Salmond and the Scots hold all our futures in their hands

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Don't get me wrong about Scottish nationalism. As someone who is quietly proud of being an Irish as well as a UK citizen, and who is a republican at heart, I understand all the reasons why many in Scotland may want to be independent of the rest of the UK. And I think Scotland may well be an entirely viable self-governing country - without being a tax haven (heaven forbid).

But I'm also deeply worried about Salmond's plans. If Scotland is independent the case for the remaining union with Northern Ireland is weak and I fear that leads to trouble.

And, candidly selfishly, the idea of England and Wales as a permanent Tory fiefdom scares me rigid, and leaves me wondering if there would then be any constraint on the City and its madness.

So whilst I see all the appeal of Scottish independence for the Scottish I do really rather hope they don't, whilst accepting all the biases and prejudices that saying so involves.