In his keynote speech proclaiming the merits of British culture (your report, 10 November), arch-Unionist Alistair Darling claims that the BBC “has a profound influence on our culture – and not only how we see ourselves but also on how others see us”.
Aye, but what kind of influence? Robert Burns and Lord Reith must be burling in their graves.
Alistair’s speech was delivered on the very day that the BBC reached a new nadir of ignominy by having to apologise for its gross mishandling of the McAlpine case in the wake of its gross mishandling of the Savile case.
In its halcyon days, the BBC was respected throughout the world like many other things British but those days are gone now.
However, the BBC at least had the guts to issue a quick apology. We are still awaiting an apology from a former British Chancellor of the Exchequer who allowed the British bankers to bring the economy to the brink of ruin and who is now climbing into bed with British Unionist Tories and their British coalition partners who are forcing people on modest incomes to pay for the incompetence of successive British governments.
Surely the people of Scotland will see through the sophistry of such a parcel of British rogues. An independent Scotland offers a fresh opportunity to set a better example to our nearest neighbours and to the rest of the world.
As A former Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling might have been expected to realise that the £500 per head by which the SNP believes Scots would be better off with independence represents simply the difference between the total amount that Scots pay each year in taxes to the London Exchequer and the total amount the London Government spends each year in Scotland.
There is no direct connection between this and the Barnett Formula, as Mr Darling tried to imply, because Barnett influences only the money coming to Scotland and not the total taxes paid by Scots (which is equivalent to £500 per head more than we get).
But then, why confuse people with the facts when you can confuse them with smoke and mirrors?
If your report of Mr Darling’s speech is accurate, it makes sad, if mildly amusing, reading. The Loyal North British Provincials must really be scraping the bottom of the barrel.
We are to be deprived of British culture: no more Morris dancing, jellied eels and cricket for us. We will only have bagpipes, caber tossing and haggis.
Our relatives will live in a foreign country. How awful. I have relatives living all over the world, not just 400 miles away down an excellent rail line.
The puerility of this type of nonsensical scaremongering needs to be seen to be believed.
R Mill Irving
Gifford, East Lothian
It appears that the arguments of those opposing Scottish independence are becoming even more absurd as each day passes. The latest broadside comes from Alistair Darling, who, in a quite bizarre attack on Scottish independence, claims that this would lead to the loss of all British culture in Scotland.
While Scottish independence will see the end of the political union, the social and economic union will still remain, and Mr Darling’s claim that this will lead to some sort of cultural cleansing is quite tragic. Mr Darling should keep up the good work, as with each scare story becoming more ridiculous, any credibility the pro-Union side had is being rapidly eroded.
Alistair Darling’s remark, that independence would mean Scots would “lose” British culture fails to recognise that culture is international not national.
As a huge fan of Asian cinema, not a week goes by without a Korean or Japanese movie arriving though my letter box. I feel as much a part of their film culture as I would if I lived in Tokyo or Seoul.
On the other hand, I would not want Scotland’s foreign policy dictated to us from Tokyo or for South Korea to site nuclear weapons on the Clyde.
Mr Darling’s other claim that independence would render our English-based relatives “foreigners overnight” is equally risible.
My sister was born in Scotland and lived here until she moved to the south of England several years ago. After independence she will still live in England and she will still be my sister, so what exactly is all the fuss about?