Scaremongering over independence

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Has former Labour first minister Henry McLeish finally lost the plot? His expressions of concern about Scots being driven to vote for separation from the rest of the UK because of a recent rise in the protest vote awarded to Ukip is scaremongering at its worst (Perspective, 20 August).

His article is more about the failures within his own political party that are clearly worrying him, and rightly so. He attacks the coalition government in a way that reflects paranoia rather than political reality.

If the Better Together campaign is “failing voters” by challenging the SNP to explain where exactly a so-called independent Scotland will end up then I must be missing something.

In an increasingly devolved Scotland we are already answerable for our own destiny on the policies that determine education, health, housing, business rates and transport.

Labour plus the SNP and Ukip nationalists might still try to blame the Tories and Liberal Democrats for all the country’s ailments, but it’s no more than a self-serving political ploy.

With clearer signs that the economy of the UK, including Scotland, is at last showing a steadier recovery then it’s high time that Mr Mcleish provided a more balanced view on the referendum campaign instead of voicing an opinion more allied to Nigel Farage than to Alistair Darling. The jury is out but in Scotland I’ve no doubt that truth and justice will prevail.

Galen Milne

Ochiltree

Dunblane

Henry McLeish paints a terrifying picture of the consequences of a right-wing Westminster government.

Scotland could, of course, be saved from this if Scottish labour advised its many supporters to vote Yes next year.

It has chosen not to do so, I believe, because it is dominated by politicians who seek a career in the big boys’ club at Westminster and who would rather be in opposition there than in power at Holyrood.

S Beck

Craigleith Drive

Edinburgh

Home truths often hurt and this could certainly apply to the criticisms made by former first minister Henry McLeish in his thought- provoking article.

Not surprisingly, the London Scots brigade, Lord Foulkes, Alistair Darling, Margaret Curran, et al are annoyed, for, after all, they have the most to lose should the people of Scotland decide to endorse a Yes vote in 2014.

In the absence of any credible leadership offered by either London or Scottish Labour his criticisms seem quite reasonable.

He is also taken to task for not offering any support to the Better Together campaign. This would be very difficult to do, given, as he suggests, that it has been “thoroughly negative” in its approach.

Henry McLeish seems to recognise the Scottish persona better than most when he suggests that many Scots do not like being talked down to, which so often appears to be the case in the debate on independence.

Ian Hendry

Wellburn Park

Torphins, Aberdeenshire