UK News

Insights from the UK and beyond

Measuring up the Tartan curtain


Visiting Scotland this week to see Alex Salmond sworn in as first minister, the newspapers were full of talk about  “independence lite”. The idea was that an independent Scotland would be free to choose as from a menu, selecting which issues to manage itself and which ones to pool with the rest of Britain.

Listening to Salmond in Holyrood and speaking to him afterwards in his official residence in Bute House,  there was little sign of soft-pedalling.

Elected unopposed as first minister by MSPs at the touch of a button in the modern parliament, Salmond stood up and promptly added demands for control of excise duty, digital broadcasting and a say in European affairs to the list of powers he is seeking from Westminster via  the Scotland Bill.

In our interview, Salmond stressed that an independent Scotland would have its own forces and foreign policy and expect control of almost all of the oil in the North Sea.

from The Great Debate UK:

The Disunited Kingdom

- Paul Henderson Scott has written numerous books on Scottish history, literature and affairs, including ‘A 20th Century Life’ and its sequel, ‘The New Scotland’. He has been Rector of Dundee University, President of the Saltire Society and of Scottish PEN and a Vice-President of the Scottish National Party. The opinions expressed are his own -

BRITAIN SCOTLANDThe recent election has revealed more clearly than before the profound divide between Scottish and English opinion. The Conservatives have 297 seats in England but only one in Scotland (plus eight in Wales). As Joyce McMillan said in The Scotsman, “Our pattern of voting increasingly marks us out as a nation apart”.