Sir, – Recent replies to my letter (October 22) query my understanding of democracy.
In the most recent, An Enemy of Democracy (October 27) Gordon Dilworth of Pitlochry uses the old SNP trick of ignoring the message but personally attacking the messenger.
Mr Dilworth appears to think that anybody with a different view to the SNP is a dangerous enemy.
The dictionary definition of a democrat is one who adheres to or practises democracy as a principle.
Where we obviously differ is both in the definition and the execution of that principle
In 2014, I voted to stay with the UK and then to remain in the EU in 2016.
I was, therefore, one of the clear majority of Scots who voted against independence but in the losing minority in the UK Brexit vote .
I respect both referendum results as the democratic choice of the people.
The SNP operates on a different set of rules. A flexible style of democracy, backed up by sustained PR sound bites, is its political recipe.
When you win that’s a definite SNP win-win but if you lose, just ignore the result, vote again, and possibly countless times more, until the end result is yours.
Based only on the 2016 UK Brexit vote, the SNP now claims a Scottish mandate exists and ignores the UK result. It is not in the power of the SNP to call another referendum.
The question for Scotland is whether the SNP is a truly democratic government when it signed then denied the Edinburgh Agreement and clearly considers every 2014 No voter as irrelevant.
Take care of Perth heritage
Sir, – With reference to the articles you have published of late about the disappearance and subsequent reappearance of Sir Walter Scott’s dog on the monument on the South Inch, Perth, may I suggest that whoever repairs the dog and puts it back on the statue gives the whole statue a thorough clean at the same time as it is a disgrace in its present state.
While on the subject of statues, the one of Prince Albert at the North Inch in Perth is also badly corroded and needs attention.
His name is now hardly readable and perhaps this could be rectified at the same time.
If we are applying for the City of Culture title, surely we want our heritage to look as presentable as possible.
William G. Watson.
20 Spoutwells Drive,
If the boot was on other foot?
Sir, – The proposed third runway expansion of Heathrow in London, the option preferred by the SNP, will involve the destruction of more than 800 homes and a swathe of woodland and green belt.
I have to wonder as to the reaction of the SNP if Westminster was to propose an expansion at Glasgow or Edinburgh airports with similar effects?
Do right thing by BHS workers
Sir, – Sir Philip Green has announced he made a grave error in selling BHS for the princely sum of £1.
My feelings are that as a man who has amassed a large fortune, he knew exactly what he was doing.
The assets of BHS had been previously stripped and only a shell remained, leaving a pension black hole.
He has commented frequently that he will ensure this is addressed.
The time surely has come for him to consider the plight of his one-time staff and put up or shut up.
David L Thomson.
24 Laurence Park,
Scots thrived within union
Sir, – On reading Mr Clark’s letter about colonisation, it is fairly obvious he’s had an education but not from an institution that had history as part of its curriculum.
The Crowns of Scotland and England were united under James Vl, son of Mary Queen of Scots, and the Act of Union between the Scottish and English Parliaments in 1707 was by mutual consent, arguably saving Scotland from bankruptcy and giving rise to Scotland’s astonishing advance to prosperity and influence in the 18th and 19th centuries.
During that time, Scots exploited the power of the empire for themselves and became the great colonisers of the time, leaving a legacy that lives on today in America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and many other Commonwealth countries.
While the darker side of Scots colonisers in slavery is now understood, the number of top British statesmen, military leaders, scientists, engineers and philosophers who were Scots and who shaped world history for the better is also well documented.
These British Scots, men and women, have also had huge influence over British history in the last 300 years and, in many cases, have dominated it.
Far from being a suppressed colony, Scotland has enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship with the rest of the United Kingdom, even today, where the disastrous effect of our £15.5 billion deficit has been avoided by the close economic relationship we luckily have with our biggest and most supportive trading partner based in Westminster.
Iain G Richmond.
Little chance of second vote
Sir, – With all the excitement about a second independence referendum, it seems to have been forgotten that the constitution is a reserved matter and not a devolved function.
This means that such a referendum could take place only if the UK Parliament passed legislation allowing it.
All recent opinion polls in Scotland have shown a fairly strong majority against holding a second independence referendum.
It is surely, therefore, highly improbable that the Westminster Parliament, which has a strong unionist majority, would pass legislation to allow such a referendum, notwithstanding the SNP vote. Is Nicola Sturgeon not rather whistling in the wind?
Alastair L Stewart.
86 Albany Road,
One-sided view of the world
Sir, – Gordon Dilworth (October 27) comes across as typical of the SNP depressing habit that tries to examine an argument from only one side.
The 2014 referendum was clear that Scotland wished to remain in the UK. Subsequent events should not change that, otherwise we would be in danger of having an annual referendum on anything that the SNP thinks will help its suicidal political cause.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the next SNP cause is to demand that the UK Government cancels Christmas because it is not sufficiently inclusive of all the people who live in UK.
If the UK Government disagrees, then let’s have a referendum because, most likely, all of Scotland may have a different view.