It is disappointing that in his Perspective (12 August), Peter Jones appears, with his lack of objectivity, to have descended to a level of debate usually associated with Labour Party politicians and their more blinkered supporters.
In attempting to portray Alex Salmond’s stand on currency union as “desperate”, Mr Jones reveals the desperation of his own arguments and those of many No supporters on what is not in effect a primary issue when seriously considering the question: “Should Scotland be an independent country?”
No mention is made of the opinions of many notable economists, such as Professor Leslie Young (whose independent advice was sought by Sir Tom Hunter), who clearly advocate that a currency union is in the economic interests of both an independent Scotland and rUK.
No mention is made of the possibility that the stance of the UK parties is nothing more than a political ploy as confirmed by a current UK government minister.
No mention is made of the UK debt and the consequences for rUK should the pound sterling no longer be supported by Scotland’s international trade and natural resources, such as the significant oil and gas reserves remaining under Scottish waters, never mind the considerable additional transaction costs that would be incurred.
Finally, no mention is made of the Edinburgh Agreement and the mutual spirit of co-operation in which both governments committed to engage following independence.
Surely it makes a mockery of the principles underpinning this agreement for Labour leader Ed Miliband to declare, before any negotiations have taken place, that a future election manifesto would seek to deny Scotland the possibility of continuing in a currency union.
Desperate arguments indeed.
Peter Jones is right to say that Nationalists will not obtain everything on their wish list. At the moment, politicians in London must listen to Scots electors.
After a Yes vote, we shall lose our importance. When it comes to negotiating the longed-for currency union and other details of the split, Westminster will do what pleases the English, Welsh and Irish.
But they need us as a trading partner, say the Nationalists. In 2012, the rUK’s “exports” to Scotland were about £1,030 per “rUKian”, and Scotland’s exports to rUK about £9,060 per Scot. Which needs the other more?
The same is true of the EU. We shall be a minnow asking the pikes to let us swim in their pond. Why should 500 million people make concessions to 5 million – such as, for instance, exempting us from the rule that new members must adopt the euro?
We shall have no second vote, cannot turn back, must lump what we are offered. It will not be easy to vote Yes.
Comely Bank Avenue
David K Allan (Letters, 12 August) is yet another in the long list of people to work himself into a lather over the currency which Scotland may, or may not use, castigating Lesley Riddoch for writing “park the wrangle over currency and get on with the real debate”.
Whether Mr Allan likes it or not there are several important matters relevant to the setting up of an independent Scotland that can only be established by negotiation after a Yes majority has been established. And the currency is one of them.
It would be a totally silly and irresponsible negotiator who responded to jibes from the other side by revealing details of his strategy before the negotiations have even begun. That is why Lesley Riddoch gives the perfectly reasonable advice to “park the wrangle” meantime and get on with the debate.
After all, this is a most uneven argument, between positive people on one side who are trying to put forward constructive ideas for building a shining new country, and negative people on the other side who are out to distract and stop them by fair means or foul.
People who are genuinely interested in Scotland’s future should not allow themselves to be scared and distracted away from the real debate.