The Scottish referendum will be a straight in/out vote held in 2014 the year of the 700th anniversary of Bannockburn. The whole of Andrew Neil's Sunday Politics show dealing with this topic was completely one sided. The SNP will lose big because of the economic arguments. This is a taste of what will happen in an in/out EU referendum if we ever get that far. It was the same 700 years ago at Bannockburn. The Scots were outnumbered two to one but one thanks to incompetent English leadership and Scots determination Robert the Bruce went on to win.
In terms of political skill Alec Salmond and his Scots hard men are way ahead of Dave and his motley collection of posh boys. The battle for Scotland I opine will be lost on the playing fields of Eton.
Alec's strategy has its weaknesses. Why leave one union, the UK, to join a bigger one, the EU? Surely it is better for Scotland to follow the path of Norway and Switzerland, similar sized countries, and negotiate a free trade deal with the EU under GATT rules and avoid EU membership. Perhaps the Greek disaster will register with the SNP and the desirability of controlling ones own currency as Switzerland and Norway do.
As for defence I remember when the UK lost the Cod War to little Iceland, population 300,000! They simply asked NATO to leave its base in Iceland and the UK caved in. Lets see how the peace loving, nuclear hating LibDems like it when nuclear subs with nuclear warheads get moved to Plymouth!
Scotland has neither an immigration or Muslim problem unlike England.
The position of the Queen is not relevant. The Union of the Crowns took place in 1603 over 100 years before parliamentary union in 1707. That's why Queenie is Lizzy I in Scotland and England's Jimmy I was Jimmy VII north of the border. She is also of course Queen in umpteen Commonwealth countries.
Scotland has its own legal system, a different and now far superior education system, a healthy disrespect for rank. As they sing in Selkirk, 'For its up wi the Soutars of Selkirk and doone with the craven Lord Hume'. (Sir Alec, 14th Earl Hume, was of course another Old Etonian.) Scotland has a much stronger relationship with the US whose own declaration of independence was heavily influenced by the Scottish declaration of Arbroath of 1320 following Bannockburn. This established the principle that a monarch can only govern with the consent of the people! Revolutionary stuff then and worth remembering in 2012.
But what of EUKIP? I am certain they will campaign to preserve the UK as a union and see no contradiction in their own supposed raison d'etre to leave the European Union. Yes they are that stupid in EUKIP.
Labour will campaign for the Union for purely electoral reasons. The Tories always have a majority of MPs in England. If they had any sense they would support Alec. Do they really want another Gordon Brown, Darling or even Blair.
This battle has only just started.