IT was generous of Brian Cox to pay us a visit and voice his opinions (“Cox: Class-ridden and feudal UK is why I want Scotland to be independent”, The Herald, August 27, and Letters, August 31 & September 1).

With regard to his comments on unionist voters and their lack of confidence in Scotland, may I point out that the lady sharing the stage with him has just authorised the appointment of consultants for the ferry fiasco to a company from the Netherlands and the consultancy work for the Rest and be Thankful to an alliance from Canada ("Rest and Be Thankful contract A83 deal for Canada firms", The Herald, August 31)? Are these examples of her confidence in Scotland?

Why is it so difficult for Brian Cox and his cohorts to accept that many unionists fully appreciate that the abundance of attributes that Scotland possesses makes it perfectly feasible to be independent but also recognise that the SNP has shown itself to be incapable of governing our country and this allied with its lack of financial acumen or transparency means that, for many of the people who love Scotland, the risks are just too great.

To emphasise, it is not Scotland that's the problem, it's the SNP.

John Kennedy, Stirling.


IT is nonsensical that “unionistas” complain that Scots who have chosen to live overseas have the temerity to offer an opinion on Scottish independence (Letters, August 31 and September 1). It seems to have escaped their attention that the 43 million voters south of the Border who aren’t Scots don’t live here and are controlled by a Government that hasn’t reflected the wishes of the Scottish electorate for half a century will ultimately determine our collective fate.

That the current generation of hard-working tax-paying Scots live under a feudal system that has been forced on them for centuries and is currently endorsed by a small coterie of individuals who profit from the arrangement is simply not democratic. However, at the same time it encapsulates the true nature of UK politics where a small avaricious self-centred tail is wagging a huge presently-docile dog. The dog is starting to bark.

David J Crawford, Glasgow.


PETER Russell (Letters, September 1) correctly points out that “the Vow” in September 2014 did not promise “Scotland a new shipbuilding hall at BAe Systems and a certain number of ship orders”. However, it was reported in the press at the time that "the Ministry of Defence has admitted it is considering abandoning its promise to build the new type-26 frigates on the Clyde and instead seek an alternative from abroad, the head of the Royal Navy has admitted”. Three years later The Ferret concluded that “while no official contracts were signed, public statements were made which suggested Govan and Scotstoun yards would receive this work”.

Mr Russell is therefore factually correct in his claim, but historically as well as politically naïve in making it. While it is true the frigates played no part in “the Vow”, it is quite simply not sustainable to claim that the frigates promise played no part in the independence debate at the time, or in its outcome.

He complains that “if Scottish nationalism is such a good idea, why does it need so many falsehoods to make its case?”. Perhaps a no-less-apposite question is “if staying in the Union is such a good idea, why does it need to split so many hairs?”

Alasdair Galloway, Dumbarton.


THE SNP is delivering leaflets to households in Scotland entitled “The new case for independence”…. "the facts”. It states “the evidence shows independence works”. Apart from comparing Scotland to other “small” countries, they provide absolutely no evidence that Scottish independence will work. This SNP Government will not provide “the people of Scotland” with the economic and financial facts and figures to prove independence will be successful for Scotland. Indeed Professor Jim Mitchell of Edinburgh University said recently when interviewed by Neil Mackay, “if we become an independent country we would do so with a dysfunctional model”. And: “it is not good enough to say it’s all Westminster’s fault and all will be well if independent”; Scotland’s politics is immature.”

The brochure also states: “Scotland could and should be doing so much better. So “could” do much better and indeed Nicola Sturgeon stated recently of independence, “there is no guarantee of success”. Andrew Wilson states independence will be “hard”. Ms Sturgeon also states Scot could be “wealthier, happier, fairer”. What on earth has she and her party been doing for 15 years? It beggars belief.

Douglas Cowe, Newmachar.


IN the latest of his regular attacks on the possibility of Scotland regaining independence, Victor Clements (Letters, September 1) invokes some convoluted genealogical research to discredit the idea of cultural distinction.

The aggregated collection of people's origins certainly contributes to the traditions of a country or region, but the prevailing cultural norms are much more pervasive and deep-rooted than the personal details of individuals.

Anyone who has lived in England, Scotland, Wales or other countries becomes aware of the reality of national cultural distinctions.

Denying their existence may help to reinforce some political prejudice but simply ignores reality.

Peter Dryburgh, Edinburgh.


MIKHAIL Gorbachev turned the Cold War into warm relations with the western world when he allowed members of the United Soviet Socialist Republic and its satellites to choose whether they wished to remain in the Soviet Union or become independent.

He became a world hero in his own lifetime.

Why do Boris Johnson, Liz Truss, Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer find it so difficult to allow Scotland a referendum to decide its own future?

There is now a majority in Scotland for independence and though the newspapers grab every poll that shows a dip in numbers of Yes voters, no one should now be in doubt that Scotland intends to leave the Union nor that Scotland can support itself.

I can only hope that whoever becomes Prime Minister takes a leaf out of Gorbachev’s book and allows Scotland to choose her own path and government.

Elizabeth Scott, Edinburgh.


WHILST being no fan of Nick Robinson I regard the cancellation at short notice by Liz Truss of a scheduled interview with him as a great discourtesy to Mr Robinson and all of those viewers of his BBC 1 programme who were minded to watch it ("Politicians now see interviews as ‘all risk and no opportunity’", The Herald, August 31).

If Ms Truss regards live radio and TV interviews as “all risk and no opportunity” on a day when her diary had “nothing to flag” then I, for one, would see it as no great discourtesy if Mr Robinson were to return the compliment on a day when Liz Truss was as keen as mustard to address the nation anent a topic of her choice from his studio and he decided, at short notice, that he was unable to oblige her because he had some pencils which he really needed to sharpen at that very time. Geese, ganders and sauces come to mind.

Ms Truss would always have the opportunity to have her say on a soap box at Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park.

Stuart Swanston, Edinburgh.


WHEN on earth will those at the sharp end of pay negotiations on the management/political side finally realise that a flat percentage rise no longer cuts the mustard ("Pay offer would see £10K raise for higher earners", The Herald, August 31)?

The latest example of this nonsense is the offer made to local authority workers of a five per cent increase, the result of which would be those on large salaries gain a £10k increase whilst the majority of the lower paid workers gain £1k.

Incredibly the First Minister recommends they should accept the offer, which brings into question, yet again, her competency. Any union worth its salt cannot seriously recommend that this be accepted by its members. The only fair basis of an offer that stops the salary gap getting wider and more unjust would be a lump sum increase across the board, regardless of position in the wages league, perhaps augmented by a small percentage addition on top.

Thinking has to change in salary negotiations so that they are fair to all.

James Martin, Bearsden.

Read more: Beware the glib jibes about our national identity