Bruce almighty

One of the great mysteries of the Scottish character is our refusal - or that of some of us, such as Robert Veitch (Letters, 29 June) - to recognise and give due respect to what is outstanding in our country's history.

Robert Bruce (who was neither Anglo nor Norman; his family had been of the Scottish nobility for six generations before him) restored and secured Scotland's independence and the defeat of a foreign aggressor power, in a career which provides one of the most extraordinary examples in all history of leadership, military and political skill, and personal courage and endurance.

That simple fact is the basis for the Declaration of Arbroath, and the reason why it is still celebrated. And as to Mr Veitch's fantasy of "400 years or so of misery for the Scottish people" following Bruce's victory, does he imagine that if Scotland had been conquered and subjected to English rule it would have enjoyed a future of unblemished peace, prosperity and happiness - like Ireland, perhaps?

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DERRICK McCLURE

Rosehill Terrace

Aberdeen