I read with interest Alison Rowat's column ("The biggest race is yet to be run in the UK stakes", The Herald, August 3).
I believe she understates the effects of London 2012 on the independence debate. If ever one wished to have further confirmation of the adage "stronger together", the London Olympics have provided it. It has, of course, been uplifting that so many Scots have been successful in these Games with performances which fill one with deep admiration.
However, do not let us forget that many of these athletes have received the benefits of various UK schemes and programmes to bring through elite athletes in modern facilities based in England. In the absence of such enhancement, it has to be doubtful, in this age of professionalism and full-time commitment, that many would have realised their potential. Life in the world of athletics has clearly moved on a lot since the days of Eric Liddell.
The SNP are, of course, already advancing their concept of Independence Lite which will include:
l continuing to have the head of the House of Windsor as the monarch;
l retention of the pound;
l maintaining membership of NATO;
l having a place on the Monetary Policy Committee.
Perhaps now they will also seek to have Scottish athletes deriving benefits from these programmes at present encouraging elite performance.
Alex Salmond is readily recognised by most people as being an astute politician. When he gets up in the morning and looks in the mirror, surely he must realise that his dream of Scottish independence – the essential platform of his party's existence – is receding by the day, as all recent opinion polls confirm? In this regard London 2012 is only serving as another strong gust in the strong wind blowing that dream away.
Ian W Thomson,
38 Kirkintilloch Road,
How delightful it was to see Heather Stanning collecting her gold medal ("Golden day", The Herald, August 2). She does not do it for money; she does not take performance-enhancing drugs; and her victory tour will be in Afghanistan later this year. She does it because she loves her sport and wants to be the best at it; which is, after all, what the Olympic Games are really all about.
3 Letham Court,
Iain AD Mann complains that Scots are under-represented in Team GB, with only 51 athletes (Letters, July 31). He claims this is a mere 4% of the whole team. In fact, there are 541 athletes in the British team, meaning the Scottish contingent is almost 9.5% of the Team GB. Under-represented we are not; but this is not to say his points on facilities are wrong.
I realise events in London are of great interest to many people, myself included. However, like many others, I am also interested in what is going on in the rest of the world.
Coverage of the Olympics on our national broadcaster is now beyond saturation point, despite there being a BBC channel available to cover each individual sport.
With events in Syria changing every day, it would be a great help if BBC News were to devote more than a minute in every bulletin to a situation which will drastically change the geopolitical character of the Middle East and beyond.
86, Dumbuck Crescent,
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