Letters: Only a tick separates us from moment in history

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MARGO MacDonald is correct to say people should not be afraid to vote “Yes” in 2014 (News, June 19). It is proper for every nation on Earth to have the right of self-determination.

It is a spurious assertion by some in the “No” camp to suggest Scotland would have much work to re-enter Europe.

Even if that were so, Scots should not be swayed. Other nations faced far greater difficulties in gaining independence, yet they did it.

America had to fight a war. Scots do not, they only have to tick a box on a piece of paper in order to empower themselves to have a real voice in the direction of a future independent Scotland where people come first – before one-sided profiteering.

Trevor Swistchew, Victor Park Terrace, Edinburgh

UK partnership is the best bet for Scotland

THERE are very positive reasons for a “No” vote for Scotland not to be separated from the rest of the UK.

The aim of the Scottish Parliament is to tackle unemployment, inadequate public services, poor housing and the inequalities in health and education.

Working in unity with working people all over the UK is the only way to protect ourselves from predators who support independence for their own reasons.

The SNP has spent large amounts of taxpayers’ money, yet there have only been patchy improvements and steadily rising unemployment for young people, with no direct results in tackling poverty in Scotland.

The best strategy for Scotland is to combine the flexibility which devolution gives in taking account of the conditions and strengths, with the benefits that are identified with partnerships and economic stability within the UK.

Chas Dennis, Niddrie Marischal Road, Edinburgh

A safety record to be proud of

FOLLOWING the article “Torness nuclear survival manual updated” (News, June 21), I would like to clarify the emergency arrangements in place at Torness power station.

The emergency arrangements in place at Torness are robust, well-established and can in no way be described as “new”.

The station is designed, operated and regulated to ensure that accidents are highly unlikely. Nevertheless, it is prudent to have arrangements to deal with such a situation should it occur. Our emergency arrangements have to satisfy a number of regulatory requirements and are approved by and regularly demonstrated to our independent regulator (the Office for Nuclear Regulation).

The power station’s emergency arrangements have been in place since it opened in 1988.

Residents around the power station are reminded of the emergency arrangements each year through an annual calendar with information on what to do in the highly unlikely event of an emergency and routinely sent a supply of potassium iodate tablets.

We have detailed emergency plans to monitor for radiation and provide public protection within a 3km radius of the station (which exceeds the distance, based on credible analysis that might reasonably impact the public). This Detailed Emergency Planning Zone (DEPZ) has been agreed with our regulator and local emergency agencies. In the case of Torness, this zone covers around 220 households.

The Scottish Government has agreed arrangements for access to potassium iodate tablets as part of the stockpile of pharmaceutical countermeasures held at strategic locations across Scotland to respond to a number of potential incidents. The access arrangements are in place 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In the interests of safety and security, it would not be prudent to advertise where those supplies are kept.

Torness power station has operated safely and reliably for 25 years.

I am proud of our safety record and the safety culture of everyone who works here.

Paul Winkle, station director,

Torness Power Station, East Lothian

Fish better protected than rape victims

Convictions for rape in Scotland’s courts could be increased if raped women were given the same legal protection as that enjoyed by salmon and sea-trout where there is no need for corroboration to obtain a conviction.

The Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries (Protection) (Scotland) Act 1951 states: “It shall be lawful to convict a person on the evidence of one witness.” The Salmon Act 1986 and the Salmon Conservation (Scotland) Act 2001 confirmed this position .

Hundreds of men have been imprisoned or fined and had their fishing tackle confiscated on the evidence of a single policeman, water bailiff or landowner.

It is sad Scotland’s parliament and legal system gives less legal protection to raped women than it accords to Salmo salar and Salmo trutta.

Jim Stewart, Oxgangs Avenue, Edinburgh

McEnroe was far from the worst-behaved

As a former tennis official I was interested in your article about John McEnroe’s on-court behaviour (News, June 22). I had the pleasure (if that is the right word) of calling a line on his matches on many occasions and can say that his antics were not the worst.

He often contested line calls in a loud, abrasive manner that is now familiar. The worst player at that time used underhand and sneaky methods using obscene and lewd hand gestures out of the chair umpire’s sight to intimidate line officials. That is not acceptable today, whereas McEnroe’s antics are part of his act on the veterans’ circuit and many people expect to see it instead of the tennis.

George Ritchie, North Gyle Terrace, Edinburgh