The part words play in historic debate

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It is interesting, in reviewing opinions expressed over the use of the word “separation” instead of “independence”, that some apparently consider themselves “impartial” 
yet fail to see that the word “separation” can infer a 
physical (as in geological) as well as a constitutional 

In other words, use of the word “separation” in the ­independence debate, as confirmed by the recent decision at Westminster (your report, 14 February), appears to exaggerate, to a degree that could be reasonably considered not only to convey bias but to be “pejorative”.

Perhaps it would help those who sincerely wish to participate in open and ­objective debate before making what will be a historic decision for the Scottish people to consider using the word “bonded”, instead of “united”, with the word “kingdom”, whenever they are tempted to use the word “separation” instead of ­“independence”.

Stan Grodynski


East Lothian

What has happened to the SNP debate about its aim to split up the country? It seems that its only achievement is to persuade parliamentary authorities that creating a separate Scotland from England should not be called “separate”, or “separation”.

I should think that “splitting”, “dividing” or “sundering” are all suitable alternatives, which mean much the same thing.

The Chinese term which is translated as “splittism” would seem to be an appropriate way to describe what the SNP seems desperate 
to hide, though why is a 
mystery, as it describes being apart from the rest of the British nation. I suppose, as an ­alternative, we could always use an Afrikaans word for it: “apartheid”.

Andrew HN Gray

Craiglea Drive


The notion that, in any ­future union of the British, the Scots may have the best of both worlds, is a fine one, but why is it only being offered to the Scots?

If it’s that good it should also be offered to the rest of the British, or is the best of both worlds what the English have enjoyed all along?

Richard Ede

Albert Dock


Is the proposed independence referendum about the right issue? What happens if most of us don’t want whatever offer the subsequent ­inter-government negotiations arrives at?

Doesn’t it make more sense to subject the negotiated offer itself to a referendum if we are to be allowed only one?

My fear is that one side or other might be so anxious to achieve the desired result that it will agree to almost anything regardless of what the electorate might want.

As things stand, the proposed referendum is for a pig in a poke, rather than for a fully thought out alternative political status.

Tim Flinn


East Lothian

“On the legal advice, Lord Wallace added: ‘The opinion from Professors Crawford and Boyle concludes that, in the event of a vote in favour of leaving the UK, in the eyes of the world and as a matter of law, Scotland would become an entirely new state.’”

If that statement is true, surely England, Wales and Ireland become a new state.

Iain Shaw

Mountcastle Terrace


What a ridiculous statement Jim Stamper (Letters, 15 February) makes by asserting: “I have no doubt that the English electorate would have too much self-respect ever to accept a situation where ­voters would be expected to submit to a policy against the express wishes of 82 per cent of their MPs.”

Not only have English ­voters had to accept policies influenced by Scottish voters; they have had to accept the election of entire governments. Since the First World War, only three Labour ­governments would have been elected without votes cast in Scotland.

DJ Hollingdale

Easter Park Drive