The Nationalist case for independence rests heavily on the contention that Scotland would benefit economically. Suggested figures vary but we are assured that we will all be better off.
There are very many reasons why this is highly unlikely to be the case, not least because of the potential flight of people and resources. When similar policies to those suggested by the SNP came into force in France, the exodus was swift and extensive. The economic impact has been disastrous, causing France to swing sharply to the political right.
However, if we are seeking independence because we will benefit financially then so much for our much vaunted egalitarian instincts.
Our resources and talents should be turned to improving the lives of all UK citizens, particularly those who need our support. Without doubt the region of the UK with the worst social and economic circumstances is Wales.
Our most famous socialist son, Keir Hardie, represented a Welsh constituency for most of his political life, and an English one for a shorter period before that.
He drew no distinction between the working classes of any particular part of the United Kingdom. The idea that we should “take the money and run” is utterly abhorrent to those of us who have always valued solidarity and mutual support.
The natural corollary of the Nationalist case would be for every relatively prosperous region of the UK to declare itself independent and allow less advantaged areas to go to the wall.
The instinct towards solidarity and mutuality is the basis of the Labour Party’s unqualified opposition to independence.
Contrast this with the situation in Germany. As a united country Germany had only existed since 1871.
Yet in 1990 when the opportunity to reunite East and West Germany arrived the Germans seized it.
They opted to pay an extra, temporary, tax to assist former East Germany to recover from the years under communist rule. They are still paying it.
The West Germans in particular put unity and solidarity above economic gain. Maybe winning the World Cup is part of their reward.
Robert Burns wrote: “That Man to Man, the world o’er, Shall brothers be for a’ that.” This obviously means little to the Nationalist cause.
Nigel May (Letters, 15 July) profoundly misunderstands where we are at now in the independence debate. Like him, I wish to live in a “social democratic country where the difference between rich and poor is much less”, but the opportunity to bring that about in Britain has long since passed – in approximately 1946-50.
Clement Attlee’s government made an honourable attempt to transform society but that foundered in the ruthless counter-revolution of the old school tie brigade, which ensured that the established order remained in place.
It still is (judging by the Butler-Sloss fiasco) arrogantly, and – alas, correctly – under the impression that Britain is theirs to rule.
Mr May uses the pejorative term “cut and run” to describe Scotland’s desire to rule itself. Does he seriously think that England has the desire and ability to bring about the leftish social revolution he longs for?
Scotland hung in there for a century, hoping to be the catalyst for social revolution in Britain. It will not happen now unless the English people want it – a remote possibility. The Scots cannot wait, nor should they. The time is now.
If we lose the vote in September, we will have thrown away a golden opportunity to remake our society in a way which is – although inevitably imperfect – much closer to what we want and deserve.
It will certainly come, but why lose ten years or so of rebuilding and recreating our extraordinary nation?
Coupar Angus Perthshire