THERE is a great deal of confused thinking around. Mr James Orr (Letters, 20 September) seems to believe that the independence referendum is to be an election run on party lines.
Like many other correspondents, he equates voting for independence with voting for the SNP, and for Alex Salmond, in perpetuity.
The referendum is to decide whether we want our country to be independent. That’s it, pure and simple.
It is to decide whether we want to take control, not only of all the devolved powers we already have, and use to our benefit, but to regain all the other financial and international powers that Westminster has retained for itself. This cannot be stressed too strongly.
In fact, voting for independence might well see the demise of the SNP. In the first post-independence general election, many Scots might choose to give their votes to one of the other parties. An independent Scotland will not be a one-party state.
At present, we are getting nothing constructive from the unionist parties. They refuse to discuss their policies post-independence, hoping that it will never happen.
The Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties are currently controlled from London. We have a steady stream of scare stories from them. Nothing is positive.
While supporting independence around the world for countries such as Kosovo (small and war-torn) and South Sudan (large and war-torn), the unionists declare that, uniquely in the world, the citizens of a prosperous country such as Scotland are incapable of running their own affairs.
If Mr Orr believes that the people of Scotland are largely against gay marriage then, after independence, let him vote for whatever Scottish party shares that view.
He would also have the right to vote for any Scottish party that offered a referendum on leaving the EU. The important point is to vote for independence so that we can make our own decisions for our own country. Simples!
Newbattle Abbey Crescent
Regrettably, there did not appear to be much balance in the letters grouped under the banner “balancing the benefits of independence” (20 September).
This is perhaps not a surprise to some given the selective reporting of the independence debate we continue to endure with the constant exaggeration of anti-independence postulations and arguments throughout the established media in Scotland.
Furthermore, events that might suggest growing support for independence in the referendum next September, such as the live poll of undecided voters following a debate on the BBC’s Newsnight programme earlier this week which resulted in a victory by a significant margin for those arguing in favour of a Yes vote, invariably are either undermined or are not reported at all. With regards to the letters featured we were again subjected to unconstructive comments such as that by Bob Williams which misrepresented, deliberately or otherwise, the views of those arguing in favour of a Yes vote “that all will be a bed of roses with independence”.
No serious supporter of independence believes that Scotland will suddenly become a utopia when the country becomes independent. In fact, the opposite is true in that any objective assessment would logically conclude that independence will undoubtedly bring many challenges.
However, I would suggest that the difference between Mr Williams and most of those favouring a Yes vote is that the latter appear to have more confidence in themselves and their fellow Scots to rise to these challenges in building a country more in tune with the aspirations of the majority of its people.
In her letter (19 September) Margaret Salmond writes that an independent Scotland would not need to have an embassy in every country.
This chimes with independent MSP Margo MacDonald’s statement in Wednesday’s debate in the Scottish Parliament questioning whether an independent Scotland would “want to be a world power”.
Both these comments seem to highlight the diminished status an independent Scotland would have in the world. I fail to see how closing embassies would help either Scottish travellers or international businessmen in the future.
It suggests both a limited global vision and an inward-looking perspective.
Faced with the prospect of keeping a British passport or swapping it for a Scottish one, it’s clear which would be the most useful when travelling overseas.
Last week Brian Wilson tried to pull the stunt of blaming the SNP for the fall of the Callaghan government only to have his argument forensically destroyed by a contributor to these columns.
This week it was the turn of Michael Kelly to put his selective recollection of the same myth into overdrive, only to have it comprehensively refuted by Derrick McClure (Letters, 20 September).
All this seems to indicate that these two Labour dinosaurs are completely out of touch, both with reality and each other.
Am I alone in finding amusing the fact that those younger voters who have been cynically granted a vote on independence by the Nationalists while having no other adult rights appear to be overwhelmingly in favour of retaining the Union?
It is reassuring to see that common sense has won the battle over sentimentality.
Does S Beck have the gift of second sight (Letters, 20 September)?
The day after taking Allan Massie to task for his ludicrous suggestion that our pensions are safe in the hands of the Union, we have the excellent article by Andrew Whitaker which exposes just how insecure our pensions are under the Westminster watch.
Having read the letter from George Foulkes (20 September), my simple response is: “Well said!” As a Scotsman living in the north-east of England, I have been advocating the federal principle, both to my English friends down here, and any of my Scottish friends who will listen, for rather a long time now.
It clearly seems, to me at least, to be the only sensible way forward that will satisfy all interested, and concerned, parties.
It’s just a pity that the cynic in me believes that nothing will ever come of it.
Rather than promoting the break-up of the UK, the First Minister should be using his successful record in government to engineer a reverse takeover of Westminster.
Surely that would satisfy both Nationalists and unionists equally.
New Edinburgh Road