Edinburgh Book Festival: Independence Debate

Rating (out of 5)
Show info
Edionburgh International Book Festival
Kirsty Wark
Running time

Put 500, largely older people in a huge tent in Edinburgh and they vote against an independent Scotland.

Kirsty Wark, the TV presenter, started and finished a debate at the Edinburgh International Book Festival asking for an audience response and about a third stood to show their support for the "yes" vote in next year's referendum.

But the majority of the sell-out audience were on their feet to vote no.

The issues of independence, dependence and inter-dependence surfaced repeatedly with speakers Tom Devine, the historian, Jeane Freeman of Women for Independence and Blair MacDougall of Labour and the "Better Together" campaign.

Given questions of monetary union with England and Wales audience members asked how Scotland could effectively be independent.

Possibly the most telling question came from a member of the audience who asked if Scotland would vote with its head or its heart in the referendum. It remained unresolved.

A doctor in the audience said only an independent Scotland could get rid of the nuclear weapons on its territory.

The quality of the debate was a good sign for the pre-referendum discussion ahead.