Lack of debate signals lack of respect

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It is an absolute disgrace that David Cameron, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, who is on record as saying he will do everything he can to defend the Union, will not debate with Alex Salmond, the First Minister of Scotland, who seeks an independent future for Scotland.

Mr Cameron seeks to defend his decision by depicting such a debate as inappropriate because it would be between the Conservative Party and the Scottish National Party.

How mistaken he is. The Prime Minister’s behaviour compares very unfavourably with the forlorn courage of Mikhail Gorbachev, former president of the Soviet Union.

He went to Lithuania, where he was hugely unpopular, in January 1990 to try to make the case for Lithuania remaining in the Soviet Union, a union he was seeking to reform fundamentally.

Lithuania declared independence in March 1990. Anyone thinking of voting No in the referendum should think long and hard about what the Prime Minister’s decision really says about the nature of the present union and Scotland’s place in it.

Following his insistence on a simple Yes/No referendum it is quite apparent that Mr Cameron has no regard for Scotland, nothing to say to Scotland and nothing to offer to Scotland.

It follows that he should have nothing to do with Scotland and a Yes vote can bring that about.

Andrew Parrott

Stuart Avenue

Perth

David Cameron is quite correct in not taking part in the SNP-proposed debate; it is a stunt and a trap. You can guess what the line of attack would be – London Tory tells Scots what to do! The debate should be between two native Scots, based in Scotland.

William Ballantine

Dean Road

Bo’ness, West Lothian

David Cameron’s refusal to debate the consequences of Scottish independence with Alex Salmond could not be more insulting to Scotland.

He has suggested that our First Minister should debate this with Alistair Darling as this is a purely Scottish issue and will not impact on the UK.

I’m sure that Alistair Darling is a very nice, decent person, but he has no more power or control over what happens in Scotland or the UK than the ordinary voter has.

As Prime Minister and leader of the main unionist party in the UK, with the power to negotiate the terms that will apply after independence, Cameron is the most qualified person to have a meaningful and constructive debate on this issue with our First Minister.

I’m convinced that Cameron’s refusal to debate the referendum issues with our First Minister can only boost the Yes vote. Well done, David.

Jim Carson

Larchfield

Balerno, Midlothian

It seems that poor Mr Salmond cannot get anyone to play his little game, which would let him try to misrepresent himself as a champion of Scotland against the nasty English or the nasty Tories. What a shame.

However, everyone knows his game and they are not foolish enough to let him divide them from the electorate they represent, namely the Scottish people.

Mr Salmond experienced yet another foot in the mouth when he suggested that “an overwhelming majority of Scots didn’t vote” for Mr Cameron or the Conservative party. Quite so.

Indeed, an overwhelming majority of Scots didn’t vote for Mr Salmond or his SNP either, in case he had not noticed.

What is Mr Salmond so scared of? Can he not make his case for destroying the UK convincingly enough without trying to fog the issue with irrelevant party games?

Is it, perhaps, that he realises, like the rest of us, that his pronouncements on every issue are so transparently untrue that he must hide in anti-Tory ploys?

Or is it simply that he dare not face up to the inevitable evisceration and filleting that he will sustain at the hands of Alistair Darling? Much sound and fury, Mr Salmond, but precious little light.

Andrew HN Gray

Craiglea Drive

Edinburgh