#IndyRef: In a battle for a nation’s hearts and minds it has to be both…

Now, this is interesting. It’s a fairly aggressive question from the BBC’s Nick Robinson on “why a Scottish voter should believe you, a politician, against men who are responsible for billions of pounds profit?”… Not his greatest moment implying as it does an ad hominen appeal to absent and unaccountable authority (a classic of the cave) rather than a question with its own internal logic. What follows is a long hectoring lecture from the Scottish First Minister on Number 10’s anti Scotland briefing and the failings of the BBC occasionally interspersed with applause from the audience.

Robinson later tells the Six O’Clock News that Salmond refused to answer his direct question, a point strongly disputed by Rev Stu over at Wings Over Scotland.

…the second part was a rhetorical question anyway. There is no factual answer to “Why should we trust you rather than X?” – trust is emotional, not logical.

Yes well up to a point Lord Copper. Herein lies the faultline between the two camps: that difficult and often compromising tension between the heart and the mind. In a bid for a nation’s will it cannot be entirely be a matter of one or the other but a substantial appeal to both.

In any case this was a moment for which the Yes camp seems to have been uncharacteristically unprepared.

Scotland’s long term prosperity will as likely arise from further investment in its already high performing education system, and increasing inward investment as from the fading influence of oil or competing with Dublin for the City of London’s back office tax-avoidance trade.

As one friend put it yesterday perhaps they should have already shoved the headquarters of the retail banks out of the door and offered to pay their bus fare to London.

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