Sunday, 3 February 2008
Waiting Game - Scotland Wastes No Time!
The Scottish Independence Convention
We exist to further the cause of restoring Scotland’s independence. Our platform draws together all the disparate groups, parties, organisations, politicians and individuals, in Scotland and beyond, who share this one basic, democratic objective.
The Scottish Independence Convention was born on St Andrew’s Day, 2005. Since then we have been busy working for the day when Scots will be invited to vote in a referendum on regaining our independence from the British state. We are an umbrella organisation—hence our logo—working to unite and encourage all who want independence for Scotland to meet on common ground and have their say in the growing debate on Scotland’s constitutional future.
We welcome everyone, regardless of party political affiliation, who shares our vision of Scotland being a free and democratic independent state. Your support will hasten the day when Scotland is reborn as an independent member of the international family of nations.
The resurgence in Celtic language and identity, as well as 'regional' politics and development, has contributed to forces pulling against the unity of the state. This was clearly demonstrated when- although some argue it was influenced by general public dillusionment with Labour- the Scottish National Party became the largest party in the Scottish Parliament by one seat. Alex Salmond (leader of SNP) has since made history by becoming the first First Minister of Scotland from a party other than Labour. The SNP rule as a minority government at Holyrood. Nevertheless, recent opinion polls have suggested that nationalism (i.e. a desire to break up the UK) is rising within Scotland and England. However, the polls have been known to be inaccurate in the past (for example, in the run up to the 1992 General Election). Moreover, polls carried out in the 1970s and the 1990s showed similar results, only to be debunked at elections. While support for breaking up the UK was strongest in Scotland, there was still a clear lead for unionism over nationalism.
The current Scottish Parliament was established by the Scotland Act 1998 and its first meeting as a devolved legislature was on 12 May 1999. The parliament has the power to pass laws and has limited tax-varying capability. Another of its jobs is to hold the Scottish Government to account. The "devolved matters" over which it has responsibility include education, health, agriculture, and justice. A degree of domestic authority, and all foreign policy, remains with the UK Parliament in Westminster.
The public take part in Parliament in a way that is not the case at Westminster through Cross Party Groups on policy topics which the interested public join and attend meetings of alongside Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs).