Alexander McKay writes about the possible dangers of independence (Devil is in the detail of independence, Letters, January 6).

It is a dangerous world. Maybe the perils of continued Union are greater than those of being a normal independent nation.

As Mr McKay writes, poverty, injustice and crime in Newcastle and Portsmouth are important. They are important also in Delhi and Capetown. The saying "Think globally, act locally" suggests that we should care about these evils everywhere, but have prime responsibility for dealing with them here in Scotland.

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To be positive, as Michelle Smythe suggests in the preceding letter, we may expect an independent Scotland to contribute substantially to international aid and co-operation – as our Scandinavian neighbours already do. We may hope that an independent Scotland will spend money and effort on improving life here, and helping others elsewhere to do the same, rather than on maintaining nuclear weapons which the world would be better without.

David Stevenson