Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander warns us that mortgages will rise in an independent Scotland when, in fact, these are principally based on central bank interest rates which would remain the same across a sterling zone after independence.
Meanwhile, Sir Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England, believes the UK recession will worsen. His estimates of how far away recovery is are "expanding all the time". German Chancellor Angela Merkel doesn't appear to see an answer to the deepening European crisis in her lifetime.
The Better Together campaign warns of tax rises under independence, and Prime Minister David Cameron has made Tory benefit cuts across the UK his focus.
The scaremongering of Mr Alexander and Alistair Darling and the entrenchment of the No campaign are irrelevant to the fundamental issue of where Scotland is and can be in the world. Such posturing offers nothing. The system is broken and is in dire need of change.
UK debt, low investor confidence, illiquidity, diminishing European markets and the inability of Westminster or Europe to find solutions or create opportunity combine to leave us in Scotland with no alternative. We must insist on a new way forward that enables us to take responsibility for our affairs.
We can have the ability to take advantage of what our neighbours and the wider world have to offer. We must take responsibility for our destiny under a smaller country model which streamlines legislation and goes flat out for world business. The alternative is a third-rate economy with no fiscal or wider economic powers to make Scotland better.
The anti-independence arguments of the Westminster establishment figures are not constructive. A re-invigorated, independent Scotland fitter to deal with the challenges of the modern world and seize opportunities is on offer. Alternatively, we can accept the UK/European economic and social slide.
Comparisons of Scotland's future with the damaged economies of Europe are easy to make if you dislike change. Those who are more inventive and passionate and who value a better way over slugging it out in a system which has had its day can take lessons from the Scandinavian (especially Norwegian) model and hope to use it to produce a higher order for Scotland's wealth, education, business and social fabric. Norway and its neighbours offer comparisons which show us a potential way out of the place in which we find ourselves today.
112 George Street,
I agree with Ian Bell that it is rather difficult to reconcile a positive case for the Union with the reality of the Westminster Government ("Independence is risky, but Union is even scarier", June 27). To a large extent the debate as to whether or not we should be independent will come down to what independence and the Union each deliver. The fact is that the Conservative Party periodically comes to power at Westminster despite little support in Scotland. In other words Scotland periodically gets a Conservative Government for which it did not vote.
The challenge for Unionists is therefore to explain to us why it is to our benefit that we be periodically governed by the Conservative Party. I don't expect the Conservatives themselves to have to explain – it is obvious that this is a good thing for them. These days that is likely to be the case for the Liberal Democrats, too. But the Labour Party – the largest Unionist party – has no obvious reason to wish to be under Conservative Government, so why does it believe it to be to Scotland's advantage to be in such a situation? Obviously Labour would like to argue that it does not support Conservative Government and would prefer a Labour Government at Westminster. However, for all its flaws, the UK political system is not a one-party state and periodic Conservative Government is inevitable. Does this benefit Scotland?
Clearly if Scotland voted Conservative, this would not be an issue. I might not like it, but if a Conservative Government had the support of the electorate here, it could at least claim some form of legitimacy, but as it stands it is a Government the vast majority of Scots do not want, so I must ask the Scottish Labour Party why we should be governed by it.
6 Methven Ave,
Alistair Darling's problem, in trying to persuade Scots to stick with the devil they know, is that we know that devil all too well ("Better together – but under attack", The Herald, June 26). I recall a Prime Minister's Question Time at Westminster in Mrs Thatcher's day when Roy Hattersley asked a question on tax proposals in the upcoming Budget. The Iron Lady spluttered with indignation and the massed Tory benches exploded with rage. Mr Hattersley was told in no uncertain terms that these matters were confidential and could not be announced until all decisions had been made. Mr Hattersley was unruffled. He quietly nodded and said, "Exactly!" He then enquired of Mrs Thatcher why she and her party were demanding that the opposition outline in minutest detail what their plans were, when she and her ministers, with full access to the books, were unable to do the same thing?
I feel that Mr Darling and his cohorts are guilty of the same sort of arrogance Margaret Thatcher displayed back then. The Scotland Yes campaign is not solely an SNP initiative and the minutiae of an independent Scotland cannot, at present, be solely in the gift of Alex Salmond or any constituent of the joint campaign. The first, and most important thing, is to gain for Scotland the power to shape its own destiny.
David C Purdie,
12 Mayburn Vale,
Many comments have been made about the negativity of the No Campaign at its launch (Letters, June 26) but may I be permitted to pick up on just one aspect of this which intrigued me, and that is the leaflet proclaiming that 800,000 Scots live and work in England without the need for a passport or papers. One is clearly meant to infer that this will not continue to be possible post-independence.
EU Law and the British-Irish Common Travel Area will allow Scots to continue to live and work in England, Wales and Ireland free of hindrance. One supposes that the Better Together campaign assumes the rest of the UK would single out Scots for the imposition of vindictive punitive restrictions for voting for independence. If that is the case, how can they in all conscience justify urging us to continue to live in a political partnership with a country which could contemplate such action?
19 Kirkfield View,
Gordon Wilson (Letters, June 27) is outraged by the fact that "800,000 Scots are living and working in England and Wales". I believe Mr Wilson used to lead the SNP.
Come the dawn of the new age of independence, does this mean that the prime duty of Scotland's Border Agency won't be to keep out those who aren't entitled to enter, but will instead be to keep Scots in? How insular can you get? Perhaps the SNP's next slogan will be: It's Scotland's oil, Scotland's water, and Scotland's bairns.
Interesting, though, that Mr Wilson accepts that those 800,000 who live and work south of the Border are still identifiably Scots. I doubt if many of them lie awake at night, conflicted about their dual identities as Scottish and British. And I suspect that even fewer want the complications of an international boundary separating them from friends and relatives.
52 Menteith View,
What percentage of those eligible to vote in the independence referendum would be acceptable as a true reflection of the felings of the electorate? Given the pathetic turnout for other elections, it worries me that, unless there is at least an 80% turn-out, the result would be void. If the mature among us are undecided, how can we expect 16 or 17-year-olds to understand the full implications of independence? Should the vote be complusory? The outcome would then be an accurate reflection of what the electorate thought. Who decides what is acceoptable? In my view, united we are stronger.
Anne J Irvine,
3 Balgair Drive,
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