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Instead of putting up barricades we should embrace our neighbours

Peter Russell put forward the case for Scottish voters helping reduce the chances of another right-biased UK Government, and his letter raised predictable reaction (Letters, February 7).

However, there is a deeper valid point lying below his case. History shows inward-looking Nationalist thinking tends inevitably to induce division, alienation and outright wasteful conflict between people living in different states.

Whereas, recognising we are all Jock Tamson's bairns worldwide confirms that, instead of putting up barricades (from England in this case), we should be strongly promoting further EU mutual co-operation, with all the freeing up of peaceful prosperity and advance that holds for the future.

Andrew W Heatlie,

109 Hyndland Road,

Glasgow.

Unlike Isobel Lindsay and David Purdie (Letters, February 8) I share the concerns made that our departure from the United Kingdom will be detrimental to those who remain (Letters, February 7).

My greatest concern is for our neighbours in Wales and Northern Ireland, rather than the English. Indeed this point is evidenced by Isobel Lindsay's failure to even mention our two Celtic cousins – perhaps as two very small countries they do not matter and the Scots can join the rest of the world in using the term "England" to cover the remaining part of the United Kingdom.

Although I am somewhat ambivalent to their choice of government, which is mainly determined by the English, I am concerned as to what sort of southern neighbour an independent Scotland will have.

A neighbour with Trident missiles and no interest in public service and social justice could impact adversely on an independent Scotland.

Sandy Gemmill,

40 Warriston Gardens,

Edinburgh.

It is right to suggest "voting for independence would be to abandon our neighbours", leaving them to the non-existent mercies of the Etoncracy (Letters, February 7).

Their plight would be worsened by our taking the oil revenues with us. Surely the impact on the rUK economy and thus society would be disastrous for our compatriots.

My response to those who ask "why should Scotland stay in the Union to keep the Tories out in England?" (Letters, February 8) is that to do otherwise would be an act of supreme selfishness and a betrayal of those who participated in the ongoing national struggle to overcome the power of wealth and privilege.

John Milne,

9 Ardgowan Drive,

Uddingston.

J RUSSELL is a victim of misconception (Letters, February 8). He admits the bearing of events of 1707 on the Union of the Parliaments indeed does have an impact on current pre-independence referendum events but simultaneously dismisses their relevance.

He avers the things that matter are the "realities of independence", such as EU entry, whether pound or euro, immigration, passports, and so on. Such reaction harks back to what was dismissed of Scottish nationalism by mainstream Westminster politicians, that "there were more important things to be concerned with".

At least in 1707 the matter was considered especially worthy of the politicians' time. Otherwise we wouldn't be confronting what is deemed the most momentous decision in these islands in living memory.

Another letter (February 7) also suffers from the misconception that the voters of Scotland owe it to their counterparts in England to rescue the latter from their tendencies to elect governments that aren't good for them.

The big snag about that is that the governments aren't good for us either. And among these governments are many career politicians from Scotland who are apparently too well read up on how their James VI galloped off to Westminster, around 1603, and forgot all about the allegiances and commitments of the royal lineage he left behind.

Ian Johnstone,

84 Forman Drive,

Peterhead.

Several letters (Friday, February 8) rejected the suggestion that Scotland should remain in the UK if only to bolster the Labour ranks at Westminster.

Judging from a leaflet delivered to me this week from Labour for Independence many Scottish Labour voters are now realising a Yes vote in 2014 will ensure a fairer, stronger Scotland with the founding principles of the Labour movement at its heart, principles which appear to have been abandoned by the Labour Party at Westminster.

John Hannah,

39 Dunglass Avenue, Glasgow.

Your correspondents argue that the way in which people vote is more importantly defined by their geography rather than by their circumstances or philosophy (Letters, February 8).

This leads to unqualified generalisations: England votes Tory, Scotland did not vote for the Tories, and a stunted view of political priorities.

To support this approach, Nationalists find themselves forced to portray Scotland as uniquely disadvantaged or even oppressed by the UK. They therefore rely on a litany of girning dissatisfaction, with the implication that the Union is responsible for all that is wrong with Scotland.

George Orwell's readers will recognise the "four legs good, two legs bad" mentality. In contrast, any fair-minded and logical person will appreciate the Union is as responsible for most of the benefits of Scottish life which we like and enjoy, as it is for most of the minority of ills which we deplore and condemn.

Inequality is a good example: it stands to reason that if UK politics are the cause of the position of the disadvantaged minority, they must also be the cause of the prosperity of the majority.

Or we can take the issue of the Tory/LibDem attack on welfare benefits – these benefits would be less worth protecting if they had not been established at the current level by the last Labour UK Government.

Denis Healey pointed out that Strontium-90 does not respect borders; the same applies to poverty and disadvantage. Nor – above all else – do the politics of addressing these scourges. It is for these soundly Benthamite reasons, and coincidentally to the advantage of the Labour Party in 2015, that it would be wrong to cut Scottish politics off at Gretna to suit limited minds and limited ambitions.

Peter A Russell,

87 Munro Road,

Glasgow.

Contextual targeting label: 
Local government

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