Phyrric victory

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Alan Black (Letters, 25 September) wonders where I gathered my opinion that Scotland has been made a laughing stock by being the first country to vote against independence.

He also says many European countries welcomed the No vote. This may be so and we are talking about politicians here, but I formed my opinion from analysis of the reaction to the result from ordinary people abroad and the many people of other nationalities who came to help the Yes campaign, and not from their politicians and media.

I was also rather depressed by comments made by writers and historians who opined that history would judge us harshly as being too scared to take charge of our own destiny.

As for how the 18 to 24-year-olds voted No, that rather depends on which poll you read. Other polls show this group voting Yes and in any case, my remarks were focused on the 16 and 17-year-olds who voted Yes decisively.

Now that the campaign is over, Mr Black expresses concern for the disadvantaged in our society and that is to be welcomed.

Duncan Macara (Letters, same day) pompously confuses my remark about being enlightened as to the future potential of an independent country with the Enlightenment.

As the “vow” becomes a white paper for the next parliament, the Tories begin to bray about English votes for English legislation and the removal of the Barnett formula (abetted by a pincer movement from the Welsh and Northern Irish), the Lords gear up for obstruction and Ukip moves into the foreground, they may one day reflect that they have contributed to one of the greatest Pyrrhic victories of all time as their beloved but benighted Union starts to crumble around them.

DOUGLAS TURNER

Derby Street

Edinburgh

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