THE independence referendum must come with a warning:

'Beware of politicians, this is not an election'.

We are not choosing a government, Prime or First Minister or even showing preference for any particular political party.

We are choosing a country, a state, a territory which the governments we chose in future will have jurisdiction over.

Tempting as it might be, it would be short sighted to cast your vote on what you think of David Cameron, George Osborne and Co. Similarly what your opinion is of Alex Salmond has no bearing on this vote.

There are also very different visions for a future independent Scotland within those in the Yes campaign.

And if Scotland votes Yes, there will also then be the manifestos of the Labour, LibDems, and Tories to choose from.

Similarly, staying in the UK doesn't mean it's back to business as usual, as all three unionist parties have plans, again varying, for the future of devolution.

These are promises which many are understandably sceptical about, but must happen in the event of a No vote and the process of deciding what powers must start immediately after the vote.

What we are voting for in September is a future, and it is a long future. It is one without Salmond and Sturgeon, Cameron, Miliband, Clegg and Farage.

They, like all of us, will soon be 'a lang time deid'.

The SNP is unlikely to be the same party after independence, and Scottish Labour would surely be different as it separates completely from the UK party.

Even the Tories have the chance to re-invent themselves to be something more akin to the party which, before Thatcher, once enjoyed power in Scotland.

Parties change over time. Labour is not the party it was before Blair. The Tories are not the same as before Thatcher. And the SNP will not be the same after independence, should it happen.

In 50 years' time each will again be different and, as circumstances and demographics change, new parties might emerge.

It is a national debate, and the more voices we hear from the better.

The debates in homes across the country are as important as those on television.

This current set of politicians, whatever side of the argument or border they sit, don't matter in the way they do at a General or Scottish election.

In this debate, which so far has been dominated by politicians, we need to separate the arguments from the individuals

In fact I'd go as far as saying, with respect, as individuals, they are almost irrelevant.