The Scottish Government’s 670 page long white paper Scotland’s Future was published today.
The document reads like a cross between a party manifesto and a giant FAQ. It’s tone is of modernity and a progressive Scotland. Issues around independence are opportunities not challenges – and derivations of “opportunity” appear four times more often than “challenge”.
It makes an independent Scotland seem like a more tangible possibility while simultaneously supplying just enough information to spark hundreds of questions in your head about the practicalities of removing the Saltire from the Union flag and going it along ‘north of the border’.
Various sections make the case for independence, look at the financial impact of splitting, the NHS, pensions (categorised under Health, Wellbeing and Social Protection rather than Finance and the Economy), international relations and defence, justice, fisheries, food and drink, culture, broadcasting and a myriad of other issues. (And yes, flags are covered in about half a page.)
No doubt over the coming months various Slugger posters will refer back to the ideas the white paper contains and the
opportunities it presents for the NI Executive and Assembly who would be foolish not to dip into Scotland’s Future and borrow some of its ambition and ideas, even if they are quite sketchy and the detail hasn’t yet been resolved. challenges