Letters: Outlandish claims are sign of things to come

NATO Secretary General Lord George Robertson. Pic: Comp
NATO Secretary General Lord George Robertson. Pic: Comp
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As we enter the last few months in the run-up to the independence referendum, both sides in the debate have a responsibility to avoid exaggerated claims.

However, as the polls continue to close it is hardly a surprise to see the claims made by those against independence become more wild and outlandish by the day.

The latest is that from former secretary general of Nato, George Robertson, who has said that Scottish independence would be “cataclysmic” for the West in an era of international turmoil.

Lord Robertson said a “debilitating divorce” after a ‘Yes’ vote in September would threaten the stability of the wider world and that the US administration was worried about the possibility of Scottish independence.

I, for one, never knew Scotland was so powerful that independence would threaten the established world order.

Only last month the US Secretary of State cited the independence referendum as a model of democracy and it is to be noted that Lord Robertson fails to cite any evidence to back up his claim of US concern on this matter.

This latest example of abject scaremongering is not worthy of such an important debate but is unfortunately a sign of things to come.

Alex Orr, Leamington Terrace, Edinburgh

Vote no to nationalist graffiti tactics

I was pleased to see Ian Murray MP fighting against the graffiti campaign being run by some nationalists.

My street, Dalry Road, has been regularly plastered with ‘End London Rule’ stickers which are offensive as well as unsightly.

We council tax payers are paying to clean this up yet our local SNP MSP stays completely silent on the issue. If the nationalists think this type of behaviour helps their cause, then they are greatly mistaken.

Michelle Smythe, Dalry Road, Edinburgh

Constitution needs to recognise humanists

I note with interest that churches and faith groups in Scotland have joined forces to demand recognition for the role of religion in the Scottish constitution currently being drafted in Holyrood.

Fair enough to a point; I would agree that religions have played their part in building the foundations of society here. However, perhaps Mr Salmond and co would do better to pay far greater heed to the principles of great humanist figures from the Scottish Enlightenment such as David Hume and Adam Smith. It was they who called for people to “reject authority not justified by reason”.

After all, a newly independent Scotland would have a golden opportunity to build its fresh foundations on the shoulders of giants rather than dogma.

Julia Wait, Tomich, Highlands

Yes campaign should link arms with SCND

In a week in which, so sadly, the independence movement was to lose the stalwart, Margo MacDonald, I had the privilege, on Tuesday, of walking from Holyrood to Currie, with supporters of the Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.

Despite three hours of torrential rain, I was so impressed by the dedication of the marchers, that I felt obliged to become a paid-up member of their organisation myself, and as a follow up, I attended their rally at George Square in Glasgow, and indeed wish I could have gone with them all the way to Faslane.

Of the speakers, Lesley Riddoch and Nicola Sturgeon spoke particularly well, and the message was simple and clear: “A ‘Yes’ vote gives us the opportunity to get rid of the cancerous scab, Trident, festering on the Clyde,” something with which I could not agree more.

However, as this opinion is held by a clear majority of the Scottish electorate, surely the closest link up between the ‘Yes’ campaign and SCND is both essential and urgently required.

A co-ordinated pooling of resources could make this mutual goal easily attainable.

Joseph G Miller, Gardeners Street, Dunfermline

Commonwealth Games can open with a bang

Why all the fuss about Glasgow’s plans to include the demolition of buildings that are no longer fit for purpose in its Commonwealth Games opening ceremony?

What better way to show the world that you are a positive and forward thinking nation by getting rid of the obsolete and making way for the new?

It’s just harmless fun and in some ways reflects what athletics/sport is all about.

Not only that, but as Glasgow can hardly compete with the likes of Sochi or London when it comes to extravagant and lavish opening ceremonies, so why not improvise with what is at your disposal?

Angus McGregor, Albion Road, Edinburgh

Illuminating issue of academic alumni

Gina Davidson refers to both Dr Robert Pearson and Dame Stella Rimington as an “alumni” of Edinburgh University (Eye on the Spies, April 3).

As a former student of First Ordinary Humanity (1st-year Latin) at the said seat of learning, I can assure her that Dr Pearson is an “alumnus”, Dame Stella is an “alumna”, but all three of us collectively are “alumni”.

Harry D Watson, Braehead Grove, Edinburgh