I am rather pleased with this letter in the Herald. (Beat the paywall)

THE statesman-like intervention of Gordon Brown in leading the movement for extra devolved powers for Scotland will surely be welcomed by all Scots who value pragmatism and commonsense over dogma and risk (“No camp accused of panic as Brown unveils powers plan”, The Herald, September 9).

 Very often in the debate we have heard the refrain “if only devo-max were on the ballot”. And sometimes, “I might give Yes a try.”

The effect of the accord announced at Loanhead by Gordon Brown is that the first is in effect the case – a No vote is a vote for new powers at Holyrood, to be developed in partnership with Scottish civil society.

The unified offer also gives the “give it a try” voters a realistic option. A Yes vote is irrevocable and absolute, but No offers the opportunity to take smaller steps, backed by the security of the scale and diversity of the UK. The consensus on proposals for taxation powers should also finally put a stake through the heart of the Yes campaign’s terrible scaremongering about the NHS.

Scotland still has no clarity from the Yes campaign about currency other than “trust me, I’m a politi­cian” from Alex Salmond, and only the most fanatical of Yes supporters would take such enormous risks to the economy and in turn to public services.

For most people, their referendum decision is not about unrealistic dreams or blind dogma.

Gordon Brown has defined a No vote as a vote for a radically new deal for Scotland within the UK, but – crucially – without the risks of independence.

Devo-max is on the ballot. Give it a try: vote No.

Peter A Russell


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