THE CLAIM OF RIGHT AND THE RIGHTFUL CLAIMANT
(A COVER NOTE AND PREFACE)
This note relates to the accompanying letter entitled “Psalm 127.1”. The subject is the future Constitution of Scotland. Following a telephone conversation the letter was sent to Canon Kenyon Wright on 8th August this year. (2012) It addressed this gentleman firstly in his role as a clergyman and thereafter in his roles as Chair of the Scottish Constitutional Convention of 1989 (Claim of Right) and as the existing President of The Scottish Constitutional Commission founded in 2002. Kenyon’s response was a profound silence.The letter to Kenyon may be read in full as the third posting for the same date as the posting now being read ie item No.3 of update dated 08/05/2013
The writer recently attended a “debate” held by The Dept. of History and Celtic Studies at Glasgow University entitled “The Declaration of Arbroath”. The audience was addressed by two professors each of whom accepted the principles therein regarding the freedom of the people. As I recall, it was stated that the rhetoric of the document was by no means original. The potential deposition of the King by the people was however, unique . The issue was the significance of the document in its day as measured for example by the few historical referrals made thereto in the making of any subsequent political case. Inevitably the context also embraced the issue of Scottish Independence. Both the presentations and questions from the audience were interesting and enjoyable. They were also largely academic as is to be expected in academia. This statement is factual, not judgemental.
The last questioner’s words were “I focus upon the spirit of the Declaration; and also upon Nichola Sturgeon’s statement that the people have a right not only to vote upon the options in the context of independence, but to determine what these options should be. That said, do either of the speakers consider it beyond the bounds of either possibility or credibility that the people of Scotland may elect a Monarch where none exists (subsequent to independence) as distinct from deposing one who does?”
After a pregnant silence and a prompt from the chairman the first speaker replied “I don’t think I have a response”. The questioner responded “thank you sir, your silence speaks a thousand words. I am not being sarcastic in making this statement”. The second presenter simply added “that would have to be after independence”. The questioner responded with the words “Of course!” As the speakers had already been formally thanked by the Chairman, the debate ended with the two words quoted at the end of the last sentence. Thus the premiss (n. Brit. Logic) was not dismissed by either speaker.
Ian McLean November 2012
(In alphabetical order)
- Mr. (Lord) William Cullen. As Law Lord and Fellow of The Royal Society of Scotland.
- Mr. Elliot Bulmer, Vice Chairman and Research Director of The Scottish Constitutional Commission. Author of “A Model Constitution for Scotland” (2011).
- Mr. Iain McGregor. A friend; for his prayers for which I give him my thanks.
- Cardinal Keith O’Brien, Archdiocese of St. Andrews and Edinburgh; as a clergyman. By hand to the Diocese office.
- Mr. Alex Salmond, First Minister of The Scottish Parliament. By hand to the Parliament Building.
- The Scottish Constitutional Futures Forum. A body of legal academics from Scottish Universities interacting with the community.
- Canon Kenyon Wright. “Cover Note and Preface” only.