FOLLOWING the SNP-Green deal, the First Minister has said the arrangement recognises that business as usual is not good enough in the times we are living through.

Scots have been left in limbo for too long and it is now decision time – to generate motivation and purpose. Hopefully, the SNP-Green agreement will deliver positive decisions regarding core issues such as currency, banking, land reform, local government, and a constitution.

“The right of a people to self-determination is an international legal right recognised by United Nations Charter.”

Scotland has been a globally recognised nation for more than 1100 years and thus has no need to ask Westminster’s permission to hold a referendum.

In the National on August 23, Jim Osborne of the Scottish Banking and Finance Group sensibly queried Mike Russell’s argument that we should vote on independence BEFORE we discuss and agree what we are voting for. Surely, if we are to deliver the goals of building a fairer, more equal and prosperous nation, then we need to be discussing how to achieve and plan for it NOW.

The obvious vehicle to provide a focus for discussion is a constitution and that is why the charity Constitution for Scotland is providing free access for everyone’s views at

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The recent Report of the Social Justice and Fairness Commission concludes that in every challenge facing Scotland there is a constitutional ceiling imposed by Westminster, even on those issues such as housing and social care where powers are ostensibly devolved. This ceiling limits the Scottish Government’s ability to effect the changes necessary to tackle issues such as poverty and health inequalities.

That report also highlights the need to decentralise authority with radical reform of local government to enable future decisions made in Scotland to be inclusive, consensual, and empowering for people and communities, authorising them to shape their own futures.

Question: do you think that the Constitution for Scotland model constitution goes far enough to specify a new framework for local government to achieve maximum decentralisation? Look at Article 12 on our consultative platform to make your comments and proposals.

The actions of the Westminster Government have also resulted in investment funding being leached from Scotland to feed the financial market in London.

Independence could enable that investment funding to be redirected to provide jobs needed by younger generations to have a trade, academic or artistic career in their own country – jobs needed to provide money at community level to assist the process of eliminating poverty and provide greater equality across our society.

More full-time local jobs, with prospects, that could surely contribute to overcoming the current widespread drug, drink, and mental health problems across Scottish society.

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In Article 15 of our draft constitution we refer to defence, an area that will provide thousands of local jobs. Let’s look around – Scotland, with its extensive exclusive economic zone, occupies a key position on the northern flank of Europe. In the west we border on the Atlantic traffic; in the east we have the busy North Sea traffic servicing Europe; and in the north we have the thriving Scandinavian crossing business and the ever-expanding traffic of the developing Arctic routes to the Far East.

Currently, Marine Scotland has only three overworked vessels and two light aircraft to patrol an area that realistically should require three times that number of vessels and aircraft to effectively ensure fishery and offshore asset protection, monitor marine traffic, and counter such activities as drug running and human trafficking.

Realistically, a self-governing Scotland will also be able to afford a fleet of naval offshore patrol vessels, all of which we could build, operate and service ourselves.

Scottish ground forces are already recognised as among the best in the world and our air defences will be commensurate with our national defensive needs, in alliance with neighbours. The servicing and support for these services will mean thousands more skilled technical and managerial jobs.

The only likely overseas deployment we need to consider are those required to fulfil our obligations to meet United Nations-sponsored humanitarian needs. As you will know, Scotland has always fulfilled our humanitarian obligations in times of need.

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Article 15 also covers such topics as law enforcement and policing, prohibition of the death penalty, national security, emergency powers, and international treaties.

Our diplomatic service is already being incrementally developed. The national feeling regarding the banning of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons is reflected within the proposals. Take a look and express your opinion.

In the next instalment we will look at a blueprint for governance.

To interested groups, the Constitution for Scotland team offers a “guest speaker” introduction, demonstration and Q&A session within your own Zoom meeting. Please contact to arrange. is a registered Scottish charity with the aim of advancing participative democracy within the community of Scotland