Letter: Tories' shame

Brian Monteith (Comment, 22 November) is right to say "many Scottish Conservatives need to lose their shame and their guilt for what happened in the past" and that, in order to tell their own story of why Scotland is as it is and where they want to take it, "they must first extol the virtues of being Scottish rather than British".

The simplest solution to their problem stares them in their fearful faces. If they were to declare for Scottish independence, they would instantly regain respectability. After all, they claim to seek maximum independence for individuals but shudder at the thought of wee, sleekit, cowering Scotland out in the wide world, bereft of England's (very dubious) protection.

On a practical note, they survive politically in Scottish only by courtesy of Donald Dewar's mildly proportional Scottish Parliament voting system.

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Yet they are the one UK party totally thirled to the claimed virtues of Westminster's first-past-the-post system, which deprived them of any Scottish MPs in 1997 and has held them to a single representative since. Let them declare for single transferable voting now and see the change in their opinion ratings.

Robin MacCormick

Dalkeith Road


I was surprised by the amount of vitriol expressed (Letters, 22 November) over the views of Lord Young, and I fear he has been misunderstood. In Scotland it is less easy to see that "many people have never had it so good" than in the well heeled south-east of England.

As an ex-pat Scot living in this area, I would say there is little sign of recession around here; large, new 4x4s and block-paved driveways for them to stand on are still being steadily supplied, and the building boom for executive houses and premium flats continues, many of them being sold to London commuters. These people are having it as good as they always did, if not better.

As for Lord Young "showing true Tory colours" - if only! Sadly, he has now resigned.

Even those who despise Thatcherites, especially in Scotland, should still credit him with his reports on rolling back red tape and health and safety legislation.

Samuel Young (no relation)

Tylers Green