Letters: Our nuclear arsenal no deterrent to war

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The utter futility of the nuclear arsenal at Faslane is again underlined by the twin tragedies in Ukraine and Gaza.

In neither case was the protagonist deterred by the stockpiling of obscene armaments on the Clyde.

Recently, four well intentioned protesters were arrested for their sadly unsuccessful attempt to block, delay or at least draw attention to a convoy of missiles slinking surreptitiously through Glasgow around 3.30am.

This convoy in our streets boasted an estimated explosive power of around 42 Hiroshima bombs!

Pointing a loaded gun at an individual very sensibly results in a mandatory jail sentence for the gunman.

Pointing 200 missiles, each seven times as devastating as Hiroshima, is the stated policy of the Westminster Government, but, despite being an all too clear threat not only to the survival of Scotland, but to civilisation itself, carries no penalty, international or otherwise! We don’t even know the targets.

These weapons are obviously not a deterrent. They are decades past their sell-by date, and the first logical step towards their disposal is undoubtedly a Yes vote in September.

Let’s do it!

Joseph G Miller, Gardeners Street, Dunfermline

Leave Christianity out of war ceremonies

Governments and leading religious denominations claim the moral high ground in state ceremonies to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War.

On August 4, the UK government organised a Commonwealth ceremony following the conclusion of the Commonwealth Games, in George Square, Glasgow and Glasgow Cathedral and in London’s Westminster Abbey.

On August 10, the Scottish Government is organising in Edinburgh Castle grounds a re-enactment of the drumhead communion services in which many of the Scottish armed forces participated before going into action.

It is right that we should remember the appalling scale of casualties in UK and Scotland but we should not forget that this was a global war which also wreaked havoc among the white-ruled dominions, the numerous Muslim, Sikh, Hindu and Buddhist troops from All-India and a Chinese Labour Corps imported half way around the world to ensure the continuing supplies of essential and war materials to the western front.

And as Philip Jenkins notes in a new study, The Great and Holy War, major Christian denominations on both sides of the European conflict played an important role in demonising their largely Christian enemies and justifying a war in which millions of Christians in the UK, France and Russia and their allies fought and killed millions of Christians in Germany and Austria-Hungary and vice versa.

One has to wonder why Christian religious themes and services are given such prominence in official state remembrance of the diverse dead of the war.

Prof Norman Bonney, honorary president, Edinburgh Secular Society, Palmerston Place, Edinburgh

Independent Scotland needs a central bank

The weakness in the Yes campaign for Scottish independence lies above all in the proposed currency union with the rest of the UK and the continued use of the pound.

Scotland will remain subject to the monetary policy of the Bank of England, which raises the question of why should the central bank of one country take into account economic conditions in another, independent, country, when setting interest rates and determining other aspects of monetary policy, such as mortgage lending criteria and other factors?

Conversely, why would Scotland want its interest rates to be set by the Bank of England if the rest of the UK was experiencing an economic crisis which necessitated a very high level of interest rates, which would not be suitable for Scotland?

Do people in Scotland really base their decision on independence on whether they will be better off by a certain amount of money? A true, patriotic Scot would wish to achieve independence irrespective of temporary financial conditions.

Genuine independence would only be achieved by establishing a new Central Bank for Scotland, which would be responsible for managing a new Scottish currency and conducting monetary policy in Scotland.

Toby Wight, West Acton, London

Green energy is no answer for Salmond

It has been pointed out that an independent Scotland cannot rely on the rest of the UK buying Scotland’s mega-expensive wind-generated electricity when they can buy cheaper electricity from Europe.

Wind turbine developers are guaranteed high returns for 25 years and consumers pay.

Alex Salmond boasts that he has the best CO2 reduction targets in the world.

But wait a minute, Scotland has less than 0.15 per cent of global emissions, so it all becomes a bit pointless when competitors in China, Asia, the US and elsewhere made no such commitments.

The German economics minister, Sigmar Gabriel, has warned that expensive green energy is an albatross around the neck of European industries and that more than four million manufacturing jobs across Europe have been lost since 2008 due to politicians’ insane, expensive renewables energy policy.

Cheap US coal is being shipped all over Europe since politicians are no longer interested in CO2 reductions but economic survival.

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow