In Wallaces day it was different, he could legitimately cry freedom as the English Plantaganet Monarch 'Longshanks' was attempting to invade and subjugate Scotland to English Rule. The authors of the Declaration of Arbroath had a simillar legitimate cause. Scotlands place in the United Kingdom is now however NOT one of subjugation to English rule, it is a position of partnership - Scotland is NOT a dependency of the UK or England it is a partner. The term Scottish Independence fills me with horror as it is based on the false premise that Scotland is a dependency - Scotland is a partner. Infact for several decades England has been partially dependent on Scotlands resources and Scotland shouldn't mind because we are in a partnership, no one is stealing from Scotland, neither is Scotland stealing from England through the Barnet formula.

The brief history is that when Elizabeth I of England died without having an heir apparent, she was succeeded by James Stuart, James VI of Scotland who became James I of England and the United Kingdoms. In 1707 this union of the crowns was put on a much more formal footing, when the Scottish Parliament was disbanded in favour of a United Kingdom Parliament at Westminster in which Scotland was to recieve equal representation in that she was to elect and send Members of Parliament to Westminster to represent her interests. The reasons for the Act of Union are complicated and not entirely economic although the faliure of the Darien Project was a major contributory factor to this decision being taken.

For 300 years the people of Scotland have elected MP's and sent them to Westminster - our politicians have held some very prominent posts in Government during that time and still do. We have Scottish people representing English constituencies and this illustrates the bonds of the union and the acceptance of the British Identity within Scotland and amongst the Scots.

During that time and right from the beginning of the Act of Union there have been rumblings of discontent from minorities as is apparent in the Poetry of Robert Burns, the establishment of political groups such as the United Scotsmen, the SHRA and of course the SNP. But this does not mean that their opinion is that of the majority. A recent poll showed the 56% of those polled didn't want a break from the Union but infact wanted more powers for the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood within the UNITED KINGDOM.

The new Holyrood Scottish Parliament came into being after the people of Scotland voted in a referendum for a parliament of their own with tax raising powers. This didnt mean that the people of Scotland wanted an end to the union, just that they felt that a Scottish Parliament could deal with issues effecting Scotland better than the UK government. Scotland has retained its own distinct legal and education systems and the inception of a new Parliament to deal with this on a more localised level was an idea most Scots took to. However this has left a democratic deficit in England, the UK consists of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, of these only England does not have a more local parliament/assembly to deal with solely English matters. The West Lothian question highlighted this matter and has remained a bone of contention although there doesn't appear to be the same focus on MP's from Wales or Northern Ireland voting on English only issues as there is concerning Scottish MP's.

Now in Scotland we are facing another election with our FPTP, Additional Members List and council votes. The battle is hotting up between the SNP who are currently ahead in the polls and Scottish Labour who are not that far behind. One pro-nationalist party and a pro-unionist party all other issues appear secondary to the issue of the United Kingdom and Scotlands place in it. For once the politicians need to get downright honest - I am sick of hearing the Wallace scenario portrayed as the current one - SCOTLAND DOESN'T NEED FREEDOM WE ARE ALREADY FREE- WE ARE NOT SLAVES, WE ARE NOT SUBJUGATED TO ENGLISH RULE - WE ARE PARTNERS IN THE UNITED KINGDOM - EFFECTIVE PARTNERS and the myth that our position within the United Kingdom is anything other than one of PARTNERSHIP needs dispelled the entire 'INDEPENDENCE' Issue is a misnoma - we are not dependent!