Fluid future

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Much is made of the supposed greater social justice and fairness that Scottish independence would bring (such as Tommy Sheppard’s article, “Why I will be voting Yes”, Perspective, 4 June).

I may have missed something but wouldn’t an independent Scotland be a democracy? If so, then the nature of its future governments and their policies will surely be decided by periodic elections, not the current and, by definition, temporary Scottish Government.

The political complexion of any future Scottish Governments, like Westminster governments, is – so long as we have democracy – unknown.

What constitutes social justice and the best ways to achieve it are political, not constitutional, questions which successive governments need to tackle.

The referendum is not an election. Its purpose is not to vote in a political party which, when it becomes unpopular – as all governments do – can be voted out of office but, rather, to decide on the irrevocable step of transforming Scotland into an independent state which will be a foreign country as far as the rest of the UK is concerned.

An independent Scotland might be fairer, but it might not be: the future UK, however constituted, might not be fairer, but it might be. This will depend on future elections not the upcoming referendum.

Ralph E Hughes

East Claremont Street

Edinburgh

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