NICOLA Sturgeon (Insight, 27 January) makes a valiant attempt at bolstering what looks like a lost cause. However, a few comments in her piece may be worth considering.
She complains about the rejection of a positive majority vote in the 1979 devolution referendum. This is nonsense. The result was decided on a previously agreed formula. The potential Yes vote was swept away on a tidal wave of apathy of roughly the same proportions as that which achieved the current SNP majority government.
Come to think of it, how can Alex Salmond be forming governments in a parliamentary system to which much of his party is, or at least was, bitterly opposed? The answer may be found in Kenny MacAskill’s oration about his belief in “power before principles” at last year’s party conference. Is he really a Blairite in disguise?
Sturgeon uses the pejorative “dumping” to describe the presence of Trident in Scotland. The Faslane facility was begun and completed under, firstly, a Conservative and then Labour governments, all properly elected and all of which had a higher portion of the Scottish votes than her government has now.
Scotland and Norway are Europe’s only oil producers and would be prime targets of potential attackers, especially if they are given a clear “no retaliation” signal from the Scottish Government, so disposing of Trident would increase rather than decrease Scotland’s vulnerability. An honest analysis might also indicate that the Faslane facility is at worst financially neutral. The most serious result of unilaterally disposing of our nuclear weapon facility would be our debarment from Nato and the surrendering of any Scottish involvement in multilateral nuclear disarmament should the world situation ever allow this.
Dr A McCormick, Dumfries
AN AMERICAN piano tuner new to Scotland and its politics, I have relied on locals for guidance on the 2014 referendum, but they are no help. Thank you for your new series giving all sides of the argument. However, I have now made up my mind, thanks to the deputy first minister’s column.
Scots, as far as I can see in my Edinburgh month, are superior. Unlike in other places I’ve lived, such as my native San Francisco Bay Area, Paris, London, Havana, Tokyo and New York, there is a dearth of twits in these parts. Why Scotland wouldn’t take this rare opportunity to have its own foreign policy unlinked to that which volunteered the UK for George W Bush’s and Barack Obama’s wars and its own domestic policies divorced from New Labour and the Liberal Democrats and Tories, is beyond me.
I can’t vote but I can stand on the corner and hand out flyers. I will go all out for Yes.
Benjamin Treuhaft, Edinburgh