At Our Scottish Future we are looking forward to a big year where – Covid permitting – we finally hope to engage properly with communities across the country. Our basic plan is the same one as last year: we hope to set out a positive argument for Scotland’s future as part of the UK, which is open to change and reform, and which reflects the views of “middle Scotland” – those of us on both sides of the constitutional fence who are just looking for something better than what we have just now.
On the constitutional front, my own view is that there are going to be two big broad debates this year. The first will focus on matters of process. That’s if or when the Scottish Government formalizes a request for another referendum on independence. The second will examine issues of substance. The Scottish Government has said it will set out a fresh prospectus on independence, and we wait to see how substantial that is going to be.
For our own part, those of us on the pro-UK side of the fence, and especially Our Scottish Future, are keen to set out positive ideas of substance too. Some of these ideas will focus on the architecture of Scotland and the UK, and how reforms to the way we are governed can improve the quality of our lives. But that shouldn’t be the end of it: on a weekly basis we also want to show how big ideas right now have the potential to enthuse and engage people in Scotland no matter their position on independence and the Union.
This is the basic aim of ScotlandCan, and starting this week we will be publishing a series of articles from some of our writing team which hopefully show the kind of optimism and ambition that most people in Scotland are looking for and which, importantly, colour that in with detailed policy ideas.
Our aim this year is to throw the challenge over to our political parties to do likewise. Opposition parties especially have a chance this year to show that in a post-Covid Scotland the have the specific deliverable ideas to take the country forward. This is the best way to get noticed in a political environment which makes it extremely difficult to get noticed.