Today, we announce the final line-up for next month's inaugural Sunday Herald Independence Debate, the first in a series designed to get Scotland talking about the big questions we face in the run-up to the 2014 referendum.
Leading broadcaster and commentator Lesley Riddoch joins an already impressive list of panellists in a Question Time-style session chaired by the Sunday Herald's Iain Macwhirter. Riddoch has become a leading voice in the independence debate, lauded for her forthright views and feisty commentating style. She writes regularly for the Guardian and is a Scotsman columnist.
To be held at the Mitchell Theatre as part of the Aye Write! festival, the first Sunday Herald Independence Debate takes place on March 10 and tickets are already selling fast from the ayewrite.com box office. The panellists, from a variety of disciplines, have gamely agreed to tackle diverse questions on everything from arts and culture to the built environment.
John Burnside – a multi-award-winning writer who scooped the prestigious TS Eliot Prize for his latest poetry collection – has signalled his passionate interest in the renewable energy debate.
"The triumph of the pro-wind lobbies has been to suggest that anyone anti-turbine is conservative, nimbyish and a climate change denier," he says. "Nothing could be further from the truth. I am deeply ecology-biased and have been interested in the science and social implications of renewables for more than 25 years – which is why, as an individual and as a writer whose work responds directly to the landscape of Scotland and my home region of Fife in particular, I strongly oppose the SNP's placing all of our eggs in the wind turbine basket.
''Wind turbines are the Silent Spring of our era – and fantasies about wind energy underwriting independence are disastrous for the country at every level."
Care to challenge him? You can also grill Bob Holman, co-founder of the Easterhouse Project in Glasgow, who inspired Iain Duncan Smith to reform Britain's welfare system (although Holman disapproved of the nature of those reforms).
"I am an egalitarian," he says. "The issue for me is whether independence would lead to a radical redistribution of income and wealth. I am also a democrat and want a country which is a republic, not one subject to an inherited monarchy."
Meanwhile, campaigning architect Malcolm Fraser asks: "What is special about our wee nation? There's a care and concern for equality of opportunity, social justice, and a pressing need to get us back some of that gallus inventiveness we were once bursting with. I read what our leaders wish for and feel cheered.
''But then I look around me, at the dumb, placeless, car-bound suburbs, new motorways, Amazon warehouses and business parks we are scattering about. I fear for a Scotland that wishes to model itself on some dying American suburban dream, and that continues in thrall to the big business interests, that have failed us so badly, to deliver them.
"So, yes, I get the vision of the world leader in renewable energy. But what about understanding that the liveability and friendliness of our existing towns, cities and buildings could be an exemplar of a wee, sustainable nation in which we don't get in the car and insulate ourselves from each other, and don't abandon our existing buildings and communities to rot, because big business makes more by sending them to landfill and sticking up some shiny rubbish in their stead. What might that Scotland look like?"
John Drummond is CEO of integrityworks, a social housing association director and also chairs the Constitutional Commission. "Many Scots wish to see major constitutional change," he says. "Ironically, this change risks coming about without a full discussion on the nature of this reconstituted country. What sort of society ought to emerge from this much-desired change? It won't do to put off this discussion on the shape and nature of a future Scotland until a referendum takes place. We need to begin this conversation now. A good starting point is to examine a constitution for Scotland."
Finally, Karen Koren, comedy impresario and artistic director of the Gilded Balloon, completes the line-up.
A lively evening is guaranteed and tickets (priced £8/£7 concession) are selling fast. To secure your place, visit the ayewrite.com website or call at City Halls, Glasgow, the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall or the Mitchell, Glasgow.
The Sunday Herald Independence Debate, Saturday, March 10, 6.30-8pm, The Mitchell Theatre, Glasgow. Tickets: £8 (£7 concession). To book visit: www.ayewrite.com