What’s best for Scots now is hard facts

It IS interesting that Andrew HN Gray (Letters, 29 April) tells us that what supporters of independence want “would be a seismic shock to everything we know and value”, while Alex Gallagher finds a contradiction in the inferences drawn by some supporters of independence that there are those advocating the constitutional status quo who appear to see Scots as “uniquely poor, stupid and incapable of governing themselves”.

If either of these gentlemen and others peddling support for the Union were sincere in wishing for the best outcome in the referendum for the future of the people of Scotland, they would be calling for the UK government to work with the Scottish Government to produce facts and objective assessments that could be relied upon for such important decision-making, rather than repeating scare stories or simply accepting the incongruous argument that no such information on important matters can be advanced because this could be considered as “pre-negotiation” of the referendum outcome.

Stan Grodynski


East Lothian

So, ALEX Gallagher thinks that Nationalists have an inherent feeling of inferiority that makes them Nationalists in the first place. Well, that doesn’t say much for the British Nationalists, whose fervour to be inferior spread across over a fifth of this planet’s land mass. Perhaps he had better put a stop to the Last Night of the Proms.

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Presuming his ancestral homeland is across the water to the west, has he seen fit to visit Ireland and tell them what a bunch of backward types they are with Irish Nationalist attitudes and how much better off they would be if they resubmitted to London rule?

I consider myself more than equal to the likes of him. I am not an inferior that needs outsiders to run my life for me. I refuse to grovel at the feet of London and its agents. I am a Nationalist because I believe in supporting my own country, not somebody else’s land.

I will not be lied to by smooth-faced types like Chancellor George Osborne, nor fooled by the blethers of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland, an organisation that tottered on the edge of union with its English equivalent.

Above all, I look down on Labour London Loyalists, who produce a Tory back-up merchant like Gregg McClymont MP to support Tory claims on pensions etc. Black holes in pensions, deficits and so on are due to Labour incompetence under Gordon Brown and Alastair Darling.

Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont said last week that she wanted to restore truth to politics, so how about an apology for all the economic mess, the unemployment, the pain and misery that your party has caused, Mr Gallagher?

Thomas R Burgess

St Catherine’s Square


WE ARE told that on 1 May, 1707, the bells of St Giles rang out the tune Why should I be sad on my wedding day?

This may have been ironic, but might support the view of Andrew HN Gray that the Union of 1707 should be regarded as a marriage and that to end it would be a divorce. Another view is that since the Union was obtained by threat of force (an army waiting to invade if our then parliament made the “wrong” decision) and on the basis of false promises (a treaty that made guarantees to Scotland which were soon and repeatedly broken), it was never a real marriage and to end it would be an annulment.

Rather than leading to the “tears and recrimination” that Mr Gray predicts, the ending of this arrangement may well improve relationships between the parties involved.

David Stevenson

Blacket Place


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It IS easy to understand the motivation of Alistair Darling, Danny and Douglas Alexander and the other politicians in the Better Together campaign. Their luxury incomes depend on keeping a link with Westminster. It is also easy to see George Osborne’s reasons for the Union. Apart from Scotland, only the City of London and the south-east are making a positive contribution to the economy. Manufacturing and construction are still in recession and only finance and services are keeping the economy positive.

From the north-east to the south-west, England has major problems in a shortage of infrastructure, employment and financial growth. Add in a fixation with being a world military power and it is easy to see that there are major economic problems facing Westminster.

Already, with a member of the Cabinet begging pensioners to hand back benefits, it can be seen that the real cuts in services are going to come with the election of the next Westminster government whatever its colour. More than half the recognised countries in the world have smaller economies than Scotland and seem to manage without needing Westminster to run them.

Bruce D Skivington

Pairc a Ghliob, Strath

Gairloch, Wester Ross

Andrew HN Gray never leaves his unionist credentials in any doubt. However, I wonder, if he ran a business, whether he would be happy to turn over all his profits to the firm next door in return for a percentage back.

Recently published figures show that Scots pay more taxes per head of population to the London Treasury than people in the rest of the UK and – a nice “double-whammy” this – the London government spends considerably less per head in Scotland than in the rest of the UK. Mr Gray may think this is fair, but – if so – he should begin work on revising the dictionary definition of “fair”.

Peter Swain


Dunbar, East Lothian