Lack of appeal

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Are women the only group who feel “talked down” to, as Elaine C Smith states, in the referendum debate (your report, 23 August)? A failure to capture their imagination or address their practical concerns must be seen as the most stunning failure of the Yes campaign.

They are not, however, the only group that is awaiting answers or inspiration. Clearly the female vote and the pensioner vote are not mutually exclusive. But the campaign for autonomy has some serious questions to ask itself about how it has tried to reassure both these sections of the electorate.

Many pensioners may not have the energy or inclination to attend a public meeting. The overwhelming majority will find the energy somehow to get to the polling booth, or cast a postal ballot, on 18 September. When they do, they will naturally be concerned with the security of their state and occupational pensions, if they have one, and with savings accrued possibly over a lifetime.

But did Yes Scotland do enough to target this section and counter the views, for example, of former prime minister Gordon Brown, on whether their incomes will be secure? Did it do enough to stress that, in the post-referendum negotiations, the interests of pensioners will get the highest priority? The youthful enthusiasm of the Yes case might not have been the appropriate way to win over an increasingly elderly electorate.

Bob Taylor

Shiel Court

Glenrothes, Fife

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