War strategy

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I CONCUR with Stuart Smith’s sentiment that great sacrifices were made by all the Home Countries during the First and Second World Wars (Letters, 
2 August).

Like a lot of Scottish families, I lost relatives on both my late father and mother’s sides: one serving with the Black Watch and another with the Royal Garrison Artillery, both young men in their early 20s.

However, it could be construed from Mr Smith’s comments that we need to stay a united kingdom to fight more wars. This is a sad indictment as an argument to stay within this United Kingdom. It is morality, and the beliefs and will of the people, that should determine if and when members of a country’s armed forces should be ordered into war, not by deed of any political union.

As Mr Smith also comments, the Home Countries are each distinct in many ways. Rather than any narrow-minded and inward-looking nationalism, it is just such distinction that Alex Salmond and the SNP are striving to realise. The sending of Scottish soldiers into any conflict should be at the behest of the people of Scotland and its own government.

David J Mackenzie

Keith Place

Inverkeithing, Fife

Stuart Smith speaks of the UK “family” and how it stood steadfastly together in 1939-45. Unfortunately, the UK “family” no longer exists; the Second World War finished it. Britain’s

foreign and defence policies are now made in the United States and 70 per cent of its social end economic policies are now decided in the European Union, where the UK is just one voice among 28. The family’s silver was sold off in Margaret Thatcher’s privatisations,with the result that Britain’s utilities are largely in German, French and Spanish hands, while the once-mighty car and steel industries are run by China and India.

Since 1979, the British “family” has been broken up by a free-market, winner-takes-all culture. As a result, Britain has become the fourth most socially divided country in the OECD, with food banks, pay-day loan sharks and an “under-class” now featuring. In addition, London and south-east England has become a global hub, detached from the rest of the “family”.

None of the above was created by Scottish Nationalists, but independence has simply emerged as the only answer to increasing social division and to the economic dominance of London.

My father, like tens of thousands of other independence supporters, fought in the Second World War, but these people have recognised that times have moved on these past 70 years.

Tom Johnston

Burn View