SANDY Gemmill (Letters, February 9) expressed concern for our two Celtic cousins with whom I am sure we will continue to enjoy cordial relations, Scottish independence or not.

Both these nations have their own legislative assemblies and I am sure will ultimately find their own solution to the problem of English dominance. However, Mr Gemmill did not mention a third Celtic cousin, Cornwall, which has been quietly absorbed into England and even shares a police force with Devon.

Settlers and holiday cottage owners from the London area have inflated house prices to a locally unsustainable level and have had a deleterious effect on local culture and identity.

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Nevertheless, there is an active Cornish autonomy movement (Mebyon Kernow, or Cornish Nationalists) and attempts are being made to revive, modernise and teach the Cornish language. As in Wales, there is a (Cornish) Gorsedd with bards – and there was a tradition of male voice choirs.

Cornwall's solution would need to suit the Cornish people and may not be the same as ours.

Other cousins include the Bretons, who have a more intransigent imperial master than England – and, of course, the Manx, who enjoy a great deal of independence.

Andrew McCrae,

35 St Andrews Drive,


THE UK Government manages to turn all positive effects of Scottish independence into negatives ("Breakaway Scotland may need more public bodies", The Herald, February 12).The reported need for 200 new quangos to manage the Scottish services of UK Government bodies is assumed to be bad for Scotland. However, the contrary is true.

At present Scotland contributes 9.6% of the cost of perhaps 230 bodies (the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, the UK Border Agency, TV licensing and so on) which employ 490,000 people throughout the UK. The vast majority of these bodies are based south of the Border, and so Scottish taxpayers are supporting English or Welsh jobs in the civil service; of course, nothing wrong with that. However, the repatriation of perhaps 50% of these bodies north of the Border will lead to thousands, perhaps 20,000-30,000, of new jobs in Scotland at no additional cost to the Scottish taxpayer. This is a major dividend of independence.

In addition to government jobs, there will be a large influx of jobs from foreign governments and companies who feel they need to be represented in Scotland, and this is before any benefit accrues from growing the Scottish economy. So it is time to stop the appalling scaremongering and look to the positive effects of independence.

Ian Grant,

2 Ashburnham Gardens,

South Queensferry.

J B DRUMMOND's letter regarding the invisibility of Scotland on the world stage reminded me of the time some years ago when I met a group of American women in the ladies' room of a restaurant in Venice. They asked me where I came from and when I said Scotland they were really impressed. "That's amazing," they said. "We would never have guessed. You speak English so well."

I hadn't the heart to tell them.

Joyce Kirkwood,

42 Tinto Road,