Why we can’t all be Thatcher’s children

THE referendum debate is unearthing some truly warped arguments.

The latest is the suggestion, from Better Together chief Blair McDougall (Perspective, 28 May) and Norman Murray (Letters, 28 May) that the ­notion of a social democratic, left-of-centre Scotland is a myth.

Ignore a generation of poli­tical history. Overlook the fact that last week (in an election characterised across Europe by the rise of the populist Right) over 70 per cent of voters in Scotland chose centre/Left parties. Don’t mention the fact that just one of Scotland’s 59 MPs is Tory. When you’re trying to keep the UK together, socially democratic Scotland is a mirage.

Sign up to our Opinion newsletter

Sign up to our Opinion newsletter

Forget Jock Tamson’s bairns, say the Unionists, we’re all Thatcher’s children now.

One of the other frustrating elements of this referendum is the willingness to put words into the mouths of others.

I’m not aware of anyone on the Yes side claiming that Scots are “morally superior” to our neighbours in the other UK nations. But our voting patterns are demonstrably very different. If democracy is the way in which we demonstrate our political values, then our political values are clearly very different too.

The choice facing us in September is beginning to clarify, and it is between two increasingly divergent routes. A No vote will keep us aligned to a market-driven, increasingly unequal society. A Yes vote would allow us to choose our own path.

Unlike Messrs McDougall and Murray, I have enough faith in my fellow inhabitants to believe that would be a more equal, more progressive future.

C Hegarty

Glenorchy Road

North Berwick

THE increasingly frantic Better Together campaign to keep Scotland as a province of the United Kingdom is just not working.

With disunity in the No camp, Project Fear is further exposed as the UK Treasury has been caught grossly exaggerating the cost of setting up an independent Scotland. There are only so many ways the enervating word No can be used.

Since Westminster claims all sovereignty there is an absurd inequality about a province, far less a nation, being governed from a distance.

The world of today with its view of humanity’s greed and avarice should be countered by humanity’s innate understanding of right and wrong, which we all possess.

Why then should Scotland not aspire to this ideal of honesty and fairness and take responsibility of its own affairs in harmony with its neighbours? Scotland has a historic and heroic decision to make in September, where No is a sign of resignation and surrender to the status quo, whereas Yes is a sign of acclamation and assent to a new ­beginning.

While its easier to walk downhill than up, the view from the top is always best – “the summit attained and the barriers fall”.

Grant Frazer



I HAVE often complained about a lack of detail from the Scottish National Party about independence so I should surely be delighted to hear from the First Minister that families will be £2,000 a year better off with independence.

Now my wife and I are taxpayers, so are we getting big tax decreases? I suspect not, as families who don’t pay tax would not be better off, so there must be another mechanism. Is it benefits? No, as I would not be better off.

The notion of being £2,000 better off is the best news I’ve heard, but how does it work? 

As usual, I suspect that this is as big a myth as the Brigadoon being painted of an independent Scotland.

Ken Currie

Liberton Drive


As always, there is a ­positive side to the negative arguments emanating from Westminster.

Yes, it will cost some money to set up an independent Scotland, but this money will be spent in Scotland creating new jobs here.

Surely this is better than people in Scotland continuing to pay for these jobs to be done in London with no discernible benefit to Scotland?

Andrew Collins

Skinners Steps

Cupar, Fife

SURELY I can’t be the only one increasingly depressed by the claims and counter claims of the protagonists in the independence debate?

It seems that indubitable, verifiable facts are in such short supply that each side is mainly relying on “data” dressed by opinion to substantiate their assertions.

In such circumstances the phrase, “believe it if you like” seems the right response.

Rod Wallace


Kincardine, Fife