Why Scotland matters

From Open Democracy, a special issue on the Scottish Spring. From The Guardian, a G2 special on Scottish independence. Scotland's independence referendum will see a Scotterati recruitment drive. If the SNP can define independence in the most gradualist and least threatening form, a referendum might just pass. Robert Taylor on what the Scottish National Party's victory might mean. Wolves in the drawing room: Neal Ascherson examines the new landscape of Scottish politics. From the latest issue of Scottish Left Review, these are times of big political change in Scotland, but what opportunities does this open for the left? Alan McCombes on why the left should back independence. Gerry Hassan on conflicting fantasies of Scottish independence — and building a reality. A look the Scots' war on everything British. In an independent Scotland, might Scots become the official national tongue? Flying the EU flag on public buildings on Europe Day (Monday, 9th May) has no impact on public attitudes to the EU, but EU symbols used in practical ways such as at airport passport controls can polarise attitudes to the EU amongst the Scots and Welsh. From the Scottish Review of Books, an interview with Tom Devine on why Scotland matters historically, what would have happened if the Act of Union of 1707 hadn’t taken place, and the "tradition" of wearing a kilt at a Scottish wedding; political biographers wanted — thick skins required; and an interview with David Campbell, editor of Everyman’s Library. The introduction to The Inner Life of Empires: An Eighteenth-Century History by Emma Rothschild. A review of Scotland and the Ulster Plantations: Explorations in the British Settlement of Stuart Ireland. The Rosslyn Code: The real mystery lurking in the chapel where Dan Brown set The Da Vinci Code. Is there a Bansky-style book artist roaming the streets of Scotland?