A Constitution For Scotland

485.jpg

Holyrood in session – the Sovereign Parliament of Scotland

INTRODUCTION

A constitution guarantees liberty and citizen rights under the law. It is the foundation of civil liberties. It tells other nations of our values and standards. It sets out the principles by which we hope to live. It bedevils elected authority that dares to become a tyranny. 

My draft challenges existing conventions and shibboleths. I hope they are not too controversial. I readily admit my paper expresses my prejudices as they relate to creating a civilised society. The work includes a few aspects of the SNP’s shelved draft constitution – shown in blue – that seem to me to be common sense.

What else to add? I’d like lots of public holidays but I name only one, Independence Day, an affirmation of free thought and free will. After the fiasco of the robber bankers, who wants to celebrate bank holidays?

I would want to see a clause stating alterations or augmentation to the Constitution must have 90% support of the populace eligible to vote. In Scotland, the people are sovereign.

ERRORS AND OMISSIONS 

Alert readers will find key omissions. The absence of the Union of the Crowns is one. The issue is contentious. I am a republican at heart, but I have to face the reality a great deal of the populace warm to the shenanigans of the Royal family and their ill-gotten gains.

I prefer our aristocracy was like Norway’s, the Monarchy has a day job and a bicycle to get to it, their presence retained for ceremonial occasions. Who wants a society in which a Monarchy free to refuse assent to a parliamentary Act instigated by the people, or give Royal Assent to a bill that traduces Scotland’s sovereignty, or stymie Scotland’s laws for their protection? On that score and others, I take for granted the Supreme Court of Scotland will usurp the UK’s court on day one of independence.

Constitutions ought to use plain language as much as possible, without being patronising or complicated linguistically. I hope this one meets that self-imposed standard.

Whatever happens to delay Scotland’s ambition to become a free nation state once more, remember, no nation ever rose up to demand its abolition.

 THE CONSTITUTION

Article 1: Scotland is a constitutional State of civil rights and justice, social, democratic, sovereign, independent, unitary, intercultural, multinational and secular. Sovereignty lies with the people, whose will is the basis of all authority, and it is exercised through public bodies using direct participatory forms of government as provided for by the Constitution. All authority incorporates the tenets of the Declaration of Arbroath.

Article 2: The flag of the nation is the Saltire, known as the St Andrews Cross. There shall be a coat of arms, a national anthem, and a national animal, as chosen by the people, and as provided for by law. Each are symbols of the nation. St Andrews Day shall be substituted by Independence Day as an annual holiday.

Article 3: Scotland’s official languages are Scots-English, Old Scots, and Gaelic as the people wish to practice them. They shall be used to enhance intercultural ties. The State shall respect and encourage their preservation and use.

Article 4: There shall be no State religion. Religion shall remain separate from State in all things. Religion shall not be taught in schools other than the history of its variety, nor shall it be imposed as part of an educational curriculum. The young are encouraged to have an open, questioning mind. Secular ethics are the basis for public service. The people are free to worship whomsoever or whatever they please, be it deity or philosophy, however, the State shall not encourage religions as worship.

Article 5: All land ownership shall be registered in Scotland, any registered outside the State shall be forfeited immediately and expeditiously by law to the State and returned to public ownership. Land is a finite and crucial resource to be owned and used in the public good.

Article 6: The law of the land is Scots Law which is supreme in all regards, and exists to uphold the Constitution. Any citizen coming before the Law charged with a crime shall be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Article 7: The capital of Scotland is the city of Edinburgh.

Article 8: The State’s primary duties are:

  1. Furtherance of the well-being and happiness of inhabitants by guaranteeing without discrimination rights to housing, education, free health care, food, old age pensions, and in times of personal hardship, social security provided by the State.
  2. Guaranteeing and defending national sovereignty.
  3. Eliminating poverty, and promoting sustainable development.
  4. The equitable redistribution of resources and wealth to the majority of inhabitants.
  5. Promoting equitable democratic mechanisms by a process of participation.
  6. Protecting the country’s natural and cultural assets.
  7. Nurturing a democratic society free of corruption.
  8. Guaranteeing inhabitants the right to a culture of peace.
  9. Protect the right to opt out of society and its structures if an individual so desires.
  10. The prevention of crime.
  11. Protection of Nature, indigenous mammals, birds, and areas of scientific interest. 
  12. Protect the populace from the propaganda of consent in all its forms.

Article 9: The territory of Scotland is a single geographical and historical whole, passed on to us by our ancestors. This territory includes the mainland and all the adjacent Islands, including special island groups such as Orkney and Shetland, maritime space, the undersea continental shelf of the North Sea, the Atlantic, and the Irish Sea, the ground under the land and the space over our mainland, islands, and maritime territory. Boundaries are those determined by treaties with neighbour States.

Article 10: A citizen of Scotland is anybody born in Scotland of parents living in Scotland who are also Scottish. Citizenship shall be granted by right, automatically. A child of Scottish parents born outside Scotland but not residing permanently in another country shall be given citizenship as a matter of right. Citizens of other nations can apply for Scottish citizenship and a passport on the basis they provide evidence they intend to live and work in Scotland, either employed or self-employed, for a period of no less than five years. Individuals already residing in Scotland shall be eligible to apply for citizenship by naturalisation. Citizenship shall not be refused on grounds of sex, gender, race, colour, religion, personal beliefs, status, or sexual orientation.

Article 11: Elections to national government, a single-chamber Parliament, shall be held every five years, no later. In times of war the Parliament has the right to extend its term by one year. Voting is compulsory in General Elections, and referenda. In elections a candidate attaining the greatest number of votes is duly elected to office. If there is a tie or a near tie within 100 votes in a constituency vote, both candidates are eligible to take their seat in government. A candidate rejected three times by the electorate will be ineligible to stand for office for ten years.

Article 12: Political parties shall be financed by their individual members only to a maximum of £5,000 each person annually. That sum can be increased or reduced by parliament every 10 years. No corporate entity, company, union affiliation, or foreign state shall finance a political party for any reason. Political parties accepting covert donations shall be punished by law, the sum in question forfeited to the State.

Article 13: Entry to Scotland either for the purpose of a single short visit, or on a work permit, shall only be refused in cases of a threat to the physical safety of citizens.

Article 14:  The exercise of rights shall be governed by the following principles:

  1. All persons are equal and shall enjoy the same rights, duties and opportunities.
  2. No one shall be discriminated against for reasons of ethnic belonging, place of birth, age, sex, gender identity, cultural identity, civil status, language, religion, ideology, political affiliation, legal record, socio-economic condition, migratory status, sexual orientation, health status or disability.
  3. All forms of discrimination are punishable by law.
  4. Everyone has a right if eligible to a free defence in courts of law.
  5. The rights and guarantees set forth in the Constitution and in international human rights instruments shall be directly and immediately enforced by Scots Law.
  6. No legal regulation can restrict the contents of rights or constitutional guarantees.
  7. All principles and rights are unalienable, obligatory and of equal importance.
  8. Recognition of the rights and guarantees set forth in the Constitution and in the United Nations declaration of human rights shall not exclude the other rights issuing from the European Union.
  9. Any deed or omission of a regressive nature that diminishes, undermines or annuls without justification the exercise of rights shall be deemed unconstitutional.
  10. These rights shall be exercised in accordance with this Constitution which shall be the supreme law of the land.

Article 15. Newspapers and media shall be encouraged to be independent, that is, free of proprietorial influence, and without external ownership.

  1. The State shall foster plurality and diversity in communication, guaranteeing the allocation of radio spectrum frequencies for the management of public, private and community radio and television stations, as well as the access to free bands for the use of wireless networks for the benefit of the community prevails.
  2. Facilitate the creation and strengthening of public, private and community media, as well as universal access to information and communication technologies.
  3. Not permit the oligopolistic or monopolistic ownership, whether direct or indirect, of the media and use of frequencies.
  4. All persons have the right to look for, receive, exchange, produce and disseminate information that is truthful, accurate, timely, taken in context, plural, without prior censorship about the facts or events.
  5. Gain access freely to information generated in public institutions or in private institutions that handle State funds or perform public duties.
  6. There shall be no confidentiality of information except in those cases expressly provided for by the law. In the event of a violation of human rights, no public institution shall refuse to provide the information demanded of it relative to the case in question.

Article 16: Freedom of speech is every person’s right, sacrosanct and immutable, whether in written word or spoken, made in peaceable group assembly and association, or in digital communication, so long as not deliberately malicious. The burden of proof or malicious intent shall be placed upon the litigant to establish. Commercial free speech shall be governed by the laws of consumer protection.

Article 17: It is forbidden to broadcast advertisements in any form by individuals or political parties that foment violence, discrimination, racism, drug addiction, sexism, religious or political intolerance and all that undermines rights.

Article 18: In matters of individual conscience the State shall guarantee the professional secrecy and confidentiality of the sources of those who inform, issue their concerns through the media, or other forms of communication. No whistle-blower shall be  punished in any way by State or employer for making public their concerns.

Article 19: Work is a right and a social duty, as well as an economic right, source of personal fulfilment and the basis for the economy. The State shall guarantee full respect for the dignity of working persons, a decent life, fair pay and a healthy job that is freely chosen and accepted.

Article 20: The right to social security is a right of all persons. It cannot be waived. The State must bear the prime duty and responsibility for this right. Social security shall be governed by the principles of solidarity, obligation, universality, equity, efficiency, subsidiarity, adequacy, transparency and participation, to meet individual and collective needs.

Article 21: The right of persons to migrate is recognized. No person shall be identified or considered as illegal because of their migratory status.

****************************

Well, there it is for what it’s worth, months of thought and revision. I’m sorely tempted to add a clause banning advertising for Christmas until 1st December!

I don’t expect anybody in government or the SNP to take a blind bit of notice of it but I’d like to think its tenets stimulate debate. Scotland’s very existence is under attack, why not endorse a Constitution now?

I’m happy to take questions here, or on my twitter site: Grouse Beater Twitter.

NOTE: The SNP’s transition outline for independence is here: http://www.constitutionalcommission.org/production/byre/images/assets/file/Resources%20Folder/SNP_2002_text.pdf

This entry was posted in Scottish Independence Referendum, Scottish Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

45 Responses to A Constitution For Scotland

  1. angusskye says:

    That’s a power of work – no wonder you have been so quiet for the past month!

  2. Grouse Beater says:

    And the annoying things is, very few will read it because Constitutions are by their very nature boring, pompous, and over-long. I’ve tried to make this one suited to the changes in societal attitude that I sense are commonly held. Whether it attracts thoughtful debate is another matter.

  3. doreenmilne says:

    Excellent document. Amazing work and bound to lead to some lively discussions for you, I’m sure. I’d sign up to it as it speaks to so much of what I’d love Scotland to attain. Thank you.

  4. Grouse Beater says:

    Studying a dozen constitutions of other nations, plus the UK’s and Ireland, I expect to be told some aspects don’t or won’t apply to Scotland. I tried to take into account all the artificial and unwarranted issues and problems we’ve encountered in the cause of statehood and legislate against impediments impeding Scotland’s progress.

  5. Mr W says:

    In Article 12 you suggest: “…the sum in question forfeited by the State”

    Forgive my ignorance, but should that not read “…forfeited TO the State”?

  6. Grouse Beater says:

    Correct – and duly fixed! Ta. In my head I wrote ‘forfeited by law to the State.’ Am still checking for typos and errors…

  7. broadbield says:

    Someone should initiate a constitutional convention which would work up a modern effective constitution and would include ordinary citizens as well as “experts”. I suggest yours would be a very good starting point for discussion.

    Re Work – a duty. Are we obliged to work? And a typo ” fair pay and retribution”?

  8. Grouse Beater says:

    “Are we obliged to work?”

    I think it’s the State’s duty to encourage all of us to contribute to society in positive, productive ways, Broadbield, If a nation is to prosper it has to renew and repair itself constantly, like ants in a nest. But in Article 8, Clause 9, you’ll note I legislate for the right to opt out of society, wriggle room for the free of spirit and the wanderer. However, while I think the State should make financial provision for such individuals I don’t think it should be so luxurious it encourages people to be indolent for years of their life. We find a happy balance.

  9. Ricky says:

    You have given this a serious amount of work and thought . Whilst I agree 100% on no religion being taught in schools , that might be difficult to get over to people , another way might be to have all recognised religions taught in school . Then if objections arise as to what religious beliefs should be taught and what shouldn’t then religion could be removed from a discriminatory stand point .
    Article 7 regarding boundaries , are borders not set by international law ?
    Article 12 – political parties or individuals breaking rules on donations ” should or could forfeit any seats won / banned from standing in constituency for 1 election “.
    Amazing work , send it to every SNP MSP and MP .

  10. Grouse Beater says:

    Oh, I’ve no doubt the religious rules will get kicked around though I’ve made plain anybody can worship anything, even a football team.

    On the borders issue, yes, of course, international law is involved, but I’m thinking in terms of the restitution of our maritime boundaries, and if Berwick wants to become Scottish!

  11. broadbield says:

    Re voting – the one with most votes wins – is this still First Past the Post? I favour a proportional system. Actually, I favour a citizen’s participatory democracy, (the end of politicians and parties), where membership of the assemblies are decided by lot.

  12. Grouse Beater says:

    Yes, I’ve given a new voting system scant consideration based on the variations available that need discussed. But the one we have now is anti-sovereignty.

  13. Excellent work GB. This is a great start and should be used as a basis for a proposed written Scots constitution.

    One thing I would add (as it is of interest to me). Article 14: The exercise of rights. Part 2. “No one shall be discriminated against for reasons of ethnic belonging, place of birth, age, sex, gender identity, cultural identity, civil status, language, religion, ideology, political affiliation, legal record, socio-economic condition, migratory status, sexual orientation, health status.” The end of the clause is to vague a term for such an important area and should end – health status or disability. After all you can be disabled but healthy. Also many disabilities at “invisible” and are often ignored as a health issue.

  14. mikeinkwazi says:

    Reblogged this on mikeinkwazi and commented:
    A good simple document.

  15. Grouse Beater says:

    I have ‘disability’ in my notes, but you’re quite correct, that’s where it should go. Now fixed!

  16. Grouse Beater says:

    Thank you! 🙂

  17. Elizabeth Gray says:

    I don’t mean to be overly critical…. But, I think a lot of your suggestions going forward won’t work for a Constitution …EG
    The right to housing…. Go forward 50,yrs we don’t have enough housing and we’ve elected a bad government (as we surely will sooner or later)… This government then decided,using the Constitution, to ” resettle ” people, move them around as they wish, …. Claiming the are acting according to the “right to housing” they could probably win permission to do so from the Constutional/Supreme/Court of Session, that they are obliged to find people houses….. That’s, I think,not, what you /the framers of our Constitution had in mind ?

    It’s a bit like putting the right to 1bag of coal for every household as we are a coal producing nation,50 years ago… If you see what I mean…. A Constitution can’t be a Manifesto… and must be able to be adapted to more than how we currently live and what we most need at this point in time!

    A simple line like… The Government is bound to ensure that the People have the right to the necessities of life (,which is food clothing and shelter) from the resources of Scotland..
    Leaving all future Government’s the flexibly to act according to the situation at the time!!
    and more importantly it also means a Government cannot turn it’s back as the current Westminster one is doing….. I hope I’m making sense here!!!
    Also…. To be constructive…. A pet theory of mine..
    We should have in the Constitution a 25yr limit on ANY and ALL Treaties and Unions that Holyrood sign us up to…. After 25yrs the People must vote to continue with the Treaty arrangements or not.
    And if any Government fails to put the matter before the People… The Treaty is void by default..
    Never again should Holyrood sign us up to a Treaty that lasts for 300odd year’s.
    We would never need a UKIP type campaign either as the matter will automatically go to the next generation for their consent..
    This should also take care of any “reunification” campaign after the YES vote. ..
    As well as..
    The Government of Scotland should be Constitutionally Forbidden from sitting outside Scotland,no matter what Treaties we have….
    Sorry this is so long ..but I’m….jist sayin…

  18. You say only those born in Scotland or those born out of the country to Scottish parents qualify as Scottish citizens by right. That means that everyone else living in Scotland legally would need to apply for citizenship. That could be a huge number of applications. Would it not be better to include all British citizens who have lived here legally for five years.

    My wife for instance has become a British Citizen by naturalisation and I can tell you that was not easy or cheap, and it cost even more to get a visa and eventually citizenship for my adopted daughter. I would not want to have to go through all that again to make them Scottish citizens.

  19. Grouse Beater says:

    CatWeaver: The government of the day could offer an amnesty to non-Scots here who wish permanent residency and can show they’ve lived here long enough to justify it. A Constitution should avoid covering every existency and stick to basic inviolable rights. Decisions on further subtleties of citizenship and immigration belong to discussion and the climate of the day.

  20. I am glad that someone has taken a first go at this. I’ve long believed that Scotland needs a discussion as to who we are and what are we about. To succeed it would need to be non-partisan – or authored and promoted by a panel of folk who, together, would be seen as non partisan.

    I have a severe dislike for some of the articles that you have crafted. But that is not for now. The point to be made at this juncture is – a constitution is needed, work needs to begin now, and a non partisan panel or commission should be established to undertake this work.

    Well done for getting this going. (Your awful stance on citizenship aside…:)

  21. Macart says:

    Neatly done Grouse and I agree, it should be in language that all can find accessible and understandable. 🙂

  22. Not being resident for a quite a while now, and only really having my Scottish education, through Primary, Secondary and college to rely on – I’ll be hoping Andy Driver rules will help me sling off my Brit Passport. I really want my latest renewal (in Jan) to be the last. I may also be coming home when I retire.

  23. Grouse Beater says:

    Ronald Campbell:

    The nuances of citizenship beyond the inviolable basic are for a parliament to debate, not for a declaration of principle.

    My version is not the first, as you suggest. Besides the SNP’s transitional outline, the Common Weal took a stab at one which I, personally, found over-elaborate.

    Currently, Scotland is a colonised country yet generous to be inclusive when it comes to elections. Alas, loss of rights supposes us too gracious.

    When Blair and Brown were in power in Westminster I heard English colleagues say “The Scots are taking over!” and it wasn’t in a pleasant way. Indeed, a Scots accent is not always welcome in the corridors of power as any number of tortured accents there will attest pretending to be English born.

  24. I think it’s really great that you have got this ‘out there’ now. This now becomes part of the debate – a body of achievable hopes – rights for the people; obligations for a government. We can be better, and so we should be.

  25. Grouse Beater says:

    The surprise is how resistant we have been down the centuries to getting culturally and politically absorbed by invasive Westminster values and priorities.

    Every political party, including the Tories under Alec Douglas-Home offered devolution, and all meant it to be of a sort severely curtailed, and rescindable.

  26. Brilliant GB!. I’d add compulsory voting like Australia and at least O level standard teaching in school of politics, with state economics and finance. We should all know how our own country ticks. Love all your blogs, fire them all over the planet. Heedtracker.

  27. Grouse Beater, few Scots understand the extent to which they have been colonized. This is a discussion that is underway in Canada among Indigenous peoples.

  28. Grouse Beater says:

    Apologies, Brak, for my tardiness to get to your remarks late. The site holds back newcomers for a time, but welcome, and thank you.

    And yes, I’m all for compulsory voting. Participate in your democracy or watch it wither!

  29. Loretta Dean says:

    I’d like to know why you propose automatic citizenship based on place of birth rather than ( as proposed by SNP) place of residence??

  30. Grouse Beater says:

    Place of birth is everybody’s birthright. Place of residence can be temporary or transitional. Again, those nuances belong to parliament to debate the merits and demerits and make the decision. I hold no fast or hard opinion beyond what is basic. Scotland is keen on new citizens to make up for the shortfall in births. That has drawbacks. A laissez fair approach where anything goes is resented by indigenous peoples.

  31. Sir,

    Whilst I appreciate a short & simple constitution, a constitution must be longer and very technical. That doesn’t mean it must be full of legal jargons, confusing and/or obfuscating. It merely has to entrench basic legal rights (limits, in the case of government) because time and time again, governments will always seek to whittle away and abolish the same.

    On your proposed articles, I would like to add a few suggestions:

    Article 3: Each local authority must adopt and use two of the official languages, with primacy given to the non-English language. Only with this we can encourage the growth and normalisation of Gaelic and Scots.

    Article 5: I’d seek the insertion of more definitions of type of land ownership, particularly commonties and clan lands. We must claw back private lands (which I would argue unjustly/illegally passed into private ownership) into public ownership.

    Article 11: I would prefer a single non-transferable party vote, multi-member constituency with an open list.

    In addition, I think you have to expand on among others:

    1. Government: Types and branches of governments, and the distribution of areas of competency. Here is an opportunity to decentralise and strengthen local government. I am suggesting that we have three types of government ie parish, provincial/county and national governments, with the national government setting the minimum standards on things, and the other types having the power to vary such standard in order to suit local conditions;

    2. Finance and taxation powers. As per the above, taxation should be raised at parish level. Each government should have equal share of the tax and equal contribution to the Norway-esque sovereign fund;

    3. Chief law officers, Auditor-General, Ombudsmen and Statistics Office; and

    4. Public Services Commission (Army, Police, Civil Servant, Election Commission etc).

    Having a very technical constitution can be cumbersome, therefore I think we should adopt the German Basic Law methodology; the Parliament may pass an act/amendment defining, expanding or modifying any article subject to the necessary quorum of parliamentarians.

    However I suppose the proper arguments can only be made when Scotland actually needs a constitution. For now we must start dreaming and articulating what we want in an independent Scotland.

  32. Grouse Beater says:

    Thank you.

    I considered including something on decentralising power, but I don’t really think that’s needed for a constitution. It can be left to a supplementary declaration of administrative ideals. In any event, in such a small country as ours you’re never far away from power.

    Altering constitutions can be an iffy business, especially after people elect a dictator or populist demagogue. When politicians want more power we should challenge that not make it easier for them to acquire it.

  33. Sir,

    You’d be surprised at how easy to centralise power. In Malaysia, local government elections was abolished by a single act in 1975. Our local government officials are now fully appointed by the state governments. If you were to go through the history of local government in the UK and in particularly in Scotland, you will realise there was and probably still is a drive to centralise authority be it in London or Edinburgh. If I were a constitutional lawyer in Scotland, I’d start arguing that the abolishment of royal burghs was against treaty law. As you can see local government via royal burghs system can be swept away, even though such rights were clearly guaranteed by treaty law.

    You’d have to forgive for not trusting government with rights that are patently against their interest, unless such rights are set in (constitutional) stone.

  34. Grouse Beater says:

    I had a feeling you’d return more emphatic than the last time, but I repeat, a Constitution ought to contain itself to inviolable civil and constitutional rights, a proclamation of principles and morality – the rest is for a supplementary document devoted to the procedures of local and national authority.

    A Constitution says “Here is how we wish to behave as people and how we wish to treat others”.

  35. I may not agree with everything in this well written and thoughtful proposal, but it is a necessity in this age. Written Constitutions cannot be challenged by any law and can only be varied with consent of the whole political electorate. Similarly those nations without one (like the UK) can be challenged in law to all of its tenets but none of those tenets can be held as sacrosanct and may be varied, altered and abused as deemed necessary by rogue governments, such as is happening now with the UK. If Scotland had a constitution now, we could guarantee our democracy, the rights of our citizens and the safety of our nature, resources and flora and fauna. Our various rights are, at the moment, being threatened by all unionist parties, none of which are even registered as separate political parties in Scotland. Happy to take part in the discussion but I agree with Grouse Beater that time for such a move is long overdue.

  36. trispw says:

    Congratulations. You managed to make it short, to the point, and not in the least boring.

    I started reading wondering if I’d tire of it after a few paragraphs, but I didn’t.

  37. Grouse Beater says:

    I’m pleased to hear that. I’d be studying the world’s constitutions for the next five years going by the jargon I had to wade through. The documents are the kind that dishonest politicians can use to pull the wool over your eyes. I threw my hands up in the air and decided to write what I felt was necessary for Scotland. Being a heathen, I had no trouble keeping religion simple too. 🙂

  38. Hi there,

    “Article 16: Freedom of speech is every person’s right, sacrosanct and immutable, whether in written word or spoken, made in peaceable group assembly and association, or in digital communication, so long as not deliberately malicious. The burden of proof or malicious intent shall be placed upon the litigant to establish. Commercial free speech shall be governed by the laws of consumer protection.”

    I wonder if “deliberately malicious” is perhaps too broad? I think it’s important to establish that freedom of speech is only limited in cases which pose an immediate threat or incitement of panic or violence. With one eye on the likes of slander and libel too.

    I’d like to hear your opinions on this.

  39. baraznji says:

    If you may, this is some articles from the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany
    23 May 1949
    Article 1
    (1) Human dignity shall be inviolable. To respect and protect
    it shall be the duty of all state authority.
    (2) The German people, therefore, acknowledge inviolable and
    inalienable human rights as the basis of every community,
    of peace and of justice in the world.
    (3) The following basic rights shall bind the legislature, the
    executive and the judiciary as directly applicable law.
    Article 2
    (1) Every person shall have the right to free development of his
    personality insofar as he does not violate the rights of others
    or offend against the constitutional order or the moral
    law.
    (2) Every person shall have the right to life and physical
    integrity. Freedom of the person shall be inviolable. These
    rights may have interfered with only pursuant to a law.
    Article 3
    (1) All persons shall be equal before the law.
    (2) Men and women shall have equal rights. The state shall
    promote the actual implementation of equal rights for women
    and men and take steps to eliminate disadvantages that
    now exist.
    (3) No person shall be favoured or disfavored because of sex,
    parentage, race, language, homeland and origin, faith or
    religious or political opinions. No person shall be disfavoured
    because of disability.
    Article 4
    (1) Freedom of faith and of conscience and freedom to profess
    a religious or philosophical creed shall be inviolable.
    (2) The undisturbed practice of religion shall be guaranteed.
    (3) No person shall be compelled against his conscience to
    render military service involving the use of arms. Details
    shall be regulated by a federal law.
    Article 5
    [Freedom of expression, arts and sciences]
    (1) Every person shall have the right freely to express and
    disseminate his opinions in speech, writing and pictures
    and to inform himself without hindrance from generally
    accessible sources. Freedom of the press and freedom of
    reporting by means of broadcasts and films shall be guaranteed.
    There shall be no censorship.
    (2) These rights shall find their limits in the provisions of
    general laws, in provisions for the protection of young
    persons and in the right to personal honour.
    (3) Arts and sciences, research and teaching shall be free.
    The freedom of teaching shall not release any person from
    allegiance to the constitution.

  40. BikerSco says:

    Great start, I managed to read from start to finish without falling asleep which is exactly what we need from a Constitution.

    I agree we need to sort this out now. This is as important if not more than an independence referendum.

  41. Grouse Beater says:

    Thank you. Yes, we should be discussing a constitution implying independence is inevitable!

  42. junemax says:

    Hmm. Right then. Lifelong atheist and Stoic here but not sure I ‘worship’ philosophy. If we build an equitable society with enshrined rights to food, health, financial security, etc, we don’t need to even mention ‘poverty’ as there will be no active drivers of impoverishment. Comment further once I’ve read other bits.

  43. Grouse Beater says:

    In theory I agree with you. However…..

    Scotland is a diverse country in topography and geographically, there will always be pockets of poverty of some kind, forgotten remote crofters, islanders, abandoned wives with children, folk affected by the result of drug addition, people unable to understand or pursue their right to secure subsistence, people devastated by natural disasters such as farmers. Some will choose to opt out of society – their right – but we should still ensure they are not on the bread line. Having provision to cope with all of those things is important.

  44. Terence Callachan says:

    I find it odd that some people suggest nationality should be given to people in Scotland just on the basis that they live in Scotland .
    No country in the world gives you their nationality which then entitles you to their passport just because you happen to be living in their country.

    It’s got to be linked firstly and automatically to where you are born.
    So I think you are correct

    But this is how I would suggest it should be

    1)You get Scottish nationality automatically if you were born in Scotland.

    2)You get Scottish nationality automatically as a resident in Scotland if you were not born in Scotland but one or both of your parents was born in Scotland.

    3)You can apply for Scottish nationality if you were not born in Scotland and neither of your parents was born in Scotland but you have lived continuously in Scotland for five years.

    4)You can apply for Scottish nationality immediately if you are already resident in Scotland on the day independence is declared if you are already a British citizen and were not born in Scotland and do not have a parent that was born in Scotland.

  45. Grouse Beater says:

    Hello Terence – I brief response to say I like your ideas.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s