Separate issues

Last week was markedly instructive about the nature of the SNP and its reasoning. We first saw Joan McAlpine reveal an intolerant contempt for elected politicians (and, by extension, electors) who did not happen to share her separatist stance.

Then George Kerevan, a recent Nationalist candidate, betrayed to us the real reason for the delayed referendum date when he opined that he was “betting” that after five years of austerity, the Scots would “take a chance “ on independence (Perspective, 14 January).

We already knew that the postponement of the referendum for as long as possible was purely to give the separatist party maximum political advantage and was neither in the interests of democracy nor of the best interests of the Scottish people.

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And yet here also was proof, at one blow, that even senior SNP thinkers see independence as being something of a gamble and that the Scottish electorate is expected to take a risk, faute de mieux [for lack of anything better], on an independent Scotland.

What a truly frightening manifesto.


Ardwell Policy

York Road

North Berwick

I have contacted friends in Norway, Australia and Canada for their opinion should one of their MPs state that his country should not be independent.

They all said they would consider such a politician non-patriotic and would have him expelled from parliament.

Is this confirmation that Joan McAlpine was right in her accusation that Unionist politicians are anti-Scottish?

Donald J MacLeod

Woodcroft Avenue

Bridge of Don, Aberdeen

It is interesting to note the unveiling of a UK government commission (your report, 15 January) that will look into the West Lothian Question, ie whether Scottish MPs should be allowed to vote on English-only matters.

Putting the independence referendum aside for the moment, I have some sympathy with the concerns underlying this issue and agree that in the interests of democracy, fairness and equality this matter requires to be addressed.

However, I would also suggest that while the commission deliberates, it also looks at the unfair situation within the UK government Cabinet, where “English only” remit ministers (such as education and health) have a place in Cabinet and therefore a say in matters outwith their ministerial remit.

In addition, and I accept this is more of a constitutional matter, what about the absolutely undemocratic and unfair situation within the House of Lords – where 26 Church of England Bishops sit as a right?

No other religious organisation is given this privilege; albeit some individuals have seats based on their personal contribution to society.

Bob Bertram

Main Street