The myth of the more progressive Scots

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One of the many myths presented by the SNP-led Yes campaign is that the people of Scotland should vote for independence because we are different politically, culturally and embrace different values from our friends and family south of the Border.

What they actually mean (but do not say implicitly) is that Scots are in some way better and have more progressive views than the peoples of England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

This is blatant nationalist nonsense and the height of SNP arrogance. This “wha’s like us” attitude needs to be challenged and I find it extremely offensive that Alex Salmond and his supporters portray Scottish society as somehow morally superior.

I think the facts speak for themselves – sad to say, but 28 per cent of those who voted in the European election in 
Scotland voted for right-wing parties.

As a socialist I find I have more in common culturally, politically and socially with working-class people in 
Tyneside, Merseyside and 
indeed London than I have with many of my compatriots.

I hope that people will see through, and reject, this narrow nationalist argument.

Norman Murray

Clayknowes Drive

Musselburgh

C Hegarty and the five others who comment on Ukip’s rise (Letters, 27 May) highlight some interesting points about the change that is 
taking place.

Another major factor to emerge is that, at a total of 371,864 votes the right of centre parties (Conservative and Ukip combined) in Scotland polled more than Labour (348,219) and almost as many as the SNP (389,503). Most folk seem to agree that Scottish politics now differs considerably from politics in England, where mention of a Conservative/Ukip pact is anathema.

But here in Scotland such a pact of the resurgent right would bring a refreshing change to the dreary, long discredited Old Labour socialism most of our backward-looking politicians seem to be wedded to.

The question is: is the Scottish Conservative Party free enough of London rule to go for it?

Irvine Inglis

Reston

Berwickshire

Without wishing to appear to be indulging in a degree of schadenfreude, it appears as if, in the wake of the David Coburn Ukip gain in Scotland, the SNP and Alex Salmond are in some disarray. Yet Salmond still insists that the results were a success and a real vote of confidence in the SNP. Oh really?

Salmond appears to utterly ignore the fact that many people in Scotland have seen through his relentless spin and bluster. These are the same people who will foil his ultimate aim of destroying the UK.

What has happened is a direct response from the silent majority who have continually been ignored on a wide range of issues, including immigration and the imposition of same-sex marriage on an unwilling and increasingly hostile public.

It is the arrogant, left-wing, single-mindedness of Salmond and his cohorts that is creating the conditions for Ukip to succeed and will be the ultimate undoing of the current SNP administration.

Brian Allan

Keith Street

Kincardine-on-Forth

Alex Salmond asserts that an independent Scotland, free from the shackles of Westminster, will be fully in charge of its own destiny.

However, this assertion is at odds with his desire to be a member of the EU, membership of which, so he asserts again, would be almost automatic.

Across the UK, many hundreds of thousands of voters in the European elections registered their dissatisfaction with the EU and its control over many aspects of the way the UK is governed.

Unless there is a dramatic change in the near future in the organisation of the EU, its legislative powers and its authority, an independent Scotland would not be in charge of its own destiny.

This is just another example of Mr Salmond’s and the SNP’s wishful thinking and their attempts to deceive the Scottish electorate.

Stuart Smith

West Lennox Drive

Helensburgh

The victory of Ukip down South is another reason for voting Yes in the referendum. Ukip has been helped by a wave of anti-immigration sentiment whipped up by downmarket tabloids in England.

The only subject Nigel Farage ever talks about is immigration.

Ukip’s other policies are hidden. It wants to bring in an American-style health system whereby only those who can afford it get treatment; it supports the imposition of a flat tax; and it wants to restrict the right to strike, to abolish maternity leave, environmental regulations and the Scottish Parliament.

It supports austerity and has called for a further £77 billion in cuts over those already being enacted by the coalition. Ukip is not a new phenomena. Its leaders are extreme adherents of Thatcher’s ideology that so devastated Scotland in the past.

Alan Hinnrichs

Gillespie Terrace

Dundee

Although I didn’t vote for Ukip, I can’t help thinking some of the criticisms in print of those who did are a bit “holier than thou”, to say the least.

I know people who voted Ukip and they did so after considerable thought and discussion.

It may well be Nigel Farage is as much of a self-server as are most other politicians, but there are two things about him which might influence voters in his favour.

First, he appears not to use pompous rhetoric about his party’s aims, and admits his lack of knowledge of specialist areas, instead of trying to make it up.

Second, and more important, he and his party appear to advance the cause of the working class – or rather, those working people who in the past would have done decent and respectable semi-skilled jobs and contributed their time and effort to the local community.

Now, in a “knowledge-based economy” (itself a misnomer as it’s better termed a clerical-based one), such people have few jobs to perform and are then vilified for being 
unemployed – hence their fears about immigration, even if these fears lack substance.

Others have written about the demonisation of the working class, but by acting as though it is the voice of this group, it’s hardly surprising that Ukip has attracted significant support.

Instead of wholesale criticism of the party, politicians of all sides need to understand what it appears to offer to marginalised and disaffected people.

(Dr) Mary Brown

Dalvenie Road

Banchory

Amid all the hysteria over Ukip narrowly grabbing the bottom MEP spot in the Scottish regional European constituency, it should be remembered that the political gap between Scotland and England has actually widened since 2009.

In 2009, Ukip got 16.5 per cent of the vote in the UK as a whole and only 5.2 per cent in Scotland, but in this year’s Euro election Ukip won in the UK with a 27.5 per cent share of the vote, yet only scraped into fourth place in Scotland with 10.5 per cent, resulting in a much increased differential gap of 17 per cent.

However, if Scotland was independent and a proper country with 13 MEPs, like Denmark and other countries of our size, the 2014 Euro results in Scotland would result, assuming one-all Scotland region, in the following allocation of seats: four SNP, four Labour, two Conservative, one Ukip, one Green and one Lib Dem, and would much better reflect Scotland’s preferences.

Fraser Grant

Warrender Park Road

Edinburgh

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