GORDON Wilson's letter (June 27) must have rung bells with many.
Our four children, expensively reared and educated in Scotland, are all working outside our country, two in England, one in Switzerland and one in Sweden. Their education and talents are helping the economies of the countries they reside in.
No-one would wish to interfere with the international flow of talent, but a 100% loss is hard to bear. But you have to ask where they would work if they were here, as all industry and commerce becomes ever more centralised, despite the valiant efforts of Scottish governments with their limited powers. Why, for instance, when I pick up a prescription, is the drug always manufactured in Essex or Hertfordshire? Why is my credit card or mobile phone bill payable to addresses in south-east England, where staff costs are so much higher? Why are costly and unpopular decisions about defence, welfare, jubilee celebrations and the like made in London? Why are our taxes so high, when the rich are able to get away with paying hardly anything?
There is inadequate legislation and poor regulation. Surely our country's affairs could be better managed by an independent Scottish government, whatever its political colour. In 2014 we will not be asked to vote for the SNP; we will simply be asked whether Scotland should be an independent nation.
35 St Andrews Drive, Gourock.
GORDON Wilson's letter would have been better for a few facts. The Scottish population at the time of the parliamentary union in 1707 was not one quarter of the combined population of Scotland and England but about 16%, or roughly 15% of the combined populations of Scotland, England and Wales. Scots had been migrating to the Baltic, the Low Counties, France, North America, England and so on long before 1707. Of the 400,000 or so people born in England living in Scotland those who are of an age to vote will be able to vote in the independence referendum, but none of the 800,000 or so Scots living in England will have that option.
Dr Alexander S Waugh,
1 Pantoch Gardens,
Iain Peterson points out that "the UK political system is not a one-party state" (Letters, June 28). This fact surely is the bedrock of democracy and why the UK system in Westminster has, for all its faults, lasted so long. It has served as the model for civilised countries around the world.
However, there is no guarantee that, if the SNP came to power over a referendum-endorsed independent Scotland, it would wish to maintain this model. The Scottish Parliament has already chosen a different model from Westminster in that it does not have a second chamber. It would not take much in the way of redrawing boundaries and rationalising representation to marginalise the opposition parties and ensure that Scotland became a one-party state permanently ruled by the SNP. Otherwise a majority vote for the Labour Party would be seen as a vote against the independent state.
Alistair Darling has referred to the outcome of the referendum as a "one-way ticket". In what I consider to be the unthinkable event of a Yes vote it is clear that the process of dismantling 300 years of social integration, administrative and political infrastructures would take many years. One hopes for enough time for certain voters to realise their horrific lapse in judgment by demanding a re-union; one which I expect by that time would cost us dearly.
46 Breadie Drive,
I WONDER if Doug Maughan (Letters, June 28) is being a little disingenuous when he alludes to "the complications of an international boundary" separating Scots working or living in England from friends and relatives at home come Scottish independence.
Until recently I had German friends who stayed in Aachen. A significant number of workers and schoolchildren cross the unmanned international borders from Belgium and the Netherlands into Germany on a regular basis. In fact, there is a curious street in a suburb of the city where the houses on one side are in Germany and those on the other in the Netherlands. Train and bus routes operate across these borders as if they weren't there. It could hardly be less formal.
I have another German friend who had a spell working as a teacher in Switzerland. He crossed the border near Basel on a regular basis on his way to and from work. Significantly, this was a manned border between an EU and a non-EU country. However, German and Swiss citizens cross it on a regular basis for work, shopping and leisure purposes.
There is really no need for alarm, and certainly nothing complicated, about an international border between countries which agree to work together.
129 Novar Drive,
IAN Bell claims that the Coalition Government is "bereft of real Scottish support" ("Independence is risky, but Union is even scarier", The Herald, June 27). However, the Coalition received around the same amount of Scottish votes as the SNP Government. The figures tell us that 878,326 Scots voted for the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives at the General Election in 2010. This compares with 889,668 (the average of the constituency and regional vote) for the SNP at the Holyrood election in 2011.
In other words, both governments have a mandate from almost the same number of Scots. Moreover, Westminster trumps Holyrood for democratic legitimacy, since 64% of the Scottish electorate voted at the General Election in 2010, compared to a mere 50% at the Scottish Parliament election in 2011.
268 Bath Street,
I WONDER how Alistair Darling is feeling about David Cameron's welfare proposals? It is the widening gap in attitudes between Scotland and the south that is driving the Yes camp.
We have the No campaigners lumbering like overweight boxers trying to land that killer punch, one scare story on another. But the picture Ian Bell paints scares me, and I would guess most people this side of the Border, but not enough on the other side.
I can see the improbable becoming possible, and we will be landed with an independence that most of us apparently think unnecessary.
Better eat your words about that second question, Mr Darling.
10a Warrender Park Terrace,
ANNE J Irvine suggests that unless we get an 80% turnout in the referendum the result should be void (Letters, June 28). I agree, and in this case the assumption should be that the Scottish electorate has failed to indicate its wish to remain shackled to the UK.
But glibness aside, why should apathy and demoralisation in the people be taken as support for the status quo? This was the tack taken in 1979, and look how poorly that served us.
42 Union Road,
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