Disunited Kingdom. How Westminster won a referendum but lost Scotland

Iain Macwhirter

It was a grey dawn that broke over Holyrood on the morning of 19th September 2014. Yes campaigners trooped in the rain to Edinburgh’s Dynamic Earth exhibition centre for what many had hoped and believed would be a victory celebration. It felt more like a wake.
Alex Salmond put on his brave face and declared that the referendum result was a triumph for democracy that vindicated the decision to call it in the first place. Not many believed him at the time.
It seemed as if the Union had won a convincing victory. This was the first occasion on which Scots had been given a democratic choice on whether or not to remain in the Union, and they’d voted to remain.
But one year on there can be little doubt that Salmond’s counterintuitive celebrations were largely justified. Though he was gracious enough to realise that he had to depart the…

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