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Clinton is wrong to question the drive for independence

Alan Roach clearly admires and respects Bill Clinton (Letters, November 27).

That admiration and respect I share with him but that does not mean I agree with the former President in his views on Scottish independence ("Clinton's veiled warning on Scots independence", The Herald, November 17).

Mr Clinton's opinion would be spot on were Scotland just another region of the UK such as Yorkshire or the Home Counties. I, for one, will never accept such a designation although the London media keep trying otherwise. Scotland is a nation and has been a nation for centuries longer than Bill Clinton's USA.

Although television news bombards us with information about women bishops in the Church of England, or the recent elections for Police Commissioners or the vituperation of the London Mayoral elections, these matters are only of peripheral interest in a country with its own police set-up, national church and education and legal systems.

The merging of Scotland's police forces and the appointment of Stephen House as its Chief Constable are looked on as regional matters, as is the secession of St George's Tron from the Church of Scotland and all the implications of that decision.

The reason for Bill Clinton's opinion is, I submit, down to the fact that we live in an invisible nation. We will only emerge from that status when we are independent and have our own national broadcasters giving proper weight to matters within and outwith our own boundaries.

Finally, I have never heard Alex Salmond say, in a Panglossian way, that independence will solve all our problems, only that the solutions will be in our own hands, not those of a distant Parliament that deigns to notice us only when we threaten to quit the Union.

David C Purdie,

12 Mayburn Vale,

Loanhead,

Midlothian.

I do wonder why Bill Clinton has chosen to pick on little old unindependent Scotland as a potential disturber of the current world order.

The answer, I suspect, is that he has been prompted to do so by his old mates from the top of UK politics.

On the wider point, the world has been fragmenting big time since the end of the Second World War (just check the number of UN member states now and then). Although many small countries are currently ruled by the most odious dictatorships, they still have the possibility of a future self-determination more in keeping with our notions of freedom and democracy.

Such a future is, in my view, more likely to be possible than if these countries are part of some great empire.

In spite of the demonising of Serbia in relation to the outbreak of the First World War, it was, in fact, great empires that brought us two world wars.

Dr James Nelson,

17 Watermill Avenue, Lenzie.

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Local government

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