Constitution discussion at the Scottish Parliament

The Blether held at the Scottish Parliament on Saturday 8 December was an outstanding success. Hosted by Jean Urquhart MSP, chaired by Bob Ingram SDA, the primary subject under discussion was a Constitution for Scotland and how could people become involved with its drafting.

A range of options and means of implementation were discussed. This led to Jean and Bob undertaking to organise a follow on meeting in January, to which will be invited representatives from a range of interested organisations. Amongst the attendees were school pupils from Aberdeenshire and from Napier University and it is the intent to invite a wider representation of our younger generations.

Jean Urquhart has offered to investigate whether it will be possible to hold a debate in the main debating chamber of the Parliament on the 6 April 2013.

The SDA draft Constitution is available to members on the SDA website.
Attachments:
Download this file (parliament1.jpg)parliament1.jpg[ ]258 Kb

COUNCIL OF EUROPE RESPONSE TO SDA MEMORANDUM

ON 6TH FEBRUARY 2012 THE SCOTTISH DEMOCRATIC ALLIANCE sent a Memorandum to the Secretaries-General of the Council of Europe (CoE) and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). The Memorandum requested these organisations monitor the referendum process and protected the rights of the people of Scotland as set out under Article 1 Par. 2 of the Charter of the United Nations. The Memorandum was copied to the ambassadors of all 56 states in the two organisations.


On the 20th October 2012, the SDA sent reminders to The Council of Europe and to the OSCE.

On the 14th November the SDA received a letter of response from Janez Lenarcic Ambassador Director of the OSCE.

On the 21st November, from the Strasbourg office of the Secretary general of the Council of Europe, the SDA received the following letter:

"Thank you for your letter of the 20 October 2012 on the forthcoming referendum. This is an issue of interest to the Council of Europe, and will therefore be closely followed by the Organisation and its various institutions.

Yours sincerely,

Bjorn Berge

The Director,

Blether at Glasqow

21-11-2012:  Another good Blether - this time in Glasgow on the 20th November.  Among the attendees was a researcher into monetary policy and he advises that only with control over our own currency can Scotland consider itself to be an independent country. Contrary to general opinion the procedure for Scotland to have its own currency and co-exist with the pound sterling is a proven and secure process.

19-11-2012:   An interesting Blether at Inverness on the 17th November. Sandy Patience a director of FAL provided an update on the EU-CFP. He was convinced that the fishing industry would continue to decline as long as Scotland remained in the EU. His recommendation is to get out of the EU and join the European Free Trade Association (EFTA).  In EFTA we would be able to rebuild the fishing industry within some 5 to 7 years. Similarly, the farming industry could also be re-energised once we left the EU. Another topic led by Sue Lyons was Social Wellbeing. Sue provided personal insight and work experience of the significant levels of unemployment and the related problems amongst the younger generations. The discussions highlighted the need for support required by the unemployed in most of the smaller communities around the Highlands and Islands. There appears to be justification for the view that government money is not being focused in the most effective manner.   

17-11-2012:   The Aberdeen Blether was joined by two members from Kemnay Academy pupil council. The issues they raised for debate centred on funding for higher education and defence. From the debate on education funding came a suggestion for an alternative form of funding which entailed a new style of public service to provide for further education fees. Other debates were about vocational training and the need for alternatives to fund public infrastructure without generating public debt.

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