Letters: Independence offers the chance of new beginning

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THE SNP has a vision for a Scotland where fair play is not a myth but a reality. An independent Scotland would not be perfect, but a Yes vote would herald a new beginning, an opportunity for Scots to re-engage in the well-being of the nation in which they live.

For too long, pro-UK supporters have derided every effort the SNP has made to try to redress some of the injustices suffered by the poorest folk in Scotland, without offering a Unionist vision for creating fairness or even compassion in Scotland.

You don’t have to be an Institute for Fiscal Studies prophet to realise how unjust and cruel our UK is, with a huge gap between rich and poor – and not one Unionist doing anything to fix it.

Trevor Swistchew, Victor Park Terrace, Edinburgh

Should Salmond be trusted with future?

I AM apprehensive about Scotland’s future, whoever prevails in September 2014. The rampant nationalism encouraged and on display together with the strident rhetoric of the “cyber nats” is increasing.

I have a friend, intelligent and thoughtful, who resents anyone other than a native Scot working in Scotland. He complains about the Poles and Asians filling our schools and blocking up GP waiting rooms and hospitals. This is the nasty face of nationalism. Is this what independence will bring?

We must also remember Alex Salmond’s questionable friendship with Rupert Murdoch and Donald Trump; the scandal of the Trump golf course; and the £20,000 of public money for legal fees for advice not given about Scotland’s entry into the EU.

Should we trust this demagogue with Scotland’s future?

Linda Gray, Edinburgh

Christian education has served us well

Veronica Wikman, a member of the Edinburgh Secular Society, is once again, as she says herself, uppity over the offer of a gift of a Bible to children by the Gideon Society (Letters, November 23).

If she is so offended at her child being offered a gift she is within her rights to refuse it, but surely it is up to the others as to whether they accept the gift or not. She would prevent it being offered at all.

She then takes a passage of scripture out of context, and suggests that this is what the Gideons are demanding for all aspects of life rather than guidance for conduct within church services and in response to a question that had been posed.

Education in Scotland has been based on Christian values and those values have served us well and continue to do so.

Stewart Geddes, Silverknowes, Edinburgh

There’s nothing much to sing about, sadly

IN REPLY to Neil Barber (Letters, November 21), my letter was not about Cole Porter, I borrowed the title of his song, which mirrors our present, out of control society.

Sadly, I repeat, “Anything Goes” (nothing to sing about).

Sylvia M De Luca, Baberton Park, Juniper Green, Edinburgh

Good and bad sides of an iconic President

WAS President Kennedy the upright kind of guy portrayed? Winning his presidency amongst allegations of trade union votes being bought and paid for he was, however, credited with trying to change his country’s appalling record on civil rights and racial inequality.

Nevertheless, he did preside over America’s wrongful Vietnam war and did leave American-backed invaders of Cuba hung out to dry when the illegal invasion was thwarted by Castro and his soldiers while Kennedy was tucked up safely in the White House.

Amidst several extra-marital sexual dalliances he also found the time to support numerous attempts by the CIA to murder Castro and destroy Cuba’s crops with chemical warfare.

Kennedy also took the world to the brink of nuclear disaster during the Cuban missile crisis before Khrushchev proved to be the better statesman by averting a war with America by removing Russian missiles from Cuba while Kennedy continued to support America’s proliferation of its nuclear weapons all over our world.

Jack Fraser , Clayknowes Drive, Musselburgh

A chance to do the honourable thing

I HAVE no desire to hark back to the so-called Victorian values of the past, but one sticks in my mind which could prove to be of much use in these troubled times.

This is when a person in a highly responsible position, be it business, politics or anything else, makes a complete hash of it and brings himself and his organisation into disrepute.

In previous days, individuals that found themselves in this predicament were given a bottle of brandy, a revolver, an empty room with lock and key, and were expected to do the right thing.

I believe that this practice should be revived and enthusiastically encouraged. There would certainly not be a shortage of candidates.

Nigel Nisbet, Moat Drive, Edinburgh

Arthur deserves his new home comforts

WHAT lovely news a homeless man who captured the heart of the city after disappearing from his regular spots on Leith Walk is healthy and happy after being put in a new home (News, November 23).

I hope Arthur Williams, nicknamed Rastatramp because of his long dreadlocks, will adjust to his new surroundings in a halfway house in his beloved Leith.

June Fleming, Hercus Loan, Musselburgh