I was in the gym on Monday evening, lost in a world of my own on the rowing machine, when I happened to glance up and caught sight of Alastair Darling being interviewed on the Channel 4 news. At first sight he looked particularly rough; it actually crossed my mind that perhaps he was actually quite ill or unwell. After a moment’s reflection and taking the interview in the political context of the day, what struck me most was that this perhaps was quite possibly the face of defeat. Somewhere unconsciously the cumulative effect of being the whipping boy of a largely conservative driven and funded (at least from a Welsh perspective) campaign to stop Scotland securing its independence was beginning to take its toll on Citizen Darling. After months spent trying to scare the Scots into voting 'No' and offering next to nothing by way of a positive message perhaps the campaign is beginning to take its toll on Alistair Darling. From a Unionist perspective, Scottish independence would unravel a state that was largely created by a combination of bribery and financial and political opportunism on the part of corrupt 18th century Scottish politicians (who wanted in for pretty much personal financial reasons) as much as political, economic and religious reasons to join the Union. Any call to save the union should be framed with 21st century concepts in mind, not 17th century political, economic and religious arguments, pretty much all of which no longer matter. Europe is at peace (pretty much), the divine right of Kings is history and the markets and economic possibilities of Empire are history. Any serious debate or discussion about the political union should be framed for the 21st century not wrapped up in 18th century concepts, rose tinted sanctimonious sentimental rubbish and simply trying to scare the Scots into staying in the Union.