I must respond to Mary Thomas (Letters, August 13) and try to explain the realities of life regarding the pound Sterling. The position is well known to the SNP leadership but they continue to be in denial and are guilty of recklessly misleading the Scottish electorate.
The pound Sterling is the currency of the UK. As long as Scotland is in the UK it is Scotland’s pound. If Scotland becomes an independent country and leaves the UK it also leaves Sterling and can no longer use the pound supported by the Bank of England as lender of last resort.
An independent Scotland could use the pound in the same way that Panama uses the American dollar, but would have no control over interest rates or rates of exchange and without a proven currency of its own would lose its triple rating and would incur increased borrowing costs. This would be a strange notion of independence.
As far as defaulting on its share of the UK debt goes, this would make Scotland a pariah state in the eyes of the financial markets in the same way that Argentina became persona non grata to the money markets after it twice defaulted on its debts.
Argentina has to pay around 24% on any money it can borrow as a result of these defaults.
Alec Salmond keeps going on about the “sovereign will of the Scottish people” with regard to the use of the pound. He makes no mention of the sovereign will of the people of England, Wales and Northern Ireland who, within a currency union with Scotland would have to stand guarantor for any failure in the financial markets in an independent Scotland.
I can see the good taxpayers in the rest of the UK agreeing to that! It would be political suicide for any UK politician to agree to a currency union with an independent Scotland.
Ms Thomas refers to a Norwegian type economy and quotes comparisons relating to disposable incomes in Scotland. I suggest she does a little checking into levels of VAT and prices in Norway. They are horrific and I doubt very much if the Norwegians are any better off in buying power terms than we are
If the sovereign will of the Scottish people is to keep the pound in the same way as they have it at the moment the answer is simple - vote ‘No’.
Donald Lewis, Beech Hill, Gifford, East Lothian
Referendum ‘No’ vote is a vote for change
Some people say that a ‘No’ vote in September is a vote for no change. I disagree. More tax-raising powers for Holyrood via the Scotland Act, will in any case be effective next year. All three unionist parties have agreed that further powers should be devolved, probably via a constitutional convention starting straight after the referendum.
‘No’ is a vote for more local powers to deal with local issues, while retaining all the advantages and resilience of UK membership. A no-brainer really.
Phil Wheeler, Templeland Road, Corstorphine, Edinburgh
George Street entry for Tacky Euro Capital prize
It’s a shame that Marion Williams of the Cockburn Association feels ‘worn down’ by the battle against Edinburgh council’s introduction of giant wheelie bins to the streets of the city’s World Heritage Site (News, 4 August).
Perhaps she ought to adopt the council’s own approach and stop worrying about such petty details - think big! Think bold! Look at the recent ‘experimental’ revamp of George Street, for instance.
With its windswept dining tents, ranch-style wooden platforms and giant plastic flower containers - nicely matching all the giant plastic litter bins - this is a visionary development which is clearly aiming for international recognition.
Now, who’s sponsoring Tackiest European Capital 2014?
David Jackson Young, India Street, Edinburgh
Council deserve praise for Morningside work
IN response to Mr/Ms Lyell (Letters, August 4,) City of Edinburgh Council look after Morningside Cemetery and with much more enthusiasm than the previous owners who let it descend into a wilderness after selling chunks of it to private house builders.
EDC made the right decision in compulsorily purchasing this land in order that the dead and their families could have the proper level of respect shown to them.
The toppled gravestones are a result of vandalism, storm damage and a health and safety initiative in the lowering of unsafe monuments.
The real horror story that he/she suggests, lies in the way the previous (private) owners used the grounds to their own selfish ends. Easier to sell parts of the cemetery than to maintain it. No doubt EA Poe would have something to say about that.
Henry Spencer, Morningside , Edinburgh
World War I generation were Christian believers
Norman Bonney, secular campaigner, never misses a chance, it seems, to try to denigrate Christianity in our society as a force which he considers ‘divisive’. Thus he attempts to demonize Christian churches for mankind’s unhappy history of wars and conflicts (Letters, August 6).
In reality, Dr Bonney’s tiny secular lobby group’s members and office bearers have quite a record of anti-Christian statements. One member considers Christianity to be irrational, another to be an evil and another who wants churches to ‘shut up or pay taxes’.
Given this intolerant attitude, it is not surprising that Norman Bonney wants Christian Churches to be removed from national anniversaries and commemorations such as those for the First World War .
This dislike by the secular lobby of Church involvement flies in the face of the Christian beliefs and background of the majority of the 1914-18 generation.
Gus Logan, York Road, North Berwick