Thank you for the first real salvo in the debate about independence (A new blueprint for an independent Scotland, News, May 5).

For the first time I feel that we are getting a contribution to the debate that is visionary and radical. After years of neo-liberalism in the UK, it is surely time to ditch the values that promote materialism, individualism and inequality in favour of a new way. The academics and economists you quote do us all a favour by spelling out how this could be done in an independent Scotland. I do hope you are right in suggesting that key players in Yes Scotland and MSPs are privately more positive than the usual anodyne quotes suggest. Yes Scotland needs to get on to the front foot and present the case for independence based largely on this Nordic approach.

Jim Rooney

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I was glad to see expression of a vision in "Common Weal". At last, a chance to have serious discussion around the true Scottish idea of equality. In their book The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone, Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett present an evidence-based argument that equality is good for everyone; that communities, mental and physical health, education, crime figures and so on are demonstrably better in countries where equality is practised. The UK and US come bottom on most indicators. Income inequality drives common inequality and this would be a tough one to crack in an independent Scotland, connected by land and language to the rest of the UK. But it would be worth the try.

Donald M Thomson


If I could believe that an independent Scotland would implement the vision to which you refer in your leader, I would be much more inclined to vote "Yes" in the referendum. (At last, a vision for independence, Editorial, May 5). Am I naïve to wish that such a vision could be implemented throughout the United Kingdom?

William Whitson