Restlessness over future of the Union

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Andrew HN Gray (Letters, 20 May) raises the hitherto taboo issue of how Scots might react if, after a Yes vote, they were to find that Conservative Chancellor George Osborne, Liberal Democrat Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny ­Alexander and Labour’s shadow chancellor Ed Balls were telling the truth and there were to be no currency union.

It is becoming very clear that such a union between an economy ten times larger than that of Scotland and an independent Scotland would place Scots at a disadvantage and that the transaction costs would have little impact on the economy of the remainder of the UK (rUK). Alex ­Salmond’s threat to default on debt would only serve to impoverish his own people.

The rUK economy could withstand a Scottish default. But Mr Gray’s scenario of civil unrest is frightening and only too real.

Doubtless the SNP would try to point the finger of blame at the rUK and those British citizens living in Scotland despite the fact that Westminster politicians of all parties have stated they would not disadvantage their citizens by using their taxes to support a foreign country.

I am increasingly of the opinion that Mr Salmond and his acolytes want a currency union for the sole purpose of being able to blame Westminster for their own post-independence failures.

The best of both worlds for them is being in power and still being able to play the anti-­Westminster card.

This is a dangerous game and could well lead, God forbid, to Mr Gray’s prediction of civil unrest, something all sensible people must strive to prevent.

(DR) Roger I Cartwright

Turretbank Place

Crieff, Perthshire

What a shame The Scotsman had no editorial comment to make on the grotesque in­equalities now evident in Scotland after the release of ­figures showing the richest Scots have seen their fortunes rise by 19 per cent in the last year (“Glenfiddich whisky dynasty tops rich list”, 19 May).

While the rest of us suffered a fall in our living standards last year, following the worst economic recession in 80 years, and so many visit food banks just to feed themselves, the ten wealthiest Scots shared £14 billion between them. 

Those wishing to understand the dreadful social impact this widening inequality is having should read Thomas Piketty’s remarkable new book, Capital in the 21st ­Century.

The conclusion reached by the eminent French professor is that these inequalities do not happen by accident. Rather they are the inevitable and known consequence of the policies followed by repeated UK governments which feed the rapacious greed of wealthy corporations and yet deny the basics to most of the people.

Prof Piketty warns that ­unless such policies are reversed they will destroy demo­cracy itself. Since he advocates state intervention, we must ask where in Britain is such an approach likely?

It is clear from the independence debate the overwhelming majority of people in Scotland share Prof ­Piketty’s horror at the widening wealth gap and its impact on society.

However, I see no will at Westminster to ditch these policies and reverse current trends and that is why, like many others, I am convinced the only way to make progress on this issue is to vote for independence in September.

Colin Fox 

National spokesman

Scottish Socialist Party

Alloway Loan, Edinburgh

THE Yes campaign would have us believe every success in Scotland is the result of ­effective government from Holy­rood and every failure the result of ineffective West­minster government.

Its latest campaign poster, however, takes this simplistic view to a shocking extreme. It features a contrived photograph of a little girl’s grubby legs, badly scuffed shoes, dirty white ankle socks, and the threadbare hem of her tweed skirt. Alongside the photo the text states: “Let’s become ­independent before 100,000 more children are living in poverty.”

The use of a photo reminiscent of the well-known images of 1960s Gorbals by the photographer Oscar Marzaroli and the painter Joan Eardley is, in my opinion, crass.

However, the poster raises an unintended question: does the Scottish Government bear no responsibility, at all, for that shameful figure?

Or has its policies been so single-mindedly driven by the goal of independence that the current Scottish Government has neglected such present and urgent issues?

Ralph E Hughes

East Claremont St

Edinburgh