, to
accept Anglo-American politicized values.
When Blair, the London lawyer, finally conceded the
September 11, 1997, he added a second question to the referendum to
frighten the Scottish voter:
Firstly -- I agree/do not
agree that there should be a
Secondly -- I agree/do not
agree that a Scottish
parliament should have tax-varying powers
These proposals received overwhelming support. On a
turn-out of 60.4
per cent, 74.3 per cent supported the creation of a Scottish
parliament, while 63.5 per cent agreed that the proposed legislature
should have tax-varying powers. It was a stunning slap in the face.
Following the passage of the Scotland Act 1998, the
Executive (officially referred to as the Scottish Government since
August 2007) and Scottish Parliament were officially convened on July
1, 1999 -- a date which marks the transfer of powers in devolved
matters, previously exercised by the Secretary
of State for Scotland and other UK Ministers, to the Scottish Ministers.
What Blair had envisaged was simply another layer of
sort of regional council, to accommodate and control the Scottish and
Welsh peoples. He hoped that that Britain would be reborn as "cool
Britannia." The undecided of Scotland (and Wales) replied, "Only if you
mend your ways and stop
New Labour then fought the May,
1999 election on the issue of
"devolution" versus "separatism" and the "break up of the United
Kingdom," a spectre of the government's own making. It was denied an
overall majority in both Scotland and Wales.
And, according to the Scottish Attitudes Survey released
on 26 June
2001, three quarters of the Scottish people believe that the Scottish
Parliament should be more important than Westminster, with two thirds
demanding more powers for the Scottish Parliament. Far from being the
"settled will" of the Scottish
people, devolution is seen as a work-in-progress on the road to
independence -- the right to govern themselves.
The Scottish Parliament, Professor
Alan Miller, Chair of
Scottish Human Rights Commission, points out, has certain democratic
features, unlike Westminster:
- The voting system to elect 129 MPs (MSPS), accountable
Parliament, headed by a First Minister: 73 are elected by the
'first-past-the-post' system in existing Westminster constituencies. An
additional member voting system elects the other 56 members from party
lists (seven from each of the eight European
parliamentary constituencies). This enabled the election of members of
the Scottish Socialist and Green Parties;
- Petititons from the people must be heard by committee;
- Committees have the right to second ministers to
- Individual MSPS can initiate legislation; and
- The Scotland Act
1998 bars decisions on constitutional
Yet it will not prevent serious debate on such matters the Parliament
has control over, e.g., education, health and criminal justice.
Westminster, according to the Act, retains sole control
are termed "reserved matters" -- foreign affairs, defence, the economy,
the currency, energy (including North Sea oil and gas), road transport,
media and culture, including broadcasting and even activities in outer
It is no minor matter that major American nuclear
been placed in Scotland, including the Trident submarine base at
In other words, sovereignty and the means to defend and
enforce it --
along with the secret military agreements with the United States that
guarantee (among other things) immunity from prosecution of any member
of the American forces through the Status of Forces Agreement, 1948 --
remains with Westminster.
The Act speaks of the "ultimate superiority of the Crown" over the
Scottish Parliament and stipulates that all appointments, etc., are "at
Her Majesty's pleasure." The White Paper on Scotland openly states that
the right of secession is not recognized. Executive power remains with
the Scottish Executive (or cabinet)
of the majority party which is at liberty to change policy whenever it
Similarly, inalienable rights to language and land have
restricted and historic wrongs perpetuated. Although Gaelic, an
indigenous language apoken by tens of thousands of people, is
recognized as a working language of the Parliament (two MSPs speak
Gaelic, another six are learning it), Scottish Labour
has repeatedly frustrated every demand for secure language status.
The creation of the Scottish Parliament may yet provide
a focus to
further the movement to affirm national sovereignty and empower the
people. There have already been battles between Edinburgh and London
about control over inward investment, over higher education fees for
students, and most importantly
over the proportion of UK funds to be allocated to Scotland. The
Scottish Parliament is also forbidden from debating international
questions, yet last fall MSPs spoke out against the Anglo-American
invasion of Afghanistan.
The Democracy Declaration of Scotland (1992)
Posted below is "The
Democracy Declaration of Scotland"
drafted by Common Cause on behalf of the Organising Committee for the
massive "Scotland Demands Democracy" demonstration at the European
Summit held in Edinburgh, on December 11 and 12, 1992. More than 25,000
Scottish citizens accepted
the Declaration, read by actor Sean Connery, by acclamation. It was
also endorsed by civic organisations, the Labour Party, the Liberal
Democratic Party and the Scottish National Party. The Democracy
Declaration united the new movement for a Scottish Parliament in the
Text of the Declaration
A warm welcome to Scotland, one of Europe's oldest
nations. The Edinburgh Summit is the latest event in a long history
binding Scotland to its European neighbors.
Today we share with you a commitment to Europe's
democratic future. Scotland's ancient Parliament was adjourned in 1707,
before the birth of modern European democracy. Since that time Scotland
has remained a nation with its own separate legal system and national
institutions. Today the majority in Scotland
demand the recall of our own Parliament as a modern and democratic body
empowering all our citizens.
And yet you have come to a nation denied democracy by
the present British government. At the April 1992 General Election in
Britain, 75 per cent of Scottish voters supported parties calling for a
Scottish Parliament. A government that won only 25 per cent of the
Scottish vote, with only 11 out of 72 Scottish
Members of Parliament, ignores this clear majority for constitutional
change in Scotland.
This government now imposes its minority policies on
Scotland through an executive Scottish Office with more civil servants
than Brussels, yet with no Scottish legislature to examine or pass such
policies. The people of Scotland face problems and opportunities which
can best be dealt with by our own Scottish
Parliament. We know of no other nation placed in such a predicament and
you can surely understand why we are calling for a constitutional
referendum to enable democratic renewal within our country.
We recognise that on the Summit Agenda is the issue of
the definition and implementation of the principle of subsidiary. Let
it be brought to your attention that subsidiary -- decision-making at
the level closest to the people concerned -- is being denied to the
people of Scotland by the British state. It limits subsidiary
to relations between London and Brussels and seeks to remain the most
centralised state in the European Community.
For us, however, the claim to our Parliament is not a
matter to be left to interpretation but is ours of right -- the right
national self-determination. The central issue at stake is that of
sovereignty. The unwritten British Constitution, founded on the notion
of the absolute sovereignty of the Westminster Parliament,
gives Scotland no constitutional right of democratic control over its
own affairs, let alone provides the right of national
self-determination or fundamental individual rights for its citizens.
This concept of sovereignty has always been unacceptable to the Scots
constitutional tradition of limited government or popular
sovereignty. Today, in the modern world, it is no longer acceptable in
practice to us.
Therefore we call upon the people of Europe and the
Government leaders at the Summit to recognise Scotland's right to
self-determination -- the right to our own Parliament. We have voted
this right, we have asked for a referendum -- now we appeal to you to
raise our claim with the British Government
as a matter of principle. We have now an historic opportunity of a
peaceful and democratic assertion of our national right. There is no
issue of violence or of ethnicity. For us rights are means as well as
an end in itself. The recognition of our right causes no harm to any
other nation or people. We invite the President
of the European Parliament to consider our case by meeting a
representative delegation from Scotland.
At the heart of our nation's history, at the centre of
Europe's future, lies rule by consent of the people. The call of our
times is that of democratic renewal. When the eyes of the world are
upon our capital, Edinburgh, we are confident that the peoples and
governments of Europe will recognise the appeal of its
host nation. We therefore raise our demand without fear or favour --
Scotland demands democracy.
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