SSRG Guest Article – Empowering the Nation

Empowering the Nation is a conference hosted by the SSRG at the Carnegie Conference Centre Dunfermline from 29-31 July. It is a deliberately ambitious event and the first major conference to be held following the announcement of a date for the next independence referendum; the first chance for independence supporters to publicly address many of the key issues and constitutional questions currently facing Scotland.

Our aim in hosting this non-partisan conference is to encourage and enable the sharing of knowledge within and beyond the independence movement and to advance the debate on Scotland’s future from all aspects – academic, technical, populist and political; under the current devolved settlement and as a self-reliant sovereign nation.

All of Scotland’s political parties have been invited to attend and are expected to be represented. Scotland’s Trade Unions have also been invited to attend as well as the wider Yes movement whose members are expected to be the majority of conference participants. There will also be a press and TV broadcast presence.

We have a great line-up of well-known speakers from Scotland and beyond and a wide range of key topics for our 400+ attendees to debate and discuss. Participants will be able to have their say and contribute to establishing guiding principles and strategies for Scotland during working sessions linked to the key areas of debate. The outputs from focused team sessions over the three days can be expected to include a number of “calls to action” from the conference to inspire & motivate local activists, politicians of all parties and government organisations.

A list of conference speakers and main topics are set out on the SSRG website conference page. (  The final content of most agenda items have now been confirmed with our speakers. There will also be a number of breakout events and even some entertainment which will be announced on our website shortly. The following items have been picked out to give a flavour of what to expect when you attend the conference –

The Potential Routes to Independence – The starting pistol may have been fired and a date announced for the referendum but it is still not clear to everyone which course will lead to our ultimate objective of transforming Scotland into a independent sovereign nation. One of the first debates at the conference will therefore aim to explore and increase our understanding of the implications and realities of all Potential Routes to Independence. SSRG have identified 6 routes but more may be revealed during debate. With our line up of speakers we are looking forward to open & honest debate, respectful disagreement on tactics and timing, but a meeting of minds and a shared understanding of what preparations and actions could be taken by individuals and groups across Scotland, now and in the coming months, to increase momentum and ensure success. 

Scottish Questions” a TV Debate – On the Friday evening at 6pm there will be a 1 hour recorded live “Scottish Questions” debate with a balanced expert panel and chair in front of an open (unselected) audience. The debate will be broadcast later that evening on the Sky TV platform. All political parties in Scotland have been invited to take part. The conference agenda has a wide range of topics but of necessity is constrained to fit a 3 day timetable. The TV debate will permit the audience to pose questions and generate debate on topical or urgent items not covered by the main agenda.

Scotland’s Economy, Taxation and Currency will be an important feature of the conference. SSRG are pleased to announce that the Scottish Currency Group, which advocates the introduction of a Scottish currency as soon as possible after independence, will establish a “Scottish Central Bank” and set up a “Bureau de Change” booth during the conference to illustrate the introduction of a new currency. The conference will become a “sterling free zone” for 3 days so that all attendees can use the newly designed Scottish currency for any purchases they make at the venue. 

International Relations & Recognition – Over recent months the discussion on how Scotland can achieve independence has shifted and there is now a noticeable focus on the Claim of Right, the Treaty of Union, and the Sovereignty of the People of Scotland. The conference debate onInternational Relations & Recognition will enable discussion and a better understanding of the value & purpose of these elements of our constitution and how they are integral to the evidence which could be used to convince others, particularly in the international community of our status, politically and legally as an independent sovereign state.  

Conference Working Groups & Conclusions – Over the course of the 3 days a series of Working Groups will be set up to consider and discuss key questions arising from the main Conference Debates. Our aim is to maximise the spread of views to motivate further action across the independence movement. 

To ensure conference output is structured and can be targeted, as appropriate, to inform and influence the actions of government, political parties, activists and specialist groups we will encourage the working groups to consider and agree what actions or further research they think must be taken, and by whom, to significantly improve the economic, social and constitutional position of the people of Scotland. Their calls for action or further research on the topics they discuss could be for improvements achievable under the current devolution settlement and / or those which appear possible only after Scotland is a fully independent state.  For some of the conference topics this may be a very ambitious task given the limited time available. That’s why SSRG believe that Empowering the Nation is not an end in itself conference but one of many steps along our path to self determination.  

Please join us on the 29thJuly in Dunfermline to re-energise the independence campaign and help start the process of building a new Scottish state. – an independent country with an encoded constitution, a new form of participative democracy and where there is fairness and equality of opportunity for all. 

Purchase your conference ticket or register your interest at 


John Brown 

Scottish Sovereignty Research Group


This will be worth attending. The SSRG have been doing valuable work and this Conference gives the opportunity to spread what they now know and be able to discuss with all interested groups and organisations on how best to move forward with these issues.

It is intentionally broad based and incorporates all parties and none, the Trade Union Movement, Civic Scotland and many other organisations directly engaged in Scotland’s future and they hope to develop the broadest range of proposals for the future on the basis of the widest involvement possible.

I am, as always



  1. Well if Sturgeon isn’t going to move Independence forward someone has to!

    Are you following the SNP Aberdeen Cult rules for the debates? 😎…..thought not!

    Liked by 14 people

    1. I have read those cult rules from this tiny group who claim to control the Yes Campaign they should apply to be part of the Edinburgh Fringe people will find them hiariuos!

      Liked by 12 people

  2. I spent a lot of time yesterday trying to work out how to attend EtN, the cons have a lead over the pros at the moment – my heart says its super important – my head says too old…
    Any chance putting it online?

    Liked by 9 people

      1. That would be great Mark as planned to be there but Covid got me and don’t have the energy at the moment, look forward to it being streamed and voting if possible.

        Liked by 3 people

  3. Putting the event online would be helpful for me too, as I’m still recovering from illness. But of course the organisers will want as many to attend as possible.

    Completely off topic.
    With temperatures reaching dangerous levels in England, I suppose we can expect even more refugees to pour into Scotland. I have nothing against people coming here, in fact I love meeting visitors to my country. The problem is that these ones can vote on our future, and they’re unlikely to vote for independence.

    Liked by 10 people

    1. Well resipole . You had better have a word with Alex Salmond he has indicated that the franchise will be the same as 2014. Is this Alba policy, who voted for this, was there a debate or is it just dictat from on high. If ever there was a definition of suicide this is it. Doing the same thing over and over but expecting a different result.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. I’m a founder member of Alba and not aware of any vote having been taken on the franchise. I’ll be at the conference though and looking forward to engaging with fellow indy types.

        Liked by 6 people

      2. I hope it can be streamed online.
        Even a day or two after the main event .
        If possible.
        Good luck.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Wilkie.

        If the Scottish people are sovereign and I believe they are, then Alex Salmond will have to bend to the will of the people, whatever his own views may be.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. As an observer, I will venture an opinion. The Outcome of Empowering the Nation, whatever it actually means, should be the empanelling of The Convention ot the Estates – SOONEST!

    Liked by 7 people

  5. Without getting too carried away, that people have the right to choose how they are governed is a concept that is as important for the future of humanity as the development of the Constitution of the United State of America (despite the problems in Washington D.C. it is still an on-going project whose better days are still ahead).

    The best guide to the impact of SSRG and Salvo will be the opposition from “current interests”. It most certainly a concept that they will want to suppress at the earliest opportunity. However, they are ill-prepared to mount any serious opposition as the tide of events globally turn against them.

    Liked by 11 people

      1. Well that’s the “problem”. Any real threat to the current order is going to the opposed vigorously. In that sense the Claim of Right needs further development as the idea that the populace can choose to replace the current government, lock, stock and barrel, is, shall we say, controversial and not without risk of requiring something more than gentle persuasion.

        Liked by 5 people

      2. “Any real threat to the current order is going to the opposed vigorously.” That then becomes a “constitutional” problem. Scotland’s Constitution is not dead, it is alive. Neglected, but alive, therefore a part of the “current order”.
        So it is the Constitution that has to be referred to and upheld.

        Liked by 8 people

      3. I strongly suspect that re convening the Convention of the Estates as an official body, has to a great extent been replaced (and in some ways in a more legitimate manner) by our system of elected reps, and would be like re-inventing the wheel.

        If invented, the bulk of its time and power, would be in evidencing there was a substantial democratic demand in Scotland to re-visit the Constitutional issue of Scotland’s governance.

        But as of now, we have 6 Mandates, obtained in all apparant legal and democratic means, in 8 consecutive years.

        We seem to be of the belief that only our elected Reps can be the ones to formally pursue that claim, (there is no doubt it would be preferable and the most professional method).

        My understanding of our claim of right, enshrining as it does, on us, the people, the right to depose Kings, Queens, Governments, and High Court Judges, means that there is no such bottleneck (elsewise it would resemble nothing more than parliamentary sovereignty), and in theory any one of us has the right (with 6 mandates in our pocket) to serve legal notice on Westminster, or the Supreme Court that blocking the S30 order is an assault on our CofR and a fundamental breach of the Articles of Union.

        Apologies if I’ve got ir wrong but that is my understanding at the moment.

        Liked by 8 people

  6. I’ve booked my place and accommodation for the event. SSRG might consider taking out an msm ad from donations raised, in order to publicise more widely. Joan Savage/ Hutcheson

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Hi Daisy
      I think of it this way:
      Sovereignty of the People (the National S). The Convention of the Estates – OUR Watchdog.
      We lend our Sovereignty to the Head of State and their parliament. If these borrowers get things wrong, the CotE put them right, and sacks them, if need be, and lend our S to a replacement.
      In the present case our S is lent to the UK Parliament, who actually think They are Sovereign; and, of course Lizzie!
      Because we Scots are fed up of this and want our Independence (Sovereignty) back, we need our CotE to order our parliament, Holyrood, to tell Westminster, in no uncertain fashion, Dissolve the Union, we’d prefer a different treaty, and if they (Holyrood) don’t, they’ll sack them both.

      Now all this could be wrong, but it cheers me up!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Hello Neil, firstly I could be wrong too, and like yourself the potential is cheering me up.

        The first thing a CotE will have to do, is evidence their authority to represent the bulk of Scotland – our elected reps have already done so – then it will have to evidence the weight of public opinion supports their argument – our elected reps – with 6 mandates have already done so….

        What is up in the air, (as far as I understand it) is this concept, for Sovereignty of the People to be more than just a nice sounding word (and the written Constitution makes clear, it is more than a word) …. for it to actually deliver, into our hands, the power to sack Kings, Governments, Judges, and elected reps – it becomes no power at all, or no different a power to the powers we already have in our elected reps in the current system, if it can ONLY be expressed if first we form an organisation, then the organisation forms a mandate, then the organistation obtains enough votes, then only through them our cause can be libelled and those found wanting, cited and made to attend tribunual.

        I’m not sure I’m expressing this well, but bare with me. We are so used to following this pattern of behaviour (which to be fair is rather sensible), that we fail to see this chain of behaviour becomes a gatekeeper to its own power.

        The Claim of Right specifically saw this problem, which is why it was so adamant at jumping the power back to the people.

        I see 2 different issues, or potential causes of action at the present moment.

        The first is that Boris has instructed the British Government to block a S30 order. I view this as a direct attempt to alter, amend, discard the Sovereignty of the Scottish People – an offence so serious that it potentially breaks the Treaty/Articles of Union.

        And with 6 Mandates of Evidence in our pocket, I see no need, or requirement, to wait on our FM, our Lord Advocate, SNP or Alba Politicians serving a Notice of Legal Complaint. That’s how we are conditioned to think, but it is not what our Sovereignty empowers us to accept.

        That is what Sovereignty is. Remember the CoR gives us the power to stand in Judgement of Judges, and sack them.

        In order to do that, it means we the people MUST already have the power to legally challenge them.

        The 2nd issue I see, is that we have elected reps, with their specific mandates and instructions, who appear to have got stuck (I’m being polite here). There could well be a place, in the future for an organisation called the Convention of the Estates calling them to tribunual and judging them…. but in reality, time wise, doing so now, the electorial process is likely to get there quicker and the voters do that for us.

        In the 1970’s and ’80’s we got the issue recognised by the party, the party put the mandate to the public, got the votes, then did nothing, except to tell us to form a Citizens Assembly…. a lobby group, and only then would they do their job.

        We are in danger of repeating that pattern of behaviour in setting up CothE… when at this very moment the Supreme Court is away to screw with our Claim of Right and our Sovereignty.

        If we didn’t have 6 mandates in our pocket, we would, absolutely have to create the CotE. But with the mandates in our pocket, we do not. We have every right, as Sovereign Scots, to represent and defend our legal, written Constitution and we do not need Any Politician, or Lawyer to do it for us for it to be legally correct.

        Now that is Sovereign power.

        Liked by 5 people

  7. For those of us living in the North and North-east, let alone the Islands, it is difficult to travel right now, particularly if you don’t have access to a car. I am wondering whether it would be possible to use materials from the SALVO and SSRG and other websites, including ALBA’s, and hold public meetings up here? Many people have no idea about their constitutional history, history or languages, and these meetings could be simple ‘Get to Know your own Constitutional History, etc.’ public meetings? On holiday just now, but I have been thinking about this for a while.

    Liked by 9 people

    1. Public discourse is another human behaviour trait that has been neglected. People do it on their phones these days, but one to one is hardly public. So all we need to do is give up our phones, or restrict their use – also private cars.


    1. Surely a little premature – likely to be a few weeks before the Supreme Court decision is made. Or do you just like having gatherings? Hopefully no public money will be spent on this


  8. Quite frankly the SNP should have been doing this 8 years ago, they have failed us. Thank God for for the Patriots who have kept the flame alive. We must now ensure that we the people take over the drive for independence and dont leave it to a quisling vichy SNP.

    Liked by 7 people

  9. Hi Tunnag-brot
    Here is the link to the video where Mr Salmond mentions using the same franchise as 2014. It’s another terrible video. anyhoo at 1 hr 13 min 11 secs, give or take a few secs. Mr Salmond expresses his disgust at the idea of only Scots voting in a ref, keep watching and have a look at Mr Salmonds facial expression in my veiw its rather disturbing.
    I would not wait until conference, bring this up at your next LACU meeting or asap


    1. I’m a little ambiguous about that.

      Alex Salmond says he doesn’t care where folks come from, neither do I, and says if people have committed to this country then they should have a say. I agree with that too, but there’s the essence of precondition in that statement… “have committed to this country”.

      To me that is pivotal, and demands an appropriate bar to be reached; a period of residency, a demonstration of commitment to Scotland which a second home owner, student, or recent incomer to Scotland cannot, or cannot yet demonstrate.

      I don’t want anything to do with a blanket ban on anybody, but sensible constraints on a Constitutional franchise have plenty of Internationally recognised precedent which we can surely adopt without stoking controversy.

      I believe Alex Salmond would agree with that, but if not, then a very rare occurrence has arisen where I disagree with Alex Salmond, but then, if you listen to Alex around 1:06:00, profound disagreements on strategy can be argued through constructively, and the case for a more rigorous franchise will hopefully prevail.

      Liked by 6 people

  10. I watch this to video to and was horrified that Alex supported the local voting franchise . I understand that there is people who will vote for independence even some English people but to be blunt it is naive to think 1.2 million will . This effectively gives the colonial settlers a veto again on our independence. Do we never learn anything. We cannot assume citizenship with any settlers till we the indigenous population have voted yes with a constitution voting franchise like all other countries including England who used this franchise for Brexit. After a successful yes vote then all settlers can be offered citizenship in our independent country. We cannot let our democracy be gerrymandered again by Westminster and their colonial settlers.

    Liked by 4 people

  11. This is excellent – action at last with wide engagement!
    Once people understand that Scotland has a written constitution and that written constitution is recognised by Westminster very recently the game has changed: The Claim of Right is ancient but it is also current.
    We are distinct and empowered
    We have a means to hold the SG and power to account hat should be exercise through the Court of Session

    It will be interesting to hear the unionist arguments against a constitution that is recognised by Westminster. The cringe will need to be very strong with them and we should ensure their debased cringing is widely heard.

    Liked by 5 people

  12. I hope it can be streamed online.
    Even a day or two after the main event .
    If possible.
    Good luck.

    Liked by 4 people

  13. Thanks SSRG for what sounds like a fantastic event. Hopefully all invited groups will attend to make this a great success and a massive step forward. I bought a ticket mainly to register my interest but, due to disability and health issues I won’t be attending. I look forward to seeing online highlights, hopefully. Best of luck to everyone.

    Liked by 2 people

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