Letters: The life of Brian is no comedy spoof after all

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when I saw the headline of Brian Monteith’s article – “Life as we know it will end with mass exodus” (News, February 28) – I naturally thought it was a spoof, mocking the hysterical scare stories of the No campaign.

But then I read the article and was even more amused to discover that the irony of his headline was lost on Mr Monteith. He actually seriously believes that “life as we know it will end” if Scotland becomes independent!

Mr Monteith might be filling his bunker with tinned food in preparation for the coming apocalypse, but fortunately most voters in Scotland are sensible enough to make a more calm and reasoned judgment about independence. We know that resource-rich, talent-rich Scotland is not some kind of helpless child that would perish without Westminster being in charge.

So for sensible voters, the question is not “will life as we know it end if Scotland votes Yes?” The question is which choice of possible futures is more likely to lead to a fairer, more prosperous and more democratic Scotland – a Westminster future or an independent future, a No future or a Yes future?

Scotland has the wealth and the ability to do so much better than we have under Westminster’s control. It just takes the kind of national self-confidence and can-do attitude that starts with one simple word – Yes.

Angus Coull, High Street, Prestonpans, East Lothian

Thanks for the vote of confidence in the Scots

IN Brian Monteith’s “Life as we know it will end in mass exodus” (News, February 28), he paints a bleak picture of the capital city of a newly independent Scotland as a place shorn of industry and commerce, only fit to be a “museum piece”.

Setting aside the litany of factual errors surrounding his interpretation of Standard Life’s statement – those seeking the truth should read it for themselves – it is clear in how low an opinion this Edinburgh columnist holds the people of this great city.

Apparently the only reason for Edinburgh’s success is London’s rule, without which, in Mr Monteith’s eyes, we would be doomed to falter and fail.

He portrays his fellow Scots as little more than children, echoing Johann Lamont’s extraordinary outburst that Scots “aren’t genetically programmed to make political decisions”.

What a tragic state of affairs to find the leader of Scottish Labour and a right-wing commentator like Conservative-supporting Mr Monteith speaking with one voice in 
belittling their fellow Scots. It is simply inconceivable to hardcore British nationalists like these that a Scotland which puts the welfare of those who live here first could be anything other than an economic basket case. For them we are simply not fit to govern ourselves, only to be ruled by others.

Those undecided voters waiting to hear the long awaited positive arguments about the Union from Better Together and their supporters like Brian Monteith will continue to do so in vain.

Instead the only messages the No camp will broadcast are continual attacks on Scotland and the abilities and intelligence of her people; messages designed to undermine confidence, extinguish hope and instill fear – “too wee, too poor, too stupid” is their only refrain. How sad they are.

William Davies, Penicuik, by e-mail

Time to start fracking and build gasometers

Matters are hotting up in the Ukraine and the response from America, Britain and the EU has been to urge President Putin to avoid taking “provocative action”, (News, March 1).

Britain must stop thinking it is important and getting involved in every confrontation in the world.

The favoured tactic of William Hague and his cohorts is to offer countries such as Ukraine a blank cheque to try to create a stable regime.

History shows that this never happens and the regimes turn against us anyway.

This conflict may, however, make us realise that Putin knows only too well that he could inflict catastrophic damage on the economy of Britain and other EU nations by simply turning off the gas taps, such is our reliance on Russian gas.

Time to build more gas storage facilities, ignore the anti-fracking-rent-a-mob and become independent of volatile foreign suppliers.

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow

These tram selfies are getting out of hand

What a ridiculous situation has been created with the appearance of Edinburgh trams. There seems to be mass hysteria with some Edinburgh residents to be first to photograph them and then to act as guinea pigs to attempt to recreate the mass exodus from one of the games at Murrayfield to determine if the trams could cope.

It’s amazing how the powers that be don’t realise that it is the novelty that is attracting the residents to the trams and I doubt that theses residents will be using the trams daily unless they happen to live and work on the very small eight-and-a-half-mile route.

Yes, the residents may get used to the trams, just as they have got used to the monument on Carlton Hill fondly named Edinburgh’s Disgrace and will become just another tourist attraction.

Alan Ross, Craigleith Hill Gardens, Edinburgh

The long and short of it is what is intelligence?

Riccardo MaRioni from Edinburgh University claims that there is an association between a person’s height and intelligence.

Perhaps Doctor Marioni might go further and inform us how intelligence is measured.

Being “smart” is in no way an academic description of intelligence. The letters, IQ, have also come in for criticism as an accurate form of measurement.

Tom Reilly, Esslemont Road, Edinburgh