Union created the world we live in

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Douglas Turner (Letters, 14 March) made me laugh with his ill-informed and intemperate waffle about Alexander McKay’s letters.

He makes a sustained attack on anything tax-related that the government has done, conveniently forgetting that it is trying to pay off the debt created by a bank that a certain Alex Salmond thought was over-regulated and which he encouraged in its takeover of ABN Amro.

It was the toxic debt from that little venture that cost the United Kingdom government tens of billions which it is currently trying to pay off. When I say “the United Kingdom government”, of course, I really mean every British citizen owes this money.

Mr Turner asks what is so good about the Union. If he does not know, then he cannot have read my many letters explaining exactly that.

The very world we live in, for all its imperfections, is here because of the Union.

The universal use of English as a means of communication is due to the British influence on world affairs, as is the number of democratic states throughout the world which would have 
succumbed to Communism but for the UK, its allies and its nuclear defence.

The modern, capitalist, industrial world is here because of the Industrial Revolution which began here, in the United Kingdom.

The antibiotics which have saved millions were developed here in the United Kingdom because of a Scot and others who were not Scots who discovered and developed it. Does Mr Turner not read history?

Mr Turner accuses Mr McKay of being “thirled to the Union and the past”, which is sad, because the past is what he and the separatists are chasing after, one of division between England and Scotland.

That was a never-ending saga of warfare and woe, of division and dynastic rivalries we have now consigned to history.

That would be the sort of position we would revisit if we adopted the foolish policy of division, which is the aim of the SNP.

If Mr McKay is a “feartie” for opposing the splitting up of the Union, as Mr Turner suggests, I would suggest that the former (and every 
right-thinking Scot) has every reason to be so.

Andrew HN Gray

Craiglea Drive

Edinburgh

To paraphrase your contributor Alexander McKay and his increasingly desperate efforts to decry the cause for independence, “once again we have a choice”, I find it most amusing but also a bit sad that Mr McKay asks us to decide who to believe between our First Minister, the Office for Budget Responsibility and the EU president with his team of lawyers etc with regard to economic predictions.

I refer specifically to Mr McKay’s suggestion that “we can believe the EU president and his team of lawyers etc”: this surely is a joke.

Past and present experience surely leads us to the conclusion that to believe anything coming from our European bureaucrats has to be viewed with deep scepticism if not outright suspicion.

I, for one, and I am sure most home-bred Scots, would prefer to believe our First Minister and his 
advisers rather than, to quote Mr McKay, “foreign 
ministers of European 
countries”. As for the Office of Budget Responsibility, well, if ever there was a misnomer this must be the prime example, and I will make no further comment.

Finally, rather than the SNP “digging a deeper and deeper hole for itself” I would 
suggest that it is opponents of an independent Scotland who are burying themselves in their own ditches of 
desperation in an attempt to maintain the downhill 
slide of the status quo, ie Westminster rule.

David M Steel

Springfield Terrace

South Queensferry

May I respond to the 
questions asked by Douglas Turner. He asks what I find so good about the Union.

The answer is, I believe, that continuing as a vibrant part of the centuries-old 
and eminently successful United Kingdom is on 
balance the best way forward for Scotland.

I believe that the advantages of being an integral part of one of the world’s top five leading economies bring the people of this country unrivalled economic, security and social advantages. I am sure a separated Scotland could survive alone, but not informing or distorting or hiding from those making the referendum decision the true and considerable downside involved I find immoral and simply disgusting.

Mr Turner says I “hate” Alex Salmond and the SNP. I do not. In truth I am totally indifferent. I admit to having severe reservations about Nationalism, in whatever form it appears, as I believe sincerely that Nationalism, wherever it has emerged, has brought untold misery to the human race.

I believe that at heart, no matter the squeals of protest and no matter how it is disguised, it is merely a form of tribal paranoia and a way of demonstrating xenophobic dislike of non-tribe members. I believe Mr Salmond, like so many others, is merely an ego-driven, insincere politician on the make. I have no personal feelings about him of any kind.

So I will keep telling the truth as I see it and leave the untruths to others.

Alexander McKay

New Cut Rigg

Edinburgh