Joyce McMillan finds herself appalled by Ukip’s incursion into Scotland (Perspective, 30 May). I beg to differ. I found the success of the Ukip challenge to the established British parties and the SNP something to rejoice in. What the progressive centre ignores is that Ukip was successful because the central point of its argument was unanswered. If the United Kingdom has ceded its right to control its borders to a greater authority, then it has given up what no self-respecting nation should surrender.
Ukip alone argued this; the only honest answer the other parties could give is that it is right the national interest should be subordinated to the superior authority of the European Union. As no party was prepared to say that, they diverted tactics from the central question by seeking to accuse Ukip of racism. Ms McMillan may, along with educated people in general, be disgusted at examples of the crudity of populist nationalism but that exists only because we as a nation have sleep-walked into accepting the top-down decision-making of the EU over-riding the national interest.
While Ms McMillan takes heart in Scotland being more ready to acquiesce in acceptance of EU aims, the Ukip success in Scotland exposes the SNP and the Yes campaign to uncomfortable questions. The so-called independence Scotland wins, if it votes Yes, merely means it becoming even more exposed to the EU and reduced in status to a region within the eurozone, which has created such misery in southern Europe.
I would argue it is better for Scotland to combine with the other countries of the UK in improving its mutual inter-relations and create a future open to the world and not just one of acquiescent deference towards an inward looking and depressed EU.
ALAN D JACKSON
Ashwood Mews Bridge of Don, Aberdeen
Joyce McMillan states she was traumatised by England preferring Nigel Farage and his crew to all other parties. Later in the same article, she writes that the Ukip vote across England was almost 30 per cent. Therefore, more than 70 per cent voted for non-Ukip candidates. Farage did top the poll in England, which is bad enough. However, that is not the same as gaining more votes than all the other parties together.
While we must vigorously oppose Ukip and expose the harm its policies would do, let us not lose the plot. It does not control a single local authority in England, and has yet to gain a single seat in either the Scottish or the UK parliaments. Labour made substantial gains in the local authority elections, but you would never have known it from the coverage Ukip got.
Then there is the illogicality. If England is considered to be so irremediably right-wing that it is a reason for breaking up the Union, why does the SNP remain so keen to be a member of the EU, regardless of the right-wing shift in some of its powerful member states, with parties every bit as deplorable as Ukip making substantial gains?
Ever the optimist, and seeking information from the white paper, I sought an answer to whom the MEPs representing an independent Scotland would ally themselves. The document says at present we have no voice, but that with increased representation we would have a new ability to build alliances. Scotland would align our votes with the member states whose interests best matched Scotland’s. So, with time running out before the referendum, are we going to be told which ones at present it considers does that? Could rUK be one of them, and if not, why not?
What gives Joyce McMillan the right to state that anyone who voted for Ukip is guilty of anything other than exercising their right to vote? Just because she is for independence and well left-of-centre does not give her the moral high ground. It is not Ukip that is dividing the country but the SNP. Whatever the result in September, there will be no way of quickly healing the division in Scotland.
A vote for UKip is a vote for freedom. A vote for Ukip is a vote for a retreat from the government of Britain by a bunch of highly-paid unelected bods in Brussels, who have alienated a huge portion of Europe by their over-control of our lives and businesses. The SNP seems quite happy with this, but it would be, as it is just the sort of centralised government it espouses.
I am proud to say I voted for Ukip. I am not racist, but I do not believe that immigration solves anyone’s problems. At best, it simply postpones them. If we have too many old people, then things must change so we can cope with the situation. Bringing in youngsters from abroad is not the answer. Nor is it the answer to any of our labour shortages. Far better to take the work where there is a labour force capable of filling the gap and thus helping the other country rather than sapping its youth labour force.
Scots are no different from people in other parts of the UK. We all want the same from life: the right to think and act for ourselves – not a state that constantly tells us what to do and think. Independence will not give us that any more than being in the UK. So let’s change the UK, not break it up and find we are no better off for doing so.
Eden Lane, Edinburgh
Joyce McMillan relies on attaching a string of positive adjectives to her own views and pejorative ones to her opponents’ in place of logical argument. She refers to “an arrogant British establishment” continuing “to strip our assets, and to treat us with the contempt they will feel we have deserved”. The nationalist strategy is to refer to the people of Scotland as “us” and the democratically elected UK government as “them”. This is an attempt to conjure a sense of injustice and oppression where none exists.
Scottish Nationalists endeavour to manufacture a sense of dissatisfaction and injustice and then present independence as the solution, when in fact they are just trying to get their own way.