Disunited kingdom

The British are at a turning point. After 300 years the union of England and Scotland may be heading for the rocks; if devolution leads to divorce, the effects - on both countries - will be profound. The Scots voted for their own parliament, with tax-raising powers, one year ago. But contrary to expectation, the desire for independence seems to have been stimulated rather than dulled - support for the Scottish National Party has been growing ever since. This week, it holds what could be the most important party conference of its history. If it wins a majority of seats in the new parliament, Scots may well find themselves on the road to full-blown independence. This week's issue of the Sunday Review asks: just what is going on north of the border, politically, culturally and economically?


Author, journalist and teacher Tom Nairn was born in Fife. His books include The Break-up of Britain, The Enchanted Glass: Britain & Its Monarchy, and Faces of Nationalism. He lives in Ireland and works part-time for the Dicuil Foundation at Edinburgh University. He opens our Scottish issue on page 6 with an analysis of the rebirth of a nation


Duncan McLean, born and raised in Scotland, lives in Stenness, Orkney. His most recent books are a travelogue, Lone Star Swing, and an anthology of new Scottish writing, Ahead of its Time. He contributed the Orkney chapter to Scottish Island Hopping and writes about the view from the north on page 10


Ian Bell was born in Edinburgh and has always lived in Scotland. A columnist on the Daily Record, he has also worked for the Scotsman, the Herald, and the TLS. His awards include the Orwell Prize for political journalism. On page 12 he looks at New Labour's problems in Scotland


Stephen Fay began his journalistic career at the Glasgow Herald, where he developed an interest in Scottish affairs which has survived years in the south. His sympathy for nationalist politicians like Alex Salmond (whom he interviews on page 14) is influenced by their preference for parliamentary democracy over the gun


Pat Kane has only ever lived outside Scotland for one year, when pop stardom (with Hue and Cry) saw him supporting the likes of Madonna. He is a successful journalist, currently a contributing editor to the Herald, and won the Sony Radio Journalist of the Year award in 1996. He writes on Scottish culture on page 18


Novelist, critic and journalist James Buchan is a former foreign correspondent of the Financial Times and author of five novels as well as Frozen Desire, a study of money and culture. Although he has never lived in Scotland he feels he has inherited the culture from his grandparents. He writes about financing New Scotland on page 22


Award-winning writer and novelist Janice Galloway has lived within a 50-mile radius of her Ayrshire birthplace all her life. Her literary credits include the American Academy of Arts and Letters EM Forster Prize, McVitie's Prize and the Mind/Allen Lane award. She lives in Glasgow. An extract from her novel in progress appears on page 24

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Arts and Entertainment
Place Blanche, Paris, 1961, shot by Christer Strömholm
photographyHow the famous camera transformed photography for ever
Arts and Entertainment
The ‘Westmacott Athlete’
Arts and Entertainment
‘The Royals’ – a ‘twisted, soapy take on England’s first family’
tv Some of the characters appear to have clear real-life counterparts
Brooks is among a dozen show-business professionals ever to have achieved Egot status
Arts and Entertainment
A cut above: Sean Penn is outclassed by Mark Rylance in The Gunman
film review
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
James Franco and Zachary Quinto in I Am Michael

Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight

Arts and Entertainment
A scene from the movie 'Get Hard'
tvWill Ferrell’s new film Get Hard receives its first reviews
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: David Cameron (Mark Dexter), Nick Clegg (Bertie Carvel) and Gordon Brown (Ian Grieve)
tvReview: Ian Grieve gets another chance to play Gordon Brown... this is the kinder version
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman in the first look picture from next year's Sherlock special

Arts and Entertainment
Because it wouldn’t be Glastonbury without people kicking off about the headline acts, a petition has already been launched to stop Kanye West performing on the Saturday night

Arts and Entertainment
Molly Risker, Helen Monks, Caden-Ellis Wall, Rebekah Staton, Erin Freeman, Philip Jackson and Alexa Davies in ‘Raised by Wolves’

TV review
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond in the Top Gear Patagonia Special

Arts and Entertainment
Game of Thrones will run for ten years if HBO gets its way but showrunners have mentioned ending it after seven

Game of Thrones
Arts and Entertainment
Mans Zelmerlow will perform 'Heroes' for Sweden at the Eurovision Song Contest 2015

Arts and Entertainment
Elizabeth (Heida Reed) and Ross Poldark (Aiden Turner) in the BBC's remake of their 1975 original Poldark

Poldark review
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

    Promises, promises

    But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
    The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

    The death of a Gaza fisherman

    He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
    Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
    Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

    The only direction Zayn could go

    We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
    Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

    Spells like teen spirit

    A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
    Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
    Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

    Licence to offend in the land of the free

    Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
    From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

    From farm to fork in Cornwall

    One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
    Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

    Robert Parker interview

    The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
    How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

    How to make your own Easter egg

    Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

    Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

    Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
    Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

    Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

    The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

    Cricket World Cup 2015

    Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
    The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing