Wrong issue

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Unfortunately the debate opened up by the referendum has not been on the right ­subject.

One of the complaints that ­appeals to Yes voters is that their national representatives are presently seated in Westminster and are remote and inaccessible.

A similar complaint is aired elsewhere in the United Kingdom by people demanding that powers should be repatriated from Brussels.

The settlement that the Westminster parties seem likely to devolve to Edinburgh in the event of a No vote acknowledges there has to be change. Many would agree the same applies to Europe.

Taking a broader view, we have to deal with problems such as global warming, the conduct of some multinational companies, the endless troubles of the Middle East and the behaviour of some states whose leaders appear to think they are still living in the 20th century.

What conclusions can we draw from all this?

First, that democracy and the question of how we are governed is alive and well in Britain.

More relevant is the answer to at least some of these problems posed by Prime Minister David Cameron, among others.

What we should and, to some extent, what we have been debating, is the level of government at which decisions are made.

There is little point in Brussels telling us what time the pub should close in Bridge of Orchy or Scotland pretending that it will have the independent capability to stop Russian “bears” ­entering its airspace.

Alex Salmond wants an independent Scotland to join Nato; there may well be a nuclear quid pro quo.

Whichever way Scots vote, the discussion on “subsidiarity” is really just beginning.

The British may be leading the way at present, but perhaps the process should be better formalised, accelerated and the world had better join in.

Let us all try to reach sensible, democratic decisions about where we are going, instead of crossing our fingers and wishing for the best.

James Napier

North Deeside Road

Aberdeen