The only realistic option for Scotland is a divorce - Readers letters

A marriage is a union of two equal parties agreeing on a close and formal relationship. It can have significant benefits, but what happens when the partners can no longer agree? This is the story of Scotland in the UK.
Is it time to take off the wedding rings for Scotland and England?Is it time to take off the wedding rings for Scotland and England?
Is it time to take off the wedding rings for Scotland and England?

Consider a marriage where the husband controls the household finances, deciding what is and isn’t allowed.

His dominance has made his wife see the possibility of a future where her needs and wishes are met. When she tries to discuss redressing this power imbalance, he refuses to listen, continuing to drag her in directions that she explicitly does not want to go. He allows her some limited decision-making power, but retains the right to overrule her.

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This power dynamic highlights her inferior position and his lack of respect for her. She realises she is in an abusive relationship and concludes the only way to become a whole, autonomous person is to get a divorce.

The Scottish people, like the long-suffering wife, want to determine their own future. Scotland’s voice and interests have been consistently ignored by our dominant partner, to our great detriment.

We did not vote to leave the EU and yet are being dragged from it. We are burdened with debts we did not create nor benefit from. The UK Internal Market Bill will reassert Westminster supremacy over our elected Parliament in Edinburgh. This is not about being anti-English. It’s simply that Scots have their own identity and agenda.

Like a spouse choosing to leave a bad marriage for a life free from a dominating bully, so a nation chooses to leave a bad political union to become whole and autonomous. The majority of Scots know it is time for a divorce.

Peter Glissov

Sydney Terrace, Edinburgh

Boris objections

I find it extraordinary that, so opinion polls seemingly tell us, more people now support the notion of independence because they don't like Boris Johnson.

Really? I have next to zero time for Nicola Sturgeon so, by the same bizarre logic, I should lobby for devolution to be ended and Holyrood scrapped – which I would never do; it would be a ludicrous non-sequitur.

Prime Ministers come and go (with some frequency these days) but separating Scotland from the rest of the UK is a one-time irrevocable decision – which surely shouldn't be taken just because the PM du jour doesn't float your boat

Martin Redfern

Melrose Roxburghshire

High ideals

David Hollingdale (Letters, 31 October) tells us the history of the Royal High School building on Regent Road and some of the purposes proposed for it.

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As SNP candidate for Lothians in the European Parliament election of 1979, I was taking part in a debate, in the George Street Assembly Rooms with other candidates.

Someone asked about the expenditure of £4 million on preparing the Royal High School building for a Scottish Assembly, labelling it a waste. I remarked that I had recently visited Norway which had purchased 56 multi-role combat aircraft for £6 million each, and I felt that one Assembly building was better value for money than a combat aircraft.

Mr Hollingdale concluded by questioning whether an independent Scotland could go it alone without becoming a basket case.

I believe that many of those opposed to independence concede the viability of an independent Scotland. Personally I expect an independent Scotland to attain similar prosperity to our Scandinavian neighbours. And I hope we find a good use for that Royal High School building.

David Stevenson

Blacket Place, Edinburgh

Safer travel

If we consider population density (the basis of social distancing) in conjunction with daily reported new cases/deaths then Scotland as a whole comes out nowhere near as safe a place to be compared to England as we are supposed to believe. Nicola Sturgeon's latest advice (command?) not to travel to England is thus yet another piece of political chicanery.

We will not do either this year but if we were to follow our routine procedure of meeting our English family at Lanercost just across the border then we would consider that trip to be far safer than our other visit of similar distance to Ayr to meet up with our Scottish family.

The coronavirus has no national preference but spreads most rapidly in areas of high population density and where non-compliance with isolation rules is most rife. The two are of course linked. It is far easier for we who live in spacious accommodation in a country village to obey the rules than for a city flat dweller.

Dr A McCormick

Kirkland Road, Terregles, Dumfries

Friends in need

Gavin Cargill (Letters, 29 October) reminds us of the joy and consolation that friendship brings to us in our lives.

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The odd couple friendship dimension draws our attention to the power and also the mysterious peculiarity of that unexpected “click” or “spark” when we discover new friends.

In June, 2012, in the Leveson inquiry hearings, lead counsel Robert Jay questioned ex-Prime Minister Gordon Brown about his cordial relationship with Rupert Murdoch. Jay asks: “Mr Murdoch himself describes a warm relationship he had with you. Is that a fair characterisation?”

Gordon Brown replied: “Yeah, similar background made it interesting.”

In Vanity Fair, February 2013, Oscar nominee Hugh Jackman explains his unlikely decade-long friendship with Rupert Murdoch.

Jackman says of Murdoch: “A lot of people in his life are there for a long time. He looks after them and appreciates them. He’s very caring and thoughtful and incredibly respectful.”

Whatever we think of Murdoch, we must wonder how important his respect for friendship has contributed to his business success.

One of the more surprising discoveries from my own academic research on friendship confirms that friendship often needs care and attention.

Amidst the coronavirus pandemic the lockdown experience and the local restrictions that have replaced it, many are rediscovering how vital our friendships are to maintaining our mental wellbeing and emotional balance. Are we nourishing them enough?

Dr Danny Mcguigan

Stable Lane, Polbeth

Closing time

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The suggestion that pubs can now open as long as they don’t sell alcohol is an interesting insight into how Nicola Sturgeon’s mind works, as alcohol seems to bear the number 666, as a sign of the Beast in her eyes.

How about a programme to open railway stations to sell food and soft drinks, but allow no trains to travel through? Bookshops can open, but you are only allowed to read the books through the window. Sandwich shops can stay open until 6pm, but without any bread; only the fillings can be sold.

A good one would be for Holyrood to sell mementoes of Jack McConnell’s greatest hits (if he had any), but not to permit any MSPs to enter. Actually, that’s probably the best wheeze yet.

Andrew HN Gray

Craiglea Drive, Edinburgh

Thirsty work

As a result of Nicola Sturgeon's illogical and totally ridiculous treatment of the owners of licensed premises she should now be known as Scotland's Thirst Minister?

George Storey

Glebe View, Hawick

Care questions

Contrary to the confident assertion by Richard Allison (Letters, 30 October) that the link between hospital discharges into care homes and Covid infection is clear, the findings of the Public Health Scotland report into care homes indicate otherwise. The report states that "the policy had no significant statistical impact on care home deaths". This mirrors the findings of Public Health Wales, and casts doubt on the various government complicity theories.

It has been admitted with hindsight that mistakes were made, but what is also shameful is the cacophony of protests from opposition politicians – the same politicians whose leaders were at the forefront of pressure heaped on the government to urgently expedite discharges of elderly patients from hospitals into care homes to save the NHS from being overwhelmed. Their abdication now of any responsibility for the creation of the consensus which informed the policy, is the rankest hypocrisy.

Apparently there is to be a public inquiry into the pandemic which will include what happened in care homes. Any inquiry should go beyond the aspects of the situation noted above, but so far, nobody, including the Scottish Government, has raised the spectre of corporate greed.

An inquiry should interrogate why care homes charging residents more than £1,000 per month routinely fail to pay staff the living wage. It should look at how it is that many care home staff have so little employment protection that some were frightened to take a test for fear of losing their entire income. It should include infection control training and the provision of adequate PPE. It also should examine the peripatetic shuffling of staff around homes operated by large scale operators, which reports from Public Health England have indicated was a likely factor in spreading Covid transmission.

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Most of all, an inquiry should consider how it can be ensured, if necessary through legislation, that those caring for some of the most vulnerable in our society can be justly valued and rewarded for their service.

Gill Turner

Derby Street, Edinburgh

007 heaven

Farewell Shir Sean. Enjoy your time with Mish Moneypenny and Pushy Galore in that big MI Shixsh offish in the shky.

Alan Sutherland

Willow Row, Stonehaven



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