Many people foolishly personalised opposition to the public desire for independence into attacks on Alex Salmond, yet this historic occasion has been the greatest expression of genuine democracy ever witnessed in Britain, with enthusiastic debate stimulated at all levels of our society. Politicians will all be trembling.
Mr Salmond has wisely decided to go out at the top as the most successful Scottish party leader ever. Failure to achieve a majority for independence masks the fact that he gained a win/win/win position, with the fumbling assistance of the UK prime minister.
The latter’s panic-stricken intervention produced three probable outcomes, each of which ensured success for Mr Salmond. A Yes vote would obviously have done so; increased devolved powers was his own suggestion, made in the knowledge that most Scots wanted that, and has duly been gained, while the third possibility – failure to provide sufficient improvement in devolution – would fulfill his prophecy. It’s already happening.
Cameron, having performed a near comic last gasp U-turn on his original rejection of “devo max”, is already facing opposition on all fronts, from his own MPs as well as from Labour and the Lib Dems. He is already in a “jump or be pushed” position.
Mr Salmond, in the meantime, deserves the accolade of a seat in the House of Lords, whatever rules need to be broken to accommodate him.
Robert Dow, Ormiston Road, Tranent
Prioritise Scotland’s constitutional change
Instead of continuing the divisive Yes/No battles we have just come through, the whole of Scotland must unite in expressing its outrage and disgust at the delaying tactics of Cameron and Clegg and demand that they get on immediately with implementing the solemn promise they made to the Scottish people.
Devolved powers for the English cities and regions definitely need to be on the political agenda, but such a complex issue cannot be worked out in the four months promised for increased Scottish powers. It took the Scottish Convention six years to plan devolution for Scotland and after fifteen years of a Scottish Parliament we are still edging our way forward.
The Coalition in England has been sitting on the recommendations of the McKay Commission on devolved powers in England for 18 months. Cameron’s sudden sense of urgency has nothing to do with democracy. It’s all about political manoeuvring.
Henry L Philip, Grange Loan, Edinburgh
Referendum was merely round one
There’s that old Edinburgh joke of whenever you arrive at a friend’s house after 3.30pm they say “You’ll have had your tea then?”.
Why is the same logic being applied by some to last week’s vote? “You’ll have had your referendum, then?”
Nearly half of Scottish citizens voted for independence, and they are not going to change their minds in a hurry, pipe down or emigrate . . . 10,000 new recruits to the SNP in a weekend indicates that the referendum vote was simply a points lead in round one, not the knock-out punch the Unionists hoped for . . . and the quick congratulations to the voter for making the “right” decision last Thursday from Westminster, foreign leading politicians, the multi-nationals and bankers may have more than one No voter wondering if they’ve done the right thing.
The independence genie is out of the bottle, and I suspect the next phase of this struggle will be a decisive success for seperatists, a lot sooner than many expect.
David Fiddimore, Nether Craigwell, Calton Road, Edinburgh
SNP puts own agenda ahead of democracy
Salmond and his cronies show their contempt for democracy (News, September 22nd).
Just three days after they lost the referendum they say that there are other routes to independence and that a pro-splitting majority in Holyrood will be enough!
This is the same attitude as the EU elite, who, if we give them the wrong answer, send us back to vote again until we get it right.
Otto Inglis, Inveralmond Grove, Edinburgh
Time to create church of north Britain
Now that a clear majority north of the Border has comprehensively rejected Scottishness, surely it is time for us to have an established Church in north Britain?
The Episcopal Church of Scotland would be ideal for this role and it would be only fitting were the Queen to appoint one of their bishops to sit in the House of Lords alongside their Anglican colleagues.
John Eoin Douglas, Spey Terrace, Edinburgh
So many down south feeling very relieved
Dear people of Scotland,
There are so many of us down here who are very thankful and relieved that you are still with us!
I’m just an ordinary middle-aged teacher from Worcestershire (which is also quite a way from London – it’s not just you who feel unrepresented sometimes), but I do love Scotland and the Scots. Of course Scotland is a different country – you feel it as you journey through – but I’m thrilled I won’t need my passport.
My father who died some years ago adored and admired Scotland and the Scottish people. He has been uneasily twitching in his grave in recent weeks, but is now lying quietly again. In fact, he asked for his ashes to be scattered into the sea off Cape Wrath, which we duly did back in 2009.
We are SO glad to have you all still with us! Hooray.
Chris Shepherd, Worcestershire