GROWTH is good. In the most intuitive sense, don’t we think this is true? The growing garden pleases us; the children in our lives grow in height, stature, hurts, joys, experience.

And when all that growth leaves us as elders, the ideal would be that our accumulated wisdom (maybe also wealth) is distributed outwards, to the oncoming generations.

When our projects or careers grow – develop, burgeon, achieve – we feel less alienated, more fulfilled, more purposeful. For more than three decades of my life as a Scot, I have wanted my country to experience constitutional growth, heading towards the status of a nation state.

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And at that point, another spurt of growth begins again. What would an aware, modern, well-resourced, ambitious sovereign nation do with its powers, with the benefits of so much hindsight, and a clear vision for the future?

So a “Sustainable Growth Commission” – even if its ultimate audience is the economically expert and decisive, both domestically and globally – does not lack the charge of metaphor. This is no doubt why Andrew Wilson has subtitled it A New Case for Optimism”, with a nod to Jim Sillars’s inspirational book of the late 1980s.

I’ve read most of it, and had sporadic private chats with a few of its authors yesterday. And while it’s pretty easy to cut to the chase on its contentious points, I want to spend most of my time here stretching and testing the idea of sustainable economic “growth”.

When it comes to carrying Scotland’s population through the early years of “transition”, landing in a constellation somewhere between Denmark, Finland and New Zealand, the promise of material progress has to be rich and tangible indeed.

But to be honest, solidifying the foundations for “growth” seems to imply – for this report – quite a few years living in the old house yet.

The anxieties are all too clear and surface in the currency question. The authors believe that an indy Scotland will be gingerly testing its steps in a somewhat treacherous landscape of speculative capital, where traders will be waiting to pounce on a fresh new currency.

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So, in the Commission’s view, we’ll still need stabilisers on the bike. And as a sterling zone is obviously politically unfeasible, it will have to be sterlingisation – or as they prefer, sterling continuation (simply using the British pound the way Ireland used the pound after independence, or Panama or Ecuador currently uses the US Dollar).

“What happens with respect to currency the day before an independence vote would happen the day after and continue to happen until such time as the elected Scottish government seeks to do something differently,” says the document.

The intended audiences here aren’t just the wolves of Wall Street (or the Paris Bourse, or Frankfurt). It’s also those with their everyday mortgages (or other contracts) marked in sterling. The Commission wants to assure them their assets won’t devalue on the open markets the moment a Scottish separate currency appears.

This is an independence that has accepted it must undergo a period in which it displays its probity, efficiency and modernity to faceless bankers and the financial elite. Who might – as they observe the Commission’s Gordon-Brown-like set of conditions for a separate currency being fulfilled, including tough targets on deficit reduction – eventually venture their capital on Scotland. No, not much Braveheartery here.

The question is: as a platform for “growth”, will the preparatory belt-tightening be so constrictive that it might even impede the healthy circulation required for growth in the first place?

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This has been the burden of the critique from the Scottish left today. To be honest, I’m scratching my head as to the Commission’s faith in the coming macroeconomics of Brexitannia. As May and Fox adjust their currency to serve a free-booting, low-regulation, buccaneering economic model, won’t a sterling-continuous Scotland just have to go along with them?

Yet in terms of the public debate that’s being invited over the next few months, we are pretty well set up. Common Weal’s transition model assumes that a currency (and the other institutions of indy) can be announced on day one after the vote and constructed in full view of global scrutiny over a three-year period. By contrast, the Commission authors I talked to are ostentatious about dealing with what one of its contributors described to me as “the real world, sans unicorns and magic money trees”. This is robust, substantive stuff – what citizens capable of indy should be up and ready for. Let’s all engage.

But I also come to praise this document. The “next generation growth model” it proposes for an indy Scotland is an eminently admirable start, building on our extraordinary existing assets.

Scottish universities contribute a huge amount to research and development – let’s make that a feature of our pitch to the world. Added to that is a fiscal commitment to attract investment not through low labour costs or tax breaks, but by access to EU markets and the aforementioned smarts, operating at every level of a well-developed working population.

Our “resource endowment” – Scotland’s natural bounty – should be the pulsing core of a national brand known for quality produce (in food and drink, energy and tourism). Something for which nations like New Zealand and Finland are exemplars.

And I welcome the turn towards Danish-style “social flexicurity” – where a very flexible, entrepreneurial labour environment rests on high welfare levels, along with comprehensive investment in continuous reskilling.

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The Commission report also bites the bullet on the relevance of oil revenues to the Scottish economy. It decisively funnels whatever surplus comes off the pipes to a “Fund for Future Generations”, which would spend its excess on projects such as green energy tech or “transformational” investments.

Talking of the future, it’s interesting which of the generally agreed drivers of future change the report prioritises. Its avidly pro-migrant stance comes with its expected hard-nosed justification: Scotland presenting an open welcome to the world’s talents will boost our economic performance.

But this stance will also get us ready for a world in which climate change will inexorably increase the movements of populations in general, and the diversity of small nations in particular. Better to embrace it early, and cast it in the public mind as an asset than a burden.

I was pretty startled to read a paragraph which just parks the impact of AI/automation, human bio-enhancement and other imminent radical innovations – although the authors do say “they merit a substantial national review and debate in and of themselves”.

I hope it comes pretty quick. When even Mark Carney of the Bank of England expects 30% of middle-ranking jobs to removed by tech in the next 20 years, it should maybe be factored into somebody’s plans.

I’ve left the obvious “objection to growth” to the last. That comes from the Greens. They will look at the amount of “material throughput” that a bustling, innovative, trading Scotland like this might generate, and continue to despair for our carbon contribution to global warming.

But it would be good if my comrades in the Green movement realised that the appeal to growth, surplus, abundance – as a consequence of our own labours, skills and ambitions – comes with the crackle of hope about it.

Hope is one of the most sustaining of human emotions, bearing people through all manner of storms. Might it also fuel ingenuity around solving climate challenges, perhaps?

So does this largely social-market, ethical-capitalist document incite the necessary passion and hopes? That’s not quite its job – this is what we have dynamic, multitudinous movements for.

But it provides at least some well-fashioned tools to persuade our compatriots that we can, and should, collectively raise ourselves to the demands of the 21st century – from where we are, and with what we have. I give two cheers, heartily voiced.