Pre-Union Coat of Arms

The Scottish Claim of Right

Is this as special a document and idea as some people say it is?

May and June saw two Indy Jigsaw programmes on the the theme of creating a Constitution for an independent Scotland. There are moves afoot to to draft a provisional constitution which would safeguard us immediately after independence until we have a fully discussed and formulated Constitution in place. Our two main guests were Mike Russell, former Cabinet Secretary for the Constitution, and Dr Elliot Bulmer a constitutional expert well-versed in working with governments abroad to strengthen their nations’ constitutional foundation. You’ll those two programmes in our Indy Jigsaw playlist.

The Claim of Right

In the process of making these programmes we found ourselves in discussions where the Scottish Claim of Right came up. Sometimes it came up very strongly as when Fiona and I were chatting to activists over in Edinburgh who told us in no uncertain terms that we didn’t need a Constitution we have the Claim of Right already in place.

Dethroning James VII of Scotland

Now that struck me as likely to be a bit of an over-statement. The trouble was that I didn’t really know very much about the Claim of Right. So I did a bit research and got my head round the basics. And then had a chat to Fiona about it. Here we are:

Having done our homework, we then asked Jenny Eeles into the studio to talk some more about the Claim of Right and what relevance it has in 21st Century for a newly emergent independent Scotland. Here’s the conversation with Jenny.

And now…

I hope that when we come to write our Scottish Constitution it will have a preamble that honours the Declaration of Arbroath and the 1689 Claim of Right from all those centuries ago. And also honours those modern Scots who revived those ideas to back up their arguments first for a Scottish Parliament, and now for an independent Scotland.

(If you haven’t come across Jenny’s video series Radical Scottish History then have a look using the link. )

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