SNP to pursue a referendum on independence without the support of other parties (Lodge Scottish Parliament (only the SNP) supported this white paper. .. anesi.info%20Releases/RTS_Q4_ pdf. The SNP Government and the Politics of Independence Malcolm Harvey and . The White Paper Choosing Scotland's Future – A National Conversation was. laptop screens polishing drafts of the snp's election manifesto in the party's . White Paper offering social democracy with distinctly Nordic overtones but . anesi.info
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Other Scottish Government. Publications on Constitutional. Reform. ANNEXES. ENDNOTES. qUesTIons. And. AnsWeRs. The Case for Independence. Scotland's Future is a government white paper published on 26 November by the Scottish Scottish National Party (SNP) Member of Parliament (MP) Angus Robertson welcomed . Create a book · Download as PDF · Printable version. The SNP set up this body avowedly to address the shortcomings in the economic case for independence made in the White Paper.
I call it human decency and its time is now. Two further contradictory things are worth mentioning about the consultation exercise. Keating, M. Table 4: Advocating a "Yes" vote Yes Scotland. On 7 December , a discussion forum facilitated by the Scottish Socialist Voice invited figures from the pro-independence left to respond to the document. This amount included the cost of publications associated with the debate including their translation into Gaelic , public events, the official launch of the National Conversation, travel costs and the salaries of civil services members who spent time working on the consultation.
Rather than hold an immediate referendum in — for obvious reasons - the SNP government chose to pursue the National Conversation: Subsequently, the National Conversation included local events with Ministers, local communities and pressure groups as well as the publication of a large number of government documents setting out the case for constitutional change: The key question is whether this process actually succeeded. Of course, the National Conversation is not the only example of constitution-making in Scotland, the UK or indeed internationally.
The Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties established the Commission on Scottish Devolution in as a mechanism to discuss reforms to Scottish devolution http: Previous examples of consultative bodies to discuss constitutional change in Scotland included the Scottish National Convention of the s, the Scottish National Assembly of the s and the Scottish Constitutional Convention Mitchell The cross-party All- Wales Convention was established by the National Assembly for Wales in and submitted its report indicating support for further Welsh devolution and a referendum in November www.
In Spain, a host of regional statute reforms were debated in the period, with successful reforms in Andalusia, Aragon, the Balearic Islands, Castile-Leon, Catalonia and Valencia Keating and Wilson , and unsuccessful reforms in Galicia and notably the Basque Country with the Plan Ibarretxe Keating and Bray The multi-level dimension has proven important in most cases and also impacts upon the Scottish context as will be explained below: Next it will analyse the public face of the National Conversation, the events themselves, arguing that while the consultation itself proved popular, the constitutional debate only provoked a minority of questions at these events.
Instead, participants demonstrated an interest in policy issues and local empowerment but seem to have enjoyed the access to government afforded by the process.
Moreover throughout the period of the consultation process support for independence remained static though opinion polls suggested that the SNP remained relatively popular as a government. In addition, the process did not involve pressure group conversion to independence or the construction of a broader pro-independence coalition to facilitate a Yes vote at any future referendum. As a result there has been little awareness or analysis of the conduct of the National Conversation as a consultative process.
This paper will fill this gap by examining the different strands of the process through listening to and coding the questions at the National Conversation events,1 reading the various speeches, policy papers, etc.
Two further contradictory things are worth mentioning about the consultation exercise. Arguably, it is a consultation like no other for the SNP government. Scottish Government, At the same time, an interactive website was launched on which Cabinet Secretaries and Ministers from the Scottish Government would contribute articles and blog posts and which allowed the public to post comments and join discussions on a wide range of topics related to the constitutional debate.
For six months, the consultation process was predominantly limited to written submissions — articles by Cabinet members and comments, letters and emails from the public, with only the First Minister delivering public lectures to keep the consultation in the public eye Keating, Alex Salmond made several appearances at National Conversation events, as well as appearing at events to promote the National Conversation overseas to attempt to internationalise the independence issue — including in Ireland, Belgium and the United States.
These public engagements played a different role to the question and answer sessions of the Cabinet roadshows. The opportunity to address wide audiences both at the events themselves and through the media reports allowed Alex Salmond to attempt to control the constitutional agenda. With no opposition politicians present at the National Conversation publication launches or public speeches, the Scottish Government took the opportunity to present the public with a clear idea of its view of independence for the first time.
Phase two of A National Conversation began with another public lecture from Alex Salmond, this time delivered to leaders of several Scottish institutions — schools, businesses, trades unions and churches.
This phase was marked by more public events, including meetings with several of these institutions, as well as Cabinet meetings scheduled around Scotland and public meetings where members of the public were invited to share their thoughts, questions and concerns with Cabinet Secretaries and Ministers present.
At the same time, the Scottish Government published a number of documents, including a report on the potential for a Scottish Oil Fund, the impact of independence on Europe and foreign affairs and the consultation paper proposing a referendum on independence for Scotland in the parliamentary session see table 1. Table 1: According to the Scottish Government, 15, people were involved in the National Conversation process, with people attending events, National Conversation economy events that involved people, people involved in the various blogs and discussions and , website visits Scottish Government This is not an insubstantial number of people, but it certainly falls short of a mass audience.
Indeed, determining whether the National Conversation process and content has penetrated into the wider public at either phase 1 or 2 is difficult to discern. In the latter part of , the National Conversation entered its third phase with the publication of the second constitutional White Paper Your Scotland, Your Voice in November Phase three of the National Conversation was intended to include the campaign for a referendum and the referendum itself.
However, this is where the process came predictably unstuck due to lack of parliamentary support.
This third phase involved efforts to hold a referendum rather than to campaign at one. Parliamentary manoeuvring by the opposition parties at Holyrood in January meant that the referendum bill would go before a Labour-chaired special committee of the Scottish Parliament which, with its opposition majority, was likely to kill the bill. In an attempt to keep the bill and issue alive in the early months of — and certainly through the UK general election — the SNP government published the referendum bill as consultation paper Scottish Government, This procedure had the effect of keeping the referendum issue alive in This amount included the cost of publications associated with the debate including their translation into Gaelic , public events, the official launch of the National Conversation, travel costs and the salaries of civil services members who spent time working on the consultation.
Table 2: As a percentage of the annual budget of both the Scottish and UK Parliaments this sum is relatively small. However, the fact that the constitutional debate is being funded out of public finances — particularly in the middle of an economic recession — has proved controversial. The National Conversation in Action In addition to the publications discussed above, the Scottish Government engaged the public in the National Conversation through events, public meetings and video conferencing.
The Scottish Cabinet completed summer road shows in and that had National Conversation events nested within them. In addition, there were a number of stand-alone events hosted by Cabinet Secretaries and Ministers as part of the consultation, which involved question and answer sessions on the constitutional issue but also on a wide range of other subjects. We were able to gather reliable data for 25 of these events see table 3 , as these involved podcasts or video broadcasts of the event so that we could determine and code the different questions raised.
There were a number of organised events which contained a broad summary of the contents of the consultation — SCVO meetings in Inverness, Castle Douglas, Perth and Uist in August-October — but these were not as reliable as the podcasts in terms of counting and coding questions. In a couple of cases, links to events were broken or unavailable on the National Conversation website.
These issues — and many others — were raised with Cabinet ministers alongside the issue that the Scottish Government had intended to discuss at these events: This debate, however, largely played second fiddle to the many policy concerns that the public had, and comprised only a quarter of the questions asked over the course of the public events see figure 1 below. However, the Scottish Government viewed the process as a success and it allowed members of the public access to Government Ministers to discuss their views on any issue of importance to them.
Retrieved 28 November The Herald. Subscription required help. The Spectator. Scotland 'in trouble' if lax on constitution". Yes Scotland. Better Together.
United with Labour. Referendum Act Referendum Franchise Act. The Debate Scotland Decides: Salmond versus Darling Scotland Decides: The Big, Big Debate. Retrieved from " https: Government reports White Papers in the United Kingdom Scottish independence Scottish independence referendum documents.
Hidden categories: Pages containing links to subscription-only content Pages to import images to Wikidata. Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history. This page was last edited on 14 December , at This had also been the case in two speeches which Salmond had made in front of the Queen. It was developed in mediaeval Scotland to describe a concept of community identity which was beyond sectional interest.
The best Scots term for it would be the common weal. Particularly when times are tough we have to ask the rich to help the poor, the strong to help the weak, the powerful to help the powerless.
But we do so in pursuit of the common weal, the community of the realm. This article will now show how such labels are ways for the SNP to attack the policy choices made by either the British government or the Labour Party and to promote its project of an independent, social democratic, Scottish State. In his address to the SNP National Conference of October , Salmond described the Scottish Parliament's distinctive policies on personal care, transport and education as a reflection of the common weal of Scotland.
Let us tell the Labour leadership about the reality about our fellow Scots. They just want the right to live in a country which understands the importance of society. A country that knows the value and not just the price of the services we hold dear.
These are the fruits not just of this party or this government, but the fruits of a Scottish Parliament that chose to reflect our nation in these ways.
It is the social contract between our Parliament and our people. Some call it universality, and say its time has passed. I call it human decency and its time is now. Just as home rule or devolution was presented by its supporters as the only way for Scotland to protect itself against Thatcherism and defend public services in the s and early s, independence was presented by the post-devolution SNP as the only way for Scotland to protect itself from austerity measures imposed by the Unionist parties both Labour and the Conservatives , in power either in Scotland or throughout the UK.
Friends, where we have the power we have chosen a different path. Now Labour and Tory dismiss these gains as the luxuries of a something for nothing country — really? Personal care for older people, free tuition for young people, to be cast aside as something for nothing? This is not a something for nothing country but a something for something society and this party shall defend that social progress made by our parliament.
Do not let the people suffer for attitudes forged on the playing fields of Eton. I am more concerned by the Fair Society. We are not slaves to the banking system or vassals to the lords of high finance.
Here is another instance of welfare nationalism: If we are to become a crucible of the new society, then we need the power of independence — we must have these powers. By having a strong sense of ourselves. On the shared value of helping each other out, lending a hand. On a sense that society should try to be as equal as it can be. That is what we value and what we think is the purpose of government.
Let us build a nation that reflects the values of our people. With a social contract — and a social conscience — at the very heart of our success.
The society, the country that Scotland desires, that Scotland believes in — it is not a country or a future on offer from the Tory government down south. Even that one institution which really made Britain great, the National Health Service, is being dismantled in England. The Tories call it a Big Society. I call it no society at all. The speeches that Alex Salmond made as SNP leader in the years are classic instances of nation-building, in the sense that Salmond sought to construct or maintain certain collective meanings of Scottish nationhood, of who Scottish people are, while emphasising what made Scotland different.
The second was to showcase the SNP as both the national and the natural party of Scotland: