IT is reported today that the Tories have started love-bombing Scotland with the promise of thousands of government jobs and an

end to what they now admit as having being a "Westminster knows best" approach ("The Tories’ tails are rising as the pre-Holyrood election love-bombing begins", The Herald, March 15). Before being swayed by these commitments, however, Scottish

voters would do well to learn lessons from the past.

In 1974 the UK Government commissioned Professor Gavin McCrone to report on the economic effect of Scottish independence in the light of the recent discovery of North Sea oil. Prof McCrone concluded that the country would be in chronic financial surplus to an almost embarrassing degree and its currency would become the hardest in Europe with the possible exception of the Norwegian Kroner. This report was immediately classified as secret and was not published until 30 years later. In the meantime the UK Government rubbished claims that the discovery of oil in Scottish waters would have anything like this outcome. Now it says in effect, too bad, you missed your chance then and we have spent all the revenue.

In 1979, when Scotland was voting for the first time on the proposal to establish a devolved government in Scotland, Lord Home, speaking with the authority of the UK Government, said they were in favour of devolution but not that particular model. Vote No and a better project would be presented. When devolution was rejected, despite receiving a majority of votes cast, Lord Home's promise was instantly forgotten.

And in the run-up to the 2014 independence referendum all sorts of promises were made to encourage voters to vote No. Yet the first thing Prime Minister David Cameron did when the outcome was announced was to stand outside 10 Downing Street and say that now was the time to pay attention to England. Scotland had been sorted.

The conclusion is that the opponents of Scottish independence will say anything, promise anything, to frustrate that outcome. Fifteen years ago it was that the SNP must gain a majority of Scottish seats in a UK General Election when that outcome seemed impossible. When the impossible happened it is now that the SNP must gain a majority of seats in a Holyrood election for Scotland to be allowed another referendum, despite that the election process was specifically designed by Westminster to prevent such an outcome. And there is always the backstop that the UK Government can deny a referendum even if that hurdle is achieved.

It is time to escape from lies and deception. Quite simply, if in May a parliament is elected in which a majority of members vote for another independence referendum then that referendum should take place. That is what parliamentary democracy is all about.

Ian McKee, Edinburgh.


AN excellent letter from Willian Loneskie (March 13), who criticises the Scottish Green Party. John Swinney, the Deputy First Minister, only survived a vote of no confidence over his reluctance to hand over key documents to the Salmond inquiry because the Greens voted with the SNP. For far too long the Greens have been the tail which wagged the SNP dog.

What have they demanded in return for this latest treachery? Many will agree with Mr Loneskie that the Greens are intent on "bringing down capitalism and individual prosperity". The Scottish Greens are like watermelons, green on the outside, red on the inside.

Clark Cross, Linlithgow.


YOUR article about the Clydebank Blitz ("All the lights went out and the first bombs fell. Then an explosion and a helter-skelter of debris", Herald Magazine, March 13) brought back memories of my mum.

March 13, 1941 coincided with her 21st birthday and for a number of years she would recount watching the blitz in Clydebank from her then home in Rothesay. As a young lad I didn’t really take much notice and was foolishly dismissive of her story.

However, as I grew up I grew to appreciate what a frightening experience it must have been for a young woman to witness explosions and the many resultant fires across the Firth of Clyde. She and her friends and family must have thought "when is this going to end?’"

The images in the article looked little different from the devastation in the villages, towns and cities of Syria in more recent times. Do we never learn? What an utter waste of human life and endeavour.

Willie Towers, Alford.


BERNARD Bale’s analysis of the BBC (" The BBC has had its day and should now be axed", The Herald, March 11) struck a chord when he wrote about TV journalists standing pointlessly outside of darkened buildings when nothing is happening, as if the empty location adds authenticity to their reports. We also see the converse, when they turn away from real events like a Cairo riot or a Government minister to gabble at the camera.

I saw one of the best examples when I was invited by Nasa to an exclusive viewing of a Space Shuttle launch. When the countdown reached zero, the reporter stepped into the frame and faced the camera. As that miracle of engineering containing seven brave souls left the planet on a pillar of flame, he turned his back on the event he was supposed to be witnessing, blocked our view of the lift-off, and talked garbage. It was crass self-important posturing of the worst kind.

Ken MacTaggart, Inverness.

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