A rights-based approach is the current vogue in Scotland. It’s a social and political paradigm that is embedded across the political spectrum. However, in Scotland, often the bellwether for largely untested political theories, this rights-based approach has been taken to an extreme. It now permeates almost all social structures.

But surely what would balance this out somewhat should be an equal emphasis on individual and collective responsibility? Rights do not exist in a societal vacuum. They are binary. Responsibility is the unloved and boring flip side that always gets excluded and banished from the discourse. Of course, your rights might impose on another person’s rights but a responsibility-based approach places the onus back on you to do something, often independently.

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