Call for calm

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A sense of perspective can be a difficult thing to achieve as the media and politicians focus relentlessly on the independence referendum campaign.

We should congratulate the Rev David Robertson for achieving it (your report, 14 May). Why on Earth does the incoming Moderator of the Church of Scotland, the Right Reverend John Chalmers, think there is a need for a service of reconciliation following the 18 September poll?

The country is not in a state of frenzy over what is an important decision. The Rt Rev Chalmers might be well advised to go into shopping malls, stand on railway platforms, go into bus stations, visit libraries, community centres, schools, colleges, residential homes, cinema queues.

People are simply getting on with their lives; they know there is a vote pending but will accept the outcome with the same equanimity that election results and referendums on the constitution, Europe, the voting system, have been accepted in the past.

Aside from all that, a service of reconciliation suggests a conclusion to a fierce controversy. Whether there is a Yes or a No vote, the controversy will continue, certainly in the media, for a long time. In the event of a Yes vote, there will be a strong focus on the ensuing negotiations in the run-up to independence. In the event of a No vote, there will be a strong focus on what the Unionist parties will offer in terms of enhanced devolution. There will be keen interest in the attitude of those parties who supported but failed to make the case for autonomy.

A service of reconciliation is not likely to persuade either side to be emollient. It would serve no purpose for the country is not, or likely to be, in a state of war or civil commotion over constitutional change.

Bob Taylor

Shiel Court

Glenrothes, Fife