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It mostly covers my work as UNISON Scotland's Head of Policy and Public Affairs although views are my own. For full coverage of UNISON Scotland's policy and campaigns please visit our web site. You can also follow me on Twitter. I hope you find this blog interesting and I would welcome your comments.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

For a Fairer Scotland

Today I was at the formal launch in Glasgow of “For a Fairer Scotland” – a document which outlines UNISON Scotland's priorities in the debate on the constitution. We drafted this paper following a series of meetings with UNISON members. This is not a Think Tank paper drafted in a meeting room, it reflects the concerns of our 160,000 members who deliver public services across Scotland.

“For A Fairer Scotland” does not advocate support for either the “Yes” campaign or “Better Together”.  Instead it challenges those campaigns and others to show how their plans can match UNISON’s vision. Our approach is set out in the introduction:

“UNISON’s approach to constitutional questions is one that is driven by the interests of our members, by the sort of Scotland we want to, and deserve to, live in.  This means that for us precise constitutional arrangements are the end, not the starting point of the debate. We must first define the sort of Scotland we wish to see and then try and examine the likelihood of differing constitutional arrangements on offer to deliver on that vision.”

So we are not interested in an argument about national identity.  It’s not where the power lies, but in whose interest that power is exercised that really matters. What we are looking for is a willingness to tackle inequalities, poor health and deprivation. Unless it is explained how this is to be achieved, arguments for or against constitutional change mean very little.

Alongside this paper we have framed questions that members will be encouraged to put to all those campaigning around the referendum in the coming months. These focus on public services, rights at work, equality, jobs and the economy.

The “For a Fairer Scotland” document and the accompanying questions are both on the UNISON Scotland website at http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/scotlandsfuture/index.html

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