Yes and No

A Harper (Letters, 18 April) 
recollects that I accused No voters of “cowardice” in The Scotsman. His recollection is wrong.

In the aftermath of the referendum I did say that numbers of certain groups had been influenced by fear instilled in them by lies told to them by Better Together.

These were pensioners who were told that, in an independent Scotland, they would no longer receive their pensions.

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EU citizens were also told that Scotland would be the thrown out of the EU and they would be deported. Their fears, while misplaced, were understandable.

The latter group feature in statistics quoted by Donald L MacLeod (Letters, 16 April) as a group, the majority of whom voted No.

Since Mr MacLeod sent in his letter, two contributors (Robert Bowers and S Cossar) have queried where he got these figures from and they deserve an answer. They come from the largest post-referendum study to have been carried out to date. It was conducted by a team of researchers from Edinburgh University led by Professor Ailsa Henderson and it makes fascinating reading.

Still on statistics Lewis Finnie (Letters, 18 April) says 37 per cent of the Scottish electorate voted Yes. He is nearly right as 37.8 per cent voted Yes and 47.6 per cent voted No. I wonder how that would shape up today.

Elsewhere, the debate about what constitutes a “proud Scot” as opposed to a “proud unionist” has resurfaced and the associated demographics are fascinating.

In a splendid example of intellectual snobbery, Dr A McCormick (Letters, 17 April) says we have had a close shave because the “less well educated” (all 1.6 million of them) came close to victory in a debate in which they were not mentally equipped to be able to assess the consequences of their actions.

Douglas Turner

Derby Street


Ian Johnstone’s letter (18 January) missed a crucial point: the numbers of expats for independence across the world, even presuming that they have a wish eventually to return to Scotland, are dwarfed by the numbers of Scots living in England, Northern Ireland and Wales, who are more unionist and more likely to return.

The referendum was rightly restricted to Scottish residents, but had expats been included, the result would not have been more favourable to independence, as he suggests.

On the contrary.

John Shields