It's quite easy for the "Yes" lobby - just paint a lovely picture of a utopian society freed from the repressive control of Westminster. Anyone pointing out flaws in that viewpoint can be dismissed as negative establishment cronies.
I think that most rational participants of this debate agree that a federal system of some sort is probably the optimal solution.
Unfortunately we've now got a simple Yes/No choice; whether this is Westminster calling the SNP's bluff, or vice versa, is a matter of opinion.
The best possible outcome for all involved is a "no" vote, followed by continued devolution of policy areas and the establishment of an English assembly to match the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish establishments.
I agree 100% with what you say. I don't care to speculate about what lay behind the straight Yes/No choice, but Alex Salmond is a very astute, devious politician who is perfectly capable of running rings round David Cameron to suit his own agenda.
And yes, I am a Scot, and proud of it, which is why I fear for my country's future as an independent nation, particularly one under the control of an SNP government,
I'm not getting into an argument, boogers. I will just say I base my opinion of your irrationality (and Aileen's) on the dismissive tone of your posts. I didn't say I based my opinion on the Iraq war. I said I had been in favour of independence for years but being dragged into the Iraq war had made my decision irreversible.
I was in favour of independence at one point in my life - but that was before Devolution became a reality. Any notions that might still have lingered were well and truly knocked on the head when the SNP government came into power. They have done a lot for Scotland, and I voted for them at the last two elections for that reason, but I do not wish to see them running, or trying to run, this country single-handedly. Also, having thought a lot of things through, I do not believe that independence is the way forward either for Scotland or the rest of the UK.
As for Iraq - I fail to see what that has to do with independence. At the time of the invasion, and the ensuing war, a Labour/LibDem Coaltion was in power in Holyrood under FM Jack McConnell, who was only too willing to kowtow to Tony Blair. I'm well aware that the SNP, and Alex Salmond in particular, voiced strong condemnation of the invasion (as did many Scots, myself included) but it's very easy for a party to take the moral high ground when they're in opposition. Also I'm sure that Salmond will want an independent Scotland to be an ally of the US for economical reasons if nothing else and, that being the case, he would find it difficult to wriggle out of offering help if specifically asked for it whether he was in favour or not.
In addition the SNP has ditched its anti-NATO stance and so an independent Scotland would become a member, and that too would certainly influence it's decision if its NATO allies became involved in a conflict.
Finally, the SNP continues to support the seemingly endless, expensive (both in regard to money and lives) and fultile war in Afghanistan which itself primarily started off as an invasion of that country.