The headline of your lead letter (16 October) poses the question: “Was indyref won on a false vow?” Judging by the infighting that has broken out among the Unionist parties that made it, it looks like the answer is going to be yes.
Howard Lewis (Letters, 15 October) issued a clarion call for supporters who were not influenced by the vow to come forward and he was answered by Alan O’Connor (Letters, 16 October).
Mr O’Connor supports Mr Lewis and also Ellis Thorpe, who, he says, captured the essence of what No voters voted for, thus appointing himself the voice of all No voters. In fact, Mr Thorpe devoted his letter to a ludicrous call for the SNP and Alex Salmond to resign on the grounds of what was the sovereign will of the people and political morality.
Mr Thorpe chooses to ignore the will of the 65,000 people who have swelled the SNP’s membership to 80,000 and rising.
Also in Mr Thorpe’s perception of morality, it is incumbent on the SNP to resign, but apparently not critical for the leaders of the three Unionist parties to honour a solemn promise, a point made by Adam Rennie (Letters, 16 October) who correctly says that the vow should not be ignored.
Messrs Thorpe, Lewis and O’Connor all choose to ignore the post-referendum polls and research which consistently indicated that a significant number of undecided voters moved to the No side on the strength of the promise of “extensive new powers”.
The other factor they all omit to mention is fear.
During the course of leafletting and canvassing I had direct (not anecdotal) experience of a number of pensioners who had been told by representatives of Better Together that they would not receive their pension in an independent Scotland.
I also encountered one Polish and another Bulgarian family who said they had been told by someone claiming to be from the “government side” that if they voted Yes they would be deported. I wonder where that figures in any definition of political morality.
Much has been made of the late introduction of the “vow” and we can only speculate as to the extent of any influence it may have had in persuading some people to vote No.
The Yes support, however, seem to forget that the introduction of the NHS into the debate came very late in the day and was nothing more than a cheap political scaremongering stunt – who can say how many voted Yes because of the iniquitous assertions made about the NHS which had and have no basis in fact, but I suspect there was a sizeable number.
That said, is it not time now to bring an end to all this bickering about who voted this way or that and for whatever reason? What is crystal clear is that a significant majority of the Scottish people all over the country voted against independence and for many different reasons.
Nicola Sturgeon and her cohorts would do well to bear this in mind in the months ahead.
Alan W Sharp