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Glasgow: game on for independence?

Thursday, July 24, 2014 - 01:57

The Commonwealth Games opening in Scotland throws the spotlight on their main venue, Glasgow - and on SNP leader Alex Salmond's bid to propel Scotland to independence. Hayley Platt reports.

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They say you shouldn't mix politics with sport. But it's hard to avoid when Scotland is hosting the Commonwealth Games within two months of the country voting on independence. Prince Charles, heir to the British throne and his wife Camilla were given a tour of the training facility. Who knows if it might be their last official visit to a Scotland that's part of a United Kingdom. And some question whether the Games are likely to help or hinder First Minister Alex Salmond's hopes of independence. So far Salmond has managed to keep politics out of the games. And that's a good thing according to brand expert Lois Jacobs of Landor Associates. SOUNDBITE: Lois Jacobs, CEO, Landor Associates, saying (English): "While a yes or a no vote is of utmost importance to those who live in Scotland and those within Great Britain , it's not really that important to the vast majority of nations who were watching that ceremony and therefore that brand experience." Salmond hasn't always managed to keep shtum when promoting his country's nationalism. He famously upset British tennis ace Andy Murray, also a Scot, and attracted some bad press, when he waved the national flag after last year's Wimbledon win. One sure winner though - tourism for the games main venue, the City of Glasgow. And for the rest of Scotland. With a bill for the Games at around 575 million pounds, that should put a smile on the First Minister's face. SOUNDBITE: Lois Jacobs, CEO, Landor Associates, saying (English): "There's been a huge amount of jobs that have been created. There's been a big influx of visitors and that influx of visitors has increased ever since the Games have been communicated, so prior to the opening ceremonies. So there's going to be a lot more spending as people come to the country and there's going to be better infrastructure as a result of the Games." September the 18th is the date of the vote, when Salmond and his supporters might face a tight finish between the Yes and the Nos in the race for the future of Scotland.

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Glasgow: game on for independence?

Thursday, July 24, 2014 - 01:57