IN A week when Brian Cox won the best television actor at the Golden Globes and the mild mannered pop phenomenon Bobby Bluebell was banned from Twitter, there is no end to the celebrity support for a second referendum. But of all the many diverse characters that have been mobilised to support the case for Scottish independence by far the most fascinating is the Hanna-Barbera cartoon character Yogi Bear.

Many of you out there will remember childhood days rushing home from school to catch the animated superstars of the early 1960s: the fly-guy alley hustler Top Cat, the wise-cracking and multi-skilled canine Huckleberry Hound and, most memorably of all the furry recalcitrants of Jellystone Park, Yogi Bear and his irrepressible buddy Boo Boo. On the surface Yogi Bear lived a simple life as a likeable hedonist who hibernates in the winter and eats his way through the summer, by trying to steal picnic baskets from visiting tourists to the fictional national park. But you may recall that Yogi’s catch-phrase was “I’m smarter than the av-er-age bear!” He was a clever and at times scheming character – like Mike Russell, but with longer toenails.

When it came to constitutional matters Yogi Bear was not only miles ahead of his audience but a thorn in the side of Ranger Smith, the bungling park ranger, whose sole purpose in life was to curb Yogi’s freedoms.

As much as I admire the new contingent of SNP MPS that have journeyed south to Westminster, we are nearly a week in now and none of them has mentioned Yogi Bear. It troubles me that one of the great campaigners for self-governance has passed unnoticed.

Joanna Cherry QC, a regular reader of this column, has also been sadly amiss – alarmingly the woman who has led Scotland through the courts to try to protect our status as European citizens has clumsily overlooked Yogi’s campaigning legacy.

I refer you to one of the great constitutional tomes of history – no, not The Declaration of Arbroath or the Claim of Rights but a 1961 comic book Yogi Bear Goes to the United Nations – a satirical masterpiece in which the Jellystone bear travels to New York to demand self-determination for his people.

What on the surface sounds like piece of cartoon nostalgia has many similarities with Scotland’s subservient role within the Union, but Yogi’s brave journey gives hope to those of us that want to look beyond a Section 30 order and see progress in the months ahead.

At its height, the Yogi Bear show was hugely popular in Scotland. It was a subtly subversive animation which frequently out-rated the more teacherly home counties shows such as Blue Peter.

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Yogi took his name from the New York baseball star Lawrence “Yogi” Berra but, more powerfully for the kids of 60s Scotland, he also lent his name to the great Celtic and Scotland striker John “Yogi” Hughes, who featured in the Lisbon Lions squad that won the European Cup in 1967.

The name has been handed down across the years and is now most readily associated with another Yogi Hughes, the former Falkirk, Hibernian and Raith Rovers boss.

In the 1960s there was a Yogi in every housing scheme in Scotland and virtually anyone with the surname Ogilvie was baptised as Yogi. But enough of Yogi Bear’s pre-eminence in the Scotland of the past – what of his role in our constitutional future?

It is now long forgotten that Yogi Bear was a Yesser. Apart from his love of honey and thieving from picnic baskets he was an ardent secessionist who wanted home rule for the bears of Jellystone Park.

Yogi believed that he and his fellow bears lived in a vassal state biased towards tourists – think Edinburgh with fur-coats an nae knickers – and that the Jellystone bears were being held captive in an uncaring society that had relegated their needs to visitor numbers.

One day, restricted by law from pilfering picnic baskets, Yogi is raking about in the hollows of a tree, looking for bees’ honey when he comes across an ancient treaty between the US government and a long extinct tribe native Indians called the Wawaa.

Mindful of their respect for the land and the animal environment, the treaty signed in 1867 bequeathed all the land and properties of Jellystone to indigenous bears.

Put simply it was Yogi Bear’s equivalent to the Declaration of Arbroath, proof that he is the in fact the citizen of a long-since occupied nation now colonised by America.

ARMED with his treaty, Yogi launched an independence move-ment among bears and accompanied by his diminutive buddy Boo-Boo, he embarks on an historic mission to New York, to test one of the central planks of global democracy – the rights of nations to self-determination. “I’ll have the United Nations recognise this treaty”, he tells a rally of pro-indy followers, “and we will proclaim the free independent country of Bearsylvania.”

The movement gains momentum and as the story unfolds, bears from across America and Canada uproot and start to head for Jellystone to secure their rights as new citizens.

As his movement reaches its dramatic peak, Yogi stands proud before the UN General Assembly to contest sovereignty demanding self-determination and equal human rights for bears under the UN mandate.

On the brink of an historic success, Yogi’s campaign begins to crumble as the forces of supranational supremacy rally against him.

Firstly they try to kick his campaign into the long-grass, then try to undermine by filibustering, until the UN evokes the principle of sovereign non-intervention, precisely the stance that inhibits the EU intervening in Spain’s dispute with Catalonia, or indeed restricts the UN from insisting that Scotland’s rights to self-determination are honoured by Westminster.

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In what is now a commonly held dilemma, the UN pronounces that Bearsylvania is part of the United States and that “The United Nations doesn’t take up any country’s internal affairs.”

Yogi is finally scuppered by the power of bigger nations at the General Assembly who, fearful of secessionist movements in their own backyard, suppress his movement.

Having failed to secure protection under the laws of statehood Yogi demands that the bears that have flocked to Jellystone be protected under Article 13 Paragraph 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. “Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state”, he successfully argues.

Because it is America, and because it is network television, a happy ending is not only desirable it is a narrative necessity. A compromise solution is reached, each year on October 24 – United Nations Day – the bears are granted control over the territories of Jellystone for a festival of honey, but their rights to self-determination throughout the remainder of the year have to be surrendered.

For those of us that are hard-wired to support Yogi’s movement the outcome is less than satisfactory but the journey to self-discovery among the bears, whilst told in cartoon terms, is a joy to behold.

There are many morals in the story of Yogi Bear’s visit to the United Nations. The power of mass movements when they are mobilised to a clear goal, the shared values that can unite citizens when their rights and freedoms are threatened, and the joyousness that can be found in shared endeavour.

Yet there are hard lessons too, the most damning of which is that empowered states relay give up their territory and control without dispute. Do the powerful trample on others to maintain their power? Do bears shit in the woods?