Regrettably neither Ellis Thorpe nor Donna McBeath Smith (Letters, 26 March) chose to address the main point of my 25 March letter that even a small country devoid of the natural resources that Scotland possesses can achieve economic success and prosperity for its people as well as engender confidence that future generations need not be dependent on significantly larger and more populous neighbours.
While I certainly did not intend to imply that “Scotland should aspire to” emulate every aspect of Singaporean society, Singapore’s persistent stance against corruption and its success in managing huge racial pressures while slowly progressing democracy should be recognised.
Of course at this stage of Singapore’s democratic development Ellis is correct to assess that it is unlikely that we will see “thousands of people marching in protest” down Orchard Road any time soon, but I would suggest that an absence of public protest is less likely to be the case in other small independent and relatively successful countries with limited natural resources such as Denmark, Finland and Belgium (ranked first, second and third “good democracy” according to a University of Zurich study) or New Zealand (ranked 12 in comparison with the UK at 26).
Therefore, unlike Ellis, I do not see the choice “between ‘essential freedoms’ and economic prosperity and increasing measures for security” but a choice between having the pride and confidence of being a citizen of an independent country as opposed to condemning Scotland’s children to never having the capacity to take control of their own lives.
This may seem like a rather stark statement to make but one only has to look at the current panic within the “Westminster Establishment” at the possibility of 30-40 SNP MPs to begin to appreciate the true limit of Scotland’s influence in the UK’s “Better Together Partnership”.