It is almost six months until Scotland decides. Will the country vote for independence from the UK on 18 September? Ian Buxton has a few thoughts on the matter, and he's surprised that the Scotch whisky industry doesn't appear to have any.

“We are asking for clarity from both governments so that we can weigh up the likely impact on the Scotch whisky industry,” a spokesperson for the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) said last week.

Well, good luck with that. The ‘debate’ so far - if one can call it that - has been a classic dialogue of the deaf. Interventions by the Prime Minister, UK Ministers and the Governor of the Bank of England have been greeted with something close to abuse by the ‘cyber-Nats’, accusations that any comment from south of the Border is “bullying Scotland” and First Minister Alex Salmond’s suggestion that Prime Minister David Cameron is “a big fearty” (aka ‘coward’) for declining a TV debate with him.

Some might consider such remarks more fitting to the playground than the serious consideration that ought to be due to severing a 300-year-old union. Indeed, whilst Diageo and other leading whisky companies maintain that the vote is one for Scotland alone, an increasing number of voters in England and Wales are beginning to wake up to the implications of a potential separation. It’s a short step from that realisation to asking how the Scottish National Party (SNP) managed to dupe national politicians into letting 10% of the population decide the fate of the whole United Kingdom.

After all, if it was the end of a marriage under discussion, both parties would have a say. 

I’ve written here before of the hidden dangers to Scotch whisky in an independence vote and SNP strategist’s secret plan for a water extraction tax. Back then, I argued that “the industry had better come up with some pretty powerful arguments pretty quickly”.

And, have they? Well, not if the latest polite "no comment" from Diageo, Pernod Ricard and William Grant & Sons is to be believed.

It’s time to stand up and be counted. As well as the potential water tax, it won’t be long before some bright spark realises that, as Scotch whisky can’t leave Scotland for a minimum of three years, a few pennies tax on every single barrel in Scotland would fill some of the inevitable hole created by declining oil revenues (assuming that Shetland doesn’t declare UDI and grab the fields themselves, as geography might suggest).

The SWA is officially neutral. But, I was fascinated to meet last week with the organisation's recently-retired chief executive, Gavin Hewitt, who was happy to put on record – speaking, he emphasised, from a personal perspective – his view that, with independence, "Scotland would lose influence in the world and the clout that a big country has with Brussels; lose access to a superb network of UK embassies and trade support and I am concerned about the consequences [of a 'yes' vote] for whisky.

"If it ain't broke," he argues "then don't fix it."

So, man up whisky producers! The potential break-up of the UK must not pass without comment. Scotch does not belong to Scotland alone, and the drinkers of England and Wales - let alone the wider world - want to hear your voice; loud and clear.

After all, did Robert Burns himself not reassure you:

"Inspiring bold John Barleycorn!

What dangers thou canst make us scorn!

Wi' tipenny, we fear nae evil;

Wi' usquebae, we'll face the devil!"

Even Alex Salmond isn’t that scary.