State of nations

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In Michael Kelly’s article (Perspective, 18 July) he states that “independence has had its day” and “the nation state is on the wane”. This is arrant nonsense. Since 1945, 110 new, independent nation states have taken their seats in the United Nations and not one of them has shown the least inclination to wane, nor to return to the fold of the imperial power which they left.

Far from having “had its day” the independent nation state is the normal condition of almost all the world’s population, whether neutral or bound by treaties and agreements with like-minded nation states.

These independent states can make such treaties for the benefit of their own citizens rather than have someone else make the decision for them, perhaps against their will.

James Duncan

Edinburgh

The independence referendum seems a great opportunity to discuss what kind of society we want to live in. But not, it seems, for Michael Kelly.

Male life expectancy in Burkina Faso, West Africa, is 55 years. In Calton, Glasgow, after 300 years of the Union, the equivalent figure is 54. Only in the mindset of the “just leave it all to us” Labour faction could a Glasgow politician conclude: “That’s why there is really nothing much to debate.”

Former Glasgow lord provost Dr Kelly is, of course, entitled to this opinion. Will he reassure us, then, that this contribution to the discussion is his last?

Malcolm Kerr

Brodick

Isle of Arran