WHEN I ponder the future of Scotland and the many paths we could go down, I have usually felt peace and trusted in the Scottish people to be considered and caring when choosing our political future.

Lately, though, that peace is eroding as I witness the erosion of our devolution. Our choices being removed is a frightening prospect and I want to share my thoughts and raise awareness about the challenges we face in preserving our cherished devolution.

Our ability to govern ourselves and shape our own destiny hangs in the balance, and we must not turn a blind eye to the clear threat happening now from a desperate Conservative government.

Over the course of conversations, discussions, and my work in Parliament, particularly in committee work, I have become increasingly troubled by the patterns of behaviour exhibited by the UK Government. Whether they are refusing to enter discussions and be held accountable, or completely ghosting our requests, or enacting Section 35 orders, it is clear they have no respect for our institution and the decisions we make here.

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One of the most concerning patterns of behaviour is the constant push for the centralisation of power. By bypassing the Scottish Parliament and imposing decisions without our agreement, they undermine the very foundations of our democracy.

The UK Government has been steadily amassing authority in areas once entrusted to our Scottish Parliament. Initiatives such as the “levelling up” agenda and the UK Internal Market Act seek to exert control over devolved policy areas.

This centralisation jeopardises our ability to shape policies that reflect our unique needs and aspirations.

In terms of “levelling up”, it does no such thing. They have the audacity to offer pennies where pounds used to be – levelling up our communities will take more than their loose change. We deserve better than that pathetic effort. The fiscal loss we have incurred due to a lack of EU funding has come nowhere near to being matched.

It is important to recognise the gravity of these developments and their potential consequences for our future generations.

As a mother and grandmother, I am acutely aware of the risks we face for our children and grandchildren who deserve a Scotland where their voices matter, their concerns are addressed, and their dreams are nurtured.

The National:

Therefore, I take this opportunity to use my platform to implore everyone in Scotland, irrespective of your views on policy, to join me in the fight to protect devolution. This is not merely an issue for one political faction; it concerns the rights and interests of all Scots.

We must fight to defend our devolved powers, actively challenging any attempts to undermine them. We must hold the UK Government accountable for their actions and demand that decisions affecting Scotland are made with our agreement.

The Scottish Government has released a paper titled Devolution Since The Brexit Referendum. This paper presents a compelling case for the preservation of devolved powers. It emphasises the vital role devolution plays in addressing the democratic deficit and ensuring decisions are made by those who are directly accountable to the people of Scotland.

It also highlights the significance of devolution in protecting Scotland’s interests and outlines the achievements made possible through devolved powers. It serves as a testament to the positive impact devolution has had on our communities and the need to continue supporting its principles. I implore you to please read it.

Without devolution, we risk losing numerous advantages and opportunities that have improved the lives of Scottish people. It has empowered us to address our unique challenges and take advantage of opportunities in a way that reflects our distinct identity as a nation.

We cannot risk losing control over key areas of decision-making, potentially leaving us worse off and undermining our ability to shape our own future.

While we must stay alert to this threat, as usual, despite mounting evidence, some members of the Conservative Party have adamantly denied any power grab, dismissing these concerns as baseless.

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However, recent actions by the UK Government do certainly threaten the very foundation of devolution. One of the key arguments put forth by those denying a power grab is that centralisation is necessary for effective governance and co-ordination across the United Kingdom. While co-operation and collaboration are vital, they should not come at the expense of devolved powers. The UK Government’s actions reveal a clear trend of encroachment on devolved powers.

The denial of a power grab not only dismisses these concerns but also disregards the principles of democracy and accountability.

With the UK in the final throes of its life, falling into a pit of history, it is trying to reach out and pull us down as it goes. We are in the final throes of a fight for our rights and our powers. While the UK Government pushes ahead with their power grab, we must continue making plans for the future, a future that is independent.

This week sees another paper from the Scottish Government to add to the series titled Building A New Scotland, which forms a prospectus for an independent Scotland.

First Minister Humza Yousaf believes that a written constitution, developed by the people and elected Parliament in Scotland, is crucial for an independent Scotland’s future.

The proposed constitution would include things such as a recognition of the NHS, stronger human rights protections, the right to industrial action, and a constitutional ban on nuclear weapons.

This is what we must focus on: building a case, setting out a vision. All the while, though, we must metaphorically kick away the clutching hands of a falling UK. Independence is urgent and essential due to threats to Scottish rights and the undermining of the Scottish Parliament by the UK Government.

As the First Minister said: “With rights in Scotland under threat as never before because of the actions of the UK Government and the Scottish Parliament being undermined, independence has never been more urgent or essential.”