Rarely in the history of any police force, including London’s Metropolitan Police at its worst, has any force performed so badly as has Police Scotland. Scandal after scandal from excessive illegal stop and search to armed forces on the street, from excessive centralisation to plain disorganisation has exposed Police Scotland to justified parliamentary and press scrutiny. It has reached the stage of lack of credibility where when performing well it receives little credit. Morale in the force will have slumped under the onslaught of ceaseless criticism and this must be worrying if it impacts on efficiency.
Whether an independent Scotland should be a member of NATO has been the subject of vigorous debate over many years. Until recently the policy of the SNP, the party of government in Scotland since 2007, was that it would withdraw from NATO upon independence. This policy seems to have been based almost entirely on the premise that NATO is a “nuclear led alliance”, and more specifically on the fact that the Alliance has not eschewed the principle of first strike.