Former prime minister Gordon Brown has invoked Britain's Olympic medal success – based, he said, on "pooling and sharing" of national resources and expertise – as an argument against Scottish independence.
Speaking out at the Edinburgh international book festival, Brown said that the Union had made possible a raft of shared British institutions, including the National Health Service, the BBC and the armed forces – and had created a Britain that was much more fair and equal than it would otherwise be.
"One thing I take from the Olympics, a point that Sir Chris Hoy has already made for me – when we pool and share resources for the common good the benefit is far greater than would have occurred if we'd just added up the sum of the parts. So the National Health Service is common insurance policy … the BBC, shared across the United Kingdom. The armed forces, so you don't have a Scottish, a Welsh and an English army.Aye well. He's right of course. But the argument must stand or fall on its own merits, rather than by spurious analogy with Olympic medal-winning.