A WRITTEN constitution for an independent Scotland is an amazing opportunity to enshrine our shared values in the founding document of our new nation.

Take our head of state as an example. The British monarchy isn’t the benevolent or neutral actor that we’re so often told. In fact, it is literally a law unto itself. It is exempt from police searches for stolen artefacts, exempt from equality legislation, exempt from inheritance tax and so much more.

This week saw the ludicrous spectacle of the heir to the throne claiming to dedicate himself to ending homelessness whilst committing just a fraction of what his family should have paid in tax.

An independent Scotland can follow the wave of Commonwealth nations that are moving away from the British monarchy and choosing an elected head of state.

In Scotland it is the people who are sovereign, not the Crown or the Westminster Parliament. In an independent Scotland, the people can have the basic democratic right to choose our head of state.

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Constitutions are in part quite dry documents, explaining the basic rules of how a country works.

Yet, they are also a way for us to have the big and fundamental discussions about who we are as a society.

An independent Scotland’s constitution can enshrine our human rights and values like internationalism and solidarity.

Two months on from the coronation and we still don’t know how much UK plc’s gargantuan PR exercise for Charles cost. Some estimates put it at upwards of £50 million. Golden carriages, limousines and marching bands certainly don’t come cheap.

We will be forced to endure the next stage of the royal circus on Wednesday, with the same kind of elaborate pomp, pageantry and ridiculousness that characterised May’s celebrations returning to the streets of Edinburgh.

The National: The Prince of Wales during a visit to Tillydrone Community Campus, AberdeenThe Prince of Wales during a visit to Tillydrone Community Campus, Aberdeen (Image: Euan Duff)

A special ceremony will be attended by senior royals and other pillars of the British establishment, coming together to watch on while Charles receives the “Honours of Scotland”.

It’ll be as nauseating as it sounds. The idea of Scotland being treated like some kind of hand-me-down or family heirloom should repel everyone who believes in equality and democracy.

With a new constitution we can end this anti-democratic nonsense for good.

One of the most appealing aspects of independence is the opportunity to move on from this kind of class-riddled entitlement and superstition and towards a real democracy.

We could also use our constitution to enshrine the right to healthcare and protect the public status of our NHS – and ensure that it can never be sold off.

We could guarantee the right to strike and to protest – fundamental rights for any free people but which are under attack from Westminster, where one party is determined to get rid of them and the other either supports them or sits on the sidelines.

We could look to Brazil, where their constitution requires land and property to fulfil a social function. This stops the hoarding land for no useful purpose, ensuring that it is redistributed for the benefit of the wider community. In a country with land ownership as vastly as unequal as Scotland, this would be a radical and transformational move.

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Our opposition to nuclear weapons could be expressed in a constitutional ban on other countries basing their weapons of mass destruction here, or even having them pass through our territory. New Zealand has led the way on this approach.

And we could consider Swiss-style direct democracy, giving the people the power to make major decisions via referendums on a regular basis.

The early days of our new nation will be a hugely exciting and empowering opportunity.

As the Scottish Government’s new paper on the constitution lays out, drafting our constitution will be a bottom-up, people-led process. It will be written by the public, not just by politicians.

No constitution is infallible though, so ours must also have clear provisions for how we can amend and update it. If it is to be written by the people of Scotland then we must also have the power to rewrite it.

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The US presents us with a stark example of what happens when a country fails to keep its foundational document up to date with the needs of its people.

When I think back to 2014, I think of the incredible energy of the grassroots Yes movement and the joyous, hopeful vision we shared for Scotland.

We didn’t campaign then and we don’t continue that campaign now to just build a smaller version of the British state based in Edinburgh. We want the powers of independence for a purpose – and that purpose is a fairer, greener Scotland.

That hopeful vision is what shifted so many people to our cause nine years ago and it is only by reigniting that excitement that we will shift support for independence firmly into a stable majority.