WE are now within a week of the referendum that will decide whether Scotland reclaims its independence or accepts dependence on government from the UK.

Meanwhile, the Coalition Government slides closer and closer to yet another war that will increase the UK national debt and add to the number of our servicemen killed and seriously wounded in UK wars. You report that "Mr Cameron welcomed US President Barack Obama's plan to extend airstrikes against IS militants in Syria" but he said Britain was "not at the stage" of joining the military action ("Confusion over UK's stance on airstrikes", The Herald, September 12). Further, "David Cameron's official spokesman insisted ... that nothing had been ruled out in relation to IS".

We may reasonably conclude that a new war is being delayed until the referendum is over. Having secured Scottish dependence, Mr Cameron will immediately authorise airstrikes in Iraq and Syria to accompany those of the United States. According to various media reports, UK special forces are already operating in Iraq. The UK national debt will soar to pay for our involvement in the war. UK security will be further compromised with the greater threat of terrorism. As a result, sooner or later, recent cuts to the UK armed forces will have to be reversed with further stress on the UK economy.

It seems to me that the only way to inhibit Westminster militarism, and to save the UK from further horrors associated with wars in the Middle East, is for there to be a resounding Yes vote.

Dr John H Duffus,

43 Mansionhouse Road,


I was struck by a comment made by Joe Darby (Letters, September 12) when he described the United Kingdom as "well respected." I am not sure where he believes this opinion is held. After Westminster's illegal war in Iraq there are large parts of the world which consider the UK as at best a bully and at worst a pariah state. Most other world players appear to consider the UK as a country still living on past glories with ideas far above its station.

In my travels over the years I have always received a warmer welcome when I have advised anyone who called me English that I was in fact Scottish. However, I have never been asked if I was from the United Kingdom or if I was British. Recently this approval of Scottishness has increased as various nationalities express their admiration at our attempt to democratically regain our independence. I wonder what my reply will be if we become the first country which is too scared and pathetic to seize the opportunity to run our own country. Will we answer embarrassedly in the future "Scottish honestly I voted Yes"?

David Stubley,

22 Templeton Crescent,


COVERAGE of the independence referendum has naturally overshadowed the important nomination of European Commissioner posts within the European Union.

In this context Ireland has been nominated to hold the post of EU Agriculture Commissioner and Malta to hold the post of Fisheries and Environment Commissioner. These are both countries with smaller populations than Scotland, indeed, Malta's population is smaller than that of Edinburgh.

And while Malta is allocated a portfolio in the new Commission which is of direct relevance to our fishing communities, Scotland, with Europe's fourth largest sea area from which one-fifth of Europe's fish catch is taken, can only observe from the sidelines.

These appointments remind us that under the current political arrangements Scotland is not directly represented in any of the EU institutions, giving the lie to the suggestion that countries of Scotland's size or smaller can't have a major role and impact in the EU in crucial areas.

With the powers of independence and representation as an independent country in our own right at the top table of Europe, Scotland would clearly be in a much better position.

Alex Orr,

Flat 2,

7 Leamington Terrace,