Defences down

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Douglas Turner (Letters, 26 March) seems to think that I was avoiding extolling the virtues of Trident. Far from it.

I was, however, addressing the SNP’s nonsensical plans for conventional defence (or, rather, utter lack of it) if Scotland were to leave the UK.

The SNP is characterised by its total ignorance of what defence means. It seems to think that destroyers should be used as fishery protection vessels and that defence assets should be patrolling the coastline like lines of toy soldiers spread out on a board.

Playing with toy soldiers is probably the highest level at which SNP MP Angus Robertson has gained military experience, so I suppose that this is only to be expected.

When the SNP and CND wish away our nuclear defences, they show a worrying degree of naivete. I am unaware of any nuclear power having been attacked since nuclear weapons came into play. Perhaps Messrs Turner, Robertson et al could correct me if I am wrong.

Equally, the forces that defend our shoreline are part of Nato – the organisation that some of the SNP say they want to join – and we manage quite effectively in that.

Since the SNP refuses to accede to Nato’s requirements for membership, that option would not exist if it breaks up the UK and a one-destroyer navy would have to beetle about pretty fast to cover Scotland’s coast.

Leaving Scotland’s defence to the SNP would be like entrusting it to the Greenham Common women.

Andrew HN Gray

Craiglea Drive

Edinburgh