Novelist Christopher Brookmyre: My life in five games

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Glaswegian novelist Christopher Brookmyre has written the plot for a new video game called Bedlam, based on his book of the same name.

A keen gamer since he was a boy, here the writer sets out the five games closest to his heart.

They include Jet Set Willy, a game of 30 years ago, through to the more recent Serious Sam, which Brookmyre plays with his son.

Jet Set Willy

Christopher Brookmyre Manic Miner and Jet Set Willy gave Christopher Brookmyre his first taste of gaming

I got a ZX Spectrum for Christmas 1982, and upgraded from 16k to a whopping - count 'em missus - 48k a few months later, which was enough to run what was effectively the first open-world video game.

Up until this point, games had usually taken place in environments contained within a single screen, which had to be completed before the player was rewarded with access to the next one.

Manic Miner, adored though it was, had followed this model.

Players became grindingly over-familiar with the early levels, traversing them over and over again in their quest to glimpse virgin territory, usually for about three seconds before killed.

  • Today, Jet Set Willy is described as a classic arcade game.
  • It was released in 1984 as a sequel to 1983's game Manic Miner.
  • The game's character, Miner Willy, has to tidy up his house after a party.

Manic Miner's legendary sequel allowed the player to roam free, exploring anywhere their split-second timing allowed them to reach.

Willy's mansion consequently felt like a true place rather than a sequence of screens.


Commodore Amiga

During my perma-skint student years, I whiled away many evenings at my mate Andy's house, enjoying the technological advancement of his Commodore Amiga, which left the Spectrum in its wake.

  • A strategy game.
  • It was originally released in 1989.
  • The game marked a change from arcade-style games to a more "cerebral and challenging" style of gaming.

Populous is credited with the invention of the "god game", and there is a case for it blazing the trail for real-time strategy games too.

For the first time, instead of navigating an environment, the player could shape it: raising the land, flattening mountains, raining down volcanism and, of course, being worshipped by your people.

Although only one person was manning the mouse, it was usually a team effort in terms of devising tactics and suggesting new ways to exploit divine powers.

Quake II


Working at home can be an impediment to making new friends, even in somewhere as friendly, hospitable and welcoming as Aberdeen (my comment may contain traces of sarcasm), where I had moved in 1998.

  • Quake II is a first-person shooter, a game in which the player experiences the action through the eyes of the protagonist.
  • Players play a marine fighting aliens in a conflict set in the future.
  • It was released in 1997.

Add to this my wife's long hours and on-call commitments as a junior doctor, and you will begin to appreciate my gratitude for the phenomenon that was Quake 2.

This was the pioneering days of multiplayer gaming, throwing up a vibrant and creative online community as we took advantage of the comparatively stable net code id Software had developed, doing battle for hours at a time in clan leagues, tournaments and free-for-alls.

Doom 3

Screenshot from

After five nomadic years I had settled down by 2003, and it was my pleasure on my wife's on-call nights, once my son was safely asleep, to immerse myself in the horrors of a demon-infested research base on Mars.

  • Doom is set in the ruins of an ancient Martian civilisation.
  • Like Quake II, it is a first-person shooter.
  • Players are part of a detachment of marines fighting alien creatures.

Contrary to the impressions given by years of moral panic and tabloid hysteria, I'd never thought a video game could be genuinely frightening.

Then came Doom 3, with its constant steam-choked darkness, penetrable only by a flashlight which you had to hold instead of a gun.

I recall playing the game late at night with the lights off and my headphones on, but not for long.

Serious Sam

Halo Brookmyre said Serious Sam offered something different from first-person shooters like Halo, above

Although Serious Sam was released several years before Doom 3, it really came into its own for me as the first game I regularly played in co-op mode with my son.

  • Serious Sam is another first-person shooter.
  • It was developed by Croatia-based Croteam.
  • Originally released for playing on PCs, but has since gone on to be made available on other platforms.

Apart from the option of having no blood (or indeed replacing it with flowers), what made it particularly suitable for a younger player was that it eschewed complex artificial intelligence and tactical sophistication in favour of filling the screen with literally hundreds of enemies.

This made for a frenetic, chaotic and incomparably fun multiplayer experience.

To this day, my son regularly fires up Serious Sam with his mates as it beats the hell out of po-faced first-person shooters like Call of Duty or Halo.

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BBC Glasgow & West



Min. Night 13 °C

Referendum Live

    18:35: Reporting Scotland

    A 60-minute Reporting Scotland is under way covering the final stages of the referendum campaign.

    You can watch it live here.

    18:32: Analysis James Landale Deputy political editor

    I think the direction is clear, the detail is not.

    The leaders of the three largest parties in the UK have promised that Scotland will get more powers over its tax, spending and welfare.

    They have promised to publish draft legislation in January to make this happen.

    But the Conservatives, the Lib Dems and Labour all have different ideas about what this might mean in practice.

    18:28: 'Good experience'

    Chief Counting Officer Mary Pitcaithly admitted she would be "slightly nervous" on the big day.

    "I just want everybody to have a really good experience on polling day," she said. "No impediments to voting, everything goes smoothly when they turn up to vote. And then we get an accurate result that everybody can trust."

    18:16: 'Myth dispelled' James Cook Scotland Correspondent, BBC News

    The people of Scotland have one more night to ponder, one more night to weigh up what to do.

    And whatever happens, a myth has been dispelled.

    They say people don't care about politics - they are wrong.

    18:10: Referendum Tonight

    Join Graham Stewart from 23:00 this evening for BBC Radio Scotland for Referendum Tonight.

    This evening we'll round up the final day's campaigning, keep you across the last of the opinion polls and explain the timescale and procedure of what happens next. Graham will be looking at how the debate and the issues have inspired songwriters and we look back on a long, long campaign with our Referendum A-Z.

    That's Referendum Tonight on 810 medium wave and on digital radio between 23:00 and midnight.

    Email: 18:01: Get involved

    Christopher Stone: I find it amazing that people are even allowed to vote on a proposition where the impacts are not clear; like whether Scotland can stay in the EU yes or no, or whether the currency can be shared yes or no. And I find it even more amazing that the Scottish people themselves are prepared to vote rather than ask first what the impact would be. Sheer lunacy on all sides!

    17:54: A Question of Sport

    What might an independent Scotland mean for our country's sportsmen and sportswomen? Matt Slater takes an in depth look.

    Lynsey Sharp, Andy Murray, Michael Jamieson
    Email: 17:51: Get involved

    Mahesh Patel: The Scottish people should view independence as an opportunity to thrive and not fear any consequence of isolation. An independent Scotland can easily become one of the most prosperous, advanced and dynamic countries in the world. People should believe in themselves and not fear a reliance on others for self security.

    It has ample knowledge base, resource and know how to invest and build a country vastly powerful, self determined and independently influential. Initial problems are merely a short time frame for adjustment into the new era. Small in geography but huge in diversified economic industrial and social potential wealth. Believe in your long term rise and rise. Its on your doorstep, now!

    Email: 17:49: Get involved

    Jim Jarvis: As a passionate Scot, who up until recently has been undecided, my heart has been crying out for Mr Salmond and the Yes campaign to provide answers to the fundamental questions on currency, EU, economy etc. that will convince my head to allow me to vote Yes tomorrow. Disappointingly the Yes campaign has spent the past weeks focussing on appealing only to the hearts of voters and appears to have actively avoided answering those questions. For such a momentous decision the head must win over the heart and without these answers I for one cannot take the massive leap of faith and accept Mr Salmond's big smile and his "trust me" approach, there is too much to lose.

    17:44: 1992 repeat?

    Who is this good looking politics student in 1992? Did his star lecturer expect the General Election opinion polls that year to be so badly wrong? And could the polls be wrong again tomorrow?

    Jamie McIvor

    Find out more on Scotland 2014 on BBC Two Scotland at 10pm. No promises, but we may also discover what happened to Jamie McIvor's boyish good looks.

    Email: 17:41: Get involved

    Richard Benzie: I'll have on the kilt for my trip to the polling station tomorrow. I feel that I may well be mistaken for a 'Yes' voter but, on the contrary, I decided to vote 'No, thanks' at an early stage. Why the kilt? I'm proud to be Scottish AND proud to be British. Don't let the 'Yes' campaign shame 'No' voters into thinking that they are anything other than proud Scots. We all are!

    17:30: 'Fantastic atmosphere'

    Alex Salmond has told the BBC that people have moved to the Yes campaign because of the positive message contrasting to the negative message of the No campaign.

    He said the decision was now in the hands of the people of Scotland and there was "no safer place for it to be."

    "We're feeling very positive because it's a very fantastic atmosphere," he said. "And it's really a celebration of democracy we're having in Scotland. People are so excited about the prospect of having Scotland's future in Scotland's hands."

    17:22: STV poll

    Following the Panelbase poll results (16:04), a poll by Ipsos MORI for STV has No on 51% and Yes on 49%, with undecideds excluded.

    With don't knows included, the figures are No - 49%, Yes 47% and Don't Knows 5%.

    Email: 17:17: Get involved

    Michael: I'm English, 50 now, lived in Scotland since 10. Was a no for so long. But think I'm going yes. Don't expect us to be better off at all for years, think it will get much worse for years before it gets better. But in end, think we'll benefit from no elitist Westminster rule, in the end it will be better. Voting for kids not me.

    17:05: 'No going back'

    Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson has said tomorrow's vote in the Scottish independence referendum is "the most important vote any of us will cast in our lifetime".

    She commented: "We are not being asked to pick a government for five years, but to choose whether or not to break our country apart forever. There will be no going back after a Yes vote.

    Ruth Davidson

    "But the risks of separation are risks that we don't have to take as a country. Change is coming - sweeping new powers to put the Scottish Parliament in charge of tax and welfare. But we will ensure that change doesn't come at the cost of our security and prosperity."

    Email: 17:00: Get involved

    Barry, Edinburgh: The numbers don't add up. How can a country of 5.5 million people with only half of working age and paying tax fund a standalone economy? I just don't see anything other than us being worse off with a yes vote.

    16:56: 'Flimsy and meaningless'

    Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said the pledge from Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats to give further powers to Scotland in the event of a No vote is "flimsy and meaningless".

    She claims the offer has fallen apart after some backbench MPs voiced their disapproval of the offer.

    Nicola Sturgeon

    Ms Sturgeon said: "Despite the fact the 'vow' doesn't guarantee a single power, it has taken less than 24 hours to fall apart - Tory MPs are already up in arms about it. They are desperate to grip onto power over Scotland and - in the event of a No vote - they would not let it go."

    Email: 16:53: Get involved

    Laura Brown: As someone who lives near Faslane, whose father is contracted at said base, whose family was in the MOD and who was in the Universities Royal Naval Unit myself, I can assure you that I am not voting against the UK or England. I have huge respect for what our countries have achieved together, and have friends and family across the Border as most Scots do. I owe the UK a lot!

    But I'd argue that the majority of those voting Yes are not doing so with 'dislike'. We are voting so that Scots have full control of what happens in our country. That doesn't change our respect for the rest of the UK.

    16:50: Overseas view

    Read the thoughts of Ailsa Henderson, a Canadian who now lives and works in Edinburgh, and the Moulisovas, who moved to Glasgow from the Czech Republic in 2007.

    Ailsa Henderson
    Michal and Vladimira Moulisova

    What do they think about the Scottish Independence Referendum?

    Email: 16:41: Get involved

    Jane Clark: The anti-English sentiment is disappointing and likely to cause a post-referendum backlash. What will the English have to lose by driving a really harsh bargain with Salmond if Scotland breaks away? Will rUK voters let our politicians play nicely with a nation that feels free to insult us at will?

    16:35: Confidence is the keynote Brian Taylor Political editor, Scotland

    The final day and confidence is the keynote on either side. Certainly, that was so at the two competing rallies I attended in Glasgow.

    At the Yes event in the city's Buchanan Street, the talk was of empowering a generation. The talk was of enabling Scotland to build a more prosperous and just society.

    At the Better Together event in Maryhill Community Hall, the talk was of the true patriotic option being a No vote, blending more powers with continuity in a reformed UK.

    Also in our end is our beginning. Each side seeks to identify and challenge a core weakness in their opponents' pitch.

    Read Brian Taylor's full blog.

    16:29: The Parliament that never was

    BBC Scotland's Jamie Ross looks at how the First World War ended hopes of a bid for Scottish home rule.

    First World War
    16:26: Campaign coverage

    The campaigning appears to have got everywhere, as this image of Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh shows.

    Yes campaign
    Email: 16:18: Get involved

    Lynette Smee: I have seen first hand what the austerity measures have done to the poorest in Glasgow, schools and community organisations shut down and replaced by foodbanks. This is what the union has done, this is how they invest in its amazing young people. Only with a yes vote can we really invest in children and young people. The yes campaign started this by giving 16 and 17 year olds a political voice. This is a truly wonderful thing.

    16:13: Latest debate

    BBC Scotland News tweets: .@BBCRadioScot #Newsdrive is on air. Tune in for #indyref latest, as both sides in debate make final attempt to win over undecided voters.

    16:10: Are the polls correct?
    16:09: Late shift

    Don't forget that the Referendum Live team will continue to bring you all today's major campaign news and views until late tonight.

    16:04: Panelbase poll

    The latest poll from Panelbase has the Yes side on 48% and No on 52%, excluding undecided voters.

    Including undecided voters, the figures were Yes - 45%, No - 50% and Undecided - 5%.

    The Panelbase results are the same as three polls released yesterday. Opinium for the Daily Telegraph, another by ICM for the Scotsman and a third by Survation for the Daily Mail all had No on 52% and Yes on 48% with undecided voters excluded.

    Read about all the latest polls in our poll tracker.

    15:58: Margaret Burgess MSP

    tweets: Undecided voters switching to Yes at our @Yes_N_Ayrshire stall today.

    Yes supporters
  30. 15:52: Your Views

    David Cox emails: Right down to the wire Alex Salmond is dismissing out of hand any comment, criticism or alternative argument to independence as bullying, interference, insulting the Scottish people. There are huge numbers in the United Kingdom with genuine and serious concerns about the prospect of a 'Yes' vote for all of us, Scottish and English, Welsh and Northern Irish. We would like our views treated with respect too!

    Peter Lennie emails: The threats have started already, Clegg wants changes in what Scottish MPs at Westminster can vote on. How long have English MPs been voting on Scottish business?

    Sandy, Edinburgh, emails: I am a No voter. However, I have just heard Gordon Brown's latest speech. It was poor. It might make others who are undecided vote Yes.

    15:42: An age old issue

    In this interactive video, find out more about the issue of pensions and how the issue has impacted the referendum debate.

    15:34: Kezia Dugdale MSP

    tweets: Big thumbs up for #nothanks in Porty this afternoon

    No supporters campaigning
    15:31: A question of jobs

    As figures today suggest unemployment is still falling in Scotland, the BBC's David Henderson explores one of the most important issues of the Scottish independence referendum - jobs.

    Job centre
    15:23: Tim Reid Political correspondent, BBC News

    Voters hopes and fears on #MorningCall with @lwhitemedia is an absolutely great listen today.

    You can listen to the programme by clicking on the Live Coverage tab above.

    Email: 15:21: Get involved

    Allan, Aberdeen: Regardless of which side you are on, be it Yes or No, the one thing that the Scottish independence referendum has brought to the fore is a level of political engagement, debate and inclusion never before seen within the UK and even across the world. I just hope that the result, whatever it may be, is accepted graciously by all parties involved both now or in any future negotiations.

    15:19: Step back in time

    We've been delving through the BBC film archive and found this news clip of the opening of the new Scottish Parliament in the summer of 1999. Watch Scotland's first, first minister, the late Donald Dewar, make his vow along with Scotland's current First Minister, Alex Salmond, who added an extra line to his promise of allegiance.

    Donald Dewar
    15:18: George Square gathering

    Pro-independence supporters have gathered this afternoon in Glasgow's George Square. The Yes campaign's last big rally takes place tonight in Perth.

    Yes campaigners in George Square
    15:07: Unemployment figures

    Responding to news earlier that unemployment in Scotland fell by 15,000 between May and July, Scottish Conservative finance spokesman Gavin Brown MSP said: "Today's unemployment news is welcome, although work obviously still needs to be done to bring the rate down further.

    "What is undoubtedly clear is how unwise it would be to risk instability by separating from the rest of the UK at this point.

    "With the UK economy predicted to grow it is clearly in Scotland's interest to remain part of the UK so we can share the benefits of the economic recovery."

    Email: 15:01: Get involved

    Douglas Scott: I'm a yes voter but think that was Gordon browns finest hour. If I were undecided that might just have convinced me to go for NO.

    Simon West: Stand firm Scotland. Would you rather be ruled in Scotland by politicians you can hold to account or from England, by elitists who manipulate democracy for their own ends, as we are seeing now?

    15:00: From the vanguard to the verge

    How did Scotland go from being at the vanguard of the spread of the British Empire to the verge of independence? Emily Maitliss explores the issue in this short film.

    English and Scottish flags
    Text 80295 14:50: Your Views

    Susan, Neilston: Scotland is promised additional powers if it's a 'No' vote, but these powers will have to be ratified by Westminster and MPs are already rebelling. The leaders cannot guarantee it can be delivered.

    Alex, Aberdeen: Change does not mean progress, a Yes vote would be many steps back for our wonderful country. Don't let blind hatred of the English get in the way of reason. A Yes would ruin Scotland. Salmond is not being honest about the oil, vote No.

    David, Devon: David Cameron promised the UK "the greenest government ever". Now we have fracking and new nuclear. Promises of powers for Scotland? Not worth the paper they are written on.

    Anon: There's only three points to this debate: 1. Is it affordable? Yes! 2. Are we able in intellectual terms? Yes! 3. Do we want it enough? this space...!

    14:48: The social vote BBC Trending What's popular and why

    Data released by Facebook yesterday showed a lead for the "Yes" campaign in terms of "interactions" on the network. But does this kind of social media data really tell us anything useful about how people will vote? Read our analysis.

    14:40: Battle of the ads

    Adverts have been placed in many of today's newspapers by both sides of the campaign - here's a selection.

    14:36: Clegg: Change Scottish MP rules

    Changes to the rules on Scottish MPs voting on England-only measures should be brought in at the same time as Scotland gets more control over tax and spending, Deputy PM Nick Clegg says.

    nick clegg

    Allowing Scottish MPs to vote on English matters "is simply not fair", the Lib Dem leader told LBC Radio.

    UK leaders have promised new powers to Scotland if there's a No vote. But First Minister Alex Salmond says only independence would deliver the powers Scotland needs.

    14:02: Prime Minister's nerves

    David Cameron admitted he was concerned that the United Kingdom could be on the verge of breaking up.

    The Prime Minister said: "Everyone who cares about our United Kingdom, and I care passionately about our United Kingdom, is nervous.

    "But I'm confident we've set out how Scotland can have the best of both worlds - a successful economy with a growing number of jobs."

    13:54: Cameron: I won't quit

    Prime Minister David Cameron has insisted he will not quit if there is a Yes vote.

    david cameron

    Mr Cameron said he will continue to fight "passionately" for a No vote but will remain in Downing Street regardless of tomorrow's result.

    He said: "My name is not on the ballot paper. What's on the ballot paper is, does Scotland want to stay in the United Kingdom or does Scotland want to separate itself from the United Kingdom.

    "That's the only question that will be decided on Thursday night. The question about my future will come at the British general election coming soon."

    13:23: From empire to independence?

    We could be on the brink of the end of the United Kingdom as we know it.

    It is fair to say that Britannia no longer rules the waves - and hasn't for many decades - but what might independence for Scotland mean in years to come?

    English and Scottish flags

    And how did Scotland go from being at the vanguard of the spread of the British Empire to the verge of independence?

    Emily Maitlis reports for Newsnight.

    13:04: Surgeons back 'No' Eleanor Bradford BBC Scotland Health Correspondent

    Orthopaedic surgeons have signed a letter saying there is no risk of privatisation if people vote 'No' in tomorrow's referendum.

    The organisers of the letter say at least half of all the orthopaedic surgeons in Scotland are concerned about privatisation of the NHS being used as an argument for voting 'Yes'.

    About 85% of respondents said they might not be able to deliver the same standard of care to their patients after independence, and 90% thought there would be difficulty recruiting the same quality of clinical staff.

    Email: 12:53: Your views

    Alex, Laurencekirk: If your heart says one thing and your head says another trust your heart as both sides have been trying to manipulate your head.

    12:46: Yes or No... Steven McKenzie BBC Scotland Highlands and Islands reporter

    On the last day of Scottish independence referendum campaigning, this is the view in Inverness.


    Colourful placards for Yes and No are tied to many lampposts in the city centre.

    12:40: MP 'won't back more powers'

    Philip Davies, the Conservative MP for Shipley in Yorkshire, has said he would not support further devolution plans for Scotland pledged by the leaders of the three Westminster parties should Scotland vote "No" in the referendum.

    Mr Davies said on Twitter: "For the record I will not be voting to maintain an unfair funding settlement for Scotland, whatever Messrs Cameron, Miliband and Clegg say.

    "In the event of a a No vote I will be doing all I can to stop MPs from Scotland voting on issues in Parliament which don't relate to Scotland."

    12:33: Nifty graphics...

    The BBC's Jeremy Vine has been looking at how the results from Scotland's 32 local authorities will come in. See his video - with some nifty graphics - here.

    Jeremy Vine with interactive map of Scotland
    12:28: 'Yes' rally tonight

    The Yes campaign will hold its big, final rally this evening at Perth Town Hall, where speakers will include First Minister Alex Salmond. We will, of course, bring you live text coverage of the event.

    Support for Yes campaign
    12:27: More Brown

    The former prime minister said of the "Yes" campaign: "They do not know what they are doing."

    12:21: 'Have confidence'

    "Have confidence, stand up and be counted tomorrow," he adds. "Say to your friends, for reasons of solidarity, sharing, pride in Scotland, the only answer is vote No."

    12:18: 'Idea of solidarity'

    Gordon Brown is now speaking to the Better Together rally in Glasgow.

    Gordon Brown speaks at rally

    "What sort of message would we send out to the rest of the world, we who pioneered a partnership between nations, if tomorrow we said we're going to give up on sharing, throw our idea of solidarity into the dust," he tells the audience.

    "This is not the Scotland I know."

    12:14: 'Scotland would have to re-apply'

    The Spanish prime minister has warned that an independent Scotland would have to reapply to become a new member state of the European Union.

    Mariano Rajoy - who is facing pressure to agree to an independence referendum for Catalonia - told Spanish MPs membership could take many years.

    He said referendums created "more economic recession and poverty".

    The pro-independence campaign says Scotland would be treated as an existing member of the EU.

    12:06: 'Simple message'

    Mr Canavan added: "Our message is quite simple, it is a positive message saying it is only by voting 'Yes' on Thursday that the people of Scotland will be empowered, empowered to vote for a new Scotland.

    "Yes to a prosperous Scotland, but also a fairer Scotland and a Scotland that will take its proud place in the international community to help to build a better world."

    12:04: Canavan: 'Scotland won't be fooled'

    Speaking at a rally in Glasgow, Yes Scotland chairman Dennis Canavan slammed the No parties' "back of a fag packet" pledge of further devolution.

    He told supporters: "A vow - it looks like something written on the back of a fag packet at the fag end of a long campaign. But the people of Scotland will not be fooled.

    "There is only one guarantee of getting more powers for the Scottish Parliament and that is by voting Yes, so let's take that message out, let's take our message out to every street, every city, every town, every village. every community, every workplace, every home in Scotland."

    11:57: Gearing up... Ken Banks BBC Scotland North East reporter

    Andrew Neil will be appearing on the Daily Politics show which starts shortly. He's pictured at BBC Scotland in Aberdeen preparing to go on air.

    Andrew Neil
    11:49: 'Head and heart'

    Alistair Darling tells Better Together campaigners: "We are all fiercely patriotic and proud of the country in which we live. But I say - my head and my heart say no thanks to the risks of separation."

    11:44: More Darling

    Mr Darling adds: "A vote to say No is a vote to keep the currency. A vote to say No is to safeguard the payment of pensions. A vote to say No is to guarantee the funding and the strength of our National Health Service."

    11:40: Darling: 'No case'

    Mr Darling told the audience in Maryhill, Glasgow, the case for independence "has not been made out".

    "If you have such a momentous decision to take, you need to have certainty. And what is very clear at the end of this long campaign is that from the nationalist side there is no certainty at all.

    "For anyone in Scotland who is in any doubt, be in no doubt - you have to say 'No'."

    11:39: Darling urges 'No'

    Better Together leader Alistair Darling has just spoken at the pro-Union campaign's final big rally in Glasgow.

    He said the case had not been made for independence, and urged undecided voters to vote "No" in tomorrow's referendum.

    Alistair Darling
    Email: 11:35: Get involved

    Gary McAlonan: I'm a Yes man. Why would you vote for the three stooges version of "Devo Max" when they wanted it removed! Why also is it all the big wigs who are opposed to the Yes vote? It is because they are in the pocket of the British establishment and their power will be diluted.

    Bill in Bristol: Whatever the outcome tomorrow, my most abiding memory will be of the sadness and distress I now feel to learn that such a large proportion of Scots harbour such powerful feelings of resentment and dislike towards the Union and England.

    11:31: Ex-Italian PM: Yes would be a disaster

    Former Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta has warned that Scotland voting for independence would be a "disaster" for Britain and the EU.

    Enrico Letta

    He told the BBC World Service that independence would make it more likely that Britain leaves the EU, creating a "poorer, weaker" organisation.

    Mr Letta said: "The 'Yes' in Scotland will help those who want, in the referendum of 2017, to take the UK out.

    "The UK is one of the pillars of the single market, of big international trade agreements and is so important in Europe that the consequence will be maybe the start of the true decline of the European Union.

    "The sequence, the consequences of tomorrow's referendum, could be very, very dangerous."

    11:27: Sarah Brown (wife of Gordon)

    tweets: No means better, safer, faster change for Scotland. And a chance to show the world how to respect differences and work together. #indyref

    11:19: 'Confident of victory' Nick Eardley, BBC News

    If there are any nerves ahead of the vote, they aren't on show this morning as Blair Jenkins, chief executive of the Yes Scotland campaign, told supporters he is confident of victory.

    Yes Scotland

    Members of the Yes campaign gathered outside Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on the final day of campaigning.

    11:11: Whisky fears...

    The Hindustan Times has carried a front page story on the possibility of a rise in the price of Scotch whisky if Scotland votes for independence.

    malt whisky

    Correspondent Prasun Sonwalkar's report says Scotland receives "certain benefits by being part of the UK" but these "could be taken away if it votes for separation".

    The report adds: "As part of UK, Scotland has access to its overseas missions where it sells its single malt, uses the stable pound sterling as currency, gets tariff-free export within EU and uses the bloc to negotiate trade and tax deals globally.

    "But if Scotland parts way with UK it may lose these benefits, which will have serious implication on its exports, supply chains, pricing and competitiveness in the multi-million dollar Scotch whisky industry."

    The Hindustan Times is the second most-read English language newspaper in India.

    Email: 10:50: Your views

    Sean, Aberdeen: Whatever way the vote goes tomorrow we all have to work on building a united Scotland. This campaign has split us all dramatically and we must rebuild our relationships with each other.

    10:44: Federation criticises 'exaggerated rhetoric'

    The Scottish Police Federation has criticised "exaggerated rhetoric" around the referendum.

    The body, which represents rank and file officers, said it was responding to media reports "implying increased crime and disorder as a consequence of the referendum".

    Chairman Brian Docherty said: "It was inevitable that the closer we came to the 18th of September passions would increase but that does not justify the exaggerated rhetoric that is being deployed with increased frequency. Any neutral observer could be led to believe Scotland is on the verge of societal disintegration yet nothing could be further from the truth.

    "Scotland's citizens are overwhelmingly law abiding and tolerant and it is preposterous to imply that by placing a cross in a box, our citizens will suddenly abandon the personal virtues and values held dear to them all."

    Read the full statement here.

    10:32: Swinney on jobs figures

    Reacting to the latest figures showing a fall in Scottish unemployment by 15,000 in May to July this year, Finance Secretary John Swinney said: "These figures are a massive boost to the 'Yes' campaign.

    "They are a huge vote of economic confidence in Scotland's future and expose the scaremongering of the 'No' campaign.

    "We now have the highest employment on record and unemployment, while still too high, is falling steadily.

    "Tomorrow we have a unique opportunity to build on this success and to bring job creating powers for Scotland into Scotland's hands - but only a 'Yes' vote gives us that opportunity."

    Email: 10:20: Your views

    Gordon Boyd: Up already and at work an hour ahead of back home here in the Netherlands. Can't wait to get back tonight and cast my vote tomorrow. Here's hoping for a bright and prosperous future for our country and peoples. Nae bickering in the future and just let's get oan wi' it.

    Text 80295 10:14: Get involved

    Charlie: Why pay twice for NHS? It was confirmed last night the tax raising powers are to make up the shortfall from the London budget cuts. Please don't be fooled.

    Willie McCall, Wick: Scots always like the surprise element and that's what will happen on Thursday as the No voters turn out in force to send the Yes campaign home to think again.

    10:01: More from Sir Tom

    Sir Tom added that the Bank of England would set strict conditions on any deal, which First Minister Alex Salmond may not agree with.

    He said: "I wouldn't like to negotiate that from a business point of view. I've got every faith in Alex Salmond, he's a very good negotiator, but he would not have a very strong hand to negotiate.

    "I think if anybody thinks in those circumstances the Bank of England is independent, they are living in cloud cuckoo land."

    Sir Tom added: "Long after David Cameron and Alex Salmond have left the fight, my children and their children will have to deal with how we vote tomorrow. So we better get it right."

    09:42: Sir Tom's currency fear

    Businessman Sir Tom Hunter has told the BBC he is worried about what currency Scotland would use if there is a "Yes" vote.

    sir tom hunter

    Scotland's most successful entrepreneur said he is not convinced Scotland would be able to agree a currency-sharing deal with the rest of the UK.

    He said: "The fact is, we don't know what's going to happen and uncertainty for business raises our risk, raises our cost and that's not good."

    09:37: Armando Ianucci

    tweets: Firstly, a poll asking Scots if they thought the campaign was causing divisions, 50% said No and 50% said Yes....

    Text 80295 09:33: Your Views

    Pamela, Glasgow, on Morning Call: We are in charge of a large number of things but the most important things we are not in charge of - social welfare, foreign affairs and finance. I want to be in charge of ourselves.

    Gerry, Uddingston: I agree with Alex Salmond's aspiration about a more just society. I think we are a very, very rich country. But unfortunately there are many many ways of travelling from point A to point B. There are too many risks and too many negotiations.

    09:23: International reaction

    Elsewhere in the international media, Pakistan's Dawn concludes: "All would almost certainly not be lost in the event of a 'No' win, given that even the pillars of the establishment would find it hard to retreat from the prospect they have held out of greater democratisation throughout the UK. Come what may, the significance of this key moment in British history is unlikely to be lost in a hurry."

    Aleksandr Polivanov, deputy editor in chief of Russia's Vedemosti writes: "Whatever the results of the voting in Scotland, unlike the Crimea referendum, it will become an example of a neat approach to redrawing borders in Europe."

    09:17: The Herald

    Time for a wee laugh - here's Herald cartoonist Steve Camley's take on developments.

    Herald caartoon
    Text 80295 09:04: Referendum - Your Views

    Dave, Edinburgh: I'm voting No and have never wavered. Why? Issues, not emotion. Currency union with interest rates controlled externally isn't independence. Net higher public spending per head, pensions, and NHS safer as part of a larger entity.

    Liz, Stepps: The final push is on, very exciting. For far too long people have left Scottish shores for a better future. Let's give them a better future here and put our own house in order (no-one can do it for us) with a Yes vote.

    08:58: Morning Call

    BBC Radio Scotland's Morning Call is now under way, through until 11:00.

    Get in touch if you have changed your mind on your vote by calling 0500 92 95 00, texting 80295 or emailing

    08:57: The view from South Korea

    South Korea's English-language newspaper JoongAng Daily runs an editorial piece on the referendum today.

    The article says: "The separation of England and Scotland symbolizes the end of the British Empire. When the two kingdoms united 300 years ago, the nation began to emerge as the center of world history...It is hard to predict the outcome of the referendum.

    "But one thing is clear: The United Kingdom has failed to quell the complex discontent and frustration felt by the minority Scots, despite three centuries of shared history and identity. England calls for a "Better Together" based on economic calculation, but it is doubtful whether economic benefit can override the Scots' pursuit of pride, dignity and political separatism."

    #bbcindyref 08:52: Get involved

    George Marshall tweets: I don't know anyone who isn't voting in tomorrow's #indyref. I hope the polling stations can cope with unprecedented numbers

    08:49: Blairs together

    Mr McDougall told Good Morning Scotland the campaign had been an "amazing experience", and Mr Jenkins said it had involved "fantastic people".

    08:45: Two Blairs

    Yes Scotland's Blair Jenkins added: "The promise that David Cameron made yesterday did not stand up for 24 hours. I think people in Scotland will be making a very clear choice."

    Better Together's Blair McDougall said: "Right from the start we tried to be focused on undecided voters. We are still looking for these undecided voters."

    08:39: More Jenkins

    Mr Jenkins also says: "I always visualised the campaign being about conversations.

    "I think that's how it's been. We have really let people get on with it. Both campaigns have now had more than two years."

    08:37: More McDougall

    Better Together's Blair McDougall adds: "I do not think anyone is going to cast a protest vote.

    "People realise there is no going back."

    08:35: 'Neck and neck'

    Blair Jenkins, chief executive of Yes Scotland, has told Good Morning Scotland: "It looks neck and neck.

    Blair Jenkins

    "I believe the very, very high turnout makes polls extraordinarily difficult."

    08:33: 'Really struggling'

    Blair McDougall, campaign director of Better Together, has told Good Morning Scotland: "I think a lot of people are really struggling with this decision.

    Blair McDougall

    "They want to be 100% sure they are making the right decision."

    08:31: What the papers say

    It's the day before Scotland goes to the polls, so only one issue could dominate the front pages of the newspapers.


    The Sun pitches the vote as Britain's Got Talent v The Ecks Factor. It tells readers the referendum is your voice, your choice your vote.

    The Daily Record appeals to campaigners to 'keep the heid' on the final day of campaigning. The Scottish Daily Mail says there are 24 hours to save Britain. Read our full review here.

    08:24: 'Comradely friendship'

    Mr Salmond concludes the interview by saying in the event of a "Yes" vote he would approach negotiations with the Westminster government in a spirit of "comradely friendship".

    08:22: 'For Queen and democracy"

    Following comments from military figures critical of the pro-independence position, Mr Salmond says: "Listen to other comments, such as from a 102-year-old desert rat, and a range of other people who have served this country, coming out in favour of 'Yes'.

    "They served for the Queen and democracy. They should listen to the words of serving soldiers - they don't believe in Yes or No, they believe in democracy."

    08:18: 'Team Scotland'

    More from Mr Salmond: "If we are successful, and I'm assuming absolutely nothing, as first minister my first act will be to say, look, the campaign's are over, what we have now is Team Scotland."

    "I shall be inviting people from across the political spectrum to join Team Scotland. I shall do this regardless of the result," he adds.

    08:15: 'Once in a lifetime opportunity'

    On a currency union with the rest of the UK, Mr Salmond says: "An overwhelming majority of people in Scotland back the Yes campaign on this matter.

    "It's in the best interests of Scotland and the rest of the UK. We're in the final stages of one of the most exhilarating political campaigns in western Europe.

    "I never thought in my political life I'd see people queuing up patiently to register to vote, as I did in Dundee. What they care about is having a once in a lifetime opportunity to influence their country."

    08:10: Salmond on Today

    Following Alistair Darling's appearance earlier, First Minister Alex Salmond is currently speaking on Radio 4's Today programme.

    alex salmond

    Asked about further devolution offered in the event of a No vote, he tells presenter Jim Naughtie in Edinburgh: "These are the same package announced last spring - repackaged in desperation yesterday. They've been discounted by the Scottish people."

    He says Scotland will use the pound following a "Yes" vote, saying there will be a "common-sense agreement. You know it and I know it."

    08:09: Coming up... Louise White Presenter, Morning Call

    On Morning Call today on BBC Radio Scotland at 08:50: Have you changed your mind on how you're going to vote in the referendum?

    And we're inviting you to put forward your positive case for voting "Yes" or "No".

    Lines are open now - get in touch by calling 0500 92 95 00, texting 80295 or emailing

    Morning Call graphic
    08:05: 'Human community'

    No supporter Elisabeth Fraser, 94, told Good Morning Scotland's Gary Robertson: "I think we are all a human family and I do not want a border between England and Scotland."

    Yes supporter Audrey Birt said: "I quite agree with everything Elisabeth said, we are part of the big human community, but I am voting for us to have the power over our own situation."

    08:04: 'It's our country too'

    Asked if he would take up Alex Salmond's invitation to join "Team Scotland" in the event of a "Yes" vote, Mr Darling says: "He is not Team Scotland. We will all play our part because it's our country too - it's not his."

    08:02: JD Sports: 'No major impact'

    JD Sports executive chairman Peter Cowgill told this morning's Radio 4 Today programme the company does not think a "Yes" vote would have a "major impact" on trade.

    Asked if there was a danger prices would rise, he said: "No, not at all… we operate in Europe as well and it would be a similar process".



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