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Alex Salmond speaks a great deal about how an independent Scotland would be more democratic. This is not the case in at least two important areas. In its white paper the SNP rules out a second chamber to scrutinise or revise legislation made by the existing Scottish Parliament.

The white paper also removes the right of appeal for any judicial review made to challenge decisions made by the Scottish Government.

Currently appeals can be made from the Court of Session to the Supreme Court. In an independent Scotland this would be removed. If the UK government was to abolish the Supreme Court and House of Lords there would be an outcry or at the very least an intense debate, something that has been lacking in discussions about independence.

This is particularly worrying since an independent Scottish Government would have significantly increased powers.

Democracy is more than just about people voting for who governs them, it is also about having proper institutions that provide a check on the powers that government wields.

The people of an independent Scotland may have more of a say in who their government would be but would have less control over the decisions that government makes.

Michael Duncan

Gorse Rise