Bizarre logic

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Stan Grodynski (Letters, 1 January) is a masterpiece example of bizarre logic of someone who cannot come to terms with the decisive result of the referendum.

He starts with a rant against the usual suspects blamed for the failure to gain a Yes vote: the media, the establishment and “history books”. He then goes on to berate correspondents to The Scotsman who have dared: a) to point out huge “errors” made in SNP statements to try to win the vote and b) to ask for any future TV debates to be better controlled than the disgraceful recent second clash was.

He accuses me of wishing to deny “the Scottish people another referendum regardless of the majority of the electorate in the future” because I encourage tactical voting to oust the SNP in future elections in order to get a government that actually focuses on vital day-to-day issues and avoids further division of its people with a “Neverendum” scenario.

The letter writers Mr Grodynski refers to are accused by him of attempting to limit democracy. He clearly has no sense of irony or the ridiculousness of his argument: all three correspondents attacked by Mr Grodynski were asking for measures to improve and use democracy for the good of the people.

Despite a process cynically calculated to give the SNP every advantage in the referendum (including denying participation to almost one million expatriate Scots in the UK), a “Yes” vote was only obtained from 38 per cent of everyone entitled to participate.

That, Mr Grodynski, is democracy in action. Accept it.

David K Allan

The Square

Haddington

I am sure that Stan Grodynski (Letters, 1 January) is not claiming that all opponents of independence are supporters of “British nationalism”; nor that he thinks that “concern for democracy” is the sole prerogative of the independence camp.

Indeed, Mr Grodynski’s call for an “end of unelected representation in the House of Lords” is already on the agenda of two of the unionist parties.

The Labour Party proposes to replace the House of Lords with a senate elected on a regional basis. This clearly shows that what he calls “our failing constitutional structures” can be reformed from within. Scottish voters have a major and meaningful role to play in this endeavour.

I wonder, incidentally, if Mr Grodynski’s concern for democracy extends to the constitutional arrangements within Scotland? Would he agree that reform is desperately needed there too – irrespective of the issue of independence?

The SNP has shown with Putin-like efficiency how our own “second chamber”, the committee system, can be used as an instrument of policy rather than a means of holding the government to account – surely undemocratic and not what was intended when the system was established.

As to proportional representation for UK elections, I myself think that this is an approach which could be explored. However, any proposed system would have to work more democratically than the current Scottish version.

How can a system which translates 45 per cent of the vote into 53 per cent of the seats be democratic? Again, not what was intended at the outset and in need of reform.

In some respects, our British constitutional structures may be failing. Jumping ship is seen by some as the solution.

The alternative – working to improve things from within – has been shown by a democratic process to be more attractive to a significant majority.

The minority might consider examining the constitutional structures within Scotland itself and reflect that perhaps they have avoided jumping from the frying pan into the fire.

Colin Hamilton

Braid Hills Avenue

Edinburgh

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