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Published on January 21st, 2012 | by Ryan Austin
Image © [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="360" caption="First Minister, Alex Salmond on a quest for Scottish independence"][/caption] The Scottish question. No longer a question of why, but a question of both when and how.

Alex Salmond: a man both greatly in touch with the Scottish populace and with the cunning ability to get his way. As Britain faces deep austerity, a greater crisis has occurred, which, if not conducted with caution, could lead to uncertain future for both Scotland and the Union. Scotland has a choice that will set the agenda for a new England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and that will change who withholds power and a choice that will change the perception of the British Isles forever.

One of the most significant issues in the quest for Scottish independence is who holds the cards. It's a question of control and its an issue which if not dealt with appropriately could go down in the history books as the hour where Britain made its biggest mistake.

If one thing is clear, its that both Scotland and Salmond must play by the rules. As much as the First Minster can declare grand and patriotic rhetoric stating how the referendum will be run by Scotland, for Scotland and in Scotland, the supremacy of Britain’s constitution will indisputably prevail. At present the only thing that is binding is Alex Salmond and the wishes of Parliament. As much as he can put on this false persona of immediate independence, Salmond must do what’s in Scotland’s best interest and respect both the constitution and the supremacy of Parliament. Legally, both Cameron and Salmond know that Holyrood does not possess the power to independently call a binding referendum, however this has not stopped Salmond's persistence in a referendum without the interference of Westminster.

The question of Scottish independence is at first glance a question for the people of Scotland, however the consequences will affect both Scotland and the Union. Because of this, many English citizens have argued that the entire union should have the right to vote in such a colossal constitutional change.

This is where doubts are raised. Doubts over Salmond's hypocritical decision to lower the voting age to 16, even though he himself opposed Labour's votes for 16 policy. There are also doubts over Salmond's decision to tactically time the referendum amongst the historical Battle of Bannock and over the proposals to add a third option to the referendum.

Although Cameron’s squad of constituency analytics can claim it is in his political interests for Scotland to leave and thus Labour to lose a stronghold of seats, Cameron knows the seriousness of this issue more than anyone. As a man who marched patriotically upon the soil of Brussels only months ago to declare Britain's first historic veto, for Cameron to see both UK segregated from Europe, and internally divided in a single parliamentary term would be disastrous.

What about the future? The movement for change has come from Salmond using his party’s victory as a mandate to speak for Scotland, but what hasn’t occurred is any thought for the Union. Undoubtedly, any split would affect both the remains of the union and of course Scotland. However, this surely shows how granting the vote to the whole union is crucial if both sides of the argument wish to gain any success.

The union is much more than a bureaucratic collection of states and individuals; it's a heritage, a way of life and symbol of Britain’s unity. As much as a group of nationalists in Scotland may hope for independence, the fact remains that union is by very definition a collectively owned concept that even Scottish-born English migrants should have a say upon.

In essence, the movement in Scotland for independence should be a warning: a lesson from which all future politicians learn upon. Although initiated by Blair's constitutional reforms in the late 1990s, nationalism has been rife within the union for decades. From the Irish conflicts of the 1960's to the landslide SNP victory of May 2010. If one thing has been clear during this time of great confusion, it's the notion that Britain never got it right; we never made the union united.

But Scotland has given us, both society and government, the opportunity to change that. Whatever the decision is, both the future landscape of the British Isles and political history will change dramatically. Britain must make the right decision, not for or against the motion, but on how. How will Britain dissolve and how will Britain restore democratic unity from which all Union states will accord on.

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Scotland: Fishing For Salmon

First Minister, Alex Salmond on a quest for Scottish independence

The Scottish question. No longer a question of why, but a question of both when and how.

Alex Salmond: a man both greatly in touch with the Scottish populace and with the cunning ability to get his way. As Britain faces deep austerity, a greater crisis has occurred, which, if not conducted with caution, could lead to uncertain future for both Scotland and the Union. Scotland has a choice that will set the agenda for a new England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and that will change who withholds power and a choice that will change the perception of the British Isles forever.

One of the most significant issues in the quest for Scottish independence is who holds the cards. It’s a question of control and its an issue which if not dealt with appropriately could go down in the history books as the hour where Britain made its biggest mistake.

If one thing is clear, its that both Scotland and Salmond must play by the rules. As much as the First Minster can declare grand and patriotic rhetoric stating how the referendum will be run by Scotland, for Scotland and in Scotland, the supremacy of Britain’s constitution will indisputably prevail. At present the only thing that is binding is Alex Salmond and the wishes of Parliament. As much as he can put on this false persona of immediate independence, Salmond must do what’s in Scotland’s best interest and respect both the constitution and the supremacy of Parliament. Legally, both Cameron and Salmond know that Holyrood does not possess the power to independently call a binding referendum, however this has not stopped Salmond’s persistence in a referendum without the interference of Westminster.

The question of Scottish independence is at first glance a question for the people of Scotland, however the consequences will affect both Scotland and the Union. Because of this, many English citizens have argued that the entire union should have the right to vote in such a colossal constitutional change.

This is where doubts are raised. Doubts over Salmond’s hypocritical decision to lower the voting age to 16, even though he himself opposed Labour’s votes for 16 policy. There are also doubts over Salmond’s decision to tactically time the referendum amongst the historical Battle of Bannock and over the proposals to add a third option to the referendum.

Although Cameron’s squad of constituency analytics can claim it is in his political interests for Scotland to leave and thus Labour to lose a stronghold of seats, Cameron knows the seriousness of this issue more than anyone. As a man who marched patriotically upon the soil of Brussels only months ago to declare Britain’s first historic veto, for Cameron to see both UK segregated from Europe, and internally divided in a single parliamentary term would be disastrous.

What about the future? The movement for change has come from Salmond using his party’s victory as a mandate to speak for Scotland, but what hasn’t occurred is any thought for the Union. Undoubtedly, any split would affect both the remains of the union and of course Scotland. However, this surely shows how granting the vote to the whole union is crucial if both sides of the argument wish to gain any success.

The union is much more than a bureaucratic collection of states and individuals; it’s a heritage, a way of life and symbol of Britain’s unity. As much as a group of nationalists in Scotland may hope for independence, the fact remains that union is by very definition a collectively owned concept that even Scottish-born English migrants should have a say upon.

In essence, the movement in Scotland for independence should be a warning: a lesson from which all future politicians learn upon. Although initiated by Blair’s constitutional reforms in the late 1990s, nationalism has been rife within the union for decades. From the Irish conflicts of the 1960’s to the landslide SNP victory of May 2010. If one thing has been clear during this time of great confusion, it’s the notion that Britain never got it right; we never made the union united.

But Scotland has given us, both society and government, the opportunity to change that. Whatever the decision is, both the future landscape of the British Isles and political history will change dramatically. Britain must make the right decision, not for or against the motion, but on how. How will Britain dissolve and how will Britain restore democratic unity from which all Union states will accord on.

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