Letters: Holyrood should proclaim principled stance on Trident

I was gobsmacked by the complete absence of the dreaded T word in the ‘Scotland’s Future’ handout. Of all the reasons for being proud of the Scottish government, I think none is greater than its rejection of Trident and this is not even mentioned.

This is its trump card in the referendum and is not being played. Apart from saving on the colossal running costs and the £100 billion for its replacement, complete rejection is the only principled position to take on nuclear WMD, and the Scottish government has taken it.

Following Scottish independence, the British government can make a virtue out of necessity and quietly disarm its nuclear WMD or it can huff and puff as hard as it can, but it cannot force Trident on a Scotland which has outlawed nuclear weapons in a written constitution. Either way, Trident is toast.

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A new democratic Scotland can play a leading role in promoting an international treaty outlawing nuclear weapons and join the majority of the world’s states which want this.

We can abandon the politics of power and domination that have characterized Britain’s imperial history and build an alternative polity of sharing, social justice, cooperation and peace. In opposing Trident, the Scottish Government has taken the first step towards building a new society.

Overthrowing the obscene state idol of Trident will be the genesis of a new beginning for Scotland and a beacon of hope for humanity.

Why on earth does the Scottish government not trumpet this loud and proud?

Brian M Quail, Hyndland Avenue, Glasgow

Independent Scotland faces claims on oil

There are two issues concerning the referendum which I still feel have not been adequately confronted. One is the question of oil revenues should Scotland vote for independence.

Alex Salmond appears to be saying how rich we would become were we to have all the oil money, but oil was not extracted from the North Sea by Scotland. It was a huge exercise involving the multinational oil companies and the UK government. So is it possible, let alone probable, that Scotland would be entitled to all the revenues after independence?

Second, why, in the event of independence not working out as the SNP would have us believe, could we not re-join the Union? Who has decreed that this vote would be final?

I have never seen an explanation for this in the articles I have read, but perhaps the English would not want Scotland back once it had chosen to leave!

Ann C Chandley, Comely Bank, Edinburgh

UK will need Scotland to keep using sterling

First Minister Alex Salmond has confirmed that after a ‘Yes’ vote an independent Scotland will continue to use the pound and that it would be in the best interests of Scotland and the rest of the UK to enter into a currency union. The Fiscal Commission, which includes two Nobel economics laureates also supports a currency union.

It is clear that the Bank of England has made contingencies for a currency union in the event of a ‘Yes’ vote in the referendum.

Leader of the ‘No’ campaign, Alistair Darling in an interview with the BBC’s Gordon Brewer, stated that in the event of independence there may well be a currency union between Scotland and the rest of the UK and that it would be ‘desirable’ and ‘logical’.

Tory depute leader Jackson Carlaw stated in a BBC debate that he would “be manning the barricades” to keep the pound after a ‘Yes’ vote.

Why have these senior politicians indicated support for a currency union in the event of a ‘Yes’ vote? I suggest it is because the Scottish economy makes such an important contribution to the UK balance of payments, the underpinning of the pound sterling, the UK’s AAA rating and interest rates, not forgetting Scotland’s payments towards the UK national debt. It would also be the best solution for businesses operating across Scotland and the rUK minimizing transaction costs.

It beggars belief that, after a ‘Yes’ vote, any UK government would block the contribution that Scottish industry and natural resources make to underpinning the value of the pound and place the burden of this loss on rUK businesses and taxpayers by increasing taxes and more austerity.

AC Martin, Walden Place, Gifford East Lothian

State control fears in Salmond’s new world

in common with every household in Scotland, I received an expensive 12-page leaflet promoting the cause of independence. Its preparation, printing and distribution were paid for, not by the ‘Yes’ campaign, but by the taxpayer. Nor will it count against the Yes campaign’s costs.

Alex Salmond says decisions will be made in Scotland. What he doesn’t say is that, under his rule, more and more power and decision-making have moved from local communities to the centre.

We now have one prison service, one ambulance service, one fire service and one police force, all controlled by him and his ministers. But another even more sinister development is taking place.

Traditionally, the British civil service has always stopped short of promoting party political causes. Under Salmond, the Scottish civil service is becoming increasingly politicised.

He keeps bending the rules for his own ends. The offending leaflet contains, not factual information from the Government but the usual SNP assertions.

I do not want to live in a country completely controlled by the state. That is why I am definitely voting ‘No’ on 18 September.

Henry L Philip, Grange Loan, Edinburgh