The furore surrounding the reaction to comments by JK Rowling obscure the fact that she is sadly mistaken if she believes that staying in the Union is a panacea for the NHS.
Thank goodness for the Scottish Health Service, which has always been independent from the NHS in England, where we have more nurses and shorter waiting times per head of population and where nurses got their annual pay rise.
Privatisation and commercialisation are now rampant in the health service south of the border. This means that competitive tendering is now compulsory and GPs are obliged to consider which hospital offers the best deal rather than which will give the best outcome for patients. No wonder English health professionals are envious of the NHS in Scotland.
The more the state withdraws from direct NHS provision in England, a trend started by Labour, the greater Scotland’s budget will be squeezed as a Barnet consequence because of the way the Scottish Parliament is funded.
That is why it is vital that Scotland is in charge of all the revenue raised in Scotland and a Yes vote is the only way to save the NHS in Scotland.
Fraser Grant, Warrender Park Road, Edinburgh
Waverley taxi ban creates bad impression
I would be keen to know the name of the person who had the bright idea of banning taxis from Edinburgh Waverley station.
Coming up yesterday with a heavy case it was a nightmare trying to find where the taxi rank was with poor signage. I was with three visitors to Edinburgh and what a welcome.
Someone said it was about terrorists, but terrorists bringing weapons in could hide them in the luggage already, and if they are fanatics, would not be bothered about getting a taxi out. What an awful advertisment for Edinburgh.
Rankin Weir, Carshalton, Surrey
Pro Union is not pro Tory, Mr Hannan
Surely I cannot be the only person who is sick and tired of SNP supporters (including your own Mr Hannan) continually going on about Labour politicians, who by merely supporting the Union are conceived to be in cahoots with the Tories.
What a crass opinion, that only goes to show the SNP will stoop to any depth to proffer their unwanted views.
After 80-odd years with one single aim, they can still only count on about 35% of the people to vote for their misbegotten dreams.
Nor can I ignore the other fable continually trotted out, that the Scottish people have many times had a government they didn’t vote for. Is this not also true for large areas in England and Wales when there is a Tory regime?
Equally, is it not true for large parts of England and Wales when there is a Labour government? Until a full PR system is introduced this will always be the position. Mr Salmond and his cohorts are past masters at selective truths.
Finally, I could not believe my ears when I heard that the SNP were accusing the ‘No’ campaign of using the D Day remembrance activities to proffer ‘Britishness’ and therefore the Union.
Sorry Alex but you cannot ignore history when it suits. Will you not seek to use the 700th anniversary of Bannockburn in the same way – blithely ignoring the fact that Bruce fought for his crown, not Scotland and that many Scots (Comyns and MacDougalls to name but a few) were in opposition at that battle?
I trust that people will see through these cheap tricks and that common sense will prevail.
Ian M Hunter, Penicuik
Jim Sillars loses the wars of independence
I cannot let Jim Sillars’ outrageously biased article (News, June 11) on our relationship with the US go unanswered. First he ‘laughs’ when comparing US independence with Scottish independence. Well, no wonder, as the comparison is, well, laughable!
The Americas were a potentially massively superior power to the UK, 3000 miles away, whereas Scotland is an integral, virtually borderless part of the UK, which has had, and should continue to have, an outstanding contribution to the life and welfare of the UK as a whole, but will see us both the poorer if we split away.
He is right when he implies that Scottish immigrants to the US have made a substantial contribution to US development, as they also have to England and the UK. The English actually like the Scots!
When he talks about ‘limiting our liberty and freedom’ within the UK, he demonstrates the sort of misinformation constantly put out by the SNP. None of us suffer from this palpably stupid contention. He has watched Braveheart too often!
His discourse on the ‘special relationship’ between the US and the UK similarly rewrites history to produce a spurious, distorted view, solely to support Scottish independence.
Sillars poo-poos our support for the US, especially the raid on Libya. He should realise that international hi-jacking and terrorism dropped substantially after that raid. Second, he forgets to mention the help the US gave to the UK during the Falklands war.
Sillars salivates at the thought of the UK losing its influence in the UN - is he really suggesting he would rather see India, Brazil and Indonesia as permanent council members?
He seems to think an independent, nuclear-free Scotland would remain an attractive ‘aircraft carrier’ for NATO, when US planes carry nuclear weapons and are unlikely to leave them behind just to keep Salmond, Sillars and co happy.
The SNP campaign approach of unsubstantiated and uncosted ‘jam for all’, mickey mouse economics, instant masterstrokes and bizarre foreign policy is making me very afraid!
Howard Thompson, Pinkehill Crescent, Musselburgh