scotland's independence referendum
The prospect of an independent Scotland has given rise to a host of tricky questions. Very little precedent exists in international law for some of the changes which would need to take place if Scotland became independent, and businesses are rightly worried about the consequences of a 'yes' vote in 2014.
I spoke at a Yes (for Scottish Independence) meeting last night and found it really difficult to speak thinking of how that old woman was looked after in the Ritz hotel in her dying days because"it gave the best care," while generations of my family have died in ward beds, in pain, and worrying that they were a burden
When I think about it, I've yet to come across any real argument as to why people should vote 'No' come 2014. It seems to me as though every argument the Better Together campaign has put forward is simply to poke holes in what Yes Scotland say and do.
Being seen to say 'no' a lot is probably the biggest risk that the unionist parties face. Whenever any change has been suggested, whether it was the founding of the parliament, the AV referendum or the scrapping of section 28, the NO campaigns have tended to be very negative. It's an easy message to maintain for a couple of months, but not for two years. Even if some of their predictions are true then they risk being undermined by a wider narrative that is seen to be painting too gloomy a picture.
On one hand the YES campaign needs to win over more people in two years than they have in the last 30 combined. However, another way of looking at it is that if everyone who supports independence converts at least one friend then they'll win by a landslide.
In short, does he choose the chance of victory but risk his party, or privately concede the result in order to guarantee the unity of his base. It is a difficult judgement call that only he can make - but too many more half-measures and he may end up with the worst of both options, and the comforts of neither.
Amongst the many serious points surrounding our economy, defence capability, global standing and Security Council seat, one seemingly trivial problem has caught my attention. If Scotland left the UK, what would happen to our flag?
What the talking heads are missing is that the vote will have little, if anything, to do with the sporting prowess of British athletes. If anybody really believes that the flags worn by Andy Murray or Chris Hoy are as important as who is responsible for running the welfare state or the military budgets then they are mistaken.
I can see that bickering about the question feels irrelevant to decisive Scottish residents who know how they are going to vote, but the importance of the wording of the question extends beyond the act of voting and that will make a difference to everyone.
Although there's (probably) more than two years to go, the referendum on Scottish independence is becoming more of an issue. Unsurprisingly, the Olympics have played a part, and similarities and differences can already be seen between the independence campaign and the AV referendum.