Welcome to Wealthy Nation. We are a group of Scots who stand to the right of centre on the political spectrum and who are going to vote Yes to the independence of our country in the referendum on September 18, 2014.
To some observers this intention may come as a surprise, but we think Scottish independence is a logical extension of our belief in personal, political, social and economic freedom. On the Wealthy Nation website we have set up, we want over the coming months to discuss and define the relationship between that national goal and the principles we hold. We will show also how the kind of practical policies we advocate will make the Scotland of the future a much richer and happier place.
We have chosen the name Wealthy Nation for two reasons. One is that it reminds us of one of the greatest books ever written in Scotland, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith of Kirkcaldy. It set out the groundwork for our modern economy not only in this country but all over the world, a modern economy which has everywhere brought tremendous advances in the standard of living. It not only makes many people more prosperous but also enables us to take better care of the less well off. This was something Smith himself never forgot, and nor will we.
The second reason for choosing the name Wealthy Nation is that it actually describes the Scotland we live in, with its abundant natural, industrial, financial and human resources. But what we would add is that these resources are not being used to the best advantage of our people. Policies imposed on us from Westminster, and run in the interests of the South East of England, distort our economy and stop it from reaching its full potential. On our website we will set out the new Scottish policies, different from the failed Westminster policies, that can unleash our potential.
The overall aim is to replace control and regulation from elsewhere with freedom and initiative for ourselves. We will enrich the personal lives of the men and women who live here and at the same time create a country which, by the example of its success, will be able to make a greater contribution to the rest of the world, whether to our near neighbours and allies or to more distant peoples who will welcome our help. Scotland will cease to be a provincial backwater and become a valued member of the international community. Both at home and abroad, we will discover that prosperity and fairness are two sides of the same coin.
We may be more used to hearing some of this sort of language come from the political left, but in fact the political centre right is better able to realise the ideals that underpin it. A country which cannot run a successful economy will not fulfil any other of its aims either, but just fall into social strife. And the policies of the left, public ownership and control, have never produced economic success in any country or at any time. This is true of Scotland too.
We will also contribute to the national conversation on the development of an independent Scotland’s written constitution– including the need for individual and property rights, the right to free enterprise, the protection of voluntary association and checks and balances on the state. By libertarian we mean freedom for individuals, freedom for families, freedom for communities – and freedom for our country.
The trouble is that here we have never had a party which both advocates the policies of the centre right and remains committed to the Scottish values that combine prosperity with fairness: today’s Scottish Conservative party only ever follows orders from London and a very different right-of-centre philosophy.
We believe there is a substantial right-of-centre tradition in Scotland but it will never consolidate in a substantial vote for the Westminster Conservative Party. The Tories are out of touch with Scotland and their brand remains toxic north of the border. Yet it cannot be said that a tradition of the centre right is lacking here. Quite apart from Adam Smith, Scotland would not have become in the old days a workshop of the world unless its capitalists had understood their business and inspired their workers to join in perfecting products that sold round the globe.
In Wealthy Nation we want to pick up the threads that will lead from that successful Scotland of the past to the successful Scotland of the future. Our readers can help us to do that, and we look forward to hearing from you.
Category: A Vision for Scotland