It is more important than ever with the upcoming referendum that politicians do not muddy the waters and learn the lessons of history when discussing the future of Scottish industry, including the Royal Navy contracts ("Separate Scotland will be big loser in defence deals", The Herald, June 29).
Arguments about the decline of Scotland's heavy industry have raged for years, with some blaming limited technological capability for the decline and others focusing rightly on economic and politically motivated cuts.
The only certainty from the demise of these industries was the devastation that followed in areas such as Lanarkshire, with the loss of the steelworks, and the effects on communities such as Inverclyde, with the loss of shipbuilding. Neither area has fully recovered.
With the new generation of tankers for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary being awarded to a South Korean firm and no British company submitting a final bid for the build contract, it is evident the commercial capacity of Scottish yards has been reduced to a point where they are heavily, if not solely, reliant on UK military contracts. The loss of Royal Navy shipbuilding contracts would surely put the final nail in the coffin of all Scottish shipyards if Scotland separated from the United Kingdom.
With more than half of the steel to be used on the new Forth bridge contracted predominantly to China, and with Tata Steel UK losing out in supplying the steel from their Dalzell steelworks in Motherwell, doubt must be cast on the Scottish Government's priority, which should be growing the country's economy.
With the European economy looking over a precipice, we are facing an increasingly insecure future. With greater protectionism by sovereign nations working to secure their own futures, how would a separate Scotland fare under these contracting economic conditions? Anything other than the truth regarding their commitment to the future of industries such as shipbuilding and other heavy industry will only serve to exacerbate the precarious position in which many workers and communities could find themselves.
The reaction of politicians to an independent Scotland should rightly come back to the economic consequences and the long-term effects on the communities they serve. A reaction based on harsh truths would be laudable; but a reaction based on a deluded sense of a separate Scotland laying claim to jobs we would have no right to is dangerous and misleading.
The future of shipbuilding and heavy industry is too important for the Scottish Government to take what seems like a reckless gamble; at the heart of these industries are families and communities who will have to live with the decision long after politicians have gone.
22 Glenkinglas Road,
Is Bill Brown really arguing that there is a risk that an independent Scotland will become a one-party state (Letters, June 29)? He claims the Westminster system has acted as a model system and is worried the Scottish Parliament has not emulated it. The fact is that Westminster is outdated and nobody has emulated it for many years. The reason the Scottish Parliament (designed, to their credit, by Unionists) works differently is because it is based on more advanced continental models, none of which resembles a one-party state.
The fact that any attempt at "a positive case for the Union" has almost instantly given way to more scaremongering is bad enough, but to be told there is a risk of Scotland becoming a one-party state is a new low.
6 Methven Avenue,
To extol the virtues of the second chamber in Westminster when it is the absolute retrograde motif of a system of feudal reward and obsequious patronage would push any intelligent individual towards voting for a parliament with a committee system peopled by democratically elected representatives. Can Bill Brown not find a better debating point?
Perhaps the reason many are looking forward to being a part of a more representative political entity is precisely because the UK political parties only differ in name, as their policies of reckless militarism and blind faith in large corporate governance is repeatedly proven to be corrosive to the social cohesion many of us strive for.
Where is Mr Brown's proof of "300 years of social integration" when every study repeatedly points to the fact we are moving towards a more unjust and inequitable society by Westminster intent? Hysterical language? Not when David Cameron continually attacks the poor for aspiring to a decent living while turning a blind eye to those in his social milieu who repeatedly avoid making any decent financial contribution according to their means. Judging by deed and the company kept does not instil confidence in Westminster.
10 Grants Way,
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