Letter: SNP's problem goes beyond linguistics

Professor James Mitchell (Perspective, 10 May) will have to do much better than claim the SNP's problem is one of linguistics rather than conception, as it strives to persuade its members and supporters that its position on independence has not really changed.

It is this approach that makes it necessary to distort out of all recognition the position of traditional (a much more apt term than fundamentalist) nationalists in order to legitimise the volte face in important policy positions that has taken place under the current SNP leadership.

I know of no traditional nationalist who argued in favour of isolationism, which is repeatedly claimed by Professor Mitchell and others.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Interdependence is as old as trade itself and pre-dates Andrew Fletcher by some several hundred years, therefore to argue that, pre-Salmond, the SNP had no grasp of the reality of the concept of independence is sheer nonsense.

There are several points on which I could take issue with Professor Mitchell's analysis, but in the interests of space, the currency will have to suffice.

Tradionally, the SNP argued with perfect justification that London-set interest rates with the interests of London and the south-east of England taking priority. It was also argued, again with justification, that London control of monetary policy actually damaged the Scottish economy. For those reasons, the SNP argued in favour of an independent Scottish currency.

The current policy of the SNP is to allow London to continue to set interest rates and control monetary policy after Scotland attains independence, and until Scots vote to join the Euro.

In the event that Scotland rejects the Euro, control of the currency will remain with London. It will take a great deal more than mere linguistics to explain that volte face.

That is not interdependence, it is dependence and places the Scottish economy in exactly the same position as it occupies now.

I suggest that over the next three years, if the SNP spend time struggling with linguistics, it will be in an effort to persuade their own members and supporters that what is on offer even resembles independence.

Jim Fairlie

Heathcote Road


Andrew Gray (Letters, 21 May) refers to the union of 1707 as "a partnership cemented into a marriage".

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It was reported that the bells of St Giles' Cathedral played the tune Why Should I Be Sad on My Wedding Day? on 1 May, 1707. Does anyone now know the words or the tune?

What should be played, and by whom (if the bells of St Giles can no longer play tunes), when the supposed marriage is terminated?

We know that the Scottish people in general in 1706 were opposed to the union but that members of our then parliament agreed to it, at least in some cases, because of the threat of invasion and an imposed union on less favourable terms if it was not accepted.

Arguably a wedding obtained by threat of force requires an annulment rather than a divorce.

David Stevenson

Blacket Place


George Cormack (Letters, 23 May) suggests that if the SNP had gained a majority in 2007 Scotland would now be in the same position as Ireland, Greece and Portugal.

That's rather like saying if Tony Blair's father had used a condom there would have been no war in Iraq.

Graeme McCormick


by Loch Lomond

The conclusion of Labour MPs (your report, 21 May), that the UK government's inability to collect 2.8 billion of corporation tax, displays truly bizarre prejudice when Labour MP Willie Bain states that this undermines the case for corporation tax being devolved to Scotland.

Surely the exact opposite is true.

Just why do Labour MPs want to leave powers over Scotland in the hands of the Tories at Westminster rather than the Scottish Parliament, which is the most democratic forum representing the Scottish people?

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

This bad behaviour pattern of Labour was repeated on the BBC's Politics Show when another Labour MP, Ann McKechin, in seeming coalition on similar issues with the hapless Lib Dems, further agreed to keep powers away from the Scottish people.

A "can do" attitude was far from their mutual approach.

Labour, having emerged from the Scottish elections with 19 per cent of the first-past-the-post seats, will have to start demonstrating quickly that its MPs can think differently and better than its former MSPs, or the same fate surely awaits the party too if it blocks Scotland's path to progress and prosperity.

Angus B MacNeil MP

SNP - Na h-Eileanan an Iar

Isle of Barra

Outer Hebrides