I AM saddened by the negative campaigning and scaremongering from the No campaign, especially from Alistair Darling, who has no positive vision for Scotland's future.

The No campaign has made a feeble, almost non-existent case for the status quo, relying on the basic human instinct of fear of change in order to win.

I am not a fan of the Scottish National Party or of Alex Salmond, but I am now very clear on independence being the right choice. I base it on three long-term truths which supercede the doom and gloom portrayed by the vested interests of the Labour Party, who are betraying Scotland's interests.

Oil is a huge asset for the country, not a liability as the No campaign try to argue. As an oilman I know perfectly well the headline "wealth from oil is running out" is simply a scaremongering tactic. The United States has been running out of oil for 80 years and yet is going through another growth spurt, with major investment.

Secondly, how can Scotland be better off now linked to a kingdom that has slipped in wealth per capita to number 22 in the world, and slipping further? I have calculated that if Scotland had been given its independence when it first voted Yes for devolution 35 years ago, it would have been the fifth or sixth wealthiest nations in the world per capita, behind Qatar, Norway, Singapore, Luxemburg and ahead of the US, which sits as number eight, making the arguments over being a few hundred pounds better off trivial. If it gets the chance now, it still has the real potential to break free of the declining UK and climb to 10th, almost doubling its wealth per citizen.

Thirdly, it is a nonsense that a small nation with plentiful energy and skilled labour sources cannot do well on its own, with or without the scaremongering over the pound. There are eight small countries in the top ranks of the most successful countries in the world in terms of wealth per capita, each with their own currency, and either a holder of oil assets such as Qatar or Norway, or having a very strong social, industrial and national strategy to develop their economies such as Singapore. Scotland has the chance and capability to work on both.

As an international, seasoned businessman I am not scared by the short-term scaremongering on oil and currency from self-serving, negative politicians and conservative businesspeople. I hope the Scottish people take the bold move, see the short-term vested interests for what they are and improve the wellbeing of Scotland by voting Yes.

Ian Godden,


Glenmore Energy,

The Polchar,

Rothiemurchus Estate, by Aviemore.

I DON'T know what worries me most about the open letter signed by a host of business leaders ("Industry leaders say Yes vote fails the business test", The Herald, August 27): that they seem to have missed all the information available concerning the business world in an independent Scotland or the claim that business doesn't like uncertainty.

If these captains of industry are not capable of maintaining a healthy business in the light of change, responding to it, and recognising the opportunities that will surely be present after independence then perhaps it is time they step down and hand the reins of business over to more dynamic individuals with the necessary entrepreneurial nous, skills and determination to succeed.

Graeme Finnie,

Balgillo, Albert Street, Blairgowrie.

WE are involved in business and entrepreneurship at different levels in Scotland and around the world, and speak in a personal capacity. We believe independence is in the best interests of Scotland's economy and its people.

We will gain the powers to give our many areas of economic strength even more of an advantage in an increasingly competitive world. There will be more opportunities for our talented and determined young people to stay and succeed here in Scotland.

We believe Westminster governments do not and never will pay sufficient attention to the interests of Scotland's economy. The tax raids on our oil industry and pensions funds by Labour and Conservative-led governments are clear examples of a short-term focus rather than a long-term strategy. Scottish industry is so often treated as a cash cow rather than a strategically important part of a more prosperous and a fairer society.

The real threat to Scotland is the real possibility of a British exit from the European common market. Scotland must look outwards to the world of opportunity that awaits us. A Yes vote is the business and jobs opportunity of a lifetime for this and future generations."

Sir Brian Souter, chairman, Stagecoach Group plc; Jim McColl OBE, chairman and chief xecutive, Clyde Blowers plc; Ralph Topping, retired this month as chief executive of William Hill plc; Professor Nathu Puri, founder, Purico; Sir Patrick Grant of Dalvey, managing director, Grants Dalvey; Marie Macklin, chief executive, Klin Group, Professor Sir Donald MacKay, former chairman, Scottish Enterprise, founding director of an oil company and former non-executive director, Malcolm Group; Sir George Mathewson, chairman, Toscafund and former chairman and chief executive, Royal Bank of Scotland plc; Morag Milligan, operations manager, Milligan's Coach Hire; Fiona McKenzie, director and co-founder, Centre Stage Music Theatre; Kat Heathcote, director, Witherby Publishing Group; Neil Clapperton, managing director, Springbank Distillery; John Innes, British Venture Capitalist of the Year and Venture Capital Chief Executive of the Year, former chief executive Amor Group; Isabel McNicoll, owner, Business Time Saver; Alison Mabon, founder, DM Roofing; Sandy Orr OBE, o-founder, Mint Hotels; David Urquhart, founder, David Urquhart Travel; Angus Tulloch, Edinburgh fund manager, and more than 180 other signatories, Business for Yes, 290 Bath Street, Glasgow.

A full list of signatories can be found at heraldscotland.com.