Prospects drear

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BLAIR Allan attempts to turn the tables on the positive campaign to retain the Union by labelling it “negative” (Letters, 2 May). I suppose that, in the looking-glass world of breaking up the UK, viewing anything which seeks to undermine the Union as “positive” contains some bizarre logic, though it escapes me.

Mr Allan says that, reading the letters of Unionist correspondents, “you would be forgiven for thinking that no other country had ever become independent before”, but such countries’ stories are not always ones of unmitigated success. Of course, the Irish Republic (which the UK bailed out a couple of years ago when it went bust) broke away from the UK and is now a separate member of the European Union. There is also Cyprus, another former territory that was under the British flag and which is also having immense problems with the EU forcing solutions on its government and denying any democratic debate.

Perhaps, Mr Allan remembers what happened to the former nations of Yugoslavia, which broke up in the 1990s? How influential are they on the world stage and how well do they get on together? The former nations of the Soviet Union are another example of how states that break up relate to each other and how destabilising it can be. So much for a positive case for breaking up countries.

The SNP case is to create a weakened Scotland. One which would be overtly dependent upon fossil fuel and erratic wind power, dependent on another nation’s currency and fiscal policy, and dependent upon US defence while throwing out the forces that have ensured our security to date. The SNP would have us join an EU that changes member states’ governments without democratic due process and would have us sign up to the Schengen treaty, which would, inevitably, require England to set up a land frontier.

If that is a positive case, then I am a Dutchman.

Andrew HN Gray

Craiglea Drive

Edinburgh

THE important point about Scotland’s finances (Letters, 2 May) is that nearly twice as much is raised in taxation – and sent to the Westminster Treasury – than is returned.

All monies raised in Scotland should be retained and used for the benefit of its people. These include income tax, VAT, National Insurance, revenues from whisky and oil, and the huge amounts raised from Scotland’s Crown Estates, which manages through a company in England lands, properties and the coast and foreshore which belongs to Scotland.

The purpose of obtaining independence is to have full fiscal autonomy, rather than have all monies being drained away to the benefit, almost entirely, of London, and the south-east of England.

This control of Scotland’s own resources, to be used as needed in Scotland, could, and should, have been the case under a genuine union of two equal countries, but has been consistently denied from the start.

Susan FG Forde

Main Street
Scotlandwell, Kinross-shire

I DISTINCTLY recall that, at the start of the referendum campaign, The Scotsman committed to encourage and facilitate an open debate about independence and inform the electorate.

I feel that your Letters’ page has achieved that aim. However, I am very concerned about the tone of so many front-page headlines and Perspectives.

Too frequently I seem to start my days with startling headlines highlighting the latest criticism or negativity of an independent Scotland. I can’t recall the last time I saw an upbeat headline and there have been plenty of positives over the past few months. So come on Scotland’s national paper, do the independence issue justice, just as you said you would.

Brian Watt

Hunters Tryst

Edinburgh

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