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

Recruitment Genius: 3rd Line Virtualisation, Windows & Server Engineer

£40000 - £47000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A 3rd Line Virtualisation / Sto...

Recruitment Genius: Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Service Engineer

£26000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A successful national service f...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive / Sales - OTE £25,000

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Fixed Term Contract

£17500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We currently require an experie...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Andy Coulson  

Andy Coulson: With former News of the World editor cleared of perjury charges, what will he do next?

James Cusick James Cusick
Jack Warner  

Fifa corruption: Strip Qatar of the World Cup? Not likely

Tom Peck
Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
12 best olive oils

Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
Rafa Benitez Real Madrid unveiling: New manager full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

Benitez full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

There were tears in the former Liverpool manager’s eyes as he was unveiled as Real Madrid coach. But the Spaniard knows he must make tough decisions if he is to succeed
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?