Ed Miliband's candy floss message managed to avoid any real political and socio-economic content ("Scots 'will not be British on exit from UK'", The Herald, June 8).
When Scots, after decades of campaigning, won the right to make some of our own decisions with the establishment of the Scottish Parliament, we made choices that were very different from those of Westminster irrespective of whether the Government there was Labour or Tory-LibDem. The political gulf over the last 12 years has grown ever greater.
Let's remember it was Mr Miliband's Government that introduced university tuition fees opening the way for the Tories and Liberals to increase them. Scotland chose differently.
His Labour Government started the marketisation of the NHS which the Coalition has now accelerated. Scotland chose differently.
His Government started the fragmentation of school education which the Tories-LibDems have taken several stages further. Scotland chose differently.
His Government did nothing about the cost of elderly personal care. Scotland made a different choice.
His Government took us into the Iraq and Afghan wars. Scotland did not have the right to choose.
His Government not only supported the existing nuclear weapons system (all based on the Clyde) but initiated a new generation of Trident weapons at vast cost. Scotland did not have the right to choose.
His Government pushed the costly and ill-judged PFI programme for public projects for which we will pay dearly over the next 30 years. Scotland had no borrowing powers to make substantially different choices.
The present Coalition Government is initiating real benefit cuts for some of the most vulnerable in our society. Scotland has no power to choose differently.
When Scotland has had a choice, it has shown that its political values are different. Unfortunately its powers are limited which is why we need independence. Yes it is about identity but identity comes with values and one of the central arguments in the referendum will be about our right to shape our society according to our values.
9 Knocklea Place, Biggar.
I hope Ed Miliband is good at sums and spelling because he is a bit shaky on history and geography.
Historically, Scotland is a joint owner of British institutions such as the monarchy, the Bank of England (in spite of its name) and the BBC. These things are not in the exclusive ownership of any of the partners in the United Kingdom and neither he nor any politician in the Westminster Parliament can deny us the right to talk about which aspects of our previous Union we can, or cannot, hold on to. If a marriage breaks down, all the joint assets held by the partners are divided up legally and fairly after negotiation.
Mr Miliband's geography is also suspect when he claims that Scotland would no longer be British after independence. If he has a look at a map of the British Isles, he will see that Scotland occupies the northern portion of the island of Great Britain. It was called Great Britain to distinguish it from the smaller Britain, ie Brittany, and it was thus named long before the Union of the Crowns and the Treaty of Union. The name, therefore, does not belong to the Westminster Parliament.
The Yes Campaign does not, so far as I am aware, propose to detach Scotland and sail south to a sunnier part of the globe. So it would seem we're a part of Britain for keeps.
If I can give the Labour leader an illustration that might make the Scotland Yes proposition a bit clearer. I am a citizen of the Independent Republic of Number 12. Number 12 has a population of two, myself and my wife, and we decide everything democratically. It is also part of a bigger entity, Mayburn Vale. Mayburn Vale is a nice wee street and we like living here. We get on well with our neighbours who also like living in the street. We do not, however, have our pensions paid into their bank account and then rely on them for a handout.
Nor do we allow them to make decisions on our behalf. So, although we're Mayburn Valers. we're first and foremost, proud Twelvers.
I would encourage Ed Miliband, Johan Lamont, Ruth Davidson, David Cameron and all who talk nonsense about Scotland's right to self determination, to brush up on their history and, more especially, their geography.
David C Purdie,
12 Mayburn Vale,
So Ed Miliband thinks that a vote for independence would mean Scots would no longer be British?
How poorly educated this Labour leader must be. Britain is a geographical area, the United Kingdom is a political entity.
Of course, Scots could still call themselves British – we will still be living in Britain after independence.
Did the Norwegians cease to be Scandinavian after gaining independence from Sweden in 1905? Are the Canadians any less North American by virtue of being an independent nation on the same land mass as the United States of America? Of course not.
Scotland being an independent nation is looking more and more a certainty if this is the best the Unionists can come up with.
Ian M Forrest,
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