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WITH regards to Jonathan Gordon’s critique of my letter in his reply (Letters, 26 April), I did not say that the fact quoted by Nicola Sturgeon was untrue only that to justify her cry of scaremongering was irrelevant.

Mr Gordon has fallen into the same trap when he quotes GDP 2011-12. Apart from the fact that GDP 2013-14 will show a drop in oil revenues, a drop which will continue unabated and which the investments in oil production can only slow, quoting GDP by itself supports nothing.

Only when the long-term costing of all the various financial commitments made by the SNP for post-independence, including the cost of pensions in the future as the percentage of pensioners grows, against the realistic earnings of an independent Scotland, can any judgment be made as to who is scaremongering and who is making unwarranted assertions.

I am quite clear that the abiding principle for civil servants is that they should be non-
political. I believe that remains the case with the UK civil service. That much of the information it produces is adverse to the nationalist cause may be unfortunate but cannot be taken in any other way. The Scottish civil service has, though, clearly been politicised – a point frequently alluded to in the pages of this newspaper.

I also commend John Milne for his letter (26 April) regarding Gordon Brown’s speech. It did deserve proper and detailed coverage; it was indeed very positive as to the Union and Scotland’s place as a devolved nation within it, and was delivered with sincerity. What was clear from the speech was that independence is not a prerequisite for a fairer society – it can be achieved within a devolved Scotland; what is required is the will of the people to make it so.

John B Gorrie

Craigmount Gardens

Edinburgh