I would greatly love for Scotland to have the power to raise and spend the vast majority of taxes. It is also my sincere belief that an arrangement along these lines would be dear to the hearts of the majority of us Scots. I have grown increasingly fond of the little phrase ‘Home Rule’ initially having been (perhaps generationally) left cold by it. There’s something nice about the idea of humbling the word ‘rule’ with the powerful (surely one of the most powerful words there is) ‘home.’ I think, I really do, that this strikes a chord with many of us living in Scotland, however we voted in September.
But I thought I would log in and have a browse on what else is on my Smithazon Wish List.
A Written Constitution Added 11 October, 2014
Condition: Brand New
Usually dispatched within a few years
For the process as much as the end result. In addition to firming up the legal status of the devolved parliament and resolving some anomalies between governments it offers a chance to capitalise on the creative energy of the campaign. It offers an opportunity to engage an informed and enthused country. “No representation without conversation.”
Devolved Energy Added 11 October, 2014
Scotland needs more autonomy over the process, production and envisioning of energy so as to break up existing systems that work against individuals rather than for them. Devolving energy more and more to the local level promotes greater accountability, resourcefulness and creativity. There should be more opportunities for remote and rural community groups to become generous and supported stewards of energy – bringing it to the centre rather than relying on a distant, uninvolved ‘centre’ to pump it out to them. I am entirely opposed to fracking but even beyond that it is clear that considering the runious after effects of such a process would necessarily have to be dealt with by multiple areas of devolved government (not least of all health) it is only logical that decision on whether or not to licence be one that the people of Scotland and its representatives have control over.
Devolving Broadcasting Added 11 October, 2014
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The devolved parliaments of the UK (and perhaps the new regional assemblies on the distant horizon) should be part of the BBC Charter. The BBC is a wonderful organisation that has given a lot to the world, it often holds true to its original statement to educate, entertain and inform. BBC Radio is a boon, an absolute boon (and if BBC radio were a person it would appreciate that I had used the word boon, before adjusting his bicycle clips and popping down the library on a drizzly Tuesday). But as the fantastic James Robertson has shown us so eloquently there is a distending and distorting symptomatic of living in the periphery – living in the land of The News Where You Are A large part of this disconnect comes from us the Scots ourselves – afraid of being too parochial or too twee. But as Alistair MacIntyre said, it is through the particular that we reach the universal. Part of the answer for a new Scottish media comes from a vibrant biodiversity of citizen journalists and exemplary blogs but there is something more, deeper, expansive we could tap into by wedding the resources, skill and damnable classiness of the BBC to our rich, dense, spiky intrinsic culture. We need to take more ownership of our BBC so if you like, we take more ownership of our BBC. We need the confidence to do so. Devolving some of this dynamic would be a fantastic start.
Immigration and Asylum Added 11 October, 2014
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Scotland and the Scottish people need to have the opportunity to set a different course from the fringe far right parties. The fact that they get to set an agenda in Westminster is absurd, that they would do so in Scotland is ridiculous. We have a very different economy, population density and outlook and we need empowered to pursue a radically more hospitable and humane policy. Would the people of Scotland vote for it? It’s worth asking them. I would love for us as a country to stretch back into our hospitable past and look forward to a more welcoming future where we can greater repay the people who pay us the compliment of coming here to settle. Let these encounters trigger in us the sense that actually many of us are already bilingual by the way. Let’s do this.
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