Arctic role models: Should Scotland look north for inspiration?

Sunrise over Aberdeen beach, picture taken by Sarah Rose Sunrise over Aberdeen where you are closer to Stavanger in Norway than the capital of England

Stand on the quayside at Aberdeen and you are closer, geographically, to Stavanger in Norway than you are to London. In the centuries when travel was easier by sea than by land, the Norsemen came south to plunder, conquer and settle.

Many of the place-names of Scotland are the legacy of a time Nordic Europe drew the lands bordering the North Sea around it and bound them into one ocean-going community of peoples. Sutherland is so called because it was once one of the southern parts of that community.

Does anything survive of that distant time? Does the North Sea separate us from, or connect us to, our Nordic neighbours?

One of Sweden's most popular tourist attractions is the 17th Century warship Vasa.

Its hull is 70 metres long and decorated with oak carvings of mermaids, wild men and sea monsters - which are designed to celebrate the might of Imperial Sweden and to intimidate its enemies.

Who? What? When?

  • Voters in Scotland - including for the first time 16 and 17-year-olds - will have their say in a referendum on Scottish independence.
  • They will be asked the "yes/no" question: "Should Scotland be an independent country?"
  • The referendum takes place on Thursday 18 September, 2014.

It is a visually stunning reminder that Sweden once dominated the northern tier of Europe, drawing many of its Baltic neighbours into its orbit. Both Norway and Finland have, at different periods in their history, been joined to Sweden in a union.

All three of these nations are broadly comparable to Scotland, whose people will take part next year in an independence referendum.

At first glace all of these countries have;

  • Small populations spread across large territories
  • Long coast lines (the word Norwegian 'fjord' is surely derived from the same root as the Scots 'firth')
  • A traditional dependence on maritime activities, including fishing and shipbuilding
  • And Norway has an oil industry that has helped turn one of the poorest countries of Europe into one of the richest in the world

They have also evolved a way of living, and of governing, which is the envy of much of Europe.

My story

Allan Little

"I'm Allan Little. I was born, raised and educated in Scotland, but I haven't made my career here.

"For the past 25 years, I've worked as a foreign correspondent, reporting from more than 80 countries.

"I've seen nations torn apart and die, but I've also seen others born, and find their way in a new, changing world.

"Over the coming year, I'll be covering much of what happens here, in my home country."

They're often held up as an example of what Scotland could aspire to become - benign, non-belligerent, socially harmonious and prosperous social democracies.

This reading appeals particularly to the pro-independence left in Scotland.

The Nordic model is "a high wage economy, based on highly productive enterprise," says Robin MacAlpine of the Jimmy Reid Foundation.

He explains: "You use the money that generates through tax, to create extremely strong public services.

"You have this chain - good economy, good jobs, good wages, good taxes, good public services, and high social cohesion."

Finland illustrates well both the strengths and weaknesses of small independent nations on the periphery of Europe.

For decades after WW2, it was almost entirely dependent on trade with the Soviet Union. And it thrived.

In fact it over-reached itself. In the late 1980s it deregulated its banking sector and entered a period that came to be known as the "casino years".


Children in Oslo, Noeway
  • Population - 4.9 Million (2012)
  • Life expectancy (average) - Men 77 years, women, 83 years
  • Individual tax rates - From 0% up to 47.8% (2013)
  • Unemployment - 3.5% of the workforce
  • Education - Norway has free education from the ages of six to 18. Some 195,000 students are at Norwegian universities with the majority receiving the state education loan fund. Generally, students at state universities and university colleges do not pay tuition fees.
  • Health system - The system is funded by taxes, with a state insurance scheme giving basic levels of welfare. In-patient hospital treatment is free, but visits to doctors, dentists and specialists, as well as prescriptions medicines, incur charges.
  • Paternity leave - 46 weeks of parental leave at 100% of pay or 56 weeks at 80% of pay. Up to 14 weeks of this leave can be taken by the father.

Martti Sanna, an economic adviser to the Finnish government, says: "House prices were going up like never before.

"There was a feeling that we were more or less invincible."

The Nordic legacy

Many Scottish place names have Norse origins.

  • 'Dalr' (dale) meaning valley. Examples include Brosdale, Helmsdale, and Laxdale.
  • 'Lax' meaning salmon. Examples include the Lewis villages of Laxay and Laxdale.
  • 'Vik' (wick) meaning a bay. Examples include Wick, Lerwick and Uig.
  • 'Fjord' meaning sea-loch. Examples include Gruinart, Snizort, Collafirth, Seaforth.

Then the crash came. It provided a signature lesson on the key weakness of many small nations: that their economies are often dangerously dependent on a relatively small number of volatile sectors.

In Finland's case, its dependence of the Soviet Union meant that in 1991 its main export market disappeared almost overnight.

"The world economy was also in turmoil and this resulted in a large banking crisis," says Sanna. "And very suddenly, more or less the whole Finnish economy collapsed."

The economy shrank almost overnight by 10%. The government was forced to make drastic cuts in public spending in what was already a high-tax country. Things got steadily worse.

The Finns did not riot, they did not strike, they did not demand the ring-fencing of health budgets, or insist on spending money they did not have. Unemployment soared.

Banks went bust

Is this a cautionary tale, useful, perhaps, to the Better Together campaign, which argues that Scotland, had it been independent, would have sunk under the weight of the near-collapse of RBS and HBOS?

Yes and no. It took years of pain but Finland recovered. This year it was rated No1 in Europe in a recent global dynamism index. Sweden and Norway came second and third and these were the only three European nations to make it into the top 10 of that league table.

The secret of Finland's successful emergence from economic catastrophe was its independent currency, the Markka.

Sanna says: "We tried to keep it at a fixed rate against other currencies.

"But we had to give it up and let it float. It devalued considerably and this helped exports. We let a couple of major banks go bust and the ones that were left merged. The whole banking sector was completely overhauled."


  • Population - 5.4 million (2012)
  • Life expectancy (average) - Men 76 years, women 83 years
  • Individual tax rates - from 6.5% up to 51% (2013)
  • Unemployment - 8.1% of the workforce
  • Education - Education in Finland is free to all beginning at the voluntary pre-primary level and continuing through upper secondary school. Universities do not charge tuition fees.
  • Health system - Primary healthcare is universally available, funded mainly by taxation. Fees are charged for doctors' visits, and other medical expenses including outpatient care and prescription drugs but these are partially or fully reimbursed by the country's compulsory National Health Insurance scheme. The scheme also provides Sickness Allowances (compensation for loss of income during incapacity for work).
  • Paternity leave - Paid maternity allowance for 105 working days. Paternity leave is 54 working days altogether (approximately 9 weeks).

An independent Scotland, in any similar crisis in the future, would not have this option, because under current plans Scotland is not to have an independent currency.

Sweden, Norway and Denmark have all kept their own currencies. Among the Nordic states, only the Finns, ironically, joined the Euro.

Nokia - Ringing the changes

Nokia phone

1865 - Nokia starts out as a riverside paper mill in south west Finland and branches out into making rubber boots and car tyres.

1962 - The company makes its first electronic device for use in nuclear power plants.

1963 - Radio telephones for the army and emergency services are made by Nokia.

1984 - The Mobira Talkman portable car phone goes on the market.

1987 - Phone technology moves on and Nokia introduces the handheld Mobira Cityman.

1992 - The first digital handheld GSM phone, the Nokia 1011, is made.

1994 - The 2100 series is launched, the first phones to feature the Nokia Tune ringtone.

1998 - Nokia is the world leader in mobile phones.

2007 - The firm combines its telecoms operations with Siemens to form a joint venture named Nokia Siemens Networks.

2013 - Nokia joins forces with Microsoft to strengthen its position in the smartphone market.

They did so largely for political, rather than economic reasons, and many - given what has happened since - now regret the loss of their currency independence.

But it wasn't only currency independence that brought Finland back from the brink and made it one of the continent's most successful societies. It was a series of factors that illustrate the fleet-of-foot flexibility of small independent states.

The one area of public spending the government did not cut was research and development. While hospitals and schools were being squeezed, the government increased spending in this field by 25%.

At the same time, an old Finnish company that had built itself up over more than a century decided to take a major gamble. Nokia had started life in the nineteenth century in the wood pulp business. By the late twentieth century it also made electrical cabling and rubber boots - hardly the stuff of the digital future and the knowledge economy.

Erkki Ormala, a former senior executive at Nokia, now an academic, says: "The decision was made to divest all the other businesses and to concentrate on mobile communications.

"The rest is history."

For 20 years, tiny Finland dominated the world's mobile phone market. At the height of its success, Nokia was supplying 40% of the global market.

The sale of Nokia to Microsoft this summer marked the end of the company's dominance. The company has laid off 10,000 workers globally. Unemployment in wealthy little Finland is 8%, higher than Scotland's.

But it has weathered the storm because during the years of Nokia's ascendancy, Finnish investment created scores of smaller, independent hi-tech enterprises selling services to Nokia. The games manufacturer Rovio is one. Their computer game Angrybirds has sold 1.7 billion downloads worldwide.

Start Quote

In everything, from pension policies to the way you run public services, the Swedes are at the forefront of liberalisation.”

End Quote Fraser Nelson The Spectator

Is there a lesson here for Scotland? A decade ago, I asked the CEO of a small but highly successful internet security company a simple question - if Finland were still in a union with Sweden, and its tax regime was decided in Stockholm rather than Helsinki, what would the Finnish economy look like?

"Nokia," he said, "would still be making rubber boots". Tax autonomy is vital to the success of the Nordic model.

It is not only the left in Scotland that applauds the Nordic model. Finland, Sweden and Norway all now have right-of-centre governments.

Fraser Nelson, the Scottish editor of the far-from-left-wing London weekly The Spectator, looks to Sweden for inspiration, and wishes David Cameron would have the guts to be as right wing in some of his thinking as the Swedes are.

Sweden is "one of the few countries in the world that is cutting tax and getting growth as a result," he says.

He adds: "In everything, from pension policies to the way you run public services, the Swedes are at the forefront of liberalisation. They're showing that there need not be a tension between free-market ideas and progressive ends."


Stockholm, Sweden
  • Population - 9.5 million (2012)
  • Life expectancy (average) - Male 78, Female 83
  • Individual tax rates - From 0% up to 57% (2013)
  • Unemployment - 8.0% of the workforce
  • Education - Schooling is free in Sweden. Preschools and university education is funded by the government in part.
  • Health system - The Swedish system gives everyone who lives or works in Sweden equal access to heavily subsidized healthcare. It is funded by tax and patient fees cover only a small percentage of costs.
  • Paternity leave - 60 days for each parent are counted respectively as maternity and paternity rights. The is 60 remaining weeks of parental leave, of which 270 days are paid at 80% of earnings and the 90 remaining days paid at a flat rate.

In Sweden 10% of the public health service is contracted out to private companies. Swedes also pay a fee to visit their GP.

Britta Walgreen is the chief executive of St Goran's hospital on the outskirts of Stockholm.

"We have a contract with the local authority to provide care as part of the public health service," she told me. "We are paid for each patient we treat. But if we improve the service, and we are able to discharge a patient two days early, we are paid the same but our cost comes down."

It is not uncontroversial even in Sweden, because some public money ends up as private profit.

Start Quote

Lars Tragard

Sweden is in many ways a harsh society. There's not a lot of compassion for loafers, for people who do not work. This is not a generous welfare state. We don't have a lot of welfare queens”

End Quote Lars Tragardh Historian

Walgreen, a former anaesthesiologist, told me: "I think the important discussion is not whether the care provider is public or private but what it can deliver.

"Just being publicly owned is no guarantee that the quality is high."

This flexibility, too, is key to the Nordic model's success. Would such a policy fly in Scotland? Would any government here dare to propose reforms that would, in our ideologically binary political culture, look like the privatisation of the health service?

Sweden's welfare model is also little understood here. It is not generous to the unemployed. It is designed to keep people in employment, not to reward them for being out of work. If you are on the dole for more than 12 months your welfare payments fall drastically and you are required to attend seminars and training workshops.

Many take unpaid jobs for work experience. The unemployed are stigmatised in Sweden.

The historian Lars Tragardh told me: "Sweden is in many ways a harsh society. There's not a lot of compassion for loafers, for people who do not work. This is not a generous welfare state. We don't have a lot of welfare queens."

But Sweden spends more on childcare for working parents than it does on its armed forces. Anna Nyborg is a young mother-of-two, and a senior executive at Ericsson in Stockholm.

From the age of 12 months, the county is required by law to provide children with day care. For two children under school age, she pays £200 a month.

She explained: "And this includes food and nappies and everything."

Anna Nybord The senior executive has subsidised childcare for her two young children

As a result, the Nordic countries have more women in work than almost anywhere else in Europe. It is welfare spending designed to sustain and support wealth creation, rather than to drain from it.

But it is still costly.

Tragardh took me out onto the roof of his university building and in a bracing Nordic wind we looked down onto the rooftops of Stockholm.

He says: "You get 360 degrees up here. There's the royal palace. There's the fairground. But what is Stockholm's tallest building? There it is and it symbolises Sweden's love affair with the state: that is the headquarters of the national tax authority."

Scandinavians pay the highest taxes in the world. In Sweden, if you're only reasonably well-off, you surrender close to two-thirds of your income to the tax man. It is a condition that Swedes have reconciled themselves to over the years.

Land ownership

It is the egalitarianism of Nordic society that appeals to many in Scotland. Where does it come from? Can Scandinavia's social harmony be taken off the peg and made to fit a non-Nordic society?

The Nordic world has been, historically, much more classless than Britain. They have a tradition of land ownership that is radically different to anything that Scotland has experienced.

In the eighteenth century Swedish peasants owned the land they worked. They had title deeds - property rights. That put them in a different relationship with the power of the crown than their counterparts in Scotland where, as the journalist Lesley Riddoch points out in her book Blossom, a thousand people still own 60% of the privately-owned and, and where only in recent years has the number of people owning their own homes passed the 50% mark.


People in Edinburgh
  • Population - 5.3 million
  • Life expectancy (average) - men 76 years, women 80 years.
  • Individual tax rates - From 0% up to 45% (2013) (as part of the UK system)
  • Unemployment - 7.4% of the workforce
  • Education - Scotland spent more per capita on tertiary education than England, Wales and Northern Ireland in 2011-12 because Scots students do not pay tuition fees in Scotland, and under-graduate courses generally run for four, not three years.
  • Health system - The NHS is free at the point of use for anyone resident in the UK. The health service in Scotland is the responsibility of the Scottish government. Prescriptions are free in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.
  • Paternity leave - New mothers have the right to take 52 weeks leave, with 39 being paid through statutory maternity pay, maternity allowance or contractual maternity pay. New fathers are entitled to at least two weeks' paternity leave on the birth of their child.

But the Nordic country that is arguably most similar to Scotland is Norway. If you'd sailed into Oslo 30 years ago, you'd have passed shipyards and marine workshops on the waterfront.

They were, by then, already in terminal decline. There was a lot of public pressure on the government to use the country's new oil wealth to rescue the industry and save jobs. It didn't happen. Norway, ruthlessly, let its declining old industries die.

For Norway understood very early that its oil wealth, if mismanaged, would be a curse rather than a blessing. Windfall resources like that can have the effect of so inflating a nation's currency, that every other sector of the productive economy becomes uncompetitive and collapses.

Old and new oil platform The 1970s marked a turning point for Norway - oil was discovered

Norway's political parties entered into a self-denying pact. They agreed not to spend a penny of the oil revenues in Norway itself. So they save it all instead, investing in companies overseas.

Its oil fund is now worth £400bn. What's more 96% of the interest on that fund is reinvested in it. The Norwegians allow themselves to spend only 4% of the interest each year - and none of the capital. But even that is enough to pay for 10% of the annual public budget.

It is a quiet Nordic rebuke to the rest of us. Britain's oil wealth - of course much smaller as a proportion of GDP - has been used as part of the overall tax take.

Start Quote

The Nordic countries come out on top when it comes to innovation, creating new businesses, and flexibility”

End Quote Jonas Store Norway's former foreign minister

And an independent Scotland, initially at least, would need to spend its oil revenues to meet existing commitments. The Scottish government argues that it could, in time, start an oil fund. But the Norwegians have a 40-year start on us, and much, perhaps most, of the wealth that was there has now gone.

Norway declared independence from Sweden in 1905. There was tension between the two nations and even the threat of war. But there were negotiations at the end of which the Swedish King renounced his claim to the Norwegian throne, in effect dissolving what had been a United Kingdom.

Echoes of that tension remain. The Norwegian journalist Marie Simenson worked for a time as her newspaper's correspondent in London, and reported from Scotland during the 1997 referendum campaign.

She told me: "Norwegians used to have an inferiority complex about the Swedes.

"The Swedes were the big brother of the Nordic countries. They ruled over Norway till 1905. It's still there especially among older people - the Swedes seem more posh, more sophisticated, and we are still like farmers and fishermen and so forth.

Vasa More than 1,000 years ago, Swedes set sail in boats, like Vasa which now sits in a museum in Stockholm

"I saw these same traits in the Scottish view of England. The Scots are like the Norwegians - they are outgoing and so on, but if you push their buttons, they're a bit touchy. It's the same with the Swedes. In sport, it is the most important thing to beat the Swedes."

The warship Vasa sank, just 120m from the shore, on its maiden voyage in 1638. It keeled over under the weight of its own grandiose, unsustainable ambition.

Twenty years ago, the received wisdom in Europe was that the Nordic economic model had had its day - the public sector was too big, the state, like the Vasa, top heavy.

Norsemen Jarl Squad arrive at Lerwick harbour in a 30-foot longboat Norsemen return to places like Scotland - but not to conquer and pillage but to celebrate their heritage

Norway's former foreign minister, Jonas Store, told me: "We were told that we were doomed in the new global economy.

"But we've seen over these last years that the Nordic countries come out on top when it comes to innovation, creating new businesses, and flexibility.

"We have higher employment, sounder public finances, safe and solid public welfare, because we have unions that take collective responsibility and strike responsible deals. We have a high level of social capital, as well as financial capital."

Could an independent Scotland emulate the model? And if it could, why couldn't a strongly devolved Scotland within the UK do the same?

For what, in the Nordic context, does "sovereignty" mean? And, given the extraordinary degree of interdependence and co-operation that exists between them and the rest of Europe, in what sense is any of these countries (in the parlance of the Scottish constitutional debate) "going it alone"?

It's not for me to answer the questions.

But as an old foreign correspondent returning to my own country at a time of historic decision-making, I wonder this - shouldn't we at least try to see the choice we face next year in its broader European context?

More on This Story

More Scotland stories


Scotland Decides: SCOTLAND VOTES NO

  1. No 2,001,926
  2. Yes 1,617,989
After 32 of 32 counts Results in detail

Referendum Live

    17:55: Coverage ends

    That concludes our live coverage for today.

    Join us again tomorrow at 08:00 for the latest news and analysis on the fallout from the referendum vote, including First Minister Alex Salmond on the Sunday Politics show.

    You can still follow all the latest developments here.

    17:53: 'Same timetable' for England

    Labour MP Graham Allen says plans to devolve more power in England should be done in "lockstep" with change in Scotland.

    He disagrees with Labour leader Ed Miliband, who has set out plans for a consultation on devolution in England culminating in a "constitutional convention" in autumn 2015.

    Instead he echoes Prime Minister David Cameron who yesterday linked new powers for Scotland, which are due to be agreed by January, with a new settlement for England.

    Mr Allen, who chairs parliament's Political and Constitutional Reform Committee, says party leaders must "seize the historic opportunity that Scottish people have given the union".

    Email: 17:51: Have your say

    Jamie, Glasgow: Scotland had two choices; unconfirmed risks with independence or handing our decision making back to Westminster. Do we not trust in ourselves to build our own future? Was it worth handing control away out of Scotland to Westminster? Now we wait to see what powers 90% of non-Scottish MPs decide we are fit to have once they squabble over their main interest; their job at the election. A truly sad day for Scotland and unexplainable to future generations.

    17:46: Referendum special

    Reporting Scotland is continuing to broadcast live from the Scottish parliament in Edinburgh, with an hour-long referendum special.

    You can tune in on BBC One Scotland at 18:30 when the programme will look at the promise of further devolution and the future of the Scottish National Party.

    17:45: George Square - police update

    Police Scotland say 11 arrests have now been made following trouble at Glasgow's George Square last night. Offences include disorder, breach of the peace and vandalism, they say.

    Email: 17:35: Get involved

    Aidan Connaughton: The fundamental issues are being obscured by a series of discussions on federalism and devolved power. The real issue of the Scottish Referendum became one of defining the society people want and how it can be achieved. And this issue was common to a large section of both sides. Those who said Yes saw the solution as an independent country. Many of those who said No felt it can still be achieved within the UK. If Scots really just wanted independence then this would have happened 30 years ago. The main parties need to take action on what many see as an increasingly non-progressive and stagnant social infrastructure. If not the UK will splinter into political fragments with no common ground and little chance of creating real change.

    Email: 17:25: Get involved

    Richard Stephens: I'm very glad that Scotland is staying within the UK, it's right in the long term and I have many Scottish friends south of the border who agree. There is far too much division in the world today and a country as small as Britain can be better together. There are powers around the world, who would have relished a divided nation.

    The PM, Ed [Miliband] and the rest need to come good on their promises now!!! I also want to see a better deal for the rest of the UK and less Westminster-centric control for a real change. People are tired of lacklustre government.

    Hats off to Alex Salmond. Even if you didn't agree with his politics, he has my respect.

    17:23: Salmond's return
    Alex Salmond

    Mr Salmond, MSP for Aberdeenshire East, stopped to talk to members of the public and waved to passers-by when he returned to his home of Strichen.

    Email: 17:19: Get involved

    Robert: The referendum was decided much more by fear than facts, many people I have spoken to have expressed this view. That the referendum went ahead at all was a sham, when major issues such as currency were unresolved. My personal view was that Scotland should have a shared currency agreement but only for a defined period of say five years, after which it would use its own currency.

    The referendum was also much too politicised, with too much political posturing and big personalities prevailing like boxers in a fight.

    We need much a much better process for letting people see the facts on the issues they are voting upon, a more dispassionate and intelligent one, dare I say much more holistic.

    Email: 17:18: Send us your comments

    Barry: I was intrigued to uncover the Scottish election results from 2011 - turnout 50% and compare that with the Scottish results from the 2010 General Election - turnout 63%. Maybe the Scottish people do not feel quite as disenfranchised in Westminster as some would have us think - or maybe some (No voters?) feel more disenfranchised in Holyrood. The 86% turnout achieved in the referendum is astounding. With the prospect of more devolved power to Holyrood one wonders what the turnout will be in 2015.

    @IainDale 17:16: Iain Dale, presenter, LBC Drive

    Presenter on London-based radio station, LBC, Iain Dale tweets: Someone needs to remind Gordon Brown he isn't Prime Minister any longer. He's got a bloody cheek trying to dictate devolution timetable.

    17:12: Miliband pondering UKIP 'threat' Robin Brant Political Correspondent, BBC News

    Ed Miliband doesn't want to talk about the fall out from the Scottish referendum result as he arrives in Manchester, because it's put him in a tricky position. As Scotland prepares for new powers to be devolved from Westminster the rest of the UK waits to see if/when it will benefit from similar measures. The Labour leader wants that wait to be a long one.

    His calculation is based on:

    • A sincere view that the scale of constitutional change requires a lot of thought
    • He wants "citizens" involved in a "bottom up" process
    • David Cameron's big idea of English only mp's voting on English laws could severely hamper a Labour government

    There's no doubt the prime minister has made a play for tactical advantage over Labour. He too may believe, sincerely, that giving English MPs an exclusive say over laws that apply only to the UK's largest nation is the right and proper thing to do.

    But he also saw the speed with which Nigel Farage was demanding equal treatment for England. Speaking up for England is likely worth votes. As the general election approaches he hasn't forgotten about the threat from UKIP, with its double digit showing in the opinion polls.

    17:04: The view from Wales

    Giving more power to the regions of England is the answer to the future of the UK, Wales's first minister has told the BBC.

    Carwyn Jones told BBC Radio Wales it was a "better fit" than a policy of "English votes for English laws" in the UK Parliament.

    Email: 17:03: Have your say

    Richard Wilson: I hope that the victors will be gracious enough to accept that if it hadn't been for the success of the Yes campaign, we would not have been offered these new 'powers'. I agree that we need to unite to move forward, but also to ensure as Scots that Westminster and the leaders of the BT campaign deliver what they promised.

    Brian Turner: I, along with many others no doubt, am gobsmacked that Ed Miliband is attempting to put a spanner in the works and delay fulfilling promises made. It's pure political point scoring, he's more concerned about his MPs north of the border having less say in England affairs than any benefits of change for all areas of the UK.

    Maeve, Glasgow: Just look at the headlines, nobody has a clue what on earth is going to happen here in future. The ones offering more powers are not in government.

    John: The losers will be the Labour Party if these powers are not delivered before the next general election. This is political dynamite, and the Labour party have got to rebuild trust quickly.

    John Milton: I voted no having been persuaded by the "vow" made by Mr Cameron, Mr Clegg and Mr Miliband. If there is any prevarication in extending the powers to Holyrood as promised, then there should be a further referendum and my choice will be different.

    16:57: Salmond at home

    First Minister Alex Salmond has been pictured, looking fairly at ease, at his home in the Aberdeenshire village of Strichen.

    First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond outside his home in Strichen, Scotland, after announcing yesterday that he will be standing down as First Minister following the Yes campaign

    Mr Salmond will be interviewed by the BBC's Sunday Politics programme tomorrow morning.

    16:48: Recall Parliament plea

    SNP MP Pete Wishart says Parliament should be recalled for a statement on plans to devolve more powers to Scotland.

    The leaders of the three main parties at Westminster have agreed to publish draft legislation for a new Scotland Act by January. The legislation would then be put through Parliament by the party that wins next year's general election.

    Mr Wishart tweeted: "Westminster must be recalled this week for a statement on the 'more powers' timetable."

    16:46: 'Work with Westminster'

    Former foreign office minister Alistair Burt says he is sticking up for Westminster, in a blog for ConservativeHome.

    "I'm sticking up for Westminster, not just because I plead guilty to being there a long time, but because I don't believe it's that difficult for the sort of people we have seen energised by Scotland's referendum to get there too," writes the Conservative MP.

    "There are a lot there already. It is not illegal to get stuck into domestic politics and the issues that parties battle with every day, with the same verve and enthusiasm - though some of them are a lot more boring than independence, I grant you.

    "If we want Westminster to change and develop, and be closer to people, we need to encourage them, not put them off. Constitutional reform provides a great opportunity - but let's work with Westminster, rather than create something motivated by spite against it."

    16:40: Promises petition

    Another referendum-related petition has been posted - signed by over 44,000 people.

    Cameron, Clegg, Miliband: Keep your promises to Scotland is a petition, that calls on the three Westminster party leaders to "stick to those promises on the timetable you agreed. Scotland won't accept less."

    16:39: SNP boost

    Of the increase in SNP membership, SNP Business Convenor Derek McKay said: "Some will no doubt be coming from Labour - whose traditional heartlands were voting Yes on Thursday - but many will be new to politics, and they will continue the legacy of the referendum, and the amazing level of engagement we saw."

    16:33: Marriage counselling

    Channel 4 News has been speaking to psychotherapists to find out how Scotland and England might find love again.

    The upshot is that it will take time.

    Pro-union supporters, opposing Scottish independence from the United Kingdom look on during a rally in Trafalgar Square in London

    One, Phillip Hodson, tells the broadcaster: "This marriage has endured a deep fracture. One side threatened a legal separation and the other construed it as an act of infidelity and insisted they would never be taken back if they left.

    "Now both parties stay. Reconciliation will not happen overnight. The pair need to go through a difficult mourning process and begin a new chapter based on a deeper understanding of each other's individual needs. Time will heal, but only if both sides are magnanimous and empathetic."

    Email: 16:25: Join the debate

    Gary Watson: I believe that if our country is to move forward, we need to stop dividing ourselves into categories. It doesn't matter any more if you voted Yes or No, or if you're one of the 45% or 55%. We need to be the 100% and work together to have a louder voice and get the change we want not only in Scotland, but across the UK.

    16:22: Arrest warning

    Police investigating trouble between rival Unionists and independence supporters in Glasgow city centre have said there will be further arrests.

    George Square

    Six people were arrested after officers had to divide more than 700 people who gathered in George Square on Friday.

    Disorder began when the Union supporters fired a flare and charged.

    16:21: SNP boost Laura Bicker Scotland Correspondent, BBC News

    SNP saying nearly 5000 new members now... gone from 25,642 on Thurs at 5pm up 4,844 to 30,486 as of Saturday 3pm.

    16:15: The 45

    Better Together director of research Gordon Aikman tweeted: #the45 thing is understandable but deeply divisive: exact opposite of what we need. Yes leadership & politicians should distance #indyref

    16:14: 'Yes' Glasgow

    "Another taxi driver suggested the independence debate had replaced the rivalry between Celtic and Rangers as the controversy of choice for taxi passengers in the west of Scotland."

    Glasgow city centre

    Our reporter Nick Eardley has been walking around the 'Yes' voting city of Glasgow to see things returning to normal.

    16:13: Scottish Parliamentary Journalists' Association

    SPJA (@ScotParlJournos) tweets: The SPJA will hold an EGM to discuss our response after some members were excluded from a press conference with the First Minister on Friday

    16:10: 'Tartan tatters'

    SNP MSP David Torrance has been responding to Gordon Brown's speech in Fife, in which he promised further powers would be delivered and set out a timetable.

    He says: "From the promises he was making, you could easily forget that Gordon Brown is just a backbench politician. Better Together told the Scottish electorate that a motion would be presented to Parliament on Friday the 19 September on giving more powers to Scotland - a promise which has already been broken.

    "And we know David Cameron hasn't agreed to a second reading on the issue in Westminster before Easter, as also promised by Mr Brown. The reality for Scotland is that our timetable for more devolution is now defined by Westminster, and not ourselves. Gordon Brown's reputation is in tartan tatters."

    In a speech today, Mr Brown said a resolution has been signed by David Cameron, Nick Clegg, Ed Miliband and Mr Brown committing to a timetable of action including draft legislation for a new Scotland Bill by the end of January. The motion will be placed in the House of Commons on Monday.

    16:06: Video - Gordon Brown speech

    Gordon Brown has said it is time for Scotland to unite, following divisions over the independence referendum.

    The former prime minister was a leading figure in the Better Together campaign.

    Gordon Brown

    Mr Brown also said the promises made ahead of the referendum on change and further devolution would be delivered.

    Email: 15:58: Have your say

    Pete: People, remember that Yes is a social movement that can go a long way towards making the far reaching differences that we all want for Scotland. Turn negativity into positivity by pragmatic activism. Remember you and another 1.6 million people want real change, as do the people who voted No. The No voters were quite right to be nervous of dramatic, sweeping changes, but that does not mean that they do not love this country and want the very best for it.

    15:51: Brown for FM? Kirsty Wark, BBC Newsnight

    What if the calculation Gordon Brown made was that he cd be First Minister in a fully devolved UK?

    15:50: 'Detail scant' on new powers Robin Brant Political Correspondent, BBC News

    One of the interesting things is that there's very little detail on what the UK government has promised to Scotland - and what they might deliver on. The likely areas we'll see more powers devolved on are:

    • Increased ability to raise income tax
    • Ability to spend more than the UK government might want to on health or welfare

    That is not Devo Max - Devo Max is everything except defence and foreign affairs - and it is nothing like that. It is more specific pledges when it comes to raising taxes and how they might be spent.

    15:47: Salmond interview Robbie Gibb Editor, BBC Daily and Sunday Politics Show

    On tomorrow's Sunday Politics, @afneil will talk to Scottish First Minister, Alex Salmond 11am BBC1 #bbcsp

    15:45: Yesbar

    The owner of the Glasgow city centre bar Vespbar on Drury Street that renamed itself Yesbar two weeks before the referendum vote is planning a new venture.

    Yesbar tweeted: Thinking opening another venue, the "45 club" Who's up for it? 45 will be a new venue very close by.

    45 refers to the 45% share of the vote the Yes campaign received in the independence referendum.

    15:38: What next for Cameron?

    Ben Harris-Quinney, of centre-right Conservative think-tank the Bow Group, says David Cameron accepts he made mistakes in the referendum campaign but the Prime Minister still got the result he wanted.

    "The big question is what happens now. Whether David Cameron comes out of this positively or negatively will really rely on the settlement he's willing to entertain for the UK as a whole," he tells the BBC News Channel.

    15:32: 'Moving quickly' Chris Buckler BBC News, Holyrood

    I think there is a coming together of some sorts here. When you speak to the Yes and No camps they both say that they want greater devolved powers to Holyrood and that's what is most important to them.

    I think Gordon Brown was really setting out today something of a reassuring policy here, saying that the timetable has been effectively set out.

    By the end of October they hope to have this "command paper" - this idea of what the proposals should be - and civil servants are already working on that at the moment. There's going to be a debate in the middle of the next month in the House of Commons. And then by January, they're going to have draft laws ready to put into place at some later date.

    All of this is moving very quickly. But this issue of whether or not this should move in tandem with changes in England, Wales and Northern Ireland - that does potentially make things more complicated.

    The Conservatives desperately want this - but Labour says this is just too fast.

    Tweet @bbcscotlandnews 15:28: Have your say

    @faon_blanc tweets: I think we need a group of both Yes and No with peace flags and a good attitude to calm the streets of Glasgow. #indyref #GlasgowRiots

    15:27: 'Not Devo Max'

    Stewart Hosie, SNP member for Dundee East, tells the BBC News Channel that Scotland is being offered a "very limited package of devolution" by Westminster that "goes nowhere near" devo max.

    He is also says leaders had promised a timetable by yesterday - "but couldn't even do that".

    15:20: Aye or Die

    The Simpsons have posted this picture on to their Facebook page.

    Groundskeeper Willie

    The sombre image of Groundskeeper Willie comes after the cartoon character pledged support for Scottish independence in this video, uploaded before the vote.

    15:15: George Square - police statement

    Police have vowed they will find and arrest anyone involved in criminality in Glasgow's George Square last night.

    In a statement, officers said they already arrested six people for public order offences after more than 700 supporters of the union and independence gathered in the square.

    Yes and No supporters in George Square

    Chief Superintendent Andy Bates said: "An investigation into Friday night's disorder has begun and an incident room has been set up at Glasgow City Centre Police Office, staffed by officers dedicated to identifying and arresting anyone involved in the ugly scenes witnessed across the world on television and social media.

    "We have already secured valuable CCTV and other evidence which I am confident will lead to further arrests in the coming days.

    "Don't think that because you were not arrested by last night that you will not be caught. If you were involved in any criminality in the square we will identify you and you will be arrested."

    Email: 15:13: Add to the debate

    Peter Evans, Pembroke: I knew this would happen. Already the Yes camp are demanding a new referendum, a recount now due to vote rigging, or whatever. All that has been achieved in Scotland is a divided nation split down the middle, and a constitutional crisis for the rest of the country.

    And all over an electoral camp consisting of less than 10% of the UK population. While all this is going on, the rest of the world are watching. What now for new investment in Scotland with all this uncertainty?

    14:53: Indyref legacy? Laura Bicker Scotland Correspondent, BBC News

    SNP say 4000 new members in last 36 hours, Scottish Greens say 1200 sign ups and rising - indyref legacy?

    14:51: Flag sales... well... flagging?

    Scotsman reporter Martyn McLaughlin tweeted last week: "One sector of Scotland's economy entirely relaxed at financial consequences of independence - Glasgow flag sellers," along with this image:

    Glasgow George Square

    But the BBC's Sandy Murray found a different story in the city centre today, with Saltires being sold at cut price. Will sales drop off now the referendum campaign is over?

    Flags for sale
    14:42: The morning after the referendum before

    The Associated Press has been taking some sombre pictures around the Scottish capital.

    A tourist poses for a photograph with a statue of Scottish philosopher David Hume as a piper plays in the background in Edinburgh

    They offer a stark contrast to the colourful referendum campaign pictures of recent weeks.

    Piper sculptures are displayed on sale in a shop window in Edinburgh
    Email: 14:40: Get involved

    Robert Allen: I think it is important to put last night's disturbances in George Square into context. Last night it was 250 people, from both sides, involved in a rammy and doing a very good job of making themselves look stupid. If that is the price we pay for the referendum then let's leave it there and not attach an importance to it that it doesn't merit. Scotland now has more than its fair share of politically engaged free-thinkers and I firmly believe we will reap the benefits of this in years to come, but alas, we have always had our fair share of idiots as well. Let's not allow last nights images to unfairly sour the last few days. They don't deserve the publicity.

    @bbcscotlandnews 14:32: Your Tweets

    Arthur G Lee tweets: GB has no authority to promise anything on behalf of 60M English men and will be voted down. Little man, big boots

    james barrie tweets: We need a Scottish election now. Snp founded on Indy and have lost.

    Disturbiakiss tweets: more members, Sturgeon, landslide victories #indyref in 25 yrs when I am nearing pension age and will vote yes.

    14:29: 'No new powers before election'

    Kevin Maguire, associate editor of the Daily Mirror, believes Scotland won't have the promised new powers any time soon.

    "Gordon Brown would admit himself that he's not in control of events because you had a coalition of the unwilling when David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband made that solemn vow of new powers to the Scottish parliament," he tells the BBC News Channel.

    "They did that in a very panicked response because they thought the No side was going to lose the referendum campaign but they didn't really sketch out the details of what those powers would be. I'm sure the three leaders all have a slightly different idea of what they might be.

    "I think Scotland will get new powers but I can't really see it this side of a general election."

    14:27: More reaction to Brown

    D McGee: Having just heard Gordon Brown speaking in Dunfermline this morning, I can't believe that it is the same man who was a moderate chancellor and a lacklustre Prime Minister, could speak with such great common sense and so passionately about reconciliation. Without his intervention the Yes campaign could well have won and left the UK.

    Bert in Fife: Gordon Brown is milking the moment, when all the promises he made during the referendum fall about his ears. I just hope he has the bottle to openly admit he was "conned" as were many of the Scottish electorate.

    Email: 14:25: Reaction to Gordon Brown's speech

    Craig, Aberdeenshire: For all the fawning over Brown's performance, all I saw was Richard Nixon. The pacing, the hang-mouth, the shaking of the head and the doom and gloom.

    Johan: The really big winner from the independence campaigns seems to be Gordon Brown. Given his so obvious passion for Scotland, his excellent knowledge of Westminster and the way it works, and his links to other global leaders, would he make an outstanding First Minister in Scotland?

    14:24: People's panel

    Almost a year ago, the BBC gathered together a group of voters from across Scotland.

    Ballot paper

    Some planned to vote Yes, others No, and a group of 10 remained undecided.

    We caught up with them after they voted to find out which box they put their 'X' in.

    Email: 14:17: Views from Wales

    Lisa: Regarding the Scottish referendum: Would you please stop concentrating on Scotland and English devolution? The two very big losers in this conversation are Northern Ireland and the biggest consequence is that of further cuts to Wales. Underfunded by £300m a year in the most deprived country in the union. If all eyes are on Edinburgh in Westminster they simply cannot ignore Northern Ireland and Wales.

    Clive: As a passionate Welshman, and somebody who is proud to call himself British, I applaud Gordon Brown's speech. Globalisation has made a significant change not only in Scotland, but across the traditional heartlands of the nation. Really pleased Scotland has decided to remain part of the union, we are stronger together but there has to be change in terms of social and economic justice across the whole nation.

    14:11: Petition calls for re-vote

    There is also a petition with over 71,000 signatures on the website demanding a "re-vote of the Scottish Referendum, counted by impartial international parties".

    14:05: West Lothian Question

    Can the West Lothian question be answered? Read what the problem is and what each party is saying about the issue.

    13:56: Votes rigged?

    Politician and Yes campaigner Jim Sillars has called for an investigation into potential vote rigging in the Scottish independence referendum.

    Mr Sillars tweeted: This vote rigging video is disturbing, enquiry required

    13:44: Daily Telegraph

    Daily Telegraph reporter Ben Riley-Smith has tweeted: Alex Salmond took SNP from electoral irrelevance to brink of winning independence. One of modern Britain's most successful party leaders?

    Yesterday, the Daily Telegraph published a video which showed Mr Riley-Smith being refused entry to the press conference where Mr Salmond resigned.

    13:26: Fancy a hug?

    A caring Scot has decided to set up a Facebook event encouraging people to hug someone who voted differently to them.

    The organiser Angela Brin pleads: "Let's take back our beautiful country and show the world that we are better than the violent behaviour shown by the few that are causing trouble for the sake of it.

    Facebook hug pic

    "For now, please hug someone that voted differently from you, post a photo of you together and let's take #TeamScotland forward in the spirit of peace and love.

    "Hugs can heal. Are you with me?"

    Angela hopes people take part in the act on 25 September.

    13:20: History of Alex Salmond

    In November, First Minister Alex Salmond's second 10-year spell in charge of the Scottish National Party will come to an end.

    Alex Salmond

    You can read Mr Salmond's story here.

    @NicolaSturgeon 13:19: Nicola Sturgeon, Deputy First Minister

    Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweets: More than 4000 people have joined @theSNP in last 36 hours. Many from Labour, many new to politics.

    @iainmacwhirter 13:16: Iain Macwhirter, political commentator, Herald and Sunday Herald

    Iain Macwhirter, political commentator, Herald and Sunday Herald, tweets: Must not allow Brown's lock in to be a lock out. All of Scottish civil society needs to be involved in this legislation. Not just Labour.

    13:16: From glorious failure to finest hour

    Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh, writing in the Guardian newspaper, say the Scots have reinvented the idea of democracy.

    "This country, when it was ever known on the global stage under the union, was associated with tragedy, in terrible events like Lockerbie and Dunblane; it's now synonymous with real people power," he writes.

    "Forget Bannockburn or the Scottish Enlightenment, the Scots have just reinvented and re-established the idea of true democracy. This - one more - glorious failure might also, paradoxically, be their finest hour."

    Text: 80295 13:07: Get involved

    BBC News website reader: I voted No at the Scottish referendum. Listening to what I am now hearing post the 55/45 split. If the vote was today I would vote Yes. I listened and trusted the main UK leaders. This would appear to be a poor choice on my part.

    Email: 13:05:

    David: As a Scot living in the North West of England I would have supported the No campaign, if I'd had a vote. But I'm deeply grateful to the Yes vote for the sheer scale of the Yes vote.

    The repercussions of that will be felt south of the border in that the Westminster status quo cannot now continue. You've done us a huge favour down here by upsetting the cosy Westminster approach to regional politics.

    You might not have got what you wanted - but you've done a lot of good in helping to ensure that the whole political scene, north and south of the border must and will change.

    Come back in 5 years and there will be a decisive Yes majority

    13:03: Sturgeon 'would want election'

    Earlier, former SNP leader Gordon Wilson tipped Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to take over from Alex Salmond.

    However, he doesn't think the job will be given to her on a plate.

    Mr Wilson said: "I think she herself may want to have an election, rather than being crowned.

    "The outcome of that, I'm certain, is not in doubt. But most leaders, including myself and also Alex Salmond, prefer to be one amongst candidates so that you then get a vote from the Scottish National Party delegates which in a sense confers legitimacy."

    Tweet @bbcscotlandnews 13:02: Get involved

    Nigel Nobes: Across politics there's a widely held belief that Gordon Brown saved the day with brilliant speeches. He's still doing it. Make him PM again!

    Ben Hart: People wanting Gordon Brown back after a good speech or two need to remember the Nick Clegg phenomenon 4 years ago.

    Hayley Röhrich Ford: Superb speech from Gordon Brown this morning in Fife. Very engaging.

    Podders: The same thing is happening to Gordon Brown as happened to John Major - they're now treated like wise elder statesmen, They are failures.

    Email: 13:00: Send us your views

    Ted Wade: I worry that reviewing the constitution and delivering what was promised for Scotland is going to become a political football at Westminster. Already, David Cameron is wanting to get everything done and dusted by March 2015 and put into place by May 2015 before the General Election. The view is that this is far too quick for a well thought out, and agreed, settlement. The last thing which is needed are the main political parties disagreeing over what will be a major constitutional change. Unless all parties get together and look at this from an overall view point it will be another dogs' breakfast piece of legislation.

    12:53: Local reaction

    Aberdeen's Press & Journal has sought reaction to First Minister Alex Salmond's resignation from Strichen - the village he calls home and casted his referendum vote in.

    Alex Salmond

    "He must be exhausted," says one villager.

    Email: 12:51: Get involved

    Andrew: Very rarely in politics does a negative message triumph over a positive message, but that is exactly what has happened in the Scottish independence referendum. The Yes campaign had the positive, upbeat message of growth, prosperity, independence and autonomy; the embodiment of the "We can do it" attitude almost. But the SNP and Alex Salmond failed to deliver this message appropriately and failed to give assurances that in fact an independent Scotland could stand on its own two feet. In the end it was the negative message of the No campaign, with all of its criticisms, warnings and negativity towards independence which won the day. Alex Salmond has now quite rightfully chosen to step down from his position as First Minister and leader of the SNP because he has failed to deliver on Scottish independence, something that should have been a formality if he had chosen the correct approach and done the correct legacy planning for.

    12:46: Looking back

    If you need a reminder on how exactly we got to the stage of holding a referendum on Scottish independence, then the radio programme Yes and No: Voices from the Campaign looks back at the key moments leading up to Thursday's vote and is available on BBC iPlayer.

    Yes/No banners

    The programme includes highlights from the referendum results programme and reaction from both sides.

    12:43: Scotland 'stunned'
    The Courier

    The Courier runs with the headline "Salmond steps down", saying Scotland was stunned by the move.

    Email: 12:42: Add to the debate

    Janet Draper: I'm concerned that we will continue to hear people saying that the job of the SNP is to hold Westminster to account and to make sure the promises are kept....

    The job of the Scottish government now is to achieve the best arrangements for all the people of Scotland in the complex circumstances with which Scotland is faced. This is not a time for party politics... but for a government behaving like a government of all Scots.

    12:40: Nick Eardley BBC News

    George Square is deserted this morning, just hours after ugly scenes saw police arrest six people when loyalist protesters turned up at a place that had become the centre of sporadic Yes campaign support in Glasgow.

    There is almost no indication of last night's confrontation, with the exception of steel fencing surrounding the various monuments in the square.

    George Square

    A lifeless Saltire hangs from a ledge on the Sir Walter Scott plinth in the middle and a statue of Robert Burns has been decorated with a tartan hat and scarf, but otherwise there is little to see.

    One couple told me they were horrified by the scenes they saw on television from the square last night. But today, save for a few tourists, there's not much to see.

    12:35: 'Nats all folks'

    The Scottish Sun splashes with a mocked up Looney Tunes image, with the headline "Nats all folks".

    The paper says Mr Salmond was "close to tears" during the announcement, which came after a "crushing referendum defeat".

    The Scottish Sun

    The paper, in its editorial, describes the first minister as "true colossus". And in a personal tribute, Ms Sturgeon says the "personal debt of gratitude" she owes Mr Salmond "is immeasurable".

    12:26: Analysis: English cannot be 'fobbed off' Chris Mason Political correspondent, BBC News

    Constitutional change very, very rarely happens quickly - and yet there was that promise before the referendum that it would in the case of Scotland.

    Both the Conservatives and Labour have said that they will honour that promise but here is the sticking point: Can the two issues of England and Scotland be unpicked?

    Labour is insisting that the two should be unpicked, that devolution for England cannot be rushed and that there has to be conversation in the rest of the UK, just as there's been a conversation in Scotland.

    But the Conservatives say the two have to remain together - that the English cannot be fobbed off.

    This will not be easy to resolve.

    Email: 12:25: Thoughts of readers

    Andy Dorward: The politics of promising what you can never deliver is constantly rife within all the current UK parties, no matter who gives the speech.

    I voted on the one simple question asked on the ballot paper.. should Scotland be independent from the rest of the UK? This referendum has caused some divisions among the average people of the UK I feel will never heal in the future.

    The politicians and government of the UK should now turn all their efforts to getting this country back on its feet and prospering before they look to other countries' welfare.

    12:23: More powers for cities

    The Labour Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, has been speaking to the BBC and says English cities should be given more powers.

    He said: "It's absolutely right that we can decide, with the money raised in our city, how we spend that money and how we determine what is in our best interests.

    "Whether it be on welfare, whether it be on employment and training and skills, whether it be on education and health. All of those things we know better than people in Whitehall, who have no connection to Liverpool at all."

    12:22: Britain changing

    Earlier, on Radio Scotland's Morning Call, journalist Simon Pia said: "[David] Cameron has woken up and smelt the haggis, or whatever you want to call it. He realises something has changed fundamentality in Britain and people in England, and Wales and Northern Ireland have recognised that too."

    Tweet @BBCScotlandnews 12:21: Get involved

    @OllyDeed tweets: And Gordon Brown's performance in the last two weeks has been exceptional. Sort of performance that eluded him as Prime Minister #indyref

    12:19: 'Positive cynicism'

    Women for Independence's Jeane Freeman has called for Scots to show "positive cynicism" over the offer of new powers that's on the table.

    Ms Freeman said: "We have to be cynical a bit about that. The points about previous track records and the basis on which you trust people is well made - but we still need to say let's give them the opportunity to prove that they do mean what they have said and they will deliver this. But not from the sidelines."

    12:16: Church of Scotland's message

    The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland will ask Scots to put their differences aside and work together to redefine Scotland's place within the UK now that the referendum is over.

    The Rt Rev John Chalmers will speak before Scotland's political leaders at St Giles' Cathedral in Edinburgh on Sunday morning.

    Email: 12:15: Add to the debate

    Jim Christie: I have this nagging feeling that more devolved power for Scotland will not happen within the timetable set out by Mr Brown. I foresee many MPs watering down the proposals or simply voting against the same. In reality, do the Westminster parties actually want to lose power not just to Scotland but to other parts of the UK?

    12:14: 'Dream will never die'

    The Herald runs with a quote from Mr Salmond's speech, in which he said "the dream shall never die" - referring to independence - on its front page.


    The paper describes the announcement as "dramatic" and speculates that local government minister Derek Mackay and Humza Yousaf, the minister for external affairs, may also stand for the leadership.

    Columnist Iain Macwhirther writes of the resignation that Mr Salmond "was astute enough to realise that his time had finally come".

    12:12: 'Beaten but unbowed'

    The Daily Record, on its front page, describes Mr Salmond as "beaten but unbowed", running with a picture of the First Minister with his wife Moira after they left his official home in Edinburgh, Bute House.

    Daily Record

    The paper's political editor David Clegg says Mr Salmond "took the cause of Scottish nationalism to unimaginable victories" before Friday's "agonising defeat".

    12:09: Sturgeon strikes back? Douglas Fraser Business and economy editor, Scotland

    How long til #indyref 2 - 'Sturgeon Strikes Back'? There are obstacles, but 1.6m 'yes' voters won't go away. My blog.

    12:08: Bishops write to Salmond

    Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, The President of the Bishops' Conference of Scotland, has sent a letter to First Minister Alex Salmond following his resignation announcement.

    Archbishop Tartaglia wrote: "On behalf of the Bishops Conference of Scotland, I want to acknowledge your long and outstanding career in politics, and your distinguished service as First Minister of Scotland. With good reason, you have been described as one of the most able and influential political leaders that Scotland and the United Kingdom has ever produced.

    Pope in Scotland visit

    "The Bishops are especially grateful for your recognition of the important place of religion and faith in Scotland, for your support of Catholic education as making its own distinctive contribution to the good of Scotland as a whole, and for your sensitivity to the issues around religious freedom which are emerging in our country as they are elsewhere.

    "And lastly, we remain grateful for the support and assistance given by your government before and during the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Scotland in 2010."

    Email: 12:00: Your emails

    Allan Cathal: Change is coming to the UK. Wales and Northern Ireland are going to fight for the same conditions as Scotland has obtained. The English regions and the big cities are looking for devolution.

    There is a call for an English Parliament with devolved powers and a call for Scottish Labour MPs not to be allowed to vote on English issues. All in all an interesting time coming in next months and years. But one thing is certain the UK will never be the same again.

    12:00: Scottish papers

    Mr Salmond's resignation is also dominating the front pages of the Scottish press.

    The Scotsman says he led his party "from a minority movement into an election-winning political machine".


    The newspaper says there is "little doubt" Mr Salmond's deputy Nicola Sturgeon is favourite to succeed him as leader.

    David Torrance, analysing the impact of Mr Salmond on Scottish politics, says he is "perhaps the most significant politician to emerge from Scotland in the past three decades".

    11:59: Paper review

    Outside of Scotland, today's Sun and Star opt for other stories on the front page with a Strictly Come Dancing tale for The Sun and the Daily Star choosing to splash a mum attacked by spiders.

    However, they both find a small space on their front pages for short stories on Alex Salmond's resignation.

    11:56: Reaction to Brown

    Jeane Freeman of Women for Independence spoke to Kaye Adams on Morning Call about Gordon Brown's speech.

    She said: "I thought the tone of his speech was exactly the right tone. In that it was not triumphalist in any way, it was magnanimous, and I thought he made a number of perceptive points in terms of understanding why a lot of people had voted for independence.

    "That it was about what we believed independence could offer us the opportunity to do in terms of poverty, social justice, a fairer re-distribution of the wealth of Scotland.

    "But the thing in all of this that's struck me since the early hours of Friday morning - at no point in that timetable am I seeing a reference to our Scottish parliament, our Scottish government. I hope civil servants are involved in this drafting, because it really won't work to take what we have had which is a two-year long detailed, thorough conversation and debate, parcel it up and take it down to Westminster and say "okay, thanks we'll deal with it now."

    11:51: McKay: Big job

    Sir William added: "If anybody attempted to quite fundamentally alter the procedure of the House of Commons at the same time as altering the constitution, then it's a very, very big job indeed."

    11:49: West Lothian Question

    Sir William McKay, who chaired a panel of experts looking at issues around the West Lothian question, has been speaking to the BBC.

    He says on the proposed pace of constitutional change, the immediate problem is difficult "but probably solvable with goodwill".

    Email: 11:46: Get involved

    Marcus Tait: I sincerely hope for the sake of everyone in this country that the current administration don't think they can drag their heels on this. I felt strongly that we Scots should stand together with the rest of the UK who also feel poorly represented by the current political system.

    If they continue to show signs of backing out, I worry we shall see serious social unrest right across the country not just in Scotland. Westminster needs a shake up to bring it up to speed with where the world is today.

    11:43: Should Salmond have gone earlier?

    Speaking on Morning Call on Radio Scotland earlier, Scott from West Lothian believes Alex Salmond could have helped to win a Yes vote by resigning last week.

    He said: "My opinion is a wee bit controversial in that I think if Alex Salmond decided to leave a week before the vote, and said that he would no longer be part of the Yes Scotland movement going forward, that would've swung as many No voters back to Yes because the amount of people that say 'I'm not voting for Yes because I'm not voting for Alex Salmond'."

    Email: 11:40: Have your say

    Craig: I believe that once all constitutional changes have been made, history will regard Alex Salmond as having been one of the most influential figures in British (not only Scottish) political history. The most formidable debater of his generation.

    Text: 80295 11:39: Get involved

    Mike: The reason for the level of engagement in Scotland is simple. It was not only the magnitude of the issue but the plain fact that every vote counted. A No vote in Glasgow went onto the pile and not into the bin. It wasn't a 28-4 victory for No, it was 2 million - 1.6 million. First past the post means that only the winner's votes don't end up in the bin.

    @KennyFarq 11:38: Kenny Farquharson, Deputy Editor of The Scotsman & Scotland on Sunday

    Kenny Farquharson, Deputy Editor of The Scotsman, went on Twitter earlier to give some analysis on where Yes supporters go from here.

    He said: "The Yes movement has yet to grasp that, even in defeat, it has huge power to shape the new Scotland. Can legitimately push for next phase of home rule to be much more radical that currently envisaged. But it has to get involved, and not just sit back and wish for the Westminster process to fail.

    Those 1.6m votes can be used to transform the home rule debate and move Scotland further forward than would otherwise have been the case. Have a Plan B. Be the change, in the new world you have to live in. Put that positivity to use."

    11:32: SNP faces 'big job'

    Stephen Gethins, former adviser to Alex Salmond, told the BBC News Channel he thinks the role of the SNP is now more important than ever.

    The SNP has a "big job" on its hands to make sure the leaders of the three Westminster parties keep their pledge to devolve further powers to Scotland, he says.

    11:31: Sillars praises Salmond Laura Bicker Scotland Correspondent, BBC News

    Jim Sillars on Alex Salmond's resignation - "I was sorry he did so. Alex Salmond is a nationalist hero and he will be long remembered as such when those who opposed him are long forgotten for the little people they are. What Scotland owes to Alex will long be remembered."

    Email: 11:31: Have your say

    Steve Mansfield: I agree strongly with Mr Powell (09:47). Most of the UK, and particularly its politicians, seem to have sleepwalked into the referendum and put the Union at risk. Its break up seemed inconceivable to a lot of people in England. September 18 was a night of great tension and worry. he Scottish people saved the Union and it is time to ensure that the promises made to them are kept.

    11:29: Journalist's job

    Journalist David Torrance has his take on how the media has treated First Minister Alex Salmond. He said: "What intrigues me from previous callers is that he does seem to be subject to different rules from other politicians.

    "The feeling that somehow journalists have taken an unpleasant tone with him...that's a journalist's job - to be disrespectful.

    "If you want to compare and contrast with how a politician has been treated, just think back to when Gordon Brown was Prime Minister for three years and the absolute pasting he got day after day in the press, particularly in London. I don't remember people leaping to his defence."

    11:27: Young voters

    Young Scots aged 16 and 17 were allowed to vote for the first time in UK history in the referendum and it's thought that around 100,000 of them made their mark, making up about 3% of everyone who voted.

    BBC Breakfast's Naga Munchetty was joined by two voters who explained how they voted and why.


    Charlotte Jackson said she voted No because she felt it was better to remain in the UK "for stability and security". "Also my family is English so it was kind of from the heart - I felt like I didn't want to separate from my family."

    Sean Warrington says "decisions for Scotland are best made in Scotland". He believes it is important young people voted as "you can't complain about the outcome unless you voted", adding that getting young people to vote from the age of 16 might make them more likely to vote later in life.

    11:23: Caller confusion

    Also on the programme, John in Edinburgh mixed presenter Kaye Adams up with former BBC presenter and "Yes" supporter Lesley Riddoch.

    He said: "You yourself Lesley were very biased in your commentary on TV through the night, and that was very notable to me."

    Kaye quickly pointed out that she was not Lesley Riddoch, to which John replied "having made a fool of myself, thanks very much for taking my call."



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