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Brian Monteith usually writes a column I can enjoy and disagree with, but this time (Perspective, 21 July) he’s abusive when not incomprehensible.

The point of independence is for Scotland to take responsibility for itself and pursue its own path, not because Scotland is culturally or morally superior, not in some Albanian attempt to exclude outside influences, but because it’s what mature societies should do.

Brian Montieth in his serious moments (ie last week’s column) himself says Scotland should take more responsibility for itself.

He’s right there – there’s growing gap in policy between Scotland, England and other parts of the UK in health, social care, education, local government and many other areas.

Without power over borrowing, tax and social security, Scottish policy is at the mercy of tax and spend decisions made to suit English policy.

For instance, I put the question to him last week: what does Scotland do to make up the huge consequent cut to the Scottish budget if England moves to funding health care through a private insurance system?

Already the Labour peer Lord Warner is proposing to part-fund GPs in England by payment per visit.

Would Scotland have to follow suit? I hope I’ll have an answer from Brian Monteith next week.

Robert Seaton

Bedford Court

Edinburgh

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