Nationalists’ reversion to type tells all

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Lesley Riddoch (Perspective, 21 October) presents a litany of problems that show the UK to be, in her opinion, uniquely failing. From this, and the assertion that it couldn’t happen here, Ms ­Riddoch deduces that Scots have a set of exclusively “Scottish values” that set us apart from, and somehow above, the rest of the UK.

She then undermines her case somewhat by saying that she found the people on a north of England radio ­audience more in tune with “Scottish values” than the population of London and the South-east.

I’m not sure what we are supposed to take from this. It is at least confused and at worst borderline racist. Does it not occur to Lesley Riddoch that the people of the north of England resemble Scots ­because there is, on any ­sensible judgment, no real ­difference between them?

And that the “Scottish ­values” that she extols are commonly found, even in those “nasty” Southerners?

On any rational evaluation, the supposedly superior values which Lesley Riddoch allocates solely to Scots are standard human values, ­common to the English, the Welsh, the Irish and indeed the Scots. They are, in fact, the ­universal values to be found in decent people of all nations and populations.

Finding fault in your neighbour in order to feel superior in yourself is not an endearing characteristic in individuals or nations and indeed the Nationalists have been successful in recently burying deep this aspect of their appeal to the baser political instincts.

That they should, at this stage in the referendum ­campaign, feel it necessary to return to the politics of ­grievance and difference is a sure sign that their campaign is failing.

If the price of their success is to build difference and resentment between and among the peoples on our small island, then those with real human values – values which unite rather than divide – will ­welcome that failure.

Alex Gallagher

Phillips Avenue

Largs

One can only feel sad for the myopic, if not blinkered, outlook revealed by the writings of Stan Grodynski (Letters, 21 October) and Lesley Riddoch, who must, collectively, live in a small, freshwater ­mussel shell somewhere beneath the impenetrable murk of the River Tay, judging by their comments.

I am not quite sure why I feature in Mr Grodynski’s latest rant. I dare say that there is some quaint logic to it, though quite where the ­British Empire comes into it, I confess I am unsure.

This is 2013. Mr Grodynski complains about infrastructure projects down South. He need not worry, because we have our own. Consider the Commonwealth Games soon to be held in Glasgow; ­perhaps Mr Grodynski can tell us how much benefit from that will be flowing South – not to mention from the new Forth Crossing.

Of course, the SNP has promised it will upgrade the A9… eventually, but not yet.

What with new nuclear power stations being ordered (but not in Scotland, thanks to a certain Mr Alex Salmond) and tax incentives from the Chancellor to boost investment and employment in the North Sea (where the oil that Grangemouth used to refine comes from), one could ­almost overlook the economic resurgence that is pushing the UK ahead of one or two of the BRICS, not that Ms ­Riddoch seems to notice.

One could be forgiven for thinking Ms Riddoch could have focused her attentions more fruitfully on the US over the past week or two, if she wants to pretend anywhere is “broken beyond repair”.

However, I rather think that windmills being built without heed of environmental consequence or legal judgment in our wild places; ineffectual attempts to prevent the closing of Scotland’s only oil refinery; attempts to conceal a lack of legal advice on Scotland’s ­position vis-a-vis the EU, while pretending that there was such advice; telling Scottish voters that a separate Scotland could afford an oil fund while concealing their own advisors’ advice stating the precise opposite show that, if anything is “broken beyond repair”, it is the SNP’s failed, blinkered vision.

Andrew HN Gray

Craiglea Drive

Edinburgh

All the old Nationalist chestnuts and clichés are dredged up and on display in Stan ­Grodynski’s letter.

Despite his party’s supposed move to presenting a more positive argument, Mr ­Grodynski reverts to the stereotypical SNP case – an evil UK government spending all its time and energy plotting to do down Scotland and skin the Scots of their taxes.

Rampant paranoia comes to the fore once more. No reasoned argument will convince people holding these views and we are fortunate that his barely concealed anti-English prejudice, for that in essence is what it is, is held only by a vociferous minority.

The innate good sense of the great majority of Scots is reflected in the referendum opinion polls.

Alexander McKay

New Cut Rigg

Edinburgh