The truth sometimes hurts, as is clear from the letters (August 6) in response to Ian W Thomson (Letters, August 4).
Mr Thomson was right to observe that London 2012 has dealt yet another blow to the SNP's vision of independence, which is now but a pale shadow of its former incarnation.
Two things are clear from British success in the Olympics so far. One is that we are indeed stronger together. Evidence for that comes from the canoeing, where Scots Tim Baillie and David Florence were partnered to their medals by Englishmen; from the rowing, where Heather Stanning was partnered by Helen Glover; and from gymnastics, cycling and just about every other team event.
The other thing that's obvious is that, come the glorious day for the Nationalists when we have an international border to our south, the dreams of young Scots athletes to win gold at the Olympics will be shattered. Doug Gillon made that point very well in The Herald's sports pages last Friday: it would be great to see Lee McConnell win a medal in the women's 4x400m, and the British squad is strong enough to do so, but an all-Scottish squad is unlikely to ever be in contention.
It gets more complicated when you look at the background of some of the athletes we claim as our own. Iain AD Mann complained about there being only 51 Scottish competitors at the Olympics (Letters, July 31). His claim that this meant Scotland was under-represented was, of course, incorrect: Scotland has about 8.5% of the UK population, but (on Mr Mann's figures) supplies 9.4% of the athletes. I've no idea how Mr Mann arrives at 51 Scots.
Heather Stanning, who won rowing gold, was born in Somerset and now serves in the British Army, based in Wiltshire. She attended Gordonstoun and her parents live in Lossiemouth. If she describes herself as Scottish, that's great; but she's also clearly British.
Andy Murray learned his tennis in Spain and now lives in England; Sir Chris Hoy moved south to access good training facilities. I doubt if they or any of the other Olympians spend much time agonising over whether they're Scottish or British.
Like most of the rest of us, they're probably comfortable with being both and with the benefits that dual status brings.
52 Menteith View,
Ruth Marr "cannot believe many voters will be lulled into the belief that the biggest factor in deciding whether or not Scotland should regain her independence is Team GB's performance at the Olympic Games" (Letters, August 6). Of course she is right in a way: athletic performance clinches nothing.
But Ms Marr ignores the emotional side of the campaign: the Yes case is heavily based on emotion while the No campaign is sometimes criticised for being too reliant on dry fact, with a lack of emotional content. With the success of the teamwork between and among athletes and coaches from all over the UK, the Olympic Games are adding emotion, in spades, to the case that we are better together.
The London Games are supplying a demonstration that we are all one people and that, whatever the superficial differences, we perform better when we act as a team. Given that the No camp has the weight of logic on its side, while the Yes case is more emotionally based, the injection of emotion provided by the Olympics counters the gut appeal of the Nationalists and as such it is a real problem for the Yes campaign which Ms Marr and others would be foolish to dismiss.
12 Phillips Avenue, Largs.
The effect of the Olympics on the independence vote should not be overestimated, but surely it will be impossible for Nationalists to insinuate ever again that one cannot be proudly Scottish and just as proudly British.
Pictures of Scottish athletes draped joyfully in the Union flag and visibly moved by the national anthem have provided some of the Games' most memorable images.
The Olympics have not delivered a bounce for the Coalition, or for Labour, in whose time the London bid was won. Similarly, the Yes lobby should expect little help from the Commonwealth Games, which are unlikely to generate anything like the same level of public engagement.
The independence vote will be decided, as it should be, on the fundamental economic and constitutional issues, which is why public support for the Union is pulling further ahead.
I agree with David Purdie (Letters, August 6) that chicken counting is an event best avoided but predict nonetheless that while the Yes campaign will puff hard, it will finish off the podium.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Scotland's anti-independence politicians and commentators have been using Scottish athletes' sporting success as a reason for supporting the Union.
Their argument goes like this: Scotland is too poor and too wee to succeed on its own and so to succeed Scottish athletes must be part of Team GB. Most then have to move out of Scotland for training and participation in the team south of the Border. Then they get their medals, gold for Scottish athletes but not for Scotland.
It's a kind of brawn drain rather than brain drain, and precisely what in the wider world beyond sport has robbed Scotland of its most ambitious and successful young people and blighted its future growth and success as a country.
Independently, with investment in coaching and facilities in Scotland, the country could actually benefit from our athletes' success, rather than just applauding it from a distance.
2 Ashburnham Gardens,
The sour, narrow-minded reaction of your letter writers drives me to write.
Medal tables: 1 China, 2 US, 3 Great Britain.
Sometimes only a fool (or a fanatic) needs to be told that we are better together. So Yes to staying united.
Do we really need the divisive two years' uncertainties of a referendum to tell us something that is so obvious? We are better together.
4 Brochroy Croft,
There is more to the world and to the concept of Scotland than sporting prowess. What about brains, humanity, and doing the very best for the community in whatever manner one can, a concept which goes deeper than waving a Union flag.
Expect the levels of Westminster financial cynicism to explode post-Olympic Games. Expect a series of projects, using a combination of sudden lottery funding and our own taxes, to say: "See what you get when you stick with us?" They bought Scotland in the early 18th century and it is a time-honoured and classical method of dealing with the rebellious. The Romans did it very effectively.
Then, should Scotland vote No to independence, expect the spigot to mysteriously run dry.
This will happen whatever the colour of the winners of the next Westminster elections. Once again the Romans are the model. They would shower the Border tribes with gold until they settled down and once they had forgotten how to get up and fight, turn the tap off and flatten their culture.
No dangly bit of gold hanging in the living room cabinet is worth the loss of a culture which believes in honouring those who are truly great, who use their brains and sense of humanity to help those less fortunate than themselves.
Olympic gold? I would rather see the old lady staggering along on her Zimmer frame able to heat her home in the winter and live her last years with dignity. That is true gold.
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