Scapegoat search

In his zeal for pursuing Alex Salmond on the question of the SNP’s attitude to the euro and on bank losses, Alf Young (Perspective, 14 January) has surely lost all sense of reality.

In one breath he accuses Salmond of maintaining a Trappist silence on the euro and in the next he concedes that the eurozone may not exist by 2014.

If the eurozone’s own members, including Merkel and Sarkozy, do not know the future of the eurozone, what point is there in pressing Salmond for a definitive view of Scotland’s future relationship three years hence?

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The SNP’s current position, that an independent Scotland would adopt sterling until its currency options are clarified, seems eminently sensible.

Young’s comments on the plight of Scottish banking are equally out of focus. He seeks to equate Salmond’s comments as First Minister and cheerleader for Scottish business in the case of the Royal Bank of Scotland’s bid for ABN Amro with formal responsibility for the supervision and regulation of the UK’s banks.

There is no equivalence. The devolution settlement firmly reserved banking regulation to Westminster and that is where both the public responsibility and the financial liabilities lie.

It would make as much sense to attribute the costs of the RBS bailout to Scotland as to bill Newcastle City Council for the costs of the salvage of Northern Rock or the ratepayers of West Yorkshire for the costs of the rescue of Bradford and Bingley.

If Young is looking for scapegoats for the plight of Scottish banking today, he could start with Scottish MPs Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling, stout Unionists both.

Stephen Maxwell

Findhorn Place

Edinburgh