The co-editors announce the closure of Sceptical Scot on its seventh anniversary….
‘Clearly the political and institutional landscape has changed dramatically since 2014. One inescapable fact about any future debate on the economic case for Scottish independence is that the terrain – by which we mean the political, economic, social and cultural context – has shifted significantly.’
‘A speech by the First Minister acknowledging Scotland’s role would be useful; a fund to promote research on Scotland and the empire, including a virtual museum, would be even better….As Scotland struggles with new questions about identity, it is important to confront the reality of what happened in the empire.
“…now would be a good time to shake things up even further. Who will make that happen? I expect little from the Government or the Parliament, it’ll be for others to push for change..”
“What Scotland needs is something similar: a Scottish Labour-SNP pact – probably after 2024 or 2026 – with or without the Greens to deliver social and economic modernisation, including the just transition, digital transformation and local government reform, plus constitutional change.”
“The issues are whether and how an independent Scotland would make the transition, at what cost, paid for by whom, over how long and, crucially, what policies would be needed to get to a position where people are at least no worse off. These are not insurmountable but they are challenging. But the SNP, as the main advocates of independence, does not appear up to the challenge.”
Substantial powers are held by Holyrood that could be used to build a strategy that would deliver on the promise made of Scotland becoming the “Saudi Arabia” of renewables. The opportunity and moment may soon be lost if not taken now.
Could the outcome of a second Scottish independence referendum depend on the precise wording of the ballot question?
Rob Ford, Rob Johns, and John Garry discuss three likely wordings and their potential implications.
A conversation about a future which has already been decided from the top won’t encourage people to talk. Genuine consensus must emerge from the bottom up.
Whether or not Scotland can legally hold a referendum without the consent of Westminster has provoked much debate. Ciaran Martin argues that the answer to this question does not really matter: regardless of the legality of any referendum, it is unrealistic to think that Scotland will leave the Union without the consent of Westminster. This makes the key question a political one, which the courts cannot resolve.