Readers' Letters: Independent Scotland would be a true Utopia

Helen Hughes says “objective financial evidence” means Scotland is too poor to be independent (Letters, 22 July). What evidence? The Tory-rigged GERS accounts reflecting Scotland’s position as a UK region that sends more than half its revenue to Westminster and gets less than half back as pocket money to run our public services?

A quick examination of the objective facts shows her assertion is ludicrous. With just over 8 per cent of the UK’s population, Scotland gets just 3.5 per cent of the “Levelling Up” funds, a fraction of what we lost from the EU fund when we were forcibly ejected from the Single Market. On top of that, the Scottish Government will spend an additional £6 million per year to mitigate Westminster cuts.

Brexit has hit Scotland’s export-driven economy hardest and the OECD predicts the UK will tie with Russia for last place amongst the world’s advanced economies. An independent Scotland would rejoin the EU.

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Energy-rich Scotland produces nearly all its electricity from the cheapest energy source, renewables. Yet Scots pay the highest bills because Westminster controls energy policy, pricing it at the most expensive unit, which is gas. An independent Scotland would slash energy prices.

Renewables would mean cheaper fuel bills were Scotland not part of the UK, predicts reader (Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)Renewables would mean cheaper fuel bills were Scotland not part of the UK, predicts reader (Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Renewables would mean cheaper fuel bills were Scotland not part of the UK, predicts reader (Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

The UK pays the lowest state pension in Europe. 16 per cent of male and 20 per cent of female pensioners live in poverty. An independent Scotland would, like its Nordic neighbours, pay a better pension, ending pensioner poverty.

Restoring Scotland’s independence means a fairer, more equal, prosperous and internationally focused nation.

Leah Gunn Barrett, Edinburgh

Behind Foulkes

As he is a supporter of Edinburgh’s second team, it is rarely I agree with Lord Foulkes on matters of football. But his view – that the SNP should be curtailed in illegally using taxpayer money towards their dream of breaking up the UK – I agree with entirely. The thought of even the possibility of civil servants being used to peddle SNP party political propaganda is horrifying but sadly will surprise no one who follows Scottish politics in 2022. I wish George Foulkes every success in trying to put a stop to this latest affront to democracy.

Alexander McKay, Edinburgh


The Conservative Party members will now decide between Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak as to who will be our next Prime Minister, and although they have been chosen as the top two contenders by their fellow MPs, neither candidate shows real leadership qualities, and a good second in command does not necessarily make the transition to the top job.

As Chancellor Sunak brought the country through Covid, and Liz Truss achieved many plus points as Foreign Minister, but the Tory Party may regret kicking out Boris Johnson whose swansong was “hasta la vista” but could also be “I'll be back”.

James Macintyre, Linlithgow, West Lothian

Do different?

You report that either Tory leadership candidate “will damage Scotland”, (July 22) but let’s focus on the issues at hand for a moment and not the personalities. Both candidates are agreed that the cost of living crisis is the priority consideration, and few people in Scotland will argue differently. We are all on the same page. One candidate thinks we need to get money into people’s pockets quickly, and the best way to do that is to cut taxes. The other thinks that inflation is the real danger, and that we need to be more cautious in the very short term.

Scottish politicians are throwing in their tuppence worth, but without saying what it is that they would do, and this is the issue. What would they do differently? The question is important because we have a Scottish parliament. That parliament was set up to allow us to make different choices if we felt we needed to, and it has the tax varying powers to do so. If politicians here are not willing to use these powers, then what is the point of having a parliament?

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We cannot have a situation this summer where everyone is throwing dirt at the two candidates standing to be Prime Minister, while politicians here in the pretendy parliament get a free ride. Whose interests would that be serving?

Victor Clements, Aberfeldy, Perthshire

A farce

Interesting to see that the Tory leadership candidates who were too afraid to go head to head with their rivals are now the two who are the final contenders. It shows what a farce the whole contest was to start with. Tory MPs had evidently already made up their minds as to the most malleable candidates before the pantomime had even begun.Whoever wins will, of course, be a mere puppet for the taxpayer-funded, sinister and secret European Research Group.So without doubt our new PM will be the utterly clueless Liz Truss.This is Tory “democracy” in action.

D Mitchell, Edinburgh

Too many rights

The UK left the EU on 31 January 2019. Two and a half years on we still do not have control of our borders. The migrants are still pouring into the country in large numbers, mainly male. It wouldn’t take a professor in maths to count how many are refugees in the true sense of the word. If they are fleeing war and persecution where are their families?

We must, as various politicians have threatened to do, become detached from the European Court of Human Rights as doing so will let us run our own systems on migration. Britain must be made very unattractive to all but genuine asylum seekers and refugees. The economic migrants will then think twice about risking their lives in rubber boats to get here.

Ian Balloch, Grangemouth, Falkirk

Slow… progress?

It was interesting to read yesterday that the SNP government has set up more than 400 boards, commissions, taskforces, forums, reviews, panels etc to look into various aspects of life in Scotland. Five of the nine public enquiries set up since 2007 are still ongoing and the review into education reform has been running without resolution for 20 years… not to mention the 2007 pledge to replace the Council Tax (it's only 15 years late).

This tells me two things. Firstly, this SNP government is incapable of making meaningful decisions; and secondly, the two ferries, comparatively speaking, are doing not too badly!

Jim Houston, Edinburgh

Herd, not seen

The basic fact is that our essential public utilities have been turned into privately owned monopoly businesses, where entrepreneurs, investors, shareholders – and fraudsters, even – can make millions for themselves, while we, as captive consumers, must buy their product at whatever price they choose, as recent events so clearly illustrate.

We are – in simple terms – a herd of 68 million people being systematically harvested.

Malcolm Parkin, Kinross, Perth & Kinross

COP out

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The article by Martyn McLaughlin, "Conservative leadership race offering little hope in climate crisis" (Perspective, 20 July) was accompanied by a picture of eco-demonstrators. The caption said: “Less than a year has passed since the COP26 summit, but the UK's commitment to net zero is already in doubt”. I have news for Mr McLaughlin, the world's commitment to net zero is already in doubt –- no make that has vanished – as an energy-starved world turns to coal due to natural gas and oil shortages caused by the Russia/Ukraine war. China will buy gas from Russia for the next 30 years and Russia will supply India with 40 million tonnes of coal and China with 100 million tonnes.

Green solidarity? The climate pledges made by 195 countries at COP26 have mostly been abandoned. Sri Lanka's collapse into anarchy was caused by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s ban on fertilisers causing crop yields to collapse. For the Sri Lankan people going green meant going hungry. UK Net Zero by 2050 will cost £3 trillion, which is £45,000 for every man, woman and child. This is unsustainable. Do politicians ever do their sums before announcing green policies? All this pain for 1.13 per cent of global emissions whilst countries burn fossil fuels to keep their light on and for economic survival.

Clark Cross, Linlithgow, West Lothian

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Sizewell sea

A UK government webpage on the topic of climate change says “Sea levels will keep rising as the polar ice sheets and glaciers melt and the warming oceans expand. Even small increases of tens of centimetres could put thousands of lives and settlements at risk from coastal flooding”.

The government obviously doesn't believe this as they've just announced the go-ahead of Sizewell C nuclear power station and, judging by the TV footage, the construction site is only a few feet above sea level and right next to the sea.

Geoff Moore, Alness, Highland

Old news?

All the excitement and breastbeating about the recent high temperatures has reminded me of a photograph in a science textbook I had at school in 1943. It showed railway lines in southern England prodigiously distorted by the heat of the sun. It had been taken in the 1920s or ‘30s.

S Beck, Edinburgh

Blended laughs

Your correspondent who muses on the mixed race families so prominent in adverts in the UK might like to check out the song/sketch by BBC3 comedy team Famalam entitled “Inter-racial Couples Selling Stuff”. It is available on YouTube and is very amusing.

S M Duthie, Edinburgh

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