Continue reading "ACTION BEFORE WORDS"

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                                                                                                                                            Sally Hughes. A guest post and suggestion,


Like many I’ve been inspired by the introduction to our written Constitution and the Claim of Right, and the sense of need and urgency for a re-convening of the Convention of the Estates.

For that reason I’ve been looking for descriptions of what the Convention of the Estates looked like, and how it was selected.  The phrases I’ve found to describe it so far are:

A free and full expression of the nation.

Made up of Noblemen, Barons and Burghs.

Communities Represented by Election, Hereditary or Traditional Right.

I’m going to assume that in this day and age, excluding women from the vote will not be acceptable, and Nobles and Hereditary title owners will not get a disproportionate say… I’m going to suggest that the argument that will be put against re-convening this body, or ignoring a modern day version, is that a 1 person x 1 vote election system replaces it, in a more extensive and fair way.

And therein lies a problem.   A pattern of stifling good government.

We have a beef, we form a party, the party forms a mandate, the party gets a majority of elected seats on that mandate, the party does hee haw.

We elect a different party next time, on their mandate, they get a majority, they do hee haw…

So we form a Convention of the Estates, they form a mandate, they get a majority election (of some description) on that mandate, we’d like to think they’ll do something with it….

And so, we are in danger of going round in a big circle, coming back to where we started and eating our own tails.

Under normal circumstances that would be our position.

This moment in time is unique.  Unique because at this time we have a majority of elected Indy MP’s – elected on 6 consecutive Mandates for Indy.

It matters not that some of those MP’s seem incapable of doing their job.  The mandates they were elected on – provide a powerful lever to ALL sovereign Scots to use, and are far more robust from democratic or legal challenge than a re-convened Cof the Estates would be.

Which is not to say we shouldn’t do the re-convening of the CofE… we should.

But AT THE SAME TIME, we have an opportunity at the upcoming Supreme Court Trial.

A unique opportunity to utilise Section 5 of the Claim of Right – Protected Rights and Prohibitions:

EQUAL Right to Justice For All People – Unlawful to limit the right and the MEANS to petition for Justice.

People seem to have got side tracked into thinking a S30 order is about permission to hold a Referendum.  It is not, it is a Westminster docket, that decides if it would agree to abide by the results of a Referendum.  And by those standards they are entitled to vote on it, in any way they like.  What they should not be allowed to do, is overstep the mark, or make judgements re Scotland’s legal right to hold a Referendum, without being fully appraised of the legal consequences of same.

I suggest that Salvo attend that trial, not for the purposes of trying to put before that court an argument for Scotland to have a Referendum – but for the purpose of entering into court, as evidence, An Authorised Copy of Scotland’s Claim of Right and the Precondition to the Act of Union which safeguards same.

I fear it is almost a guarantee that the current Lord Advocate will make no mention of it… and every time it is not utilised in important decisions, they will argue ‘use it or lose it’.

The second reason for utilising S5 at the Supreme Court, is to put one of the powers the CoR bestows upon us, back into physical action, via the right and the Means to petition for Justice.  That means it doesn’t have to be a Government QC, or Lord Advocate, it can be us.  Or to be exact, at this moment in time, even without a reconvened CoE, with 6 mandates and a majority of Indy MP’s as power to our elbow, it can be us.

Anyone who has attended courts with any frequency will tell you, there is a great deal of Theatrics about the process.  It is, without a doubt a very public stage.  They will also tell you that your day in court is your only chance to state your case.  No use a week later, saying if only we’d presented such and such evidence.

This would be the Claim of Right in action (one part of it).  And it would be re-introducing Scotland’s Written Constitution with its full Claim of Right pre-conditions squarely back into play.  It would also be centre stage, full publicity –  At a time when getting this vital information out to as many Scots as possible is essential.


I am not a constitutional lawyer but as a layman Sally’ s suggestion seems very attractive to me. I think we all know that very different tactics are needing engaged to put the Union on the back foot and wondering where the next move will be played, and by whom. Lots of educated people read this blog so I will be interested to read the comments this article generates. Let the debate commence.

I am, as always

Yours for Scotland


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