IAN Bell is probably correct in commenting that a majority of the citizens of the UK are prepared to go along with the existence of the monarchy (" So, just what is the point of the monarchy these days?" The Herald, June 4).

While conceding that, it is worth pointing out that the spirit of republicanism is still alive and well. This state of affairs with regard to the acceptance or tolerance of the Royal Family flies in the face of all other modern concepts of 21st century living and, indeed, common sense.

In what other spheres of life and activity would a person be allowed to occupy a position of importance and responsibility because they were born in a particular bed at a particular time? Would we apply the same principles to our brain surgeon and to our pilot on our next journey by air? Moreover, let us remember that we have the newsworthy Prince Charles, who has a tendency to try to influence government policy privately, to look forward to in due course.

One perhaps once had a glimmer of hope that, come the brave new world of independence, the idea of hereditary monarchy would have been consigned peacefully to the historical refuse receptacle in relation to Scotland. However, the SNP have now gone for retaining the monarchy as some kind of offering to placate those Scots who are viewed as being concerned at the prospect of having too much change coming into their lives at the same time.

One is left in a state of wonder­ment. What has happened to the radical opinions on the monarchy once held by Alex Salmond when he was a prominent member of the 1979 Group within the SNP ?

Are the views of Roseanna Cunningham, the SNP Minister once known as Republican Rose, no longer to be heard within the SNP? In 1997, she orated to the effect at a party conference that the hereditary principle was anachronistic and could not be regarded as an appropriate part of a democratic state.

We look to the White Paper, Scotland's Future, for information on the subject. There we are told that come independence "Scotland will be a constitutional monarchy, continuing the Union of the Crowns that dates back to 1603".

There will be those who find the idea of continuing the hereditary monarchy in an independent Scotland difficult to find compatible with the SNP aspirations, expressed in the same document, to create a more democratic country and a fairer society.

Ian W Thomson,

38 Kirkintilloch Road,


William Durward seems to think that people who choose to come and live in an independent Scotland will do so as a result of the Scottish Government "asset-stripping poorer countries of qualified and promising people" (Letters, June 3). Surely he must have made this claim with his tongue firmly in his own cheek?

Any person who arrives in our country does so of their own free will and is invariably welcomed and valued. Hardly sounds like "asset stripping" to me. In fact, it sounds more like a country that is forward thinking, open-minded and socially just. Surely this is a more positive vision of what an independent Scotland could be like, rather than Mr Durward's bleak, unfriendly dystopia that plans to lure workers to our shores so as to entrap them and consign their homeland to a future of penury?

Alan Carroll,

24 The Quadrant,



I AM an immigrant. My native tongue is Dutch. I was delighted in due course to become a British citizen (not an English or Welsh or Scottish citizen) because of Britain's contribution to democracy and culture. That contribution was Scottish as much as English; think of the Enlightenment.

I am also a strong supporter of our membership of the EU, a union formed to turn away from the nationalism and chauvinism that has played such a destructive role in history. Instead its members agreed to share some of their sovereignty for the common benefit.

Currently we see a resurgence of nationalism and separatism in many countries in Europe that would turn the clock back to pre-war Europe. As a Brit living in England, my plea to the Scots is: please do not leave us alone at the mercy of the Little Englanders in Ukip and the Tea Party tendency in the Conservative Party.

Lord Dick Taverne,

25 Tufton Court,

Tufton Street, London.

I HAVE a question for Alex Salmond: has he invited or will he invite and publish the opinions of all the Scots who are working in other countries, who have been excluded from the franchise for the coming referendum on independence, although they depend on their possession of a British passport and value their Scottish identity?

The outcome of the referendum is clearly highly relevant to these Scots as well as to those of us living in Scotland.

Alison Kerr,

29 Fountain Road,

Bridge of Allan.