Open up debate

I WISH your Unionist correspondents would have the guts to declare themselves loyal to London no matter what, just as I declare I will support Scottish independence until Hell dies of frostbite.

We keep getting nit-picking questions for clarity/public interest/to help make up their minds then, when answers are given, they respond with something finishing with a sweeping paragraph as to why they are voting No. Argue your points openly.

David K Allan (Letters, 28 December) is a good example of this trait: having posed questions and received replies, he responds with “the views of those who matter…” He then goes on to name David Cameron, George Osborne, Ed Miliband, Manuel Barroso and Herman Van Rompuy. If he had any sense, he would note that not one of these are Scottish and not one has Scotland as a priority in his political scheme of things and each has cause to treat Scotland in an off-hand manner. I don’t blame them for that.

Manuel Barroso has to keep in with the big euro countries. He prefers to ignore the fact that his homeland, Portugal, was like Scotland in being swallowed up by a bigger country through royal marriage, until it finally threw off Spanish rule. Van Rompuy comes from Belgium, a made-up country (Treaty of London) of disparate peoples which has come close to (and will) tear itself apart. He has good reason to be paranoid about people wishing to practise self-determination.

Could Mr Allan (or other Unionists) tell me how many old folk will die of malnutrition and hypothermia in the UK this winter, how many food banks will be operating next spring and will England be in the European Union in 2018?

Thomas R Burgess

St Catherine’s Square,


Once again, the Letters page is dominated by correspondents complaining about the lack of firm information on important issues surrounding the referendum on independence. The reason for the lack of information is simple: the UK government decided it was more likely to win the referendum if it kept the public in ignorance, while complaining about lack of facts.

At any time since the Edinburgh Declaration, it would have been possible for the UK and Scottish governments to sit down and discuss possible solutions to the major questions if there is a Yes vote, and also if there is a No vote. The fact that acceptable solutions could be found would greatly strengthen the Yes campaign, which is why the UK refuses to deal. There were proposals by the Tories to reduce the numbers and powers of Scottish MPs at Westminster. If there is a No vote and a Tory majority, these proposals will presumably become law. What else do they propose?

John Smart

Kinneddar Street


David Allan says that voting no in the independence referendum will ensure that we retain the monarchy, the pound, membership of Nato and the European Union (Letters, 28 December). He also complains that I personalised the debate by accusing him of failing to keep up with it. Therefore, it is with the greatest of respect that I draw his attention to David Cameron’s intention to hold a referendum on whether the UK should remain in the EU. Perhaps the safest way to ensure Scotland remains a member would be to vote Yes?

Donald Lewis’s letter on the same day typifies the No voter in that it’s full of rage and fear, but contributes little in the way of constructive dialogue. I stand by my main point that, following a Yes vote, the issues raised will be negotiated and resolved.

Returning to Mr Allan, I would like to point out that, following a Yes vote, the views of Labour’s Ed Miliband may well be relevant. However, following the sight of Tory MPs sniggering during the debate on the hundreds of thousands of UK citizens forced to use foodbanks – along with the back view of the minister allegedly in charge of welfare, Iain Duncan Smith, as he slithered from the chamber – there is a strong possibility that, come 2015, David Cameron and George Osborne will be history.

Douglas Turner

Derby Street