As Sir Charles Gray, a Labour Party member for 68 years and a former leader of Strathclyde Regional Council, said last year: “I would appeal to all Labour supporters to grasp this unique opportunity and to vote for independence. Then we can start to build the sort of country we want for our families.”
Scottish Labour’s leader and deputy leader have chosen a different road by campaigning for a No vote and I respect their right to make that choice. By the same token, however, I hope that in Perth and elsewhere they feel able to respect my right, along with that of all other members, to make a different choice if we adjudge Better Together to be merely a euphemism for more of the same.
Korstiaan Allan, Edinburgh
IT IS regrettable that Mary McCabe ignores or was not aware that Scotland was nearly bankrupt prior to the Act of Union in 1707.
A banker, William Paterson, persuaded the Scottish Government and the merchant community to invest in a venture to set up Caledonia in the
Darien region of Panama with a view to cutting short the journey from the Far East round Cape Horn by transporting goods overland and re-shipping to Scotland.
However, despite warnings that the region was a torrid jungle infested with mosquitos, a flotilla of five ships set off from Leith in 1696. Practically all personnel died through disease and hardship, and before word got back, a further two ships were dispatched, only to meet the same fate. The country was left with a debt of one-third to one-half of its wealth.
England had opted not to take part in the expedition but came to the rescue with loans to cover most of the debt and set up a bank – later to become the Royal Bank of Scotland – to administer the loans. Shortly afterwards the Scottish Parliament effectively dissolved itself and the Act of Union was formed.
The parallels with this and the Yes vote are becoming quite clear in as much as the two men with compulsive obsessions and delusions are and were ignoring warning signs. Currently we have a resurgence of bravado over our victory at Bannockburn and ignoring the failures of Culloden, Prestonpans, Flodden and Darien.
Another failure will not induce England to come to our rescue as they did with the rescue of the Royal Bank of Scotland and the Bank of Scotland.
A Sked, Fife