It is not bullying to show what Scottish independence means

Mr Salmond's has accused establishment forces of ganging up on him

Share

David Cameron and his fellow cabinet ministers will descend on Aberdeen today in combative mood. Although the Prime Minister has refused to go head to head in a televised debate with Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond, the long-distance argument over Scotland’s future has heated up this month.

In the space of little more than two weeks, the Scottish National Party (SNP) has been hit by a rare display of tripartite unity as George Osborne, Ed Balls and Danny Alexander all warned that an independent Scotland could not count on continuing to use sterling as its currency. The President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, has warned that it would be “extremely difficult, if not impossible” for Scotland to remain in the EU.

There have also been warnings of the economic consequences of splitting from the UK from the heads of big businesses such as BP and Sainsbury’s. Mr Cameron’s latest line of attack is to warn that North Sea oil and gas – which the SNP sees as Scottish assets and its guarantee of continuing prosperity – will continue to need vast investment, which only a United Kingdom can supply.

Mr Salmond has reacted by accusing establishment bullies of ganging up on him and his party. That was a shrewd, calculated response from one of the UK’s smartest political operators. The first opinion poll after the Chancellor’s intervention on the subject of the pound suggested that it had backfired, leaving Scottish voters all the more inclined to tell southern politicians to get lost. More recent surveys, however, show undecided voters moving to the “no” camp while the pro-independence vote is static.

The important question is not whether an old political bruiser such as Mr Salmond is getting a fair hearing from Messrs Cameron, Osborne, Barroso et al. What matters is the welfare of the people of Scotland, and the rest of the UK. Almost everyone who speaks with any authority is warning that Scotland could be on the verge of taking a dangerous step. The Scots may feel sorry for an isolated Alex Salmond, but they would be unwise to follow him into isolation.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Client-Side web developer (JQuery, Javascript, UI, JMX, FIX)

Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Client-Side web developer (JQuery, Javascript, U...

Structured Finance

Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: CITY - An excellent new instruction w...

SQL Server Developer

£500 per day: Harrington Starr: SQL Server Developer SQL, PHP, C#, Real Time,...

C#.NET Developer

£600 per day: Harrington Starr: C#.NET Developer C#, Win Forms, WPF, WCF, MVVM...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Theresa May  

Democracy and the police: a system in crisis

Nigel Morris
 

Mary Beard has taught us all a lesson in how to deal with online bullies

Louise Scodie
Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone