This is not a time for tribal warfare
Brian Wilson’s latest bilious diatribe (Perspective, 17 October) bears all the hallmarks of the communist dictator, wracked with a seething hatred toward any who dare oppose his views, calling into question his ability to comment in the national press.
His rudderless arguments are driven only by a partisan loyalty to a party which has, not coincidentally, mirrored his swing to the right, while failing to concede that it was his own government’s fiscal incompetence which has left Scotland in the midst of an unparalleled decline.
I would invite Mr Wilson to Ayrshire, where he can see the destruction left behind. He can deliver a patronising lecture, replete with New Labour sound bites about “pensions, jobs and security”, spelling out the evils of what nasty, bad Mr Cameron is doing, and what nastier, even badder Mr Salmond has in store should we dare vote Yes in 2014.
He will, of course, skirt round the fact that the “great advances” of which he talks are all to be found to a higher standard around the Commonwealth and Europe.Whether Scotland dumps the UK, or Britain dumps the Tories, remains to be seen.
What must be dispensed with is the tribalistic, self-serving politician of Mr Wilson’s ilk, which attack not those of a different ideological hue, but of a different coloured badge.
Brian Wilson allows his angst over the prospect of an independent Scotland to cloud the facts as well as his judgment.
The “social contract” Scotland to which Yes Scotland’s chief strategist Stephen Noon has referred, accurately (Perspective, 17 October), is clearly a more attractive alternative to a “welfare-obliterating Westminster”.
But it is not the creation or vision solely of the SNP.
It was the Scottish Parliament – the creation of all the parties – that voted for social advances such as free personal care for older people, the abolition of tuition fees, the Homelessness Act and the Climate Change Act, to name a few.
Similarly, wrong choices have been made in the Westminster Parliament – by parties of different colours – such as the renewal of Trident, the Iraq war, bizarre tax policies (like ending the 10p tax rate or cutting the 50p rate of tax) and the introduction of tuition fees.
Mr Wilson has, of course, never been a fan of the Scottish Parliament or devolution, but thank goodness he didn’t get his way or Westminster’s privatisation of England’s NHS would today be Westminster’s privatisation of the Scottish NHS.
The people of Scotland are smart enough to know the choice facing them in the 2014 referendum. It is not between two parties, but rather between two different paths and two different visions.
The problem of what the SNP think constitutes independence was not eased by the fact that, following the signing of the referendum agreement with David Cameron, Alex Salmond said it is “an historic day for Scotland and a major step forward in Scotland’s home rule journey”.
Home rule is not independence. Home rule is normally defined in terms of a constituent part of a state exercising the state’s powers of governance within that part.
So what Alex Salmond has now said is that Scotland is journeying towards self- government within the UK.
The first move by any aggressive foreign power would be to eliminate the nuclear weapon facilities based in Scotland. As long as they remain here they would be a target. This would mean putting Glasgow and the Clyde area in danger along with the backup area in Loch Ewe.
As Jean Urquhart MSP and her fellow signatories point out (Letters, 16 October) Scotland could join the Partnership for Peace instead of Nato. This would be a far more sensible move.
Otherwise we remain a nuclear target and it is unlikely that when in Nato there would be any move to relocate the Trident base.
No doubt the reason behind the move to change SNP policy is based on populism but if the public were told just how much it would cost Scotland to remain in Nato then they might have a different view.
With a tight budget the extra cost of joining an aggressive military club would mean cuts elsewhere. Nato is now an expensive white elephant not set up to deal with 21st-century terrorism, both fundamental and state- sponsored.
Uniform troops are no answer to the cyber attacks which attempt to disrupt our data communications.
Westminster needs the Trident programme to ensure its over inflated place in the world even if it means sacrificing part of Scotland as a target.
Bruce D Skivington
Gairloch, Wester Ross
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Wednesday 22 May 2013
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