As a former member of the SNP (Corstorphine branch) I have yet to decide where to place my vote on September 18.
Some people think that to vote ‘Yes’ is a vote for the SNP. In fact, it is a vote for an independent Scotland with its own parliament that any number of parties can win, not necessarily the SNP, though I expect the SNP to win the next Scottish election (2016) whatever the result of the referendum.
What about the future? If it is to be a ‘Yes’ result, the SNP’s main goal of independence achieved, it will have to campaign on domestic issues, the same as the other parties, Scottish Labour, Liberals, Greens and parties such as the Scottish Socialist, Workers and even the Communists.
All these parties, including the SNP, are on the left of politics. With Ukip irrelevant in Scotland and the left vote split, a moderate centre right party could become the largest single party. Out-voted by the combined left parties, it may still be able to form an administration in a rainbow coalition with other parties.
It’s all hypothetical, but in 2021 we could have a Labour Government in Westminster and a Tory-led one in Scotland. So the SNP goal of at last getting the Government that Scotland has voted for would be fulfilled, only not the one they intended.
George Ritchie, North Gyle Terrace, Edinburgh
Nicola passes audition for Little Britain
After Nicola Sturgeon’s performances on Friday at SNP Conference and in her television debate with Johann Lamont I recommend that she auditions for a part on Little Britain.
She would manage the ‘yes but, no but’ bit well but would also manage ‘the but in’ skill brilliantly.
With reference to SNP claims over Europe, Sterling and orders for British warships on the Clyde, SNP claims that Scotland had legal support for re-entering the EU after independence proved untrue.
Alex Salmond’s assurances that we will be allowed to keep Sterling and warships will continue to be built on the Clyde also sound hollow.
The SNP are now courting voters by claiming that a ‘Yes’ vote will be a great success for democracy and free the other parties from the yoke of Westminster, and if the referendum ends with a ‘No’ decision, Salmond will have referendums every three years until he gets a ‘Yes’ vote. That’s very democratic!
Only problem is, he is not promising to have referendums every three years in the event of a SNP triumph this year. So that’s it – vote ‘Yes’ and we will be stuck with the consequences of it.
Democracy for the large minority of Scots who believe that our future is best bound up with that of the rest of the UK will be suspended. And if a large minority honestly think that foreign policy needs nuclear missiles (eg policy based on balance of power – as lessons from dealing with Hitler and later on Stalin, show) their democratic right to request this will also disappear.
So post-independence what can we expect? We can expect that Labour, Conservatives and Liberals will continue in an emaciated form and any party which gets into government will have to react to threats caused by the financial difficulties which Scotland will face.
Thanks Nicola for supporting non SNP voters. We can look forward to a great future if you guys win!
Andrew Ross, Edinburgh, by email
Gayfield Square’s heritage under threat
LOCAL residents watched, with dismay and anger as the communal drying green/garden (at number 7 Gayfield Square) was destroyed in favour of a sea of wood and stone chip.
This ‘vandalism’ has completely changed the ambience of what was a haven for wildlife and a pleasant outlook for us, and is hardly in keeping with the Georgian and Victorian architecture of the area.
Our properties are also part of the World Heritage Site. We would invite comments from readers as to how garden/drying green areas can be looked after and protected and views on whether or not the time has come for changes to such communal areas be subjected to planning controls.
Judith Hallam, Edinburgh, by e-mail
18 months long enough for UN negotiations
I was intrigued to note Professor Bonney’s comment that should Scots vote for independence from the UK in September this would lead to “several years of debilitating divorce” (Letters, April 11).
The Edinburgh Agreement signed by both the UK Government and Scottish Government states that both countries “are committed to continue to work together constructively in the light of the outcome, whatever it is, in the best interests of the people of Scotland and of the rest of the United Kingdom.”
In addition, international precedent ensures that negotiating an independence settlement would not take “several years”.
Of the new states that have become UN members since 1945, 30 have done so following a referendum, taking an average transition from referendum to independence of 18 months. Indeed, the Czech Republic and Slovak Republic were created from Czechoslovakia after a mere six months. This makes the envisaged date of Scottish independence of March 24, 2016 eminently achievable.
Mr Bonney unfortunately is guilty of the same tired old scaremongering we have grown so accustomed to. That every other nation is capable of negotiating its own independence in a matter of months, but for poor Scotland this will take many years.
Alex Orr, Leamington Terrace, Edinburgh