A wealth of misinformation for debate

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Once more the Scottish Government repeats its assertion that “Scotland is one of the wealthiest countries in the world”, this time in answer to the most recent report 
by the Institute of Fiscal Studies (“Warning over deficit after Scottish independence”, 4 June).

This claim needs to be considered in conjunction with the recent report by academics John McLaren and Jo Armstrong of Glasgow University, which points out that the Scottish Government has over-estimated the nation’s wealth by almost £3,000 per head (“Scottish independence: richest country claim disputed”, 30 May).

The problem is that the SNP fails to take account of wealth, profits and dividends flowing overseas, a particular problem for Scotland with its disproportionately high levels of foreign ownership.

For instance, the Scottish Government has consistently failed to provide totally 
objective answers to repeated questions about the actual level of jobs created and investment achieved by the wind lobby in Scotland, as opposed to, say, in Spain and Denmark.

Statistics from vested commercial and political interests are no substitute.

John Milne

Ardgowan Drive

Uddingston

There’s a remarkable new contender in the highly competitive prize category of “most ludicrous contribution to Scotland’s referendum 
debate”.

Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt apparently foresees a Yes vote leading to the “Balkanisation of the British Isles”.

Presumably in his parallel universe he thinks Norway’s independence from Sweden triggered the Balkanisation of Scandinavia.

Does he see the independence of Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia as the Balkanisation of the Baltic?

I suspect it is not mere coincidence that Mr Bildt made this statement just hours after spending the weekend in the company of his political friend George Osborne at the secretive Bilderberg gathering.

Mr Osborne’s last attempt to use fear to influence the independence debate backfired rather spectacularly.

Contrary to what he may think, Scotland’s voters are not fools, so I suspect this will do the same.

C Hegarty

Glenorchy Road

North Berwick 

In response to Dr E Lloyd (Letters, 3 June), in terms of monetary policy, what Scotland needs to do is reject the Marxist central bank policy that the entire world has carried out for the previous century, resulting in endless boom and bust cycles which are then, ludicrously, blamed on capitalism.

A sound monetary policy is one that is based on an objective standard of value that allows interest rates to rise and fall according to the laws of supply and demand rather than what government bureaucrats think it should be.

What is also needed is to reject mercantilist fallacies such as trade protection and export subsidies, as these were shown to be false by Scotsman Adam Smith in the 18th century.

Bruce Crichton

Victoria Road

Falkirk


Much of the Yes campaign focuses on how much fairer and democratic a country an independent Scotland will be. On the evidence of both the Yes campaign and the current SNP administration’s attitude to democracy, this is unlikely to be the case.

Much of the Yes campaign has been abusive of opposition. This is more akin to a totalitarian dictatorship than democracy.

Meanwhile, in the Scottish Parliament, the SNP governing party has so packed the committees with party “yes men” that the committees have no independent critical voice in the scrutiny of the SNP policies.

Add to that the fact that expatriate Scots working elsewhere in the UK have no say in the referendum (while temporary foreign migrant workers do) suggests to me that the referendum itself has been rigged by Mr Salmond to further his own ends. Some democracy!

Douglas Hamilton

Lamlash

Isle of Arran

This week I heard a senior SNP supporter declare that the only patriotic vote is a Yes vote. I am concerned that well-meaning people are confusing nationalism with patriotism.

George Orwell of 1984 fame is very clear about the differences, saying that nationalism and patriotism are opposing ideas.

He wrote: “Patriotism is devotion to a particular place and a particular way of life, which one believes to be the best in the world but has no wish to force on other people.

“Patriotism is of its nature defensive, both militarily and culturally.

“Nationalism, on the other hand, is inseparable from the desire for power.

“The abiding purpose of every nationalist is to secure more power for the nation in which he has chosen to sink his own individuality.”

The 20th-century history of nationalism shows it to be arrogant, autocratic and 
divisive.

Patriots who want the best for Scotland should comprehensively reject nationalism on 18 September.

(Dr) Richard Marsh

Strathdon

Aberdeenshire

My husband, our three children and I were born and bred in Edinburgh. Our ancestors are Scottish, with our heritage going back into the mists of time.

My husband’s parents and a number of aunts, uncles and cousins all remain in Scotland.

My family and I were all educated in Edinburgh from primary and secondary school to university.

My father was awarded the OBE for his services to the Health and Safety Executive for Scotland.

Both my parents are buried in Edinburgh, in their home country. Due to work circumstances, we moved south of the Border 17 years ago, but regularly return to Edinburgh to visit friends and family.

We are proud of our heritage and Scotland is our home. We do hope to return to live there one day. The referendum will dictate Scotland’s future, and all Scottish people, irrespective of where they live, should be allowed the opportunity to vote for their country’s future.

We should not be penalised for living outside Scotland, and we request the right to vote in the referendum.

The Scottish Parliament should not deny us the opportunity to vote for the future of our beloved country.

Scotland is part of the UK. We live in the UK. Therefore, why should Scottish people living south of the Border be discriminated against?

Mary Archibald

Bosworth Road

Cambridge