As the date for the liberation poll is announced the need for clarity is needed. Liberation from what, for what? A replica mini-state is not what we need from this process. We need a new operating system, not a new computer. What social software do we need? What political apps are required? What could Scotland 3.0 look like?
Number one on my list – and I suspect the vast majority of us, is a response to the crisis in child poverty outlined recently as figures suggest 13 Scottish councils have wards where more than 30% of children live in pockets of severe poverty. Equality needs to be hard-coded into the new Scotland. The ‘worst areas were in Glasgow, the west of Scotland, Edinburgh, Dundee, Fife, Aberdeen and Stirling’, in other words right across the country.
The Campaign to End Child Poverty warned inflation, unemployment and cuts could see levels of deprivation spiral. The group has produced a map of child poverty for every ward, council and constituency. It’s not a pretty picture. In fact, it’s a national disgrace. The figures are matched for old people suffering from fuel poverty and the results of this poverty are seen in our disgraceful record of ill-health. This is a union dividend that needs to end. This isn’t going to change with new policies or a new constitution, it’s going to change with a new economics.
Second we need to create an open-source politics. This needs to be the new operating system, contrasting with Britain’s closed, elitist, feudal stratification. It needs to be an operating system called Scotland SD. Self-determination is about new emerging forms of democracy. Forms that reflect the kind of society we might want to create, ones that might be inclusive, participative and creative. So let’s build new systems where people want to participate in forming and shaping policy and running their towns and cities and communities. And that process itself has to be open to all. Crowd-sourcing our new constitution should be a key aim of the wider independence movement.
Third, we need to download a Peace App. We can start by scrapping the British States Weapons of Mass Destruction, and we can continue by withdrawing our troops from whatever theatre of war they are currently engaged in. Then we can offer a better option to our young men than the ‘adventure’ in Belfast, Helmand or Iraq as has been dangled by recruitment officers for hundreds of years. It’s a sick farce from Tory-Liberal and Labour alike to be opposing the extension of the vote to 16 and 17 year olds whilst young people have died in Blair’s Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Fourth we need to upgrade the anti-virus software that has affected our culture and leaves it marginalised, degraded or abandoned.
Finallly, this is like all upgrades need to be part of global network. The network is the thing. It’s not just about us. And there is no doubting that there are geoplitical consequences for what’s going on. Scotland is home to 5 million UK citizens, 5% of UK GDP, Europe’s sixth largest finance sector in Edinburgh, four Trident submarines (with around 200 nuclear warheads and 58 ballistic missiles), four regular British Army garrisons, three frontline RAF bases and six Royal Navy bases. On its North Sea coast lie oil reserves perhaps amounting to 30 billion barrels. So, it’s important not just for us. Scotland has been the military playground, a place where the British elite are educated and where fossil fuel extraction has made oil barons rich and propped up 30 years of neoliberalism from Maggie to Tony to Dave. All that’s got to go too.
Install Scotland 3.0 now. Warning this may take 2 years to download.