Cynical to use poor in this way

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I WOULD query one comment in Alex Massie’s otherwise interesting piece on the different Scotlands voting in this referendum (Insight, 8 June).

He describes those living on poor housing estates as the ones with least to lose from independence and the risks that go with that. But these people are the most vulnerable in our society, and most heavily reliant on state spending for their existence, however tough that might be at present. By definition, vulnerable people are the most vulnerable when government gets things wrong.

Better off people with a little bit of a buffer are a bit more resilient, and while they can be averse to unnecessary risks, they can probably deal with them if they arise.

At the moment, we see large canvassing teams going through run-down areas of our towns and cities asking people to vote Yes, and saying that their lives cannot possibly get any worse. This is both deceitful and hypocritical as, at the same time, many of these Yes activists will tell you in different circumstances that they would happily live under a bush if they could do so in an independent Scotland. In other words, they will vote Yes regardless of the consequences, and expect others to do the same. Most of us cannot afford the luxury of thinking like this.

If your judgment is that Scotland may be a lot worse off after independence, even if just initially, then it is vulnerable people in poorer areas who will bear the brunt of that, as they always do. Pretending otherwise is one of the more distasteful and cynical sides to this whole debate.

Victor Clements, Aberfeldy

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