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Jack Hamilton (Letters, 22 March) is wrong: the one 
referendum question gives us two options. We can vote either for independence or for the 
status quo.

But there is a very real bias hidden in the one simple question. A large number of voters do not want either independence or the status quo – they want more devolution within a UK framework. But that third option will not be on the referendum ballot paper.

So how are those voters going to vote? They will be forced to choose an option they do not want. That is the real bias.

That is why the result of the referendum will be neither “clear” nor “ decisive”.

James Gilmour


I do hope the large photo opportunity sign for the First Minister and his deputy (your report, 22 March) was paid 
for by the SNP and not the taxpayer.

John A Dorward


The welcome announcement of the referendum date in the Scottish Parliament was marred by the mean-spirited and trivial contribution by Johann Lamont and other Labour Party members. Whatever your view of independence, the debate will be won by positive and dignified discussion of Scotland’s future.

It seems that we will have to wait a long time to hear any constructive statements about the development of Scotland’s economy from Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrats, who are constrained in what they can promise the Scottish people because of the punishing economic approach of the current Westminster Government. They
seem to be stuck in an uncomfortable place where all they can offer is negativity and insults about the pro-independence campaign.

What working people in Scotland are to make of this it is difficult to predict.

But the threats of further public sector cuts and the pay restraints on civil servants sends out a message to those who are most vulnerable.

I am sure that the trade unions will draw their own conclusions.

For Lamont to throw in personal insults about the First Minister’s “pomposity” “and self-aggrandisement” lowers the level of debate at a time when the world is watching with great interest.

It is particularly disappointing when she herself refuses to state her position on the removal of Trident from Scotland.

I am with Independent MSP Margo MacDonald, who said: “Let’s have the debate the Scottish people deserve.”

Maggie Chetty