Fear is key to rational decision-making

Fear has become a prominent issue in the referendum debate. If someone asserts that they have no fears, concerns or doubts when faced with a decision of this magnitude, then that person is no longer in a position to look for any dangers or potential problems arising from such a ­decision.

He or she won’t see any danger because they will not be looking for it. I would consider myself foolish to ever follow such a course.

Fear is the natural and positive response of a rational and thinking human being to the dangers around us.

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Having a reasonable amount of fear is not an impediment to progress; it is our guide to safe progress.

I always ensure that my family and I are belted up when we get in the car because I have a fear of the consequences if I don’t.

This does not prevent us getting to our destination, but increases our chances of getting there safely without serious injury or worse.

The way people’s entirely natural and rational fears and concerns are being portrayed as a “negative” in the current campaign is disturbing and 

We all have hopes and fears, and we should never have one without the other. So thank goodness for fear, because without it we would not have made it this far.

Austin Mckenna

Harvest Street


Alex Salmond has just claimed that Scotland would face the “severest cuts in political history” should the country vote to remain within the United Kingdom.
Some might call that scaremongering.

Jane Ann Liston

Largo Road

St Andrews

As an undecided voter I watched with interest the Scottish Government’s white paper launch on Wednesday.

Like most fair-minded people I was left with the impression that there were a few headline-grabbing ideas that were workable but also other aspects – the form of currency, EU membership etc – that 
deserve further scrutiny.

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With this in mind I looked forward to the TV 
debates planned for later that evening. Goodness me, what an eye-opener.

If Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael is the Unionist
“attack dog” the Better 
Together team needs to think again. Frankly, he was taken apart by Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in a totally embarrassing performance and I would suggest he does his homework before facing the nation again.

Equally, Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont fared no better, while Scottish finance secretary John Swinney was given a free ride.

The No campaign may be ahead in the polls but I think Better Together will be sending a mayday to London for reinforcements if this is the best it can muster against what is a highly affective 
Nationalist leadership.

George Taylor

Christiemiller Avenue


Last week, the owner of a substantial and successful Scottish private business was asked what effect he thought independence would have on his company.

His biggest fear, he said, was alienating his English customer base, resulting in lost sales to English equivalent product.

With the escalating heat of the debate and the Braveheart and antagonistic approach of the SNP, it is clear, in my view, that the upcoming months are going to become full of bitterness and hatred. A very likely outcome is that Scotland would be a net loser in any national trade war. England is our biggest and most prized customer and ten times our size.

The First Minister is generating, through his belligerent demands, a potential commercial disaster for Scottish companies which sell products to England where there is an English-based alternative.
Beware the law of unintended consequence.

Jimmy Armstrong

Abergeldie Road


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Canon Alan Hughes (Letters, 29 November) raises the issue of those living in the north of England having no say in the Scottish independence referendum.

The solution is to have a second referendum for those in Cumbria and Northumberland in which they are asked if they wish to become part of an independent Scotland.

I suggest that there should be three constituencies: those living north of the River Tweed; those living north of the line of Hadrian’s Wall; and those to the south of that wall.

Sandy Gemmill

Warriston Gardens


Now that the SNP’s white paper proves that Scots could prosper under an independent Scotland, perhaps the No supporters of the dependency parties can now see just how Westminster has, over centuries, deliberately undermined Scotland’s status to that of nothing more than a hinterland of Britain, and in consequence must be dependent on England.

For 300 years we’ve been force-fed the notion that a bedraggled nation like ours is too insignificant, too weak and too puny to stand on its own. And after hundreds of years, we have all but believed in their dependency strategy. Clever isn’t the word.

Well, no more. And I now expect the No supporters to echo that. Never again should we be sneered at, demeaned, cheapened and made to feel like England’s country bumpkins. We should, all of us, rid Scotland forever of the bedroom tax, “heat or eat” culture, low wages, benefit cuts and low regard for human values despite having trillions of pounds of oil money.

Let there be an end for good to their dreadful legacy of poverty.

Robert Gritton

Glen Drive