Truly negative

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I always look forward to reading Brian Wilson’s robust contributions. On this occasion (“Scots tradition of dissent in peril”, Perspective, 20 November) I would remind him that it is very important to distinguish between Alex Salmond/the SNP and the independence cause.

Nevertheless, I acknowledge that the SNP has a tendency to do the Yes cause no favours. After all, there still may well be a huge number of dithering voters come next September and who knows what will tilt the Great Undecided one way or another.

I, for instance, cannot but wonder about the centralising and bullying tendencies within some elements of the SNP leadership.

They also have a tendency to be economical with the truth – as with Salmond’s claim that the government had sought and received legal advice on Scottish membership of the European Union and Nicola Sturgeon’s more recent assertion that Norway built 109 ships last year (“if Norway can do it so can Scotland”). If ever there was a classic half truth that was it.

She failed to mention that many of these boats were fishing boats, small inshore ferries, work boats etc, and that “its five new frigates were all built in Spain… it has bought several car ferries from Polish yards. It is building oil rigs in South Korea. It hasn’t built larger commercial vessels for years” (Alf Young, Perspective, 9 November).

I have little doubt that the No campaign can be shown to be similarly guilty but there must be no attempt to build a new state in which so many high hopes and so much idealism would have been invested on lies and half-truths. We expect these from Westminster but that will be only one of the reasons some of us will vote Yes unless we have reason to believe that nothing will really change.

John Milne

Ardgowan Drive