Too sensible

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Dr Sturrock’s plea for refining the political debate on Scotland’s constitutional issues (Perspective 22 January) is so obviously sensible that it’s surprising that no version of it has been suggested before.

The last, and most cogent, point in his list of desiderata, is that claims and assertions stated as facts must be supported by hard evidence where available. The implementation of Dr Sturrock’s protocol would return the constitutional debate to a level of dignity which Scottish people have a right to expect on such a serious matter, removing the need for scaremongering on one side and bland calumny on the other.

Unfortunately, for one simple reason, such a protocol will forever remain, an altruistic pipedream. Politicians are professionally disputatious in a way far removed from the august exactitude of the courtroom and to be thought to be agreeing with an opponent about anything at all is political suicide.

Peter Laidlaw

Bramdean Rise