Democratic fight

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Angus Young (RN retired) tells us (Letters, 30 June) that UK service personnel gave their lives in two world wars and other conflicts for democratic principles.

I lost relatives in these wars and I’m sure they considered they were fighting for some sort of freedom against an enemy. In the First World War women and most of the men had no vote (voting qualifications excluded the poorest 40 per cent of males).

In the earlier part of the century these people might have been fighting for democratic principles, but the British establishment was not going to risk giving them democratic practices until absolutely forced to.

After the First World War we saw British democracy at work with tanks on the streets of Glasgow. We may well have been fighting for democracy in the Second World War, but for whom? Not the 50 or so colonies the UK held at the time.

I served while various territories were breaking away from the UK, peacefully or otherwise. I’m sure the inhabitants saw themselves as freedom fighters and the British as an anti-democratic evil, even though the likes of myself saw them as terrorists.

Mr Young says we can debate in the press without fear. True, but overwhelmingly that press is operated by and for the London unionist establishment. The same can be said of the broadcasting media. I remember when the BBC would not allow SNP broadcasts; the three main parties ruled the airwaves.

Whatever unionists say about Scotland’s great contributions to the UK now, there would have been no Scots contribution if not for our success at Bannockburn. We defeated an invading enemy of the time.

In turn, through peaceful means, I owe future generations of Scots the right to run their own lives without London interference that’s why I’ll be saying “No thanks” to the Caledonian cringe on 18 September and voting Yes.

Thomas R Burgess

St Catherine’s Square

Perth