Latest letter published in Herald – Dangers of Scotland divided against itself.

MURRAY Pittock’s account of various referendum outcome scenarios is interesting, but omits the most dangerous and damaging possibility, which is in fact the only likely circumstance of a Yes victory (“The only certainty is there will be change following the referen­dum”, Agenda, The Herald, June 10).

Decades of opinion polling and election results indicate that independence is rejected by between 65% and 70% of Scots. However, the Yes campaign has it made it clear that it would ignore this background and grasp any simple majority on one anomalous day, no matter how slim, and if necessary secured as a minority of the electorate, as a mandate for independence .

In other words, incredible as might seem, the SNP and their allies will celebrate a Scotland totally divided against itself, with a bitter separation from the UK created without the active or demonstrable consent of the majority of its citizens.

The arts world in Scotland has been very quick to congratulate itself on its contribution to the referendum debate. However, there has been no theatre company that has seen fit to revive Brecht’s Caucasian Chalk Circle to show that real wisdom and indeed love of Scotland would reject a hollow “victory” which does not command sustained and overwhelming popular support. (The more biblically-minded may think of Solomon.)

A vote for Yes would also inevitably set different parts of Scotland against each other. Others have mentioned the question of Orkney and Shetland, and opinion polls show support for remaining in the UK strong in the Borders – it is easy to see how a case could be advanced in that region, if it votes No, for the border itself to be renegotiated.

However, there is a very simple way to prevent this nightmare scenario, and fortunately, one which appears to be the choice of most Scots: the opinion polls continue to show that most Scots throughout the country prefer an emphatic No vote.

Peter A Russell,


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