Sunday, March 25, 2012
Breakaway Scotland? A third of Scots back the upcoming referendum on independence. The majority want devolution.
On a bright Monday morning, the debating chamber of the Scottish parliament building at Holyrood is bathed in honey-coloured light, a modernist ship in calm seas—especially today, when parliament is not in session. A triumph of contemporary design, it also represents the greatest Scottish building fiasco in modern history. Three years late and more than 10 times over budget, the parliament building is a touchy subject among Scots (there was a major public inquiry into the mishandling of the project), and many of the politicians and journalists who work here find it difficult to admire as a result. As Colin Mackay, the affable (on air) political reporter for Scotland’s Radio Forth, explains during my tour, most people here in Holyrood “are just now starting to warm to the place.”
The building might be a sore point but most Scots are proud of its purpose. It houses a free-standing parliament—one that’s now dominated by the Scottish National Party’s government, and run by a popular and charismatic leader, Alex Salmond, who is determined to lead his country to independence with a referendum in 2014...Read here...