The commentators 16-09-14
...on the Scottish referendum
If the world keeps going bad, the Scottish nationalists could soon discover that there are many worse and more dangerous people in the world than the hated “Tory toffs” in London. By then, however, it could be too late. If the vote goes the wrong way on Thursday, the UK will break up. George Robertson, a proud Scot and a former head of Nato, was not exaggerating when he said that the “forces of darkness” in the world would love that.
- Gideon Rachman, Financial Times
I don't believe the terrible breach confronting us is motivated by any deep grievance or even a desire for nationhood on the part of most Scots. Deep ties of history are threatened by arguments that are mostly frivolous and largely transient. They are chiefly deployed by a man, the slithery Alex Salmond, who shamelessly manipulates the truth in his quest for power.
- Stephen Glover, Daily Mail
Tory MPs predict a huge rebellion if legislation is introduced to give greater powers to Scotland without also devolving rights to England. “Even if there’s a ‘no’ vote, Cameron has ended up giving away the keys to the kingdom on the basis of one opinion poll,” says a senior backbencher. “That is just wrong. The whole attitude has been ‘let’s get through today and worry about the details later’.”
- Rachel Sylvester, The Times
The point is not that greater devolution to Scotland is a bad idea. It is right and unavoidable. The point is that it opens vast and nearly unanswerable questions about the governance of the rest of the kingdom that politicians, in their desperation to scrape over the line on Thursday, have not thought through.
- Janan Ganesh, Financial Times
Perhaps if more had been done by the media and Westminster to acknowledge Scotland’s exit plans, say, over the past 36 months, rather than the past 14 days, we wouldn’t be in this state of blind panic – a “Bloody hell, they really mean it!” panic – and the tension would not be so elevated.
- Grace Dent, The Independent
The fact that heads as varied as those belonging to central bankers, world-leading businesses and Nobel prize-winning economists are all warning “no you can’t”, and that an independent Scotland could have disastrous consequences for jobs, prices, pensions and living standards, is swept aside on a wave of Yes balloons and Salmond sound bites.
- Alastair Campbell, Daily Telegraph
The possibility of Scottish independence is of modest geopolitical interest to Beijing; the prospect of watching Britain being physically and spiritually diminished before a global audience is mouthwatering. So mouthwatering, in fact, that China seems able to suppress its natural distaste for secessionists, demagogues and any process that hinges on a free ballot.
- Leo Lewis, The Times
Whatever happens on Thursday, the time is coming for the people of England to have a say in their future as a nation. And a trip to see the Coronation Stone in Kingston will remind you just how ancient a nation it is.
- Philip Johnston, Daily Telegraph
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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Nato and Isis
First World War centenary