We can’t leave Scotland’s future in the hands of the politicians

We can’t leave Scotland’s future in the hands of the politicians

 

Iain Macwhirter
Columnist
Sunday 28 September 2014
THEY thought it was all over, but it isn’t.
The Scottish independence referendum, it turns out, wasn’t a finishing tape but a starting gun. The national question may have been resolved for a generation, but Scotland is now in a race for home rule. History has been speeded up.

A last-minute electoral expedient, the historic “vow”from the three unionist parties to deliver devo max, has turned into something of immense constitutional significance. Political parties and civic groups will have to come together to write Scotland’s future on the legislation that has to be before Parliament by next March.

That’s a hell of a timetable, of course, and fraught with problems and pitfalls. It may seem absurd to try to write a new constitution for not just Scotland but by implication the entire UK in a matter of months. But sometimes these things happen. History throws up circumstances that force rapid change.

Think of Magna Carta – the 800th anniversary of which falls in June next year – which challenged absolutist monarchy and introduced the rule of law. Or the Declaration of Arbroath. Or the Glorious Revolution of 1688, which entrenched parliamentary democracy. We are fortunate in this country that our revolutions tend not to be bloody affairs that leave bitter divisions and enduring enmities. Perhaps, just perhaps, we can pull this off once again.

So, where exactly do we stand? Well, we have to start with…read the rest of the story