Consensus is best

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Let us all give three cheers: the real Joyce McMillan is back (your report, 3 October)!

After a rather unhappy flirtation with the SNP, believing that they alone could deliver a fairer society, her hope that a new progressive consensus can be built in Scotland is one which many of us would support.

Common Weal has made an important contribution, especially in suggesting ways to improve the democratic deficit, and of course the recent referendum campaign has shown how meetings at a local level can give a voice to those who feel ignored by wider debates.

While I strongly agree that new organisations are required to fight for a better society, I do not think that we should exclude existing political parties from this process. They have shown in the past how to work at a local level, and however imperfect elections may be, they do give a legitimacy which other organisations may lack.

Lastly, as a Liberal Democrat, can I hope that this weekend’s conference will give the party a chance to lessen the toxic effects of the coalition, and once again give emphasis to the protection of human rights, the empowering of the individual and the devolving of political power.

If this happens, they will be in a good position to help build the progressive consensus which Joyce McMillan has advocated.

(Dr) Charles Corser

Friars Way

Linlithgow

Joyce McMillan takes it upon herself to assume that a vote for No in the referendum was a vote for an unfair society. Such a view is an insult to all Scots.

Just as a Yes vote in no way guaranteed a fairer society, No voters simply did not believe the vague unsupported promises of the Yes campaign and did not see splitting the Union as a necessary part of achieving any progress.

I am also sure that all those who voted Yes are not as far left as she is and were persuaded to vote that way by other considerations or emotions.

I do not believe that the SNP or independence is the way to achieve the ends that Joyce would like to see – many would not want to see some of her ideas at all.

But most would want a fairer society and social justice.

We simply do not trust the far left to deliver this.

Ian Ross

Eden Lane 
Edinburgh

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