Sir, – Ruth Davidson knows that another No vote in 2019 would silence independence campaigners much more effectively than her party’s aggressive stance against an independence vote in the foreseeable future.
Her relentless attack on a second referendum is really a short-term tactic designed to damage the other unionist parties while taking the focus away from unpopular Conservative policies.
In my opinion, her frequent u-turns to align with Theresa May on Brexit policy also make it obvious that Ms Davidson’s political ambitions lie at Westminster rather than Holyrood.
Any future Brexit deal will have winners and losers, but with no representatives in the negotiating team, it is evident that Scottish interests are not a priority for the present government.
On the home front, by promising to retain it until at least 2020, David Cameron recognised that the Barnett Formula provides the substance behind the Better Together narrative.
I think it would be foolish to assume that Theresa May’s silence on this matter is good news.
The election on June 8 is an unnecessary distraction which will weaken our negotiating position in Brexit talks if the Conservatives fail to win a landslide majority.
However, from a Scottish point of view it is surely better to have a listening Prime Minister than a strong and stable one.
Use your vote wisely
Sir, – A second referendum, it seems, will be pitched on the basis that the Brexit agreement is not good for Scotland, not on the ever-weakening overall case for independence.
Nicola Sturgeon has said if the SNP win the largest number of seats in Scotland on June 8 this will be the third element of the “triple lock” mandate for another referendum.
But winning a referendum means winning a majority of votes cast, not seats.
Even if the SNP’s share of the total votes cast on June 8 falls from 50% in 2015 to near the 32.3% it was in the council elections, signalling a referendum result of 60/40 or worse, they will still claim victory on June 9.
In this scenario, Ms Sturgeon should put country before party, admit support is not there, agree the threat of a single-issue Brexit referendum in several years’ time is not good for Scotland and call the whole thing off.
I do not for one minute expect she will do that.
This is why, on June 8, anyone who is fed up with the 10 lost years of rule, as former SNP adviser Alex Bell called it, or their obsession with independence should vote for the party most likely to beat the SNP.
1 Willow Row.
More austerity facing Greece
Sir, – I note Greece is expected to default on repayment of its debts once again this summer.
Its total debt stands at £279 billion, a mammoth amount for such a small economy, which is largely rural and tourist based.
It will have to go cap in hand to Brussels again to seek further loans to service its debt repayments.
No doubt the usual platitudes will emerge and Greece will have to promise to resort to further austerity measures to appease its lenders.
This is akin to going to a bank manager to request a loan to repay previous loans, and in such an instance one wonders how long before the door would be shown by the latter.
However, we are dealing with a situation in which a deal will be done by hook or by crook by way of protection of the euro and to keep Greece in the eurozone.
This in turn will require fellow states to dig further into their coffers.
Greece will continue to struggle against the stronger economies of its partners with little hope of any beneficial outcome.
We should be thankful we are not members of the euro club and all that comes with it, and as such are excluded from any such transactions .
David L Thomson.
24 Laurence Park,
Tories a one-trick party?
Sir, – What a remarkable juxtaposition in Perth. Inside the concert hall, a 48-page SNP manifesto detailing a way forward for our country was unveiled.
Outside there was motley band of Tory supporters fronted by Murdo Fraser holding placards which asked the electorate to vote for them to say no to a referendum. Perhaps they were just waiting for the other 47 placards detailing their policies to arrive.
How would we fund grant gap?
Sir, – Alex Orr (May 29) is rightly concerned about the possible loss of £110 million of EU structural funding for Scotland after Brexit, and wants Westminster to replace that money.
But of more concern surely would be the loss of the block grant from Westminster, around £28 billion and reducing because of cuts, that would have to be replaced in the event of independence.
This sum represents 85% of Scotland’s public expenditure on devolved matters. How would that be done?
Don’t follow US gun policy
Sir, – I have just read Malcolm Parkin’s letter (May 31) and struggle to believe the idiocy contained therein. Mr Parkin suggests we should be armed to offer better defence against terrorists through the use of trained individuals.
Can Mr Parkin explain how an armed individual would be any defence against someone equipped with an explosive device who detonates it without any prior warning?
Unless his memory has completely failed him, he may remember the tragic circumstances surrounding Thomas Hamilton, who was an individual trained in the use of firearms and whose actions ultimately determined the fate of all firearms in this country, to the benefit of all.
To suggest for a second that we return to days when individuals not linked with any of our armed forces can freely carry projectile weapons is lunacy of the highest order.
Perhaps Mr Parkin should examine statistics from the US to see exactly how successful his theory is.
Opportunistic or tasteless?
Sir, – The letter from Keith Howell (May 25), linking the dreadful events in Manchester with a rallying call for “core Britishness” and defying “those who…use fear and division… in attempts to break us apart…” was disgraceful.
As one of Scotland’s gang of four who incessantly bombard our national newspapers with anti-SNP/independence letters, he can hardly plead innocence. Either he is guilty of cynical opportunism or of crass tastelessness.
6 Conachar Bank,