The social responsibility contract that many leftwing unionists would like to conclude with the Scottish nationalists is as yet unwritten. Several of the details and clauses are still taking shape in our heads but, 16 months away from the independence referendum, a broad outline is being formed. It looks something like this: in return for you pledging to deliver a truly enlightened, compassionate and inclusive democracy, we will set aside our misgivings about the economy in an independent Scotland and conceal our anxiety over our pensions and savings. We will take deep breaths and cross the Rubicon with you, or at least the Firth of Forth.
There is a number written on our hearts that is the price many of us may be willing to pay for the privilege of being counted among the first generation of an independent Scotland. And it is a lot more than George Osborne's scrawny £1 valuation of the cost of separation. (Is there no end to the hidden shallows of Better Together?) The esteemed political and economics commentator Daniel Finkelstein, writing in the Times last week, probably spoke for many when he stated: "I am not very convinced by the competing claims about the money gained or lost in the event of a split. They seem the unprovable assertions of people whose guesses coincide suspiciously with their prejudices."
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