The commentators 05-09-14
...on the Scottish referendum
Breaking the Union buys romantic illusions at exorbitant cost. Labour strategists are convinced that their canvassing returns, which tell them old people will stick with No, are more accurate than the narrowing polls. They are probably right. They’d better be, for their own sake, let alone Scotland’s.
- Philip Collins, The Times
Most Scots know that independence could only be partial, but half-wish to negotiate it as between sovereign peoples. This craving for ever greater regional autonomy is rampant across Europe, from Spain to the Russian border. It slides into partition only when, as in Yugoslavia, central government is deaf to its demands. Whether or not Scotland votes for independence, it will have made its own decision in its own way. To that extent, it is a sovereign state in embryo.
- Simon Jenkins, The Guardian
Is the opposition of the three main political parties at Westminster to a post-independence currency union with Scotland a bluff? North of the border, many believe it is. These Scots may be right. But I hope it is no bluff. A currency union does not have to be ruled out on any terms. But a union that could make sense for the remaining UK would be highly unequal. Why would a newly independent nation accept it?
- Martin Wolf, Financial Times
In the event of separation, the Scottish government proposes the creation of a new security service. This new agency would inherit responsibility for protecting Scottish interests and securing the wellbeing and safety of Scottish citizens at home and abroad. In a complex and fast-changing world, this is a heavy responsibility. In his view the Scottish government proposals will not offer the level of protection and support currently provided by the highly sophisticated British security and intelligence agencies.
- John Scarlett, The Times
The man who killed the two American journalists did not want to spread understanding, he wanted to spread fear. And he did so by demonstrating his own acute understanding of the society he had rejected. The posing, the articulation of the threats. It was almost as though he were performing for the British tabloids with his "I'm back" taunt and its Schwarzenegger overtones. The next victim, he said, would be a Brit. The threat was aimed at Cameron, to get him to put pressure on Obama, but the target audience was far bigger - the British people. He knew that the Press would be unable to resist the language, the posture, the concern for "one of ours".
Honour Steven Sotloff, don't glorify his killers
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