Sir, – Scotland deserves better. The Scottish economy is currently showing a deficit of almost 10% of GDP – equal to some £14.9 billion – a position that would be unsustainable without the support received from being an integral part of the UK.
The SNP proposal for Scotland to establish its own currency and banking system with a view to becoming a standalone EU member state – provided of course it will actually be accepted into the fold by the existing members of the EU – would more than likely make matters worse.
How can Nicola Sturgeon and other SNP leaders, possibly reconcile these proposals with the electorate?
The question is are they realists or merely absolute chancers whose only political strategy is to seek independence from the UK – no matter what the consequences might be?
The SNP impress on us that Scots should vote for independence to save the NHS, education, welfare, etc. But the Scottish Government already has control over these services.
We should ask the question: ‘How well are these and other public services, faring under the SNP administration?’
The Institute for Fiscal Studies has indicated that England’s health budget this year is 4.4% higher now than before the Tories came into power – Scotland’s budget is 1.2% lower under the SNP.
With these administrative problems in key government areas of responsibility, it is ironic that the main SNP topic is still independence – or is this merely a smokescreen to cover up their deficiencies as an administration?
With the polls indicating support for independence is no higher than it was in 2014, at about 46%, there is no way Nicola Sturgeon will risk attempting to stage another referendum in the foreseeable future.
In any case, even if she was so inclined, she would still need to seek authorisation to do so under the Scotland Act 1998, in mutual agreement with the UK Government.
I feel that it is time for all members of the electorate in Scotland, who are realists, to make a concerted stance against the earlier doctrines of Salmond and now those being initiated by Sturgeon to lead Scotland into an abyss of uncertainty
Any continuation of nationalistic fervour will lead to Scotland’s political and economic downfall – it is up to all fair-minded people to ensure it is kept at bay.
Robert IG Scott.
Many different majorities
Sir, – You are of course absolutely right that, when it comes to elections and referenda, ‘once the majority has spoken the matter is closed’ (Leader, August 5).
However, democracy comes in many forms and it is clear what we have in the UK is in part plutocracy – the wealthy can sway both votes and MPs by peddling their favoured line in the press that certain individuals own and by giving unlimited sums to their favoured party or cause.
The first-past-the-post system of the UK means that a minority can win an election (the present UK government was voted by about 25% of the electorate).
There are no rules for what majority is required in a referendum.
The signs are that we shall pay dearly for not having a written constitution. This gives inordinate power to the Prime Minister.
How much more will we have to suffer before the UK political system is reformed?
79 Blackness Ave,
Enough of the famous cringe
Sir, – The letters pages at times seem filled with negativity towards Scotland becoming a normal country in control of our own destiny.
Constant talking down of our abilities and resources in an attempt to prolong the agony of union and deepen the disaster that being part of the UK has become.
Scotland and its people are famous for many things, be it ingenuity, humour or determination, but the trait most apt for our current circumstance is the ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
As a bright future beckons away from the broken and about-to-crash UK, still there are those who would have us go down in history as the last colony to leave.
Not exactly something to be proud of.
Ten things to do after a holiday
Sir, – I read the article in which it was said UK holidaymakers spend more time sorting out digital entertainment than they do packing their suitcase.
Here’s my top 10 holiday return to-do list: 1 Unpack and wash and iron clothes. 2 Can’t plan next year’s holidays as still paying this one off. 3 Friends and family look in the air when we show our photos. 4 Vitamin D from sunshine – it rained all week. 5 Looked silly trying to jog in my raincoat. 6 Trying to relax with three kids running around – impossible. 7 Let’s face it, you have to work to afford a holiday. 8 Phone is off from day one. 9 Can meet up with friends but had to promise not to talk about our holidays. 10 Make a to-do list.
146 Stenhouse St,
Cycle course was a disgrace
Sir, – As a former international athlete, I thought the horrendous accident suffered by Dutch cyclist Annemiek van Vleuten was as bad as anything I had seen and a disgrace to the sport.
The International Cycling Union was quick to excuse itself saying: “The Rio 2016 road race was held on a safe and challenging course, carefully designed and extensively tested.”
But former Olympic champion cyclist Chris Boardman rightly dismissed this claim, saying: “Everyone knew it was way past being technical – it was clearly dangerous.
“The descent was exceptionally treacherous.
“I looked at the road furniture (cyclist-speak for barriers, medians, etc) and thought – nobody can crash here and just get up.”
Rev Dr John Cameron.
10 Howard Place,
A referendum ruling… please
Sir, – I note that a Court has rejected the Scottish Government’s controversial Named Persons proposed legislation on the grounds that it is illegal, and that the possible prying into private information and the exchange of such with outsiders is against individual human rights.
It is a blessing that the logic applied by the court transcends that of the Scottish Government.
However, it is indeed a pity that such a sensible ruling could not also apply to the SNP’s other ludicrous proposal to press on for another referendum.
David L Thomson.
24 Laurence Park,
Compensation for the greedy
Sir, – The very idea of compensating people who live in areas where fracking would take place is another of those schemes that will show how greedy people in the country have become.
Some form of ring-fenced common good fund for the construction of homes for the aged paid for by a levy on each cubic metre of gas recovered should be looked at, but as we all know any scheme to ladle bags full of cash to those in areas where fracking would be developed should be a no-no.
It will all end up in squabbles where millions of pounds of tax payers’ money will disappear into grasping Legal Aid lawyers whenever disputes arise over whether the money should go to the tenant of a house or the absentee landlord, claims will be lodged by holiday-home owners, buy-to-rent landlords, farmers with tied cottages, overseas owners of blocks of flats…
And a buoyant market will develop in empty properties in which the possibility of a lump sum will play a prominent part in the asking price.
Like the old pantomime parlance goes, some will say: ‘Oh, no it won’t’, but we all know the behaviour of compensation chasing legal firms, and many will say ‘Oh, yes it will’.
37 Hatton Green,