Scotland is on the verge of one of the most critical periods in its ancient history as the referendum on independence approaches in September. Scotland has been part of a union with the Kingdom of England since 1707 and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland since 1801, and next month the people of Scotland will vote on whether to remain part of the UK or break away independently.
Switzerland is the model for an independent Scotland as the Swiss style of government combines a constitutional republic with elements of direct democracy. This is not to say everything the Swiss do is perfect, but many aspects of their style of government should be emulated. Scotland should be a republic ruled by a legal constitution and a bill of individual rights which is voted on by the people, enshrined with innate liberties that are the essential foundation for a free country to be built upon. Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, the right to privacy (online or otherwise) and a right to a fair legal trial should all be included, in addition to other basic human rights.
Referendums are a hallmark of the Swiss system as any change to the law that affects the constitution is required to go to a referendum before being ratified. The Swiss people are legitimately able to directly affect the political decisions of their country, as opposed to allowing aristocratic politicians to make decisions on their behalf. If a petition acquires 50,000 signatures on any subject – out of a population of 8 million – a national referendum is called. Imagine if this was written into the British legal system at the time of the Iraq war, do you think a war crime would have been averted in 2003?
Switzerland is a very unique country on the European continent as it is not a member of the European Union (EU) or the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), a path that Scotland should follow. Swiss foreign policy has been underpinned for over 500 years by ideas of neutrality, which was crystallised by popular Saint Nicholas of Flue in the 15th century when he advised: “don’t get involved in other people’s affairs”. Instead of bleeding the taxpayer dry with nonsensical wars abroad, Switzerland concentrates on improving the life of its citizens at home resulting in it having one of the highest standards of living in the world, coming 7th in an IMF study on the richest countries in the world (measured on a GDP Per Capita basis), along with having the 8th highest life expectancy at birth.
An independent Scotland should be open to trade with the EU but not be within the bureaucratic institution. The malign troika – composed of the 3 technocratic institutions; the European Commission (EC), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Central Bank (ECB) – have been ravaging Southern Europe for years and are not accountable to the people of any nation. A republic of Scotland should foster closer ties with Norway, Switzerland and potentially Iceland to create a prosperous zone of autonomous nations who trade and cooperate with each other outside of the EU. One of the main reasons for independence is having our own government closer to home and having more accountability in government. But to join the EU would give a large proportion of power to Brussels, surrendering our sovereignty to the EU as oppose to the UK.
Despite the continuous pro-EU propaganda emanating from the European establishment surrounding the benefits of the union, the reality is often quite different. The Euro has been a disaster since its creation and the economic crisis of 2008 has plunged many EU citizens into a state of pauperism and poverty in recent years, with high levels of unemployment a major epidemic across the continent. Spanish and Greek unemployment sits at 26% this year, with the average rate of people out of work for the entire 28-nation bloc at 10.6% in 2014.
Compared to non-EU member Switzerland’s rate of unemployment – which is at 2.9% in July – it is clear that small autonomous nations can prosper and thrive outside of the EU despite what the popular perception within Europe is. One of Scotland’s main domestic policy goals should be full employment, with wages rising ahead of the rate of inflation each year. An objective and free press is also a prerequisite for an educated, well-informed public, so a free internet which encourages diversity and competition in media should be celebrated.
The EU’s Attack on Sovereignty
In today’s Europe, sovereignty is under relentless attack by prominent members of the monolithic EU who oppose any nation who exercises its right to self-government. If Scotland was to remove itself from the EU and become a truly independent country, the people must understand it will come under incessant attack by the EU for its autonomy. A democratic decision in Switzerland to curb mass immigration sparked outrage by many members of the union in April. A new initiative was adopted by the Swiss government which restricts immigration ‘by means of quantitative limits and quotas’, a move which clashes with the free movement of people agreement previously reached with the EU. German President Joachim Gauck denounced the step and attacked the Swiss people’s style of self-government, stating it is “dangerous when citizens vote on highly complex issues”.
We Must Revoke our NATO Membership
Control over our own foreign policy is one of the most attractive ideas of an independent country to many Scots. For too long Scotland has been complicit in war crimes conducted by the government in Westminster and supportive of imperious UK allies. End these immoral foreign wars and proxy wars which destabilise nations, ruin homes, and cost the taxpayer a fortune, as well as displacing millions of people who are now looking for safety in other countries due to our foreign policy objectives. Immigration is the pressing issue of today largely due to the belligerent policies of the west which have displaced millions people from their homes. In Syria, the United Nations has estimated that 2.5 million people have been forced from their country due to the attempt by the west to topple Bashar al-Assad. The onslaught is set to continue with the US planning another 500 million dollars to the Syrian mercenaries at the start of this month, in a policy that Britain and France have been supporting for years.
Whether it is Syria, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan or any of the other nations that are on the hit-list of NATO, an independent Scotland should be neutral on the international stage and revoke its NATO membership immediately. As opposed to funnelling millions into wars which only benefit multi-national corporations and the neo-imperial cabal, Scotland should concentrate on developing our own country into an island of freedom, liberty, creativity, morality and prosperity.
Steven MacMillan is an independent writer, researcher, geopolitical analyst and editor of The Analyst Report, who has had articles featured on numerous news sites including Global Research, Truthstream Media, and The Palestine Chronicle.