Nationalism

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If I understand David Roche correctly (Letters, 20 July), he seems to be saying that you cannot choose your nationality, ie it is something you are born in to.

He seems unaware of the civic nationalism of the SNP (I assume he is an SNP supporter) which says exactly this, ie anyone who lives here can choose to be Scottish; presumably this is why anyone who lived here could vote in the referendum.

Does he not realise that if nationality is a matter of birth, then this is the beginning of ethnic nationalism? From history, we know where this can lead!

William Ballantine

Dean Road

Bo’ness, West Lothian

I would hope that David Roche would give the same, friendly welcome to Keith Howell as one assumes his ancestors received when they came here from Ireland. That’s a good, Scots first name, by the way, Mr Howell!

Indeed, I would hope that people coming here, like Mr Howell, experience less prejudice about their way of speaking and their religion than Mr Roche evinces towards our fellow countryman, Mr Howell.

Luckily, Scotland has shown an ability to absorb people from all over the British Isles over the centuries.

When he criticises Mr Howell for being a “Scot by adoption”, much like other settlers here, such as his own ancestors, I hope his face flushed with embarrassment.

Andrew HN Gray

Craiglea Drive

Edinburgh