Brian Wilson’s history lesson (Perspective, 4 December) raises some interesting pronouncements on “nationalism” in modern Europe, from a Labour perspective, of course, but some of these beg challenge.
He states that “if Scotland has the right to smooth transition into the EU then so too would every other potential seceder”. Clearly that is not so.
There is no other “potential seceder” in the same position as Scotland, which fortunately, with the benefit of hindsight, retained nation status in the Act of Union, and has the agreement of the UK government to proceed with a referendum.
No matter how many times he uses the words “nationalist” and “nationalism”, there is a significant number of sane and sensible Scots who are considering self-determination quite seriously as an alternative to the failed London-centric policies of Labour and Tory governments over many years.
Quite why we should exacerbate whatever angst we may be experiencing by concerning ourselves with how we may be perceived by others in the making of this legitimate decision is quite beyond me.
His suggestion that Scotland might become “a standard-bearer for fragmentation and disputation” is laughable, and the proposition that Scotland voting to attempt to improve the lot of our people by self-government would somehow lead to “anyone who wants a referendum should have one” is preposterous.
Perhaps, instead of branding his opponents as nationalists, Mr Wilson should be having a more discerning look at what his party is bringing to the table. So far, not much.
Brian Wilson neatly shoots himself in both feet in trying to, once more, scaremonger over Scotland’s future, this time using the red herrings of Catalonia and the Italian Northern League.
His attempts at the disingenuous are admirable, but he still cannot help use the terms “nation state” and “region” as interchangeable – they are not.
The contentious point is rushed over at the start of his piece – that England and Scotland entered into a “peaceable and prosperous union”. Peaceful? Is Mr Wilson aware of Cromwell, the Covenanters, Culloden? Can he remember the poll tax?
Prosperous? For whom? For Scotland? Can Mr Wilson remember Ravenscraig, Linwood, et al? Is he aware of the Highland Clearances? Of course, some of these are historical, but Mr Wilson likes to invoke history as some empirical evidence of the Union’s success.
How about the HS2, which “might come to Scotland, in the future”. All of these initiatives have come from a British government. Could Mr Wilson identify where within Britain the money and the power are actually centred?
A union to me speaks of equals. My wife and I are in a union – it would be a poor arrangement indeed if, every time a problem arose or a decision were to be made, I was outvoted by 502 votes to 52.
Why is it that when Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says that a No vote would simply mean that the SNP would attempt to have another referendum in 15 years’ time (your report, 5 December), it comes as no surprise?
The main concern of most Scots at present is the economically negative effect caused by the impending referendum vote. Companies do not know whether they can take the risk of expanding if they are going to find themselves outside the United Kingdom.
Worries about the very nature of the currency that might be a major factor in exporting to the EU and the rest of the world, let alone whether a separate Scotland would even be in the EU, are not an inducement to confidence or investment.
If, as is likely, Scottish voters opt for the status quo (history seems to be on that side of the argument), then businesses and property owners will be able to breathe a sigh of relief.
Indeed, it is likely that there will be a collective breath of relief which will be detectable on the other side of the Atlantic, as the United States uncrosses its fingers and realises that Nato will not be imperilled by a small country undermining the carefully crafted network of nations who cover each others’ backs in northern Europe.
However, the thought that the SNP can simply try again is something that must be put firmly and finally out of the frame by parliament. The SNP knows full well that it only needs to win once to destroy the existing framework of the British state.
However, if those of us who will be voting No are to understand that this would only be Round One in the SNP’s plan, there will be a wave of protests asking why our vote should be over-ridden just because it does not suit the SNP’s wish to destroy the UK?
This is a once and for all decision, whichever way it goes.
Andrew HN Gray
The other evening, I opened my flat’s mailbox to find a glossy, double-sided, A5 card advertising Scotland’s Future.
This advertisement tells me that the 670-page tome (elsewhere dubbed “a wish-list without a price list”) comprehensively “sets out the facts and figures” on “how independence will help ensure that everyone in Scotland gets a fair deal” and “the ways in which independence will strengthen Scotland’s democracy”.
It also claims (wrongly) that Scotland’s Future answers my “questions about independence”. However, this advert was not from the Yes campaign. Instead, it was from “the Scottish Government”.
In other words, this administration is using my tax money to send me (and every other Scot over 16) blatant propaganda. Is this even legal?
Netherton Gate Glasgow