Should Scotland become an independent state?

Last night, I spent one and a half hours watching a televised debate on the future of Scotland and the referendum on Scottish independence to be held on 18 September. The debate was between Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond and former British Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling.

It was the second and last of two such televised debates, but the first was only broadcast in Scotland, whereas this one was shown throughout the UK. I thought that Darling had the better arguments but Salmond had the more effective style. The general assessment is that Salmond won this debate whereas Darling had won the first one.

However, the debates do not seem to be making much difference to voting intention with the ‘no to independence’ around 14 percentage points in the lead.

Of course, only the Scots will have a vote in this referendum, although the outcome will have profound implications for everyone in England, Wales and Northern Ireland as well.

I hope that the Scots vote ‘no’. While I would always support independence from an occupying or colonising power, as a general rule I am in favour of devolution within states and more co-operation between them rather than a fragmentation of states.

I stand by a short essay I wrote for my web site six years ago entitled “The Issue Of Nationhood” which you can read here.


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