What will it take to make Scotland fit for independence?

Brian Feeney with another brio performance in the Irish News today. He rightly identifies the dis ease with the union in Scotland in the cultural distance that’s growing between London and the rest of the country.

He points out that whilst Independence is still a minority sport, Salmond can raise a healthy 70% support for his proposals for his version of Devo Max/Indy Light. Owning both ends of the proposition has its uses.

Feeney notes that this is what Salmond will bid to put before the Scottish people in 2014. And…

…the UK will be different beyond imagination as a result. That is what has suddenly dawned upon Cameron and his Westminster clique. Cameron’s ill advised petulant attempts in the past 10 days to stop this inexorable juggernaut have only made it certain to reach its destination.

He believes that Salmond…

…has Cameron over a barrel. Salmond will be able to say his referendum contains the questions the Scottish people want. Cameron has no moral or electoral authority to deny it.

‘Devo max’ will he suggests will hasten the disintegration of the Union, not least because he believe English MPs will not be able to stop themselves from downgrading the status of Scottish MPs at Westminster leading to further distancing of Edinburgh from London.

That’s a matter for posterity to sort out. In the absence of any concerted action from London the British Union is restricting itself with the demand in Scotland at least being from greater freedom and independence of action.

Somewhere soon, it must become obvious that the price of that freedom may be severe; as we’ve seen in the Republic. Any nascent Scottish state must be ready to undertake such a journey before it begins.

Come to think of it that’s a question many in Northern Ireland could usefully ask themselves too.

– Unionists and Conservatives, because dependence is counter to many of their professed cultural values.

– Nationalists, because the last thing they need is launch an independent Scotland only to have her sink just after the launch.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty