Herald letter: “Union that has helped so many Scots to achieve greatness” (No £)

IAIN Macwhirter (“Is there a sporting chance for Britain?”, The Herald, August 16) asks whether Team GB is the last bastion of Better Together – in fact it is the embodiment of the principle that a union creates an outcome that is greater than the sum of its parts.

This can also be seen in the relative weakness of Scottish teams and individuals in sports where Scotland is still competes separately – such as football and rugby –and above all in the way in which individuals thrive when succeeding in the more challenging UK context.

Kenny Dalglish was of course an excellent player at Celtic – but only became a great one after he moved to Liverpool and the old English First Division. Likewise Denis Law before him – it hard to see that he would have been the same player if he had stayed in Aberdeen.

We can all think of examples in other fields that follow this paradigm such as Alexander Fleming in medical research, or Keir Hardie (or Gordon Brown) in politics. The (Scottish) former Director of the British Museum Neil MacGregor likes to point out that Adam Smith was a visitor on the first day that establishment opened: a Scot benefiting from the access to the world-class knowledge that the wider union afforded.

Team GB is sign of the great success of the Union, and the opportunities which it will continue to offer Scotland and Scots. In fact, in the slim chance of there being a further independence referendum, “Team GB” might be just the inspirational message to secure a handsome victory for Remain.

Peter A Russell


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