Scottish independence debate
Sir, – Peter Geoghegan (Opinion & Analysis, August 1st) makes a good job of evoking some aspects of the campaign for the Scottish referendum on September 18th. What stands out from his piece is how good it is for voters to think hard about a question instead of indulging in knee-jerk reaction. It can produce some surprising results in some unlikely people. And on the big day Scots voters will have had the better part of two years to ponder, as a practical proposition rather than a romantic aspiration, whether their country should be independent again.
This long campaign might have become wearisome but in fact it is exhilarating. Public meetings all over the country are packed, and it is rare to get through a day without, on a chance encounter, a debate with somebody or other on the choice that faces us. I don’t think we have seen anything like this since the days of Gladstone and Disraeli or, on your side of the water, Parnell and O’Connell. After decades of tabloid idiocy and sinister spin-doctoring as the main drivers in politics, it almost makes you believe democracy can be reborn. Like Peter Geoghegan, I am sure the consequences will in any event be felt far beyond voting day. Yours, etc,