No Threats


A SCOTS-born Harvard professor has warned that No campaign threats about economic meltdown are backfiring with stubborn Scots.

Niall Ferguson, a history professor at the prestigious university, says Better Together campaigners should appeal instead to Scots’ cosmopolitan instincts.

Writing in the New York Times, the Glasgow-born academic warns: “Telling a Scot, ‘You can’t do this — if you do, terrible things will happen to you,’ has been a losing negotiating strategy since time immemorial.”

He added: “If you went into a Glasgow pub tonight and said to the average Glaswegian, ‘If you down that beer, you’ll get your head kicked in,’ he would react by draining his glass to the dregs and telling the barman, ‘Same again.’”

Prof Ferguson claims: “The answer may be an appeal to Scotland’s long history of cosmopolitanism.”

He urges voters to remember the words of Scottish philosopher David Hume who wrote in 1764: “I am a Citizen of the World.”

“Petty nationalism is just un-Scottish,” he concludes.

Not all his readers agreed, however.

“Anthony” in London responded: “Scots are indeed cosmopolitan – citizens of the world – and that’s exactly why they want to retain their strong regional identity within the European Union, rather than retreat within the nationalistic idiocy of the United Kingdom.”

And Gene Thompson (Ontario) claimed: “Niall is in denial. The Scottish need to regain their independence, claim the North Sea oil fields as their national heritage, throw out the British and American oil companies and enjoy their birthright.”