Letters: Edinburgh set to benefit from independence vote

Alistair Darling. Pic: Comp
Alistair Darling. Pic: Comp
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Surely all but the most blinkered British nationalists must be well and truly scunnered by the endless scaremongering from Alistair Darling.

The former Chancellor has now made the extraordinary claim that independence would be a catastrophe for Edinburgh on a par or greater than the banking collapse (March 25). Given that as Chancellor he was the man responsible for the economy when it suffered the worst financial crisis to hit the country since the Great Depression of the 1930s, you could argue that he knows what he’s talking about, but nothing could be farther from the truth.

Independence will transform Scotland, creating a fairer and wealthier nation. No part of the country will be unaffected but I believe the change will be most apparent in Edinburgh and the surrounding region.

Independence will bring jobs, prosperity and growth to the city. Edinburgh will be the capital of the world’s newest country, and the eyes of the world will be upon it. The exposure will be unparalleled, giving the already thriving tourist industry an even greater boost.

Thousands of jobs will be created almost overnight with the return of government functions such as defence, welfare, treasury, foreign office and countless others from Westminster. Likewise, dozens of foreign governments will require embassies and accommodation for hundreds of additional consular staff.

Companies seeking an English-speaking capital city to base their HQs will no longer have to choose between just London and Dublin, and with the economic levers to encourage inward investment, demand for office space will sky rocket.

As a bustling centre of government and commerce, the city will see transport improvements, and the creation of new homes, schools and shops. Edinburgh is already an incredible city but with independence it would be a fully-fledged capital city again for the first time in 300 years and thrive like never before.

Mr Darling knows these facts full well. He can’t admit them, of course, because for him the power and privilege of the London elite, like himself, must always come before the needs of everyday Scots and be protected at all costs.

And there is one thing we can be absolutely sure of losing with independence: 59 Westminster MPs, including Mr Darling, who’ll be out of a job, no longer able to claim their generous salaries, all those expenses, second homes in London, and the promise of a peerage to set them up for life.

William Davies, Penicuik

It’s not just the SNP who want a ‘Yes’ vote

IN his letter (March 20), Mr Mackie makes out that everybody voting ‘Yes’ in the independence referendum will be a supporter of Alex Salmond and the SNP, which is utter rubbish.

There will be thousands of people from all parties voting ‘Yes’.

On the subject of the EU, doesn’t he know there will be an ‘In-Out’ referendum in the UK? Scotland does not expect to join the EU automatically but is willing to negotiate terms of entry like all others.

As for Scotland standing on its own feet, we’ve been doing that for many years.

What has the UK done for Scotland, but drag us into wars, dump nuclear bombs and waste in our country and squander all the oil and whisky revenues on projects that will never benefit Scotland.

The only nightmare that will occur is if we wake up to a victory for the ‘No’ camp, because Osborne and co will slaughter us with at least ten years of more cuts.

Patrick Purcell, Longniddry, East Lothian

Westminster burden for Scottish Lib Dems

So the Lib Dems are making an early start in their campaign to win back Edinburgh Western. A wise move perhaps, since it’s the early bird that’s supposed to get the worm. It may be on this occasion, however, that it’s Mr Alex Cole-Hamilton who gets the bird.

It’s all down to a perception of trust. If Alex Cole-Hamilton believes that the adverse reaction to his party’s Westminster coalition with the Tories is now subsiding, then let him dream on.

Its position in policy areas such as tuition fees, bedroom tax and Trident renewal, to name but three, are not easily forgiven, especially when Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander seems intent on out-Torying the Tories on every possible public occasion.

And was it not Alex Cole-Hamilton himself, speaking as Lib Dem candidate for Central Edinburgh in 2011, who professed an abhorrence of nuclear weapons and claimed a long track record of opposition to tuition fees?

He really must not attempt to disconnect himself and his Holyrood colleagues from the antics of the Westminster branch of his party.

Archie Davidson, Caroline Terrace, Edinburgh

Time to take action over nursery fees

this country does not recognise the pressure and sacrifice that young mothers bringing up children go through.

Whether one parent or as a couple, the main issue is financial and it seems Britain as a whole is way behind 80 per cent of Europe on this issue of trying to balance a job and nursery fees.

The people making the financial decisions on these issues are well-heeled and have no idea of the stresses and sacrifices made by ordinary working people.

It’s about time we got together to march on Downing Street to represent parents’ interests and get real financial help.

Stanley Brown, Ferniehill Road, Edinburgh