Wednesday, 09 October 2019 18:28

SCOTTISH CULTURAL FIGURES UNITE BEHIND "MANIFESTO FOR INDEPENDENCE"

50 cultural heavyweights have united to publish a "manifesto for independence" –a prospectus of “guiding principles” on independence for Scotland. 
 
In a 12-point declaration, the signatories affirm the sovereign right of the Scottish people to determine the form of government best suited to their needs, as outlined in the 1989 Claim of Right.
 
They also call for a written constitution, rejection of weapons of mass destruction, commitment to human rights, and an "open society where all citizens have the opportunities to lead the best, most fulfilling lives they can."
  
The manifesto concludes: “It is our belief that the best option now open to the Scottish people is for Scotland to become an independent country. The alternative is to accept that Scotland’s fate would remain in the hands of others and that the Scottish people would relinquish their right to decide their own destiny.”   
 
The signatories include actor Brian Cox, historian Sir Tom Devine, novelist Val McDermid and poet and playwright Liz Lochhead.
 
Keith Brown, SNP Depute Leader, said: 
 
"This is a very welcome and hugely significant intervention, showing that it is the vision of Scotland as a successful independent country that offers people hope, at a time when the UK Government and Westminster parties have brought only despair.
 
“It's clearer than ever that the Westminster system is broken beyond repair. The people of Scotland deserve the choice of a better future than the one being imposed upon us.
 
"Scotland must have the choice to decide its own future. It’s for the people of Scotland to decide how they are governed – not Tory party which has been rejected by Scottish voters at every election and is soon likely to be out of office."
 
 
A Declaration for Independence, 2019

It is the sovereign right of the Scottish people to determine the form of government best suited to their needs. (A Claim of Right for Scotland, 1989)

Guiding principles for a new and better Scotland
 
It is the sovereign right of the Scottish people to determine the form of  government best suited to their needs, now and in the future. In all political  deliberations, decisions and actions their interests should be paramount.

- Scotland should be an open and democratic society in which no individual is excluded, oppressed or discriminated against on account of their race, colour, faith, origin or place of birth, physical or mental capacity, sex, sexuality, gender or language.

- Scotland should have a written constitution which clearly lays out the rights of its citizens, the country’s system of government and the relationships that exist between government, its instruments and powers and the rights of individual citizens.

- Scotland should take its place as an independent country on the world stage, free to join international organisations and alliances for purposes of trade and commerce, and for the protection and care of the planet’s natural environment, without which the human race cannot survive.

- Scotland should uphold internationally acknowledged values of non- aggression and self-defence, and should refuse to maintain, stock or use, for itself or on behalf of any other power or government, chemical, biological or nuclear weapons or any other weapons of mass destruction.

- There should be clear separation of the powers of the Scottish parliament and government (the executive). The judiciary should be completely independent of government.

- Independence will provide an opportunity to review and, where necessary, change the systems of both national and local government, in order to make them more accountable to the people and more beneficial to their needs.

- Ownership of land, property and natural resources should be subject to open and democratic scrutiny. The ability of communities, both rural and urban, to own the land in and on which they exist should be enhanced and extended. There should be total transparency in the way property in Scotland is bought, sold or possessed.

- Freedom of speech and action, and the freedom to work, create, buy, sell and do business should adhere to principles of environmental and communal sustainability and responsibility. Profit and economic growth should not be pursued at the expense of the wellbeing of the people or their habitat or that of other people or nations.

- We affirm the values of care, kindness, neighbourliness and generosity of spirit in all our dealings. Such values are the foundation stones of a fair, free and open society where all citizens have the opportunities to lead the best, most fulfilling lives they can.

- It is our belief that the best option now open to the Scottish people is for Scotland to become an independent country.
 
- The alternative is to accept that Scotland’s fate would remain in the hands of others and that the Scottish people would relinquish their right to decide their own destiny. 

Signatories
Iain Anderson, broadcaster
Peter Arnott, playwright
Neal Ascherson, journalist and writer
Ally Bain, musician
Margaret Bennett, folklorist and singer
Robert Black QC, Professor Emeritus of Scots Law
Christine Borland, visual artist
Stuart Braithwaite, musician
Calum Colvin, visual artist
Roddy Buchanan, visual artist
Stuart Cosgrove, writer and broadcaster
Brian Cox, actor
Robert Crawford, writer
Sir Tom Devine, Professor Emeritus of Scottish History
Lari Don, writer
Jenni Fagan, writer
Rt. Rev. Richard Holloway, writer and broadcaster
Robert Hodgens, musician
Kathleen Jamie, poet and writer
Jamie Jauncey, writer
A.L. Kennedy, writer
Liz Lochhead, poet, playwright, former Makar
Val McDermid, writer
Jamie MacDougall, singer and broadcaster
Lorraine Mackintosh, actor and singer
Dr. Dolina Maclennan, writer and broadcaster
Aonghas MacNeacail, poet and broadcaster
Dr. Ann Matheson, literary historian
Karen Matheson, singer
Alexander Moffat, artist
Jemma Neville, author
Andrew O’Hagan, writer
Aidan O’Rourke, musician and composer
Don Paterson, poet
Karine Polwart, musician and writer
Eddi Reader, singer
Prof. Alan Riach, poet and academic
James Robertson, writer
Donald Shaw, musician, composer and producer
Ross Sinclair, visual artist
Donald Smith, storyteller
Elaine C. Smith, actor
Alan Spence, writer
Will Storrar, minister and academic
Gerda Stevenson, writer and actor
Sheena Wellington, singer
Prof. Gary West, musician and broadcaster
Ruth Wishart, journalist and broadcaster
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