Editorial: Scotland's Future
The issue opens with a discussion between Douglas Alexander and Gerry Hassan, in which they tease out some of the more interesting questions that lie behind what Gerry calls the loud voices and self importance of each camp in the battle between unionism and independence in Scotland. Though they have very different positions on independence, underlying their exchange are concerns about how equality and identity can be connected in politics; an understanding that most people hold multiple identifications; a rejection of exclusivist identities; a sense of nation that is not absolute; a focus on issues of poverty and inequality and how these intersect with identity; and a recognition that changes in civil society are often as important as constitutional change - though the two are also intertwined. Their dialogue is thus one in which real dilemmas and issues are defined, rather than positions shouted. As such it is an important contribution to the wider debate about the future of the multi-national British state, and the ways in which national and other identities are played out within it.