‘Leak’ worthy of Machiavelli

RE LAST week’s story of the Downing Street “rogue minister’s leaked briefing” against the official UK government ­position on currency union.

Oddly the fantasy scenario suggested of the pound being shared in exchange for the retention of Faslane was exactly the same as that presented in a Radio Scotland drama, Dividing The Union, broadcast on 24 March. Well, politicians have got to get their ideas from somewhere.

The play allows us to eavesdrop on private, post-Yes vote negotiations between Salmond and Cameron. There are some fairly genteel Machiavellian twists to the negotiations, but the parting shot is that Cameron is secretly delighted at the Yes vote, since the UK is now effectively a one-party state in perpetuity.

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This issue, that English Tories would be more than happy to see the back of what they perceive as expensive, troublesome, soon to be oil-poor Scotland, cannot be openly voiced by the official No campaign as they feel the need to show cross-party unity. Westminster Tories, of course, have to make the right noises because, apart from anything else, their open support for independence would strengthen the No position. So we can expect plenty of real world Machiavellian goings-on, such as this story, which is surely a case of the Tories pseudo-leaking to undermine their own official position.

Douglas Gibb, East Lothian

NICOLA Sturgeon’s rush to welcome the so-called revelation on currency union, with its proposed deal involving the Clyde nuclear bases, confirms that her side’s line on those bases has been bluff and bluster too. So the story embarrasses her side no less than the other, and this will grow more apparent with scrutiny, after the one-sidedness of all the initial reaction.

Amid this row, a far more direct concern to voters’ personal and family lives than either of these issues has missed any attention. Shockingly the White Paper threatens to effect a new Clearances, by its policy for citizenship by descent for Scottish children and grandchildren born in exile to parents who emigrated.

It does not make it an automatic entitlement: I checked this at a Yes public meeting and heard direct from the SNP that they want the state to retain a discretion to say no to any of these citizenship applications. If the British or EU free travel areas break down, this will affect who can live here, divide families and close their own country to some of our own offspring, contrary to ECHR article 8, where the Union keeps it open.

Maurice Frank, South Queensferry