The commentators 08-09-14
...on the Scottish referendum
MPs want Scotland to behave as if Britain is still run from Westminster. But Parliament has undermined its own coherence and authority by systematically exporting power away from itself. It transferred sovereignty upwards to the EU. It devolved power downwards to the Scottish and Welsh assemblies. It outsourced power sideways when it encouraged judges to trump parliamentary decisions by human rights law, which in turn encouraged the development of divisive group identities to claim “victim” rights.
- Melanie Phillips, The Times
There is something especially odd about Scottish nationalism in that so much of its symbolism was, in fact, invented by Southerners — some of them understandably driven by romantic attachment to the sheer beauty of the place. What could be more Scottish than the kilt? Yet as the late Hugh Trevor-Roper pointed out in his essay The Coming Of The Kilt, it was invented by an 18th-century Lancashire ironmaster called Thomas Rawlinson. He had devised it as workwear for employees who felled trees and stoked his furnaces near Inverness. This is not to say that the Scottish nation is a sham. But it would be dreadful if they should forget our auld acquaintance.
- Dominic Lawson, Daily Mail
A lot of us in Scotland underestimate the strength of feeling in the rest of Britain about what might happen on September 18. Belatedly the English, Welsh and Northern Irish have come to appreciate the damage that would be done to the UK. And as they awaken to it they realise that they have had no say and no voice. They are growing angry.
- George Robertson, Financial Times
Unions are good for all of us, and it would be a shame to give up on historical hopes and aspirations that made the United Kingdom. But we should give due respect to the Scots for this political probe, test and new settlement. And learn from them about heartfelt citizenship engagement.
- Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, The Independent
Apart from the twelve referendum splashes of the past two days, the subject has made a front-page lead on only five occasions this year:Yes, it's been busy with Iraq, Gaza, Ukraine, the rise of Ukip, sex scandals, the hacking trial, Mr Cameron's holidays, floods and heatwaves. But one would still expect the potential break-up of the UK - or the liberation of Scotland, depending on your point of view - to be able to put up a better fight against the 30 house price splashes, the 25 on migrants and the 26 on Madeleine McCann. I stopped counting when I got to 60 soap opera and "reality TV" offerings.
- Wake us up before they go-go
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