For a component region of a modern nation-state, Scottish cultural identity is securely established and, arguably, disproportionately on display around the world. The tartans, the kilts, the bagpipes, the whiskies, and Mac as part of a family name, all travel well, and there is an acknowledged distinctively Scottish contribution to many disciplines. Scottish national identity is magnified by an accident of history. With Britain having been prominent in setting up a variety of international organisations, Scotland, along with Wales, Northern Ireland and England, has “international” status in, for example, FIFA, UEFA, World Rugby and the Commonwealth Games. There is some justification for objections to sporting over-representation from the British Isles. All this is much more recognition than for comparable component regions- Bavaria, Tuscany, Andalusia, Brittany, for example-which shared their sovereignty with their geographical neighbours. Mature politicians marry cultural diversity with the hard realities of geography and economics in healthy, creative ways. Then we have the SNP and Alba. Tim Bell, Madeira Place, Edinburgh.