The workforce of British Aerospace at Portsmouth who are to lose their jobs are without doubt the victims of a cynical political decision.
The decision to close Portsmouth and retain the Clydeside shipyards is, without doubt in my mind, an attempt to bribe the people of Scotland to vote No in the forthcoming referendum.
When Scotland votes No, as it undoubtedly will, the backlash from the people of England and their politicians will be severe. Knowing the mendacity and duplicity of our politicians, it would be no surprise to find that Portsmouth is saved and the Scottish yards are closed after the referendum.
Politicians do not act in the interests of their country or those whom they represent; their main concern is to preserve their own jobs and those of their support staff (also known as family and friends).
In recent weeks we have seen the Ineos plant at Grangemouth and the Clydeside yards “saved” by the intervention of the UK government and it would be naive to believe that this would have happened had there not been a referendum campaign ongoing.
This is a no win situation for Scotland and I fear the consequences after a No vote is inevitably returned.
Many an argument has been written in these pages that an independent Scotland would have a brighter shipbuilding future building its own fleet of warships. So presumably Scotland would have a policy of not building warships in foreign countries, or would England be allowed to bid for these?
Perhaps the Deputy First Minister should tell us now.
I’ve just read a full-page piece by Alf Young (Perspective, 9 November). His article leads with and seems to try and finish with the idea that Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is incorrect in viewing the fact that Norway built 100 ships last year as a positive role model for Scotland.
He lists lots of facts and figures about who owned what company when. But there is absolutely nothing in the article which actually counters Nicola Sturgeon’s positive optimism for what we can achieve.
It remains the case that Norway did build 100 ships and there is nothing to stop Scotland doing the same in future other than our being run by a UK parliament that will always be more interested in developing London’s financial markets than making anything, whether that’s in Scotland, Portsmouth or wherever.
I waded through an almost full-page spread of the unions taking Nicola Sturgeon to task about the Clyde Shipyards (9 November).
In their view, only a No vote would maintain them, and the SNP was playing politics. Along with this was a piece quoting a retired Black Watch Lieutenant General, who was of the view that Scotland would be less well defended if independent.
On page 17, I found a few short paragraphs informing me that Scottish farmers were going to lose out on an EU payment known as “convergence uplift”.
This money was given on the basis of Scotland’s need, but the UK government is spreading it over the whole of the UK, rich farming areas included.
The first two instances are pure supposition. The third is fact. Surely we can expect more balanced reporting than this at such an important time in Scotland’s history.
Newbattle Abbey Crescent