However, whether this is true or not, this question, while it might be of importance in some future general election campaign, is irrelevant to the case for independence.
The point about independence is that it would enable Scottish governments of any hue to decide on these priorities without reference to Westminster.
Whether there is incompatibility and which should take priority would be decided by the government at the time in the best interests of the Scottish people.
Mr Hamilton’s letter exemplifies a general defect of the referendum debate, which is its obsession with current short-term party political issues (such as the bedroom tax, the funding of child care and taxation policy) which should be settled by an independent government – whether SNP or not – but which do not have to be endlessly debated now.
The case for independence rests not on the best answer to these questions, but whether or not an independent Scottish Government should be the one deciding them.
Similarly, on the question of EU membership, which Mr Hamilton raises, it would seem better for future terms to be negotiated for Scotland by a Scottish government, rather than by Westminster following a UK in/out referendum and then possible new terms of membership with the overwhelming power of decision lying, understandably, with the majority of voters in England.
Gullane, East Lothian