Canon Kenyon Wright does well to remind Ian Davidson that he is one of those Labour MPs who in 1989 signed the Claim of Right for Scotland confirming that "it is the sovereign right of the Scottish people to determine the form of government" for their country ("Wright warns MPs against bid to dictate terms of poll", The Herald, August 8).
Mr Davidson makes the common mistake of assuming that the concept of "the Crown in Parliament" gives Westminster sovereignty on all constitutional matters throughout the United Kingdom. That is simply not the case with regard to Scotland, and in the absence of a written constitution for the UK his assertion does not stand up to scrutiny.
I was intrigued to hear Mr Davidson accuse Newsnight Scotland of being unfairly biased in favour of the SNP. (Many regular viewers might have a different view.) This is the man who, as convener of the House of Commons Scottish Affairs Committee examining the question of a referendum on Scottish independence, left no-one in any doubt of his own views on the issue, going to the extreme length of not even allowing the word to be used in the title of the Committee's recent report on the subject.
Mr Davidson took full advantage of his position in the chair to talk over any witness who dared to express a view with which he personally disagreed, and the final report on "Separation" is blatantly one-sided in its conclusions.
I give full marks to Isobel Fraser, the BBC presenter of the Newsnight programme, for standing up to the arrogant Mr Davidson. She demanded that he give her a personal apology for implying that she was not being impartial in her questioning, and when no apology was forthcoming, she quickly decided that time was up and stopped his rant in full flow.
It is the job of media interviewers to challenge the statements of politicians and others and invite them to provide good supporting evidence for their claims on the matter under discussion. That is not being biased, it is being professional. But Mr Davidson instead seems to think that there is one rule for MPs as interrogators and another for the media.
Iain AD Mann,
7 Kelvin Court,
I refer to the report of the Scottish Affairs Committee, The Referendum on Separation for Scotland: making the process legal.
I quite agree with its conclusion that at present legislation passed by the Scottish Parliament for an independence referendum could be challenged in the UK Supreme Court.
The reality is that currently no matter how many parliamentarians standing on a platform of wanting an independence referendum are elected from Scotland to serve in Holyrood (or, for that matter, Westminster), legislation for an "unchallengeable" independence referendum is dependent on securing a majority of MPs across the UK.
In my view, this aspect of the existing devolution settlement (regardless of how it came about) is undemocratic.
It undermines the traditional Scottish constitutional principle that sovereignty rests with the people of Scotland and consequently I would like to suggest that Westminster pass legislation which takes politicians out of the picture completely and provides that an independence referendum may only be held if 5% of those registered on the electoral roll in Scotland petition the Electoral Commission to do so within a set period of time (similar provisions exist in Switzerland).
Such legislation should leave it up to the petitioners to determine the precise wording of the question and when it is to be asked, but stipulate that the independence issue (whatever wording is chosen) should not be put again within a 15-year period and otherwise give responsibility to the Electoral Commission to make all necessary arrangements in accordance with the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000.
Any referendum instigated as a result of this legislation would thus be "Made in Scotland" (keeping the SNP happy) and with Electoral Commission involvement be "fair, legal and decisive" (keeping the Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats happy).
In the event that the electorate votes No in 2014, when the question was revisited (as it probably would be at some point) we would be spared the wrangling over process which has been the hallmark of the independence debate so far.
Separatists like Ian Grant seem to think we can seal the Scottish Border and stop a "brain and brawn drain" (Letters, August 7).
London is our nearest, large, English-speaking international city, with more opportunities than any city in Scotland could ever contain. Even Irish entertainers such as Terry Wogan and Graham Norton go to London to reach their potential, and end up becoming British institutions.
Scots do not need to leave their country to go to London since it is their (other) capital city. Why deny ourselves the best of both worlds by rejecting our British nationality? Scotland has grown very successfully inside the UK and is now the most populous it has ever been.
90 Whitelees Road,
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