Got this is from Robbie the Pict...

If David Cameron wants to hurry Scotland out of the United Kingdom, he is going the right way about it. The more he says he loves the Union, the more I fear for it.

For all his bluster, he must know that the SNP has a moral mandate to hold a referendum on independence when it wants to do so. Placing legal obstacles in its way will rightly anger reasonable Scots.

I have seldom seen a clearer example of someone setting out to achieve the opposite of what he claims to want. Mr Cameron would guillotine the Queen in Trafalgar Square if he thought it would keep him in office. So breaking up the country for the sake of a parliamentary majority would not be much of a strain for him. And getting the Scots out of Westminster is his best hope of such a majority.

How on earth do we find ourselves in this mess? Only 40 years ago, Scottish Nationalism was a weird fad, preached in garbled tones by hairy communist poets and funny old ladies. Tory Unionists held dozens of Westminster seats. Now Nationalism is a mighty force, led by an astute man, close to attaining its goal. Unionism is dead and the Scottish Tories are a laughable remnant of eccentric bystanders led by a lesbian kickboxer.

But it is not Alex Salmond’s cunning that has brought this about. It is the European Union, which needs to turn this country into manageable chunks before it can feed it into the Euro-blender and destroy it for ever.

Notice how any part of the UK can have a referendum on reducing the powers of London (and Northern Ireland can vote to leave the Union altogether, any time it wants to).

But nobody can have a vote of any kind on reducing the powers of Brussels, let alone on leaving the EU. The truth is obvious, but nobody observes it.

Brussels rejoices to see Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland becoming ever more separate from England. It would like to see England itself Balkanised into ‘regions’ – and the new multicultural republic of London under President Boris is a major step towards that.

As it happens, I love Scotland. I value its huge contributions to our joint history in thought, war, invention, industry and literature. I think it should make its own laws. I think it is quite right that England, far bigger and richer, should subsidise it. But I do not think it can be truly independent. It is too small, and not rich enough.

And before anyone mentions Scandinavia, they should look at the troubled history of that region, its tiny nations repeatedly occupied or menaced into subjection by more powerful neighbours. All an independent Scotland could hope for, until the EU came along, was a grim, pinched future on the fringe of Europe.

Now, it can either be a part of a United Kingdom, sharing a long and mostly happy history, a love of liberty, an astonishing inventiveness and industry and remarkable valour in war; or it can be a province of the Brussels empire, granted all the toys and trappings of nationhood but actually far less free and autonomous than it is now.

Brussels would be happy to let Scotland (like Ireland) have a flag and an anthem. There would be Scottish EU passports, token Scottish armed forces, a Scottish international dialling code and internet code, Scottish postage stamps and a Scottish Broadcasting Corporation.

The political classes of Edinburgh and Glasgow would be able to feast on Brussels money. But every important decision would be taken by the EU. You can see why this appeals to professional politicians. But it is hard to see how it would help normal men and women. Yet, unless we all fight our way out of the EU, our country will be broken up and our flag made meaningless.

Alastair