In essence, the ‘No’ case against independence rests on the proposition that the people of Scotland are incapable of running their own affairs.
This also implies that the present UK administration has superior abilities to which we should cling for security. This is pure nonsense.
The much-vaunted 300 years of prosperous togetherness has recently led us into two unjustifiable and ruinously expensive Middle East wars, a veritable explosion of the scandal of food banks and an ever-widening social inequality gap.
The pejorative term ‘separatist’ might be justly applied to the SNP, since their sole practical purpose is to leave the UK; however, not all independence supporters take a party political stance. Many want a whole new society which they know the UK will never deliver.
Independence would allow Scots to set their own social agenda with their own priorities, right down to establishing a new form of government. There could, for example, be a reduction in party political power, with representatives drawn from the business world, trade unions and the general public in order to develop an atmosphere of co-operation and concentration on what is best for the country.
It would probably take two or three years to finalise the split; ample time to iron out details concerning our continuing relationship with the rest of the UK. Let’s have no more scare stories; what is needed is positive planning.
Robert Dow, Ormiston Road, Tranent
Independence points need more discussion
It is very noticeable that detractors of pro-union correspondents and supporters do not counter the points they raise with anything other than claims of scaremongering or personal attacks on the individuals concerned.
I believe this is because they have not been given sound facts upon which to argue the case for independence by the SNP leadership. There is certainly nothing of any substance in the uncosted assertions of the White Paper that will reasonably counter the points against separation raised by those who wish to see the UK remain united.
The nationalist supporters, therefore, can only follow the tired old responses of SNP ministers such as ‘scaremongering’, ‘bullying’ and bland statements regarding ‘financial tools and fiscal levers’. One of the interesting responses, which is used as an explanation as to why the UK would acquiesce to a monetary union with an independent Scotland, and the EU would grant Scotland all the current UK conditions on opt outs regarding EU membership etc is ‘Because it’s in their best interests’. Has anybody asked them?
The fact is there are no sound definitive answers to be had from the SNP on matters raised to date regarding currency, EU membership, pensions, immigration, HMRC, foreign embassies, the costs of tearing down and re-establishing many dozens of joint UK operations and institutions – the list is endless and totally uncosted.
The whole drive for separation is driven by people who are hell-bent on breaking away from England at all or any costs and whose reckless obsession will be the cause of misery for Scotland for generations.
Donald Lewis, Beech Hill, Gifford, East Lothian
Brigade can help to guide our youth
The National Youth Work Strategy, debated in the Scottish Parliament last week, is a welcome recognition of the role youth workers play in today’s society.
Youth workers make a significant contribution to the lives of young people, and through organisations like The Boys’ Brigade, they offer young people the best possible start in life by providing opportunities to learn, make friends and enjoy new experiences.
We welcome the fact that the strategy recognises the importance and popularity of the voluntary uniformed youth work organisations, who together, deliver a vast amount of youth work across Scotland on a weekly basis.
Having pioneered youth work over 130 years ago, we recognise that it is our ability to adapt and evolve that has kept the organisation relevant to Scotland’s young people. This has resulted in resurgence in membership, with over 20,000 young people taking part in our 450 Companies each week, delivered by thousands of our dedicated volunteers.
Moving forward, it’s vital that momentum is maintained to make Scotland the best place for young people to grow up.
Bill Stevenson, director (Scotland), The Boys’ Brigade, Carronvale House, Larbert
Immigration is a hot subject even up here
A survey has shown that even those who favour breaking up the Union overwhelmingly reject Alex Salmond’s plans for an ‘open door’ immigration policy.
They are correct in that more immigrants, both EU and non-EU, will never fund increasing pension costs and public services in an independent Scotland.
Instead there will be even more people on longer housing waiting lists, more pressure on the NHS, more pressures on education and certainly more pressure on welfare benefits.
Scottish unemployment will rise since non-EU immigrants will work for less. For a man with a wife and two children to pay more in tax and national insurance than he receives in welfare benefits he has to earn more than £29,000 a year.
How many immigrants to Scotland will earn this?
Those who are thinking of voting ‘Yes’ must consider this crucial immigration question.
Clark Cross, Springfield Road Linlithgow