Hint to the English

We all need the Scots to seize the moment and go for independence. (Scotland Special, 26 March).

Many will argue that the Union continues to serve its constituent parts well, but this is the tired rhetoric of the self-serving. Scotland has its own parliament, laws and legal and education systems. Its self-confidence is high. Why go so far and then stop?

Scotland and England will continue to have strong social and trading ties, and these can only be enhanced when the two countries are equal members of the EU.

Scotland's strong sense of national identity, together with its natural resources and educated workforce, gives it the potential to be as successful as Ireland, Norway and Iceland, also small countries.

Then there's the tricky label of Britishness. Historically, the term suited the English, who have not had the same sense of identity. If Scotland chose independence, we could learn to be a nation, which would be no bad thing for us.

A Rothschild

London NW3

This article first appeared in the 02 April 2007 issue of the New Statesman, Africa: How we killed our dreams of freedom