Letters: Yes is a negative word in independence debate

Blair Mcdougall . Picture: Robert Perry
Blair Mcdougall . Picture: Robert Perry
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I am sick of hearing from the separatists that the Better Together campaign is negative and scaremongering.

It isn’t negative or scaremongering to challenge assumptions and assertions put forward by the Yes campaigners by pointing to the facts which they will not accept and rather the rest of us didn’t hear.

In my view it is the whole concept of separatism that is negative, and emphasis on the seemingly positive word ‘Yes’ belies this reality.

Breaking up a hugely successful family of nations, setting up barriers where none currently exist, turning your back on the most needy in the rest of the UK, creating a chasm in Scottish society, bullying and abuse of fellow Scots in the social media because they dare to speak up for the UK; these are all negative.

I’m being positive when I say I want Scotland to remain part of our union of nations so that Scotland’s heritage, culture and strengths can continue to contribute to the influence of that union.

I want us to continue working together in a spirit of friendship and cooperation for the benefit of all who live in these islands.

So join me on September 18, reject the negativity of separatism and division and vote for strength and progress through unity. Sometimes you can be more positive by saying ‘No’.

David Breckon, Denholm Avenue, Musselburgh

UK is greatest threat to Scots’ EU membership

It was perplexing to note the comments made by the UK Foreign Secretary, William Hague, on the apparent plethora of obstacles an independent Scotland will face in becoming an EU member state.

Putting aside the issue that Scotland is already within the European Union and complies with all the necessary criteria, it is strange that a man who is part of a government pledging an In-Out referendum in 2017 should be warning Scotland of the apparent membership challenges it would face.

With UKIP set to gain the most number of MEPs south of the border at the forthcoming European Parliamentary elections and the Tories pushed into third place, this will see the Tories become even more Eurosceptic than they currently are.

As Tory leader and in advance of the 1997 devolution referendum Mr Hague predicted: “Five years into a Scottish Parliament, Scots will be disappointed, disillusioned, depressed and living in a high-tax ghetto.” He further went on to comment that the Scottish Parliament would be a “flop”. Mr Hague was wrong then and is wrong now. The greatest threat to Scottish membership of the EU is not independence, but continued membership of the UK.

Alex Orr, Leamington Terrace, Edinburgh

More line openings will speed rail growth

extending the Waverley Line to Carlisle will right a disastrous Beeching era decision (Report, April 26) but has it been wise to reduce the present construction to be largely single track with even shorter passing loops?

However, there are significantly more pressing railway needs in the immediate future. Fife deserves the reopening of Dysart station and the line to Leven as do the commuters in Bonnybridge/Denny conurbation.

Rail patronage has increased at an amazing rate, despite some fairly high fares and modest overcrowding within the central belt. An even faster growth would be achieved if reopenings were speedily progressed

Colin C Maclean, Hillpark Avenue, Edinburgh

Abandoning the Union is anti-socialist

Much of what is termed ‘debate’ over the referendum issue is more opinionated viewpoints with not a great deal to back them up. What facts are claimed by experts on one side of the debate, are usually refuted by some ‘experts’ from the other side, so the average reader is left wondering whose experts to trust.

My heart and mind lie with the Union, with some further devolvement of powers. We have a long history of mutual dependence and respect, sharing hard times and good times and deriving a strength we would not have had if we were separate.

Anyhow, the SNP’s argument is NOT with the other nations of the Union but with a Tory government, and that has to be fought together. Alex Salmond was elected by a disillusioned Labour vote on the back of the socialist agenda he pursued then. He is now appealing to the Labour vote again.

However, one of the strong aspects of socialism has been its internationalism and solidarity with the poor and oppressed of every nation. It seems to me that independence is a denial of that socialist tenet.

We are called to follow the route of independence, for a so-called Scottish socialist paradise, and it does not matter about the poor in England, Wales or Northern Ireland? To me, that is selfish, non-socialist in nature.

I would hope that true Labour/socialists will see the contradiction here and not abandon their colleagues down south but stay and fight within the union for equality, justice and fair redistribution of wealth for all, not just Scots.

Name & address supplied

Let’s wait for Angiolini and Bonomy reports

Most readers will have sympathy for the ashes scandal parents and their quiet dignity. It is wonderful that they will soon have the findings of the Angiolini report and in due course, from Lord Bonomy.

Readers may be less impressed by their lawyer who some might think is prone to overstatement, talking of a possible “huge breach of trust” and already this week mentioning again a possible need for a public inquiry, even before we have seen the Angiolini and Bonomy findings.

Angus Logan, York Road, North Berwick