STEPHEN MAXWELL was active in the debate on Scotland’s political future for four decades before his death earlier this year. Published posthumously, this book represents a step change in the quality of public discourse on Scottish independence. Stephen Maxwell, widely regarded as one of Scotland’s finest political thinkers, was respected as a man of great integrity who made a tremendous contribution to Scotland’s civic and political life. He died ear-lier this year while bringing this book to publication, a process that was completed by his son Jamie and historian Owen Dudley Edwards.
Maxwell presents the case for Scottish independence under six main headings – the democratic case, the economic case, the social case, the international case, the cultural case and the environmental case, each assessed in terms of both the positive and the negative evidence. The author, a convinced nationalist and sea-soned doorstep canvasser, concludes with a series of rebuttals of commonly voiced doubts under the heading ‘Aye, But’.
Arguing for Independence is Stephen Maxwell’s legacy to all who wish to make up their own minds, based on an understanding of sometimes complex arguments. The prospect of a referendum on Independence in 2014 has engendered a wide-spread thirst for honest argument — across the social and political spectrum, all are agreed that this is a momentous juncture for Scotland. Here is the ‘real’ de-bate about ‘real’ issues that everyone is calling for.