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December 19, 2012

Listen to the people

Normal 0 false false false EN-GB X-NONE X-NONE As the dust settles on the Edinburgh Agreement and the details of how the referendum is to be conducted become clear, let’s hope that the real debate can now begin.  Let’s also hope that it moves beyond sterile questions of ‘will I be better off?’ and more into the realm of ‘what kind of Scotland do I want to live in?’  In 1999, in anticipation of the new Scottish Parliament, the views of hundreds of ordinary people were collected.  The report, People and Parliament, seems as relevant now as it was back then.


Alastair MacIntosh

Full report of People and Parliament can be obtained here 

In 1999 at the time of Devolution a small group of us chaired by Canon Kenyon Wright (of the Scottish Constitutional Convention) organised a process that, by the end of the day, engaged some 500 groups across Scotland in discerning Scotland’s values. We were shaped by ideas from liberation theology about working “from the underside” and special effort was made to reach groups that are often marginalised in voicing their opinions. I’ve been hearing a lot of the same debates coming up again with the 2014 referendum now on the table. Whichever way we might vote (and this is going to people who are inclined both ways), it is important that the debate gets lifted beyond the sterile “will we be better off or not?” and into the questions of our values, environment and consequences for those in poverty. You might find that this 1999 snapshot of the nation – People and Parliament -still has a lot to say, and if so, feel free to share it around.