We won’t be blackmailed on defence

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So there we have it. The man who has decimated the Scottish battalions – Defence Secretary Philip Hammond – has resorted to a cheap piece of blackmail in saying that if Scotland votes for independence, the rest of the UK (rUK) will block Scotland’s membership of Nato unless Scotland retains the obscenity that is Trident (your report, 3 July).

Trident is a first-strike weapon of mass destruction, which basically means that you have to get your 
deterrence in first and as such is a huge waste of vast amounts of money which would be better spent on building a more fair, just and equal society.

Given Scotland’s geopolitical position, I’m pretty sure that the UK’s Nato partners will be viewing Mr Hammond’s intervention with concern mixed with a healthy dose of scepticism.

As “Project Fear” plumbs new depths, in Scotland 
we are entitled to ask if that is the calibre of individual who has been put in charge of the Ministry of Defence by the UK government, 
why would we want to be a part of it?

Douglas Turner

Derby Street

Edinburgh

I write in response to your report, “Fears of ‘narrow-minded’ English nationalism if Scotland goes it alone” (3 July).

The lengths to which the anti-independence camp will go are becoming more and more risible. So, if Scotland gains independence it will be to blame for a potential rise in English nationalism?

In my experience, having lived in southern England for a number of years in the 1980s and 1990s, it has always been a fairly insular, inward-looking country, one which still cannot quite believe that it is no longer an “Empire”.

Witness the current 
Westminster government’s attitude on defence for proof of that.

As for the impact of “the loss of prestige, influence and soft power by the rUK”, as viewed by the rest of the world if Scotland goes independent, again – risible.

It’s time Westminster, and England, took full responsibility for its decline on the world stage without resorting to scapegoating other countries.

C Murphy

West Calder

West Lothian

Without commenting on the content of the latest HM Treasury report on the effects of a Yes vote, and the wide coverage afforded to Vince Cable’s visit to Scotland (your report, 3 July), I cannot but wonder if it is a reasonable for the Scottish electorate, as taxpayers, to fund an 
essentially party political campaign.

This the more so because of the coalition government’s refusal to enter any discussion with the Scottish Government on the potential consequences and implications of a Yes vote.

(Emeritus Prof) Stewart Hamilton

Hillhouse Road

Edinburgh

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