Artistic licence

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“When it come to the artistic community I think the general feeling would be that the substantial majority of them are supporting the Yes cause.”

This quote – or variants thereof – is trotted out repeatedly by the First Minister and his colleagues, most recently in connection with JK Rowling’s stated support for Better Together (your report, 12 June).

As managing director and chief executive of two of Scotland’s largest publishers, we would like to ask the First Minister why he repeatedly implies something for which there is not a shred of 
evidence.

There are of course many in the cultural community who support independence; equally there are many against.

Both signatories below share a deep unease, firstly that the 
support of the artistic community is taken for granted by a 
political movement, and secondly that a statement with so little to justify it is repeated again and again.

Either way, it should be withdrawn or justified.

Hugh Andrew

Managing director

Birlinn Ltd

Timothy Wright

Chief executive

Edinburgh University Press

Whatever your views on the Scottish independence vote, 
J K Rowling’s intervention, calling some pro-Yes campaigners “Death Eaters”, shows complete contempt for Scots as simpletons who need to have complex issues explained in terms of a pulp children’s book of “goodies” and “baddies”.

Then again, having read her cringeworthy attempts at doing adult literature, that seems about her level.

No wonder she was such a keen supporter of Gordon Brown – the man who dumbed down first the British economy as Chancellor of the Exchequer, and then the whole country as prime minister.

Mark Boyle

Linn Park Gardens

Johnstone

The furore surrounding the reaction to comments made by JK Rowling and Clare Lalley about the benefits of Scotland remaining in the Union obscure the fact that both ladies are sadly mistaken if they believe that staying in the Union is a panacea for the NHS.

Thank goodness for the Scottish Health Service, which has always been independent from the NHS in England, where we have more nurses and shorter waiting times per head of population and where nurses got their annual pay rise.

Privatisation and commercialisation are now rampant in the health service south of the 
Border.

This means that competitive tendering is now compulsory and GPs are obliged to 
consider which hospital offers the best deal rather than which will give the best outcome for patients.

No wonder English health professionals are envious of the NHS in Scotland.

The more the state withdraws from direct NHS provision in England, a trend started by Labour, the greater Scotland’s 
budget will be squeezed as a Barnett consequence because of the way the Scottish Parliament is funded.

That is why it is vital that Scotland is in charge of all the revenue raised in Scotland and a Yes vote is the only way to save the NHS in Scotland.

Fraser Grant

Warrender Park Road

Edinburgh

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