TRUE to form, instead of announcing a clear economic plan for independence at their spring conference in Aberdeen the SNP not only fudged the currency issue yet again but they did not even give any straight answers on how they would tackle our Greek style debt, the loss of UK defence spending on frigates and air bases and so on. To make matters worse Nicola Sturgeon's non-answer response after the conference as to what currency Scotland would use (“Sturgeon: Pound a ‘starting point’ under independence”, The Herald, March 20) should be a cause for concern for all those pushing for another referendum especially as her Growth Commission (after months of research) has clearly been unable to advise her on any believable options which could be used by the SNP as an independent country.
However, if Ms Sturgeon's prediction had been true and we had been on the "cusp of a second oil boom" and oil prices had reached around $150 a barrel then for sure there would not have not been a need for a Growth Commission to scratch around for answers and instead we would already have had a shiny new White Paper published and the start button for another referendum pressed. However unfortunately for the SNP instead of the Utopia promised we have had oil prices as low as $27 a barrel (now hovering around $50 a barrel) with little or no net receipts to "bake into" the SNP numbers.
Other than the SNP diehards most people who own a business or run a family budget understand that the Growth Commission is on a mission impossible as long as we spend considerably more than we generate and the SNP continues with its crippling tax burdens on the middle classes (compared to rUK) which of course kills aspirations and makes a nonsense of her call for English entrepreneurs to move north. Indeed the real outrage is that Ms Sturgeon has the gall to try and break up our 300-year-old Union before even having a basic understanding on how our economy would operate under independence. Rather than make fake grievances at every turn Ms Sturgeon should get on with the day job and only when she can make a strong economic case for independence should the SNP even consider asking the Scottish people for support and for a further referendum.
Meanwhile the uncertainty she has created can only harm Scottish jobs and encourage companies to postpone investments and to dust-off their 2014 contingency plans to move south or abroad,
Murtle Den Road, Milltimber, Aberdeen.
NICOLA Sturgeon told the SNP conference: “Let me issue this open invitation today … come and join us. Come here to live, work, invest or study. Come to Scotland – and be part of building a modern, progressive, outward-looking, compassionate country.”
Fine words. But they contrast with the reality as set out in the SNP’s Independence White Paper in November, 2013. At present, people from the UK or Irish Republic moving to Scotland have full citizenship rights immediately. But under the SNP’s proposals, those moving to Scotland after independence would have to live here for 10 years, and demonstrate a “continuing connection” to Scotland, before they would be allowed to apply for citizenship, unless they have a Scottish parent or grandparent.
The SNP is fond of saying that Scotland should be run by those who live and work here. But about 10 per cent of the current Scottish population were born in the rest of the UK or Ireland. Independence would mean that if inward migration continues, a very substantial proportion of those living and working here would not be able to play a full part, but would be second-class citizens.
38 Crompton Avenue, Cathcart, Glasgow.
JOHN JG McGill (Letters, March 20) repeats an error that I first heard aired when Winnie Ewing declared at the opening ceremony of the Scottish Parliament that "the Scottish Parliament stands reconvened".
Strange that, because the first line of the Scotland Act that brought our devolved parliament into being says clearly "There shall be a Scottish Parliament". It does not say "the Scottish Parliament shall be reconvened". And during the years of the work of the Scottish Constitutional Convention, which the SNP had no part in, no-one ever suggested we were re-convening the parliament of centuries ago.
Both the Scottish and English parliaments adjourned, sensibly enough, before the completely new parliament was formed. What else would they have done? No-one knew that the new parliament was going to succeed in being the recognised body that took the place of the former parliaments for the next 300 years and more. People can believe that England's parliament still stands adjourned, but it hardly meets with reality.
And why hark back to that Scottish Parliament of 1707? A collection of wealthy landowners, with no women involved of any social status, interested only in their own welfare and whether the monarch was a Catholic or a Protestant. At least most of us have moved on from all that.
10 Ascot Avenue, Glasgow.
I CAME across this quotation in my “archives”: “Scottish socialists cannot support a strategy for independence which postpones the meeting of urgent social and economic needs until the day after independence. But neither can they give unconditional support to maintaining the integrity of the United Kingdom – and all that that entails – without any guarantee of radical social change.”
– Gordon Brown, aged 24, student Rector of Edinburgh University.
117 Old Greenock Road, Bishopton.
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