I received this communication today from a long-term friend and colleague, an Englishman, living in England, who knows and understands Scotland deeply from a long association with the country, and one who has made a highly significant contribution in a wide range of fields to the United Kingdom and all its component countries over his lifetime.
You should ignore the Westminster politicians - the YES campaign is already under way in England. If your referendum is extended to voters south of the Border, you can be assured of a landslide victory! Also for Wales and for the rapid reunification of Ireland. On the latter, perhaps HM can do a deal this week?
I quote this to underline the point that nationalism, in its true sense, is not simply the objective of Scots, Welsh and Irish - the great country of England and its people are awakening to the fact that the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is heading rapidly towards its inevitable dissolution, and that England must become a nation once again.
The true nationalists in these countries are not separatists - although I confess to rejoicing in that term in the recent past, in an ill-considered reaction to pejorative use of the term by unionists - but are deeply concerned that the ancient and modern ties of blood, family, friendship, and common economic and defence priorities in certain areas are not damaged by the return of national sovereignty to the nation states in these islands. In this, they are no different from the nation states of the European Union, or the Commonwealth, or indeed of any international grouping based on areas of common interest.
The common thread that unites these nationalists is the conviction that the United Kingdom - and the Westminster Parliament as presently constituted - are no longer fit for purpose, and that the present constitutional settlement cannot hold, containing as it does an increasing and disabling series of contradictions, especially as it relates to devolved government. No form of devolution max or independence lite will remedy this structual defect - only national sovereignty will be sufficient.
The UK is also completely out of step with global events, the Zeitgeist, and the new spirit of self-determination that grips the peoples of the world - confused about its international role, devoid of direction or a vision of the kind of society it wants to be, lost in nostalgia about a lost past, one that in significant part never existed, except in the imagination of the South East of England and rapidly diminishing areas of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and there mainly among the privileged and those among the less privileged naturally dependent on their patronage .