SO the latest opinion poll indicated 52% support for independence, and many of us suspect that in reality it is rather higher than that.

I first embraced the cause of independence as a schoolboy some 50 years ago. In those days Scottish nationalists were seen as amusing eccentrics. No political threat whatsoever. Over the decades, though, the condescension of our Unionist opponents turned to fear and loathing. Thousands of unsung activists have brought us to the position where we now have a Scottish Parliament with a majority of MSPs who support independence.

That we Scots have emerged from what has been, in effect, a 300-year Project Fear with a confident belief in Scotland’s future as an independent nation is nothing less than a miraculous triumph. It remains to be turned into a political reality, but even so, we are privileged to be playing our part in one of the most fascinating chapters in Scotland’s long story. We are entitled to congratulate ourselves on this glorious liberation of the national spirit.

Billy Scobie