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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.

Referendum on Scotland's Independence
People of Scotland Go All Out to End Union with England
Keep the Initiative! All Out for a "Yes" Vote! - Workers' Weekly
NATO Intervenes in Scottish Referendum
Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in a Future Scotland - Professor Alan Miller, Chair, Scottish Human Rights Commission

For Your Information
Background to Demand for Scottish Independence
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 the 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, all 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 portfolio 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 urban properties valued at around £4 billion, and rural holdings valued at £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 determine their 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.

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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 again."

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 press.

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. Furthermore, the 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 enlarge.

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 much.

Workers' Weekly 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 possibilities.

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.

* Workers' Weekly is a publication of the Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist).

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NATO Intervenes in Scottish Referendum

NATO too is afraid of Scottish sovereignty. In an unprecedented, 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 Scotland 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 United 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 himself, albeit 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 Conservative 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 the world 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 President 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 people 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 fought tooth and nail to maintain the Union down through the centuries and latterly over the upcoming Scottish referendum [on September 18]. London knows that 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 put it.

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 development.

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 continually 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 nation should 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 independence is 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!

*Finian Cunningham (born 1963) has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages. He is a Master's graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England, before pursuing a career in journalism. He is also a musician and songwriter. For nearly 20 years, he worked as an editor and writer in major news media organisations, including The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent.

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Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
in a Future Scotland

[On February 5, 2013] the Scottish Government has published a discussion paper on its vision for a transition process towards independence, should Scotland vote 'Yes' in the referendum in October 2014.

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 party political.

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 particularly 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 [2013] we will publish guidance and continue to engage with all points 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.

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For Your Information

Background to Demand for Scottish Independence

The process of the movement for democratic renewal in Scotland is 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 last Scottish 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 for Scotland in 1988, declaring the sovereignty of the Scottish people. Its 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 convened in March 1989, invoked the will of the Scottish nation. The Claim of Right reads:

We, gathered as the Scottish Constitutional Convention, do hereby 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 Scotland;

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 people 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 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, 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 Scotland, 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 the Scottish, 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 referendum on 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 Scottish parliament;

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 Scottish 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 government, a 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 interfering."

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 the Scottish Human Rights Commission, points out, has certain democratic features, unlike Westminster:

- The voting system to elect 129 MPs (MSPS), accountable to the 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 testify;

- Individual MSPS can initiate legislation; and

- The Scotland Act 1998 bars decisions on constitutional questions. 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 over what 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 space.

It is no minor matter that major American nuclear facilities have been placed in Scotland, including the Trident submarine base at Faslane.

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 chooses.

Similarly, inalienable rights to language and land have also been 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.

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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 1990s.

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 of 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 for 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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