So on Saturday, Willie Rennie, leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats made a speech in Glasgow talking about the need to develop a new blueprint for a new constitutional settlement for a stronger Scotland within the United Kingdom.
Willie is right that a new constitutional settlement is needed but he is wrong as to who needs that new settlement.
It is the UK that needs a new constitutional settlement.
It is the UK that needs a Claim of Right.
A Claim of Right that says the British people are sovereign.
Historically, it has been the Scottish people who have been sovereign not the English. Westminster has always been sovereign rather than the people Westminster sought to represent.
But that is the best thing about being in a union.
Scotland can take the best ideas from England & the rest of the UK and make them our own and the rest of the UK can do the same.
Scotland needs to lead in the UK for a new constitutional settlement not just for Scottish interests but for all of Britain’s interests as well.
The UK needs a Constitutional Convention that brings together wide-ranging views from across civic society and from all political parties.
It will be no doubt incredibly difficult to give balance to all sides of the debate and indeed all nations and regions of the UK, but that is my point.
A union that does not know or does not seek to know or understand how to best balance the interests of all is a union that is doomed to failure.
A union whose political leaders will do anything to appease one section or nation within it, whilst neglecting the needs of others is a union that is doomed to failure.
Our political leaders are at the moment throwing everything trying to keep the union together by trying to achieve a No vote in next year’s referendum.
Instead of proposing a bold, radical idea for a new political and constitutional settlement that will bring our systems of governance into the 21st century, our leaders prefer to tinker at the edges of a broken system.
There is an awful lot of talk right now about the euro at the moment. Understandable since the euro is in the midst of a crisis at the moment.
The talking points and the reasons that economists and politicians give for the crisis are:
- Nobody followed the rules. Wasn’t enough enforcement of the rules governing euro membership etc.
- Not enough fiscal integration
The point is reality has struck in that you cannot have a single currency without full political union which is where you have centralised taxation, centralised control from a centralised organisation of government.
- Does this mean we are heading for a pound crisis if we continue down this path without learning from the eurozone?
- How much fiscal and political integration is needed to prevent a crisis like the eurozone happening in the UK with the pound?