Joyce McMillan (Perspective, 23 May) proposes that the referendum debate should concentrate less on constitutional matters. This unfortunate suggestion diverts attention away from the constitutional dangers of the white paper so effectively highlighted by the poet Angus Reid and Professor Mary Davis in A Modest Proposal: For The Agreement Of The People (Luath).
They point out that the Scottish Government “is greedy for all the powers of Westminster” with Scotland’s Future asserting “the right of the parliamentary class to seize enormous and unchecked power”, there being, for instance, no recognition of the need to have a second chamber.
The book argues that “a constitution is not an act of government; it is the act of a people constituting a government”. Much of the “anti-democratic and authoritarian” intent of the white paper is “to keep the people at arm’s length from the political process”.
Angus Reid and Mary Davis have broken open the securely locked box containing conventional political thinking, a box to which the people were not allowed the key, which was doggedly guarded by the guardians of the political establishment’s interests. They thus ensured that the concept of the people’s sovereignty was paid no more than lip service. Thanks to this book, we no longer need the key which Joyce McMillan saw no need for us to have in case we tampered with the contents of the box.