DCSIMG

Letters: A salesman not convinced by his pitch

Prime Minister David Cameron’s article (“Scotland and the UK are stronger together”, 16 February) was high in platitudes and low on fact.

He asserted that “we are safer, richer and have a fairer society”, without any evidence to justify such a questionable claim.

More interestingly, if you re-read his article and substitute “European Union” for “UK” and substitute “UK” for “Scotland”, he makes a good case for the tight integration of the EU into one sovereign state – something that he violently opposes.

It would appear that unions are only effective when they suit his philosophy.

There are more UK nationals living in Brussels today than ever before – but no sane person is suggesting the UK and Belgium become a single sovereign state.

Michael N CrosbY

Muiravonside

By Linlithgow

The decision to send David Cameron to Scotland, to meet with Alex Salmond and argue for the retention of the Union, was, I’m afraid, ill- conceived, ill-advised and certainly ill-considered.

Like many Scots, I have good friends in England, and in general ordinary English folks are identical to us in their hopes and aspirations.

However, what Mr Cameron doesn’t seem to comprehend is, he and his like cement and instil the very “Englishness” that most Scots love to hate – the class-ridden and privileged few.

Mr Cameron has enough on his plate trying to prevent the extinction of his Unionism north of the Border without attempting the historical parable of the English king promising more power to the Scots nobles in return for quelling the people’s rebellion.

Mr Salmond has consistently stated that “this is a choice for the Scottish people” and in this is 100 per cent correct.

If Mr Cameron wants to state his case to the people of Scotland, let’s have a television debate with Mr Salmond, broadcast to the whole UK.

Derek Marks

Brook Street

Broughty Ferry, Dundee

So David Cameron is promising us a better form of devolution, provided we vote “no” to independence.

He was probably too young in 1979 (aged 12), to remember the Conservatives then promising a better kind of devolution to that on offer by the Labour government.

This unspecified largesse was also to be granted if Scotland voted “no”.

The referendum was lost on a rigged technicality, but the offer of change was immediately buried by the incoming Tory government.

Surely we in Scotland are not so naive as to be taken in by such weasel words for a second time?

Alison Halley

Newbattle Abbey Crescent

Dalkeith

Does anyone seriously believe that a No vote in the autumn of 2014, followed perhaps by the return of a majority Conservative government the following year, will lead to a strengthening of the devolution settlement?

It is more likely that Mr Cameron’s new government will resort to the old mantras: real power should be returned to people at local level, there should be fewer shackles on business and so on.

More likely the whole issue would be placed in cold storage for a generation. Mr Cameron’s sincerity could be put to the test in a simple way.

Once the existing Scotland Bill becomes law, he should lay out plans for more powers.

They could even become law before the independence vote.

In the run-up to the poll, he might then be able to express his heartfelt devotion to the Union more credibly.

What it means is that he and the Conservatives in Scotland would have to embrace Devo-Max quickly. At the moment there are mixed messages, with his leader north of the Border, Ruth Davidson, expressing broad satisfaction with the status quo.

It is a dilemma he should resolve soon if the Union he professes to love is to be saved.

Bob Taylor

Shiel Court

Glenrothes

What is referred to as the declaration of Perth was made by the former Conservative Party prime minister Ted Heath in 1968 when he announced party policy support for devolution at the Tories’ annual conference.

However, when the Conservatives won the 1970 general election this promise was ditched.

In 1979, another former Conservative Party prime minister – Sir Alec Douglas Home – urged Scots to vote No to the then first Labour devolution referendum, with the promise that a Conservative government would offer a better bill.

In the successful 1999 Labour mark 2 referendum (minus the iniquitous 40 per cent rule but with two questions) the Conservative Party, which had lost all its seats in Scotland, campaigned against devolution.

We can now refer to David Cameron, the Conservative Prime Minister’s, statement on Thursday as the declaration of Edinburgh in that if the Scots vote No in the referendum, he promises a better devolution bill.

History seems to be repeating itself.

Bill Robertson

Old Greenock Road

Bishopton

Big White Chief speak with forked tongue.

S Beck

Craigleith Drive

Edinburgh

 

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