WITHIN the last year or so, the UK Government has ordered nuclear power stations from EDF, a wind farm for the southern North Sea from DONG Energy and a wind farm for the northern North Sea from Statoil. These three companies have the following features in common:

They are not British. All are state owned and were state-created (EDF is French, DONG is Danish and Statoil is Norwegian). In their home countries they employ people and contribute to diversity in the economy, importantly, to a strengthened science base.

Equivalent companies do not exist in the UK. What does exist in the UK is a massive finance industry and a lack of diversity in the economy.

The choice of employment of our Prime Ministers following retirement from 10 Downing Street provides proof of the dominance of finance. Every Prime Minister, from Margaret Thatcher to David Cameron, acquired a job in finance.

John Fleming,

34 Kessington Drive,


REFLECTING on Theresa's May’s much repeated mantras “Brexit means Brexit” and “strong and stable”, we now have accurate translations of these meaningless words, said repeatedly because the poor woman had nothing more constructive to say. This is hardly surprising as she had supported the Remain campaign during the European Union referendum.

Strong and stable turns out to translate as weak and wobbly while Brexit has exhausted journalists and your correspondents on these pages of synonyms to describe Brexit. Calamitous, cataclysmic, collapse, destructive, detrimental, devastation, disastrous, dire, dreadful, fatal, grievous, harmful, ill fated, nightmare, ruinous, terrible, tragic to name but a few. Even the Scots word “bourach” has crept into Hansard’s Thesaurus, recorded there for the first time. These descriptive words far exceed the adjectives used to support Brexit.

This would suggest that the majority of the thinking population has concluded that Brexit is an extremely bad idea and that voters should be afforded an opportunity to reconsider their vote to Leave. The unhappy facts and consequences emerging daily are being recognised and voters remember that they were told that the referendum was "advisory”. Any new campaign should exclude lies and false promises of “jam tomorrow” by a small coterie of hard-line Tory and UKIP politicians anxious to re-establish their lost Empire and keep out Johnny Foreigner.

Nigel Dewar Gibb,

15 Kirklee Road, Glasgow.

SO a Finnish academic and around 99 others have received letters warning them that they face detention and removal from the UK (“Home Office apologises after EU nationals threatened with removal”, The Herald, August 24). "The letters were issued in error" it is said, and, as no one is denying composing and writing the letters we can only assume the mistake made was in posting them prematurely. Maybe EU nationals living in the UK should observe the Boy Scout motto, "be prepared"

George Smith,

21 Birny Hill Court, Clydebank.

HYPERBOLE and unrealistic usage of statistics are the trademarks of the Scottish National Party, and its supporters, as demonstrated by the current war of words on your Letters Pages. During the 2014 independence referendum campaign the SNP touted (simply as a bonus) huge oil wealth for Scotland, now sadly shown to be completely wrong.

It touted education would be fantastic on its watch, now sadly shown to be wrong. It touted a first class health service, now sadly shown to be wrong.

Will its next unrealistic position be to expect Tian Tian to bear 12 cubs so as to renew its only demonstrably true claim that (until recently) there are more pandas in Scotland than Tory MP's?

Dr Gerald Edwards,

Broom Road, Glasgow.

SO let's, for a moment, be generous to Nicola Sturgeon and the rest of the SNP establishment. Let's accept it would have been challenging for them to forecast the massively damaging effect the oil price crash would have had on an independent Scotland’s economy.

But that's the point, isn't it? You shouldn't build an economy - or a country - based on a single product. A product that is both declining in supply and demand plus is far from unique in global terms and so readily subject to competition from cheaper cost providers elsewhere.

Scotland of course is about more than oil and isn't exactly a banana economy but, as we all know, oil played a significantly disproportionate part in the SNP's economic projections in their pre-referendum White Paper.

As the recent GERS numbers have shown, the tax yield in post-oil boom Scotland relative to our population is lower than elsewhere in the UK. There is an onus on both Westminster and Holyrood governments to accelerate diversification away from oil to encourage jobs' growth in high performing sectors. Admittedly not easy.

We are though fortunate to be part of the much more diversified UK economy which allows for high levels of public spending in Scotland, irrespective of the price of oil.

Martin Redfern,

Woodcroft Road, Edinburgh.

THE General Election in June clearly convinced optimistic elements of British Unionism that they had smelled some blood, shed by the campaign for Scottish Independence. Since then, crashing on at a fair gallop, led by the incessant bellowing of Ruth Davidson and the odd newspaper columnist, they have bayed like maddened hounds, desperate to go in for a kill.

Nevertheless, during the current chaos of Brexit double talk- soft borders, hard borders, no borders, no Brexit or maybe a bit of Brexit here and there, their case against Scotland's own voice in Europe has been sabotaged, by themselves. Now, in desperation they have resorted to a very, very old chestnut, by accusing supporters of Scottish national independence - the Scottish nation achieving the right to speak "nation to nation" with Europe and the rest of the world - of being "national".

As one of those supporters of national independence, I am happy to line up with some national treasures like the National Health Service, Scottish National Museum, the National Trust for Scotland, the Scottish National Portrait Gallery and other noble institutions to defy such deviant use of implication and innuendo. I do recognise that there is a form of so-called nationalism associated with white supremacist, racist, bigoted thugs but the flags they wield as weapons of hate are not the Saltire.

Frances McKie,

20 Ash Hill, Evanton, Ross-shire.

WHY does the British national media not call the Brexiters Brit Nats or separatists? Does the sneering at wanting control of your own country only apply to the people who want Scottish independence? A case of the usual double standards.

Grace Kerr,

56 Sandyknowes Road,