It IS now exactly one year since we voted, by a large majority, to remain in the United Kingdom. That was the decision of the population of Scotland, even when hundreds of thousands of Scots were denied a say in the future of their own country by the SNP because they lived outside Scotland. That is democracy SNP-style.
As a businessman, I noticed that, before the referendum, there was a flat climate with a lot of clients making little secret of their desperate concerns about what might happen to their own businesses if there were to be a Yes vote. I was also aware of the profound effect that a potential vote on breaking up the UK was having on Scottish economic activity in general.
Following the No vote, it was as if the doors that were holding back a tide of business suddenly opened and people were on the phone and e-mailing with a mood of good cheer as the cloud of gloom that hung over Scotland had, at last been lifted, except, of course, in the oil industry which Mr Salmond confidently predicted would be experiencing an oil boom by now. So much for his ability to make accurate predictions.
Now, Nicola Sturgeon is saying that she will produce a list of several things to return us to uncertainty and a low level of economic activity by calling for a second referendum. Actually it will, in reality, only be when she is confident of winning. Principle, or Scotland’s best interests can go hang. A good way of derailing such a proposal would be for the government to confirm that, in such an event, all the areas that vote to remain in the UK should be allowed to do so. I could live with Nicola Sturgeon running central Glasgow or Dundee. That would let the rest of us get on with our lives, to be free, prosperous and secure.
ANDREW HN GRAY
With the first anniversary of the rejection of Scottish independence upon us, the nationalist surge continues.
Some have taken to social media where I have been called a “Nawbag”, a “coffin dodger” (I’m 32) who is “Feert of change” and have been told to do something rather unpleasant with a “red hot haggis”.
Most individuals who want an independent Scotland are not like this, but there is a sizable minority of “cybernats” out there who propagate an anti-English and anti-establishment/state ideology that paints a very ugly picture.
The planned “freedom” rally in Glasgow will be filled with jubilant, crass flag waving and claims of “We’re gonnae dae it anyway”, despite this being contrary to the referendum result.
This however is the core of nationalism. An anti-state and emotive ideology; it can’t be anything else. It constantly needs the “other” to compare to. Political parties, other than the SNP, must be labelled as blue, red, yellow or purple Tories to accentuate differences within the UK.
It must appeal to “imagined communities” not rooted in history or genealogy but in the glorious falsified past.
Symbols of British “oppression” must be abhorred without any discussion of the wider historical context.
Westminster is portrayed as being a hive of heartless, war-mongering “toffs” who are to blame for every fault in Scotland’s recent history.
On the other hand, nationalist politicians are treated with subservient reverence and are beyond reproach.
I don’t want Scotland to turn into a nation where a party with a divisive ideology will dominate all layers of politics. Where a cohort of politicians can do no wrong. Where bonds of union and commonality are shattered for the sake of the Saltire. This is why I voted “No” last year.
Ailsa Street West
Ian Lakin, (Letters, 17 September) in commenting on the economics of independence makes much of his assertion that an independent Scotland in the EEC would be immediately forced to adopt the euro as its currency.
This is a myth which was peddled by the “Project Fear” campaign along with many other untruths.
There is no requirement for a new member to do so, and Denmark, Sweden, and Poland have been using their own currencies for many years as EEC members.
Scotland may choose to use the euro if it were advantageous, equally it may adopt a new currency or continue to use the pound, which, as it is an internationally traded currency, we would have every right to do.
Mr Lakin also claims, without any justification, that Scotland would have the highest deficit in the EEC. Strangely he does not mention that, at the end of 2014, the UK deficit, according to the Treasury’s own figures was 5.7 per cent, (or £160 billion pounds), the worst in the EEC apart from Cyprus, and almost double the EEC average deficit.
Still, that is a UK deficit so no doubt that is a good thing as far as Mr Lakin is concerned.
As I was unable to vote in the referendum may I give my heartfelt thanks to my fellow Scots who voted NO and saved our country from economic disaster. If the SNP had won where would we be? Project Fear would now be Project Truth.
Those of us who disputed Salmond’s “cautious estimate oil price of $113” were vilified as anti-Scottish liars.
Any banks left would be either floating a Scottish pound or preparing to join the euro.
Without the Barnett Formula we would be faced with huge expenditure cuts and income taxes thereby hitting the poorest in our country. The very same people the Nationalists exploited in their quest for separation at any cost.
With regard to Ian Johnstone’s letter (Letters, 16 September) in which he says that Salmond’s and Sturgeon’s statements on the referendum being a “once in a lifetime/generation opportunity” were merely “remarks ,no more than that”.
I beg to differ. They were both spoken and written pledges, as is evidenced on page 556 of the Scotland’s Future white paper .
Paragraph 557 poses the question if there would be another referendum if a No vote won and states: “It is the view of the current Scottish Government that a referendum is a once-in-a-generation opportunity.”
Surely there are no half truths contained in this publicly-funded white paper? And do we not continue to enjoy the same “current Scottish Government”?
Sadly life expectancy in Scotland is below the UK average, but even so a generation is generally considered to be around 30 years – or were they talking of a non-human generation, that of the highland midge perhaps, with a less than 30-day lifespan!