Letters: Fergus disingenuous over fracking debate

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Fergus Ewing, SNP energy minister, rails against UK government proposals regarding fracking and states, “All the decisions taken about it (fracking) should be taken by the people of Scotland through the parliament and government they elected”.

This, as Mr Ewing is well aware, is exactly what will be the case, since Scottish ministers have full control over the planning system in Scotland and have the powers to block any fracking proposals of which they disapprove.

In any event, an expert group commissioned by SNP ministers last month reported that there were no significant technological barriers to the development of an ‘unconventional’ hydrocarbon industry and that the hydrocarbons could be extracted safely.

This is yet another example of attacking Westminster just for the sake of it and it is a tactic which merely loses the SNP credibility.

Donald Lewis, Beech Hill, Gifford, East Lothian

Tory ‘No’ vote’s ‘real people’ seem familiar

As an admitted ‘Yes’ voter in the upcoming referendum, I had thought that the ‘No’ campaign were starting to lose ground but I hadn’t realised to what level they had now sunk.

I am referring to a leaflet that came through my door from John Lamont, our Tory MSP, answering questions from ‘real people’ about referendum issues. The questions were accompanied by a supposed reasoning from a concerned family, Rachel and Billy, for voting ‘No’.

I didn’t think much about this until I read an article about the background to this leaflet. These have been distributed widely by the Tories, each supposedly from different MPs or MSPs, each and every one of them being a copy and paste job. The questions are identical, as are the answers, all appearing to come from different people in the appropriate constituencies.

Even the concerned families, Rachel and Billy from John Lamont’s constituency; Keith and Michelle from David Mundell’s and even Alexander and Lavinia from Alexander Burnett’s in Deeside, said the same, word for word.

This is the sort of made-up spiel we would expect from spam marketers. For the Tory party to be using this method, to try to gain ‘No’ votes, is making a mockery of the referendum and the voters of Scotland they seem to think will fall for it. I’m sure we are not that stupid.

Those in doubt should look at www.wingsoverscotland.com/more-ordinary-voters/. This is, admittedly, a pro-‘Yes’ community but the facts shown speak for themselves.

Joan Edington , Magdala Terrace, Galashiels

Would you buy a used country from this man?

YOU see an advert for a car and call the number. An A Salmond answers and tells you the car is the envy of the world - buy this car and get free petrol, tax, garaging and insurance if it ever goes wrong (but it won’t).

You think this sounds great and ask the price. “I can’t tell you, but sign the blank cheque and all will come to pass,” you are told.

OK, you say, can I see it, then?

“No, just put your X on the cheque and everything will be OK”.

Mr Salmond, you must think I’m a mug to take a car unseen, untested and un-priced. No thanks.

Mr Salmond then gives his customary giggle and says, “Do you know how many of your fellow Scots have already bought this very car?”

M Duffy, Whitson Road, Edinburgh

Cameron’s trade deal threatens sovereignty

David Cameron likes to portray himself as defender of British sovereignty in dealings with the EU. But at the same time, he is pushing for a trade deal between the EU and the US which hands our sovereignty over to multinational companies.

This deal would allow big companies to sue governments, including ours, over decisions that might affect their future profits. Similar deals already in operation have led to the Egyptian government being sued for introducing a minimum wage, and the Australian government being sued for deciding cigarettes should be sold in plain packaging.

Our government should be able to make decisions in the interests of the people, without fear of being hit for billions of pounds by a company that doesn’t like the decision.

I’m campaigning with the World Development Movement to stop the EU-US trade deal. It’s a campaign we need to win, for the sake of our democracy.

Mark Mackenzie , Brandon Terrace, Edinburgh

Currency union crucial for independent future

Donald Lewis comments that it would be ‘political suicide’ for any UK politician to agree to a currency union with an independent Scotland (Letters, August 15).

It would, in fact, be both political and economic suicide for any UK politician not to. Up to 120,000 employees in the rest of the UK would be set to lose their jobs as a result of transaction costs in the event of there being no currency union.

In addition, the loss of oil and gas and whisky revenues to the UK’s balance of payment would have a major affect on the pound, negatively impacting the economy of the rest of the UK.

A formal currency union is the only logical solution benefiting both Scotland and the rest of the UK. Those who disagree, like Mr Lewis and his Unionist colleagues, should be open and honest and explain the impact of no formal currency union on the rest of the UK. Not to do so is highly irresponsible.

Alex Orr, Leamington Terrace, Edinburgh