A Declaration for Independence

A new Declaration for Independence has been published, drafted by the writer James Robertson it offers “Guiding principles for a new and better Scotland”. For the first time now the Declaration is being opened up to everyone:

Go here to sign it.

The writer A.L. Kennedy, one of the signatories has said:

“I have always been inspired by Alasdair Gray’s idea that a person or a group of citizens can ‘work as if you were in the early days of a better nation.’ The recent history of the UK has shown what happens when you have no detailed plans, when the future you want is a late night angry scribble on a beer mat. As a Scot aware that Independence is coming, I feel the concrete plans, support and suggestions that were there before Devolution, are even more necessary now.”

Ruth Wishart, who was one of the people behind the project added:

“Like many ideas, the Declaration of Independence was the product of a discussion over a good meal with old friends. But, later, the more we thought about it, the more we believed the time was right both for a reminder of the 1989 Claim of Right, and to put forward the values we thought should be emblematic of Scotland the new European nation state. I’m delighted that everyone is being given the opportunity to join the inaugural signatories.”

Historian Tom Devine has said:
“I am not a member of any political party but  signed the Declaration because I have come to the conclusion that national self-determination based on the principles outlined in it, coupled with close links to Europe  and an effective post-independence working relationship with England, is the best future for the Scottish people.
Sadly, the Anglo-Scottish  Union  is no longer fit for purpose‎, primarily but not only because of the recent emergence of unpalatable political forces  south of the border. However,I do not underestimate the massive challenges involved in achieving  the goal of harmonious self-determination ,not least in convincing many more of our fellow Scots who  have a sincere commitment to the Union to embark on a different path.”

The Declaration has been signed by 100 writers, artists, musicians and poets and is now  available as a mass public petition or anyone who supports the declaration. It’s a non-party political declaration.

As we face the prospect of a Johnson Conservative government and the ongoing rejection of a democratic route to independence we urge anyone to sign the declaration as “The Scottish people’s right to determine their future should not be frustrated or denied by the UK Government or any other body.”

Go here to sign now.

Comments (29)

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  1. Edward Andrews says:

    Please don’t call it a covenant. the history of Covenants in Scotland has not been positive. In the 1930 – 50s you had a very different Scotland to the open inclusive Scotland which we have today, and the original Covenant of 1638 is simply unacceptable today.
    It was a theological document which basically said that because they believe the “True Christian Faith” was was a rabidly anti Roman Catholicism-
    The meat of the document is found about 2/3 of the way thought and is heady verbiage.
    If anyone wants to read it it can be found here, and good luck to you.
    I approve the declaration of Independence, just don’t call it a covenant and it is probably not wise to refer to its covenanting roots.
    http://www.covenanter.org.uk/national_covenant.html

    1. Thanks Edward, its not called a covenant

    2. Jo says:

      Thanks Edward.

      I share your concerns and appreciate the link.

  2. David McGill says:

    Inspiring words indeed, but despite the inclusion of references to ‘buy, sell, trade, commerce, communal sustainability’ and “…to promote the spiritual and economic welfare of our nation”, there are no references to ending needless poverty, deprivation and homelessness, nor can I find anyone amongst the signatories who can grow or harvest food, build homes or create employment which can bring these about.

    1. SleepingDog says:

      @David McGill, a fair point about a lack of inclusivity in the signatories. In a document concerning Independence, I muse on how dependent many writers, artists, musicians and poets are on various forms of patronage or paymaster. When we speak of constitutional law, I think of how the rich buy the best legal poets, which seems how jury cases are often decided. I saw Tom Devine graciously apologizing for historians’ failures to truthfully tell the stories of Scottish involvement in slavery, yet I wonder when he is going to hand his knighthood back.

      These storytellers have a lot of collective responsibility for telling us about the status quo, and many have prospered under it, but who rang the alarm bells? The climate scientists, the whistleblowers, the activists, the schoolchildren strikers, the global impoverished…

      I think your questions need answered. There is foolishness in talk of a Scottish destiny where Scotland is the author of itself and knew no other kin, when Scotland cannot even feed itself by a large margin. Independence with realism, responsibility, uncertainty, hard work and sacrifice is the story these tellers need to craft.

      1. Me Bungo Pony says:

        Scotland produces more food than it consumes. It is a net exporter of food.

        1. SleepingDog says:

          @Me Bungo Pony, I realise that there are different interpretations of “Scotland cannot even feed itself by a large margin”, but being a net exporter (by what, total currency value?) is not the same as being food secure, or able to feed yourself. Expensive luxury items (like salmon, which Scotland also imports in large quantities, apparently) will skew that position.

          I have tried to get official figures from the Scottish Government website (UN bodies like FAO do not desegregate UK statistics), but they are moving platforms and I could only find ten-year-old stuff like:
          Recipe For Success: Scotland’s national food and drink policy (2009)
          “Scotland has long been dependent on imports to complement domestic production in meeting our food needs.”
          https://www.gov.scot/publications/recipe-success-scotlands-national-food-drink-policy/pages/7/

          Scotland appeared to be particularly dependent on imports of fresh fruit and vegetables, and animal feed.

          So while food security, self-sufficiency, autarky are distinct but related concepts, I think that if Scotland has to import significant amounts of non-substitutable food like fresh fruit and vegetables, it cannot feed itself. Sure, it could greatly reduce animal farming and generate far more plant-based calories for domestic consumption, but you would have to lose those high-value exports. And of course, deal with the effects of climate change. And there are irrationalities caused by slavish adherence to market beliefs resulting in extreme energy inefficiencies that are only currently supportable by burning fossil fuels.

          If you have some authoritative up-to-date figures, that would be helpful.

          1. Me Bungo Pony says:

            https://www.nfus.org.uk/farming-facts/what-we-produce.aspx

            With a popln of about 5m, we grow enough potatoes to give every man, woman and child over 200kg of the stuff each year. Thats nearly a tonne for a family of four. That same family of four has about 7 livestock animals (not including poultry) to back it up. And that’s not even close to the entirety of Scotland’s food production. I haven’t even mentioned the vast acrage of cereal crops and fruit (nearly 2000 square miles of them) and the hundreds of thousands of tonnes of seafood that is landed each year. The list goes on and on.

            Whatever your political agenda, that is way more than enough to feed a population of 5m. That we export much of it to countries that want it while importing stuff we desire but don’t produce ourselves is neither here nor there. The bottom line is that, in a fantasy unionist world where trade in foodstuffs was non-existent, Scotland would be more than capable of feeding its people. The diet may not be as diverse or “fancy” as it currently is but it would be nutritious and filling.

            The UK as a whole is NOT in that position. England is massively overpopulated and with more farmland being built on every year its capabilities are being reduced even further. I suggest you direct your questions on food self sufficiency to the unionists who would have Scotland shackled to the biggest net food importer on the planet thus raising food bills for all of us.

          2. SleepingDog says:

            @Me Bungo Pony, fair enough, that is a lot of potatoes, and even if we currently do things like export some cereals and import different ones (to make bread), there must be currently a surplus in calories on those figures. My understanding was that Scotland used to have a lot of fruit orchards that have been lost, but soft fruit may make up for those. The vegetable picture looks a lot healthier than I thought too. Cheers.

          3. Me Bungo Pony says:

            I’m sure we have lost orchards and stuff, but on the whole I think we’re alright. Cheers to you too 🙂

      2. Me Bungo Pony says:

        The UK, on the other hand, is the biggest net importer of food in the World (per head of popln). England is vastly overpopulated and cannot hope to sustain itself ever again as far as food is concerned. Perhaps this is where your confusion lies.

  3. Ian cuthbert imrie. Street artist. says:

    81 year old artist . All my life a independence supporter, and Republican.

  4. Daniel Raphael says:

    Please excuse what may be a silly question, but I assume “everyone” to whom the Declaration is opened means everyone who lives or holds citizenship in Scotland. You’re not looking for supporters from around the world to sign it–or are you?

    1. Jo says:

      I would hope only people eligible to vote would sign as, otherwise, it becomes irrelevant.

  5. John B Dick says:

    The notion that the devolved parliament we have now, and in particular that d’Hondt was devised in the 1990’s by senior Labour people to disadvantage the SNP originates in a single word of assent from Jack McConnell as reported on p52 of Brian Taylor’s book.

    It is anachronistic and wrong on all three points. The parliament was probably concieved by the people working on the covenant before 1959, maybe by many people over many years.

    I heard about it 1951-52 to 1956-57 from a school friend involved with the Labour party. Before 1957 I could have scored full marks in any 21stC school paper about the Scottish parliament as it existed when it opened four decades into the future.

    Tony Blair was born in 1953

    We urgently need to research records and record the knowledge of any Labour party members in their 90’s who remember.

    I learned about:
    – Founding principles
    – FM and PO
    – Committees
    – Voting systems – regional lsts, I was to have 7 MSPs,
    -The official record
    – Petitions
    – the pro’s and con’s of various votings systems, where they were used, and what for. I got a 20-30 minute briefing worthty of a higher degree tutorial,
    – what we now know as SPICe,
    and even,
    – the seating arrangements in the chamber,

    Only one detail of the “official Labour Party policy” ….. “to be enacted by the next Labour Government” got lost because a committee misunderstood their brief.

    1. John B Dick says:

      I went for lunch, got distracted and remembered later that I hadn’t told you that over four decades later my informant became the first First Minister of the Home Rule Parliament of Scotland which he had described in such detail.

  6. Isabelle smith says:

    I have been waiting a very long time to celebrate my nation’s independence and as i have so often stated to those travelling on this journey with me , “ If we don’t get it before I die, I will haunt you for the rest of your lifes !!! “I even added a spicey adjective before ‘ lifes ‘.
    Onward and upward

    1. Bob says:

      I signed the Declaration. My wife signed it but seems to have been knocked back because we share the same email address. Surely this is a boo-boo.

      1. Margo Murray says:

        We have the same problem Bob. Did you resolve it?

        1. I’m sorry there isn’t really a way to resolve it – authentication is required for the petition to have validity – and the only way to do this is to have an email associated with each signature.

      2. Wul says:

        Bob, Margo; Get your own email addresses for goodness sakes.

        It isn’t 1998 any more, joint email addresses are so last century. ( We used to have one too) It takes about 5 minutes to make an new email account and it’s free.

        Your friends will thank you too. You may well receive more interesting emails from pals who prefer not to have every communication to you scanned by the spouse.

  7. S. Douglas says:

    Please tell me how we will grow our economy in an independent Scotland. We have only niche manufacturing now thanks to
    mis-rule by Westminster Unionist parties.

    1. Juteman says:

      Please tell me how we will grow our economy in a Scotland dependant on Westminster. We have only niche manufacturing now thanks to
      mis-rule by Westminster Unionist parties.

    2. Juteman says:

      Please tell me how we will grow our economy in a Scotland dependent on Westminster. We have only niche manufacturing now thanks to
      mis-rule by Westminster Unionist parties.

      1. Why would you want to grow our economy?

        1. Juteman says:

          I was replying to Douglas, if that was to me?
          Unionists love the ‘when did you stop beating your wife?’ tactic.

  8. Derek Henry says:

    Fools !

    Who clearly have no idea how the government accounts work in the real world.

    Blind as bats marching straight into the arms of the EU and their neoliberal fiscal rules.

    I will be signing nothing apart from the “double out” otherwise it is not independence at all.

    As for EFTA when you have to go to court to get a decision on what you can or can’t do. It is Stockholm syndrome by another name.

    1. Derek Henry says:

      This is a million times worse than Alex mistake with the currency question last time around.

      They are so blind they can’t even see the danger yet. Even though it is right in the end of their faces.

  9. Derek Henry says:

    Ruth Wishart the currency expert that should do it. Independence here we come.

    My last £ says she doesn’t even know the difference between the Euro and a sovereign currency. Or looked at the government accounts once in her life.

    “European nation state” Ruth ?

    I’m sure she understands what an oxymoron is ?

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