There are two world events that have a loose connection. First Scottish independence from the rest of the UK and secondly the annexing of the Crimea by Russia. In each case a referendum is being held to determine whether the people want independence or not. Arguably, however, Crimea is less about independence and more about Russian rule.

One key difference is the British parliament have agreed to the Scottish independence referendum while the referendum in Crimea has been conducted very hastily without Ukrainian involvement and under the barrels of many Russian tanks and other military hardware.

Scotland is struggling to force the rest of the UK to give them access to all the institutions they will lose at independence. They insist the EU must give them membership, that they can keep the Pound and they can continue to use all the British institutions that they currently access.

The English are not impressed and warn them they are on their own if they vote ‘Yes’. The Scots insist this is a bluff but their arguments are not convincing. The problem Scotland has is they have no heavyweight neighbour to intimidate the rest of the UK or the EU with masses of troops and heavy armour (that they could claim are just local militia).

I suspect Vladimir Putin, in his current warlike mood would be happy to don a kilt and both compete in and fund the Highland Games having just staged the Winter Olympics in Sochi and with Putin on side the Scots could really put the pressure on the English.

In the unlikely event that Putin feels Scotland is a step too far then the Scots could always try Norway who would welcome the chance to reinvade the UK and annex Scotland as part of the Viking Empire!