Reporter: Barbara Miller
Tuesday, 29 July at 8pm on ABC
In Glasgow, the Commonwealth Games may be the biggest show in town right now but Scots have a much bigger play underway that will define their economic and political future. Very soon they’ll be asked if they want to say goodbye to England and go it alone.
The independence movement is gathering support but will it be enough to carry Scotland out of the United Kingdom? And does Scotland have the wherewithal to survive let alone prosper on its own? Europe correspondent, Scottish-born Barbara Miller heads home to test the water.
They’ve been together more than 300 years but for many of Scotland’s fiercely proud inhabitants the relationship with England has run its course. They’d much rather be in control of their own destiny and with oodles of North Sea Oil and a reputation for thriftiness, prudence and well, canniness, they reckon they’d do a much better job than their political masters in England.
“Think of Scotland as the wife who’s been taken for granted. Increasingly Scotland is feeling I might be better on my own. But what’s happened is that the husband (England) just says, you’re fat, you’re ugly, nobody would fancy you”.
ALAN BISSET, Writer/Performer & Independence campaigner
Like any long term relationship, calling it quits isn’t easy. Domestic affairs have become deeply tangled and assumptions about who is responsible for this and who pays for that have evolved into complex equations. So unpicking this centuries-old relationship will be tricky,
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The campaign for independence is having some success and support is growing but those who want things to stay the same are still holding sway.
“You’re not going to lose anything by remaining British because the Scots have always had that phenomenal individualistic, quirky, adventurous, almost confrontational character that regardless of where they go, you know no one’s going to eradicate that.” - TESSA HARTMANN, Fashion Publicist, ‘No’ supporter
Born and raised in Scotland, Europe Correspondent Barbara Miller makes a very personal journey back to familiar places to see if the Scots really are prepared to stand on their own two feet.
Surely a nation that gave the world the steam engine, the television, even the architecture for free-market capitalism doesn’t want for ability, but do they have the numbers?
From her alma-mater – Glasgow University – where, over the centuries, the alumni’s included James Watt, John Logie Baird and the father of economics Adam Smith, through Edinburgh and onto the windswept frontiers of the Shetland islands, Barbara goes in search of opinion on a vitally important question for Scotland and for England as well.
“I think we should for all time stop this argument that you cannot be patriotic and a proud Scot if you want to stay in the United Kingdom. I think it is nonsense.” - DAVID CAMERON Prime Minister, Britain
Foreign Correspondent airs at 8pm on Tuesdays on AB