A confident and independent Scotland, far from deserting its neighbours, might actually end up being a better friend, argues writer Nick Thorpe, analysing the language used to describe the referendum choices and how it can both lead and mislead.
One of the most ingrained, and mistaken, ideas about the 'Yes' side of the Scottish independence referendum is that, as a friend from England wrote to me, "really its all about nationalism, identity and flag-waving."
I wrote yesterday, 16 September 2014, about attitudes in England towards the Scottish referendum.(http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/20831) England, Wales and Northern Ireland – as well as places further afield – will be affected by the result. Like many English people hoping for a Yes vote, I’m motivated mainly by a desire to get rid of Trident.
I've been wary of blogging about Scottish independence, not least because I'm well aware of how many English people are writing about it in a way that implies they know more than the Scots. It seems that the referendum debate is engaging thousands of people in Scotland who were previously seen as apolitical. I don't doubt that they know more about the issues than commentators in London.
An independent Scotland could be the start of something even bigger: disaffected voters in England, Wales and Northern Ireland motivated to find a different society, say Molly and John Harvey, senior church figures in Scotland. They write with only days to go before the historic referendum on self-government.
Whatever the result announced on the morning of 19 September, the constituent countries of the United Kingdom will never be the same again. The poll published yesterday (6 September), which
for the first time, placed the Yes campaign in the lead, produced a flurry of activity and comment on both sides of the debate. Those coming from Better Together' revealed an unedifying sense of panic.
The Church of Scotland has backed calls from a Convention of Scottish Local Authorities report which states a radical overhaul of the democratic system is required to overturn 50 years of centralisation.