She came to deliver the annual lecture to the Wales Governance Centre and announced the Scottish Government would publish a draft written constitution for an independent Scotland.
Without doubt the Scottish Scotland as another weapon in the campaign to win support for the ‘yes’ side, but that doesn’t invalidate the importance of such a publication.
Having a written constitution spelling out the rights of the Scottish people might stir Unionist politicians to offer the same to the rest of the population of these islands.
A constitution that spelt out the rights and even the obligations of the state to each individual in the country is overdue. Such a document might start by describing us as citizens and not as subjects of the State.
It’s important that the contract between the State and the individual is spelt out.
Those living in Wales were described as living in a Principality. What did that mean? Did it mean that the population of Wales were vassals to the English Prince of Wales. Maybe ‘vassals’ no longer but what does the term ‘subject’ imply.
Then things changed, the population became hip and were living in “Cool, Cymru.”
Then along comes David Cameron to spells out, in the Olympic Park draped in the Union flag, his understanding of where we are and where Britain is. Apparently, “It’s Team GB.”
‘The UK is a powerful brand in the wider world with a global reputation for being unique, brilliant, creative, eccentric, ingenious.” This is branding at its worse, but what the heck, given Cameron’s marketing background why expect better. Only Cameron could make ‘Cool Cymru’ appealing.
There are plenty in Wales that don’t see themselves as “part of a winning team.” Nor do many have a stake in “the greatest ever union created by humanity.”
The recent budget underlines that it’s not ‘great’ in the way it treats many of it’s people. Look how it demonises, targets and punishes the poor.
It’s not a PR blurb that’s needed but a written constitution that spells out rights, responsibilities and underlines the States commitment to social justice that dictate the moral and ethical behaviour of those servants of the state that happen to be the government of the day. If we’re better together let it really be ‘better.’
In raising the issue of a written constitution, the Scots have done us all a favour.