It might at first seem rather strange that Dennis Canavan (Letters, 24 March) writes a letter but devotes only four words of it to a tangential comment on the referendum. In fact, it is very much in keeping with Mr Canavan’s barely visible supposed chairmanship of the Yes campaign.
It would be interesting to hear his comments as to the shade of pink of his new bedfellows. But much more interesting would be to hear a comment on a core issue of the referendum debate.
The fact that Mr Canavan has written to this column indicates that he probably also reads it. But there has been a deafening silence from contributors such as him on a challenge laid out in here on the SNP’s strategy on the pound.
Jim Fairlie, like Mr Canavan, is a respected elder statesman and a supporter of independence. He says that the SNP’s strategy is “dishonest”.
A currency union fails to wrest control of fiscal and monetary policy from Westminster and therefore – whether or not it is in the economic interests of one side or the other – does not deliver independence.
Why does the SNP want it? Do the voters not deserve a comment on this from the chairman of the Yes campaign, Mr Canavan?
Mr Canavan is scathing about the lack of conviction of former prime minister Gordon Brown and Business Secretary Vince Cable.
Can he demonstrate that he himself is more than just a non-SNP trophy figurehead who is gagged from saying anything that disagrees with the campaign rhetoric?
Braid Hills Avenue
At a time when Europe is watching what the Russians intend to do in eastern Ukraine, Transnistria and, of course, the Baltic states, it is a reasonable time to ask how the defence policy of the SNP stacks up.
We are told there would be a defence budget of £2.5 billion to defend one of the longest shorelines in western Europe.
That would cover not only the recreation of famous Scottish regimental names (though without any sign of a take-up by existing Scottish soldiers in the army), leaving alarmingly wide open the question as to how it can be done. It would also include the purchase and operation of an air force and a navy.
When Typhoons (Eurofighter) cost about £70 million each, a squadron of 12 would take £840m out of that budget without paying for the pilots or the fuel, armament, or of the airfields.
Also, the wonderful destroyers we currently build for the Royal Navy cost about £560m each, not including the rather important running, docking and manning costs.
These ships are built at the moment in Scotland, but that would cease if Scotland writes the shortest suicide note in history by writing the letter “X” in the referendum box marked “Yes”.
Clearly, we are all entering a dangerous phase in European history at the moment and to vote for a party which clearly either does not know how to add, or which believes it can defend a country with small change is a very foolish action.
Andrew HN Gray
Highland Clearances, equivocation which led to the 1843 Disruption and the equivocation of the 2009 General Assembly which caused the present exodus of some conservative evangelicals. Equivocation on the independence referendum is possibly the most ignoble in the Church’s history due to the importance of the issue.
It is clear that the Church of Scotland is siding with the present establishment, which includes the UK Parliament, middle- and upper-class society, big business and the print and electronic media.
It is in no position to be an effective conciliator having so obviously taken one side of the argument.
The Church of Scotland’s apparent equivocation is actually highly political, opinionated and divisive.
(Rev Dr) Robert Anderson
Blackburn & Seafield Church
It is not often you read in newspapers such a raft of thoughtful, well-presented letters which, regardless of their viewpoint show that the people in this country – and I mean Scotland – care, from the letters on the sad demise of the Labour Party to Derrick McClure’s eloquent letter on the fall of the Conservatives and the barren political landscape of the UK in general (24 March). I even found myself agreeing with John Milne, not with his sentiment – far from it – but with his conclusion about SNP self-destruction.
Being apolitical, a necessity when you are from a family much troubled in the past by the extremes of both Left and the Right, I only see one solution for Scotland and that is independence.
We need a revolution hopefully not just here, but in the rest of the UK and Europe. The political malaise that permeates our society here and in Europe is dangerous.
Our friends in the Ukraine are feeling it first-hand. What better than a proper show-stopping spanner in the works of the bland, self-serving apparatchiks who plague our lives.
No guns, no tanks, no blood – just proper people power.
Man the metaphorical barricades! Vote Yes for change and let’s hope it spreads.