Union troubles

Have your say

you reported (News, 18 September) Nicola Sturgeon as saying that the British government is “continuing to ignore Scotland”. Why is it that opponents of the SNP never take the SNP to task on this fake narrative?

Upon winning a Scottish majority in the May general election, Sturgeon claimed that the “days of Scotland being side-lined and ignored are over”. But the truth is that since 1999, Scotland has gone from a perfectly equal footing with England – no Holyrood, no need for EVEL etc – to having devolution and referendums lavished upon it by British governments eager to please. And Scotland is still the privileged beneficiary of the West Lothian Question.

Her “cry betrayal regardless” technique is effective because her opponents have seldom ever taken her to task.

Iain Inkster

Caroline Park

Mid Calder

West Lothian

The First Minister leads a party that cannot accept last year’s referendum decision and insists on going on and on about the will of we, the people of Scotland. They no more respect that vote or the people who exercised their democratic decision than any of the institutions they persistently decry.

The First Minister and her party seem to have forgotten that we Scottish voters and tax payers pay her, her cabinet secretaries and ministers of variable quality and effectiveness to govern Scotland … I could only consider voting for them as a government if I could see that they have some ability, success and vision, but they got it wrong in the referendum, failed in most of their policies and have watched over a deterioration in our education at all levels and in health. The main success in our parliament has been in cross-party legislation and the SNP may take no credit for that.

If the First Minister respects democracy it has to be for more than one day in September 2014; it must be for more than a few months. We have to move on. Let us please leave talk of another referendum for a while and use the new parliamentary powers with skill and discernment while we try to reunite our people and land.

Sadly, I do not see our First Minister being capable of or even wanting to do this.

Alan Rodger (DR)

Clairmont Gardens


Keith Howell (Letters, 19 September) says “the relatively broad promises in the Vow are indeed being delivered in full”. I am not sure how he can say this, as the final content of the Scotland Bill is yet to be published. Interestingly, at Holyrood, the Labour Party, the Greens and the SNP disagree with Mr Howell, who appears to be privy to information which they are not. The grand architect of the Vow, Gordon Brown, also thinks the bill falls short.

For Unionist correspondents, the Vow seems to have been reduced to “relatively broad promises” while statements on whether the referendum was a “once in generation opportunity” have been elevated to fully binding pledges. Was the once in a generation opportunity lost because of promises which were never going to be fulfilled? And if one position is not honoured why should the other?

Douglas Turner

Derby Street


Clearly whether most people might prefer another referendum at some point in the future is not a valid consideration for a future Scottish Government by the writers of some of The Scotsman letters published on 18 September.

Andrew HN Gray laments as undemocratic the fact that only Scots living in Scotland were allowed to vote in the last referendum, yet we have heard no criticism from Mr Gray of the UK government’s intention to deny non-British European Union citizens living in the UK the right to vote in the EU referendum. Lewis Finnie exclusively attributes to Alex Salmond an oil price estimate within the industry range at the time, yet I have heard no supporting claims that the leaders of BP and other companies colluded with the SNP to mislead the Scottish public.

John Scarlett even attempts to equate the “view” of the Scottish Government at the time with a pledge to rule out another referendum for a generation – but makes no mention of the “Vow” that most of the Scottish public believe has not been honoured by the UK government.

Finally, none of the above attempt to address probably the most pivotal question regarding Scotland’s constitutional future: if 300 years in the Union has rendered an inherently wealthy country an economic basket case, why is it logical for Scotland to remain in this Union and force our children to endure the same dire prospects?

Stan Grodynski


East Lothian