Letters: Whatever the poll result is, Tories must change

Scottish Conservative Party leader Ruth Davidson. 'Pic: Neil Hanna
Scottish Conservative Party leader Ruth Davidson. 'Pic: Neil Hanna
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The purpose of a political party is twofold – to represent the people who most closely buy into its ethos and resulting policies, and to be elected to implement those policies.

Most people would agree that the Scottish Conservative Party’s ethos and policies represent a fair portion of the Scottish electorate, but that it is not reflected in the number of votes the party receives, so election is a distant dream.

Trident missile being test fired.  Picture: PA

Trident missile being test fired. Picture: PA

The issue therefore must clearly be the branding then if, in business terms, the people want the product but don’t like to buy it from a certain company because of its image.

If Scotland becomes independent then the Scottish Conservative Party will almost certainly need to change its name.

If Scotland remains part of the UK then I suspect it will become increasingly devolved from the UK. The Scottish Conservative Party should become equally devolved from the British Conservative Party.

Whatever the outcome of the referendum, the Scottish Conservative Party should act and relaunch itself under another more palatable name.

Craigie Halkett, Claremont Crescent, Edinburgh

Time for city to speak up for independence

LINDA Gray’s letter (November 27) reinforces my view that you know when the No Scotland campaign is losing the argument when it resorts to demonising Alex Salmond.

The referendum vote is not about the SNP or Alex Salmond, who may not be the First Minister of Scotland if the other political parties put forward a better vision in the 2016 Scottish elections.

The choice in 2014 is between two futures, more cuts and the same old austerity under the UK, or a modern dynamic Scotland in which we would be much better off.

Over the last five years every person in Scotland would have been the equivalent of £2400 better off if we had been independent.

As there is up to £4000 billion of oil revenues still to flow through the Scottish economy, in contrast to the UK’s huge balance of trade deficit, the rest of the UK would be daft not to agree to Scotland keeping the pound in a Sterling zone, not least as Scotland’s exports amount to £50 billion a year.

Its time our city council and other city organisations spoke up for independence which would transform Edinburgh and the surrounding area by becoming a vibrant capital of a normal country in charge of 100 per cent of our revenues, rather than a mere 15 per cent under devolution.

Mary Thomas, Watson Crescent, Edinburgh

What will Scotland get for a ‘No’ vote?

Now that the Scottish Government’s White Paper has comprehensively answered so many referendum questions, there must be a multitude of citizens, like me, holding their breath for the ‘No Campaign’ to reply to one simple query: What additional powers will come to Scotland if the people vote ‘No’?

Personally I would vote ‘No’ in a minute for two simple guarantees:

n Full fiscal autonomy for Scotland, with the oil revenues shared on a geographical basis, in accordance with international law.

n The obscenity of Trident, with its American controlled weapons of mass destruction, to be removed forthwith.

But, can we hold our breath that long waiting on their reply?

I doubt if Houdini, a Pirelli tyre or even a puffer fish has that capacity!

Joseph G Miller, Gardeners Street, Dunfermline

Conscience does not exempt us from law

I WAS relieved that guest house owners Hazelmary and Peter Bull who had refused a gay couple on grounds of “religiously-informed judgment of conscience” have lost their appeal to the UK Supreme Court.

Mr and Mrs Bull regard sex outside marriage as a “sin” but might we really imagine in a year’s time when same-sex marriage is legal that the Bulls would feel differently?

They argued that as the guesthouse is their home they are entitled to refuse entry. That is true but as a business it becomes subject to equality laws which apply to everyone and from which “religious conscience” provides no exemption.

Neil Barber, Edinburgh Secular Society, Saughtonhall Drive

Spoof video posters should be ashamed

We have now just moved into the Jewish Hannukah celebration period.

The Hitler spoof video posters (News, November 28) should be totally ashamed of themselves.

Tom Reilly, Esslemont Road, Edinburgh

Britain should play its EU trump card

David Cameron has said he will restrict access to benefits for EU migrants. He may not be able to get it all in place before the economic migration tsunami from Romania and Bulgaria hits our shores, but it might serve as a warning of even stricter controls to come.

Within hours of this crackdown, France and Germany sensationally followed suit with similar plans.

Germany said that poverty migration from new EU countries was causing considerable social problems.

Francois Hollande said the “social dumping” of people from poor Eastern European states was a threat to the economic and social fabric of France.

The threats of the unaccountable corrupt EU to fine Britain sounds worthless now that France and Germany are on-board.

Britain pays £57 million every day to the EU so threatening to stop this would be a trump card.

If France and Germany do the same then “game over”.

Clark Cross, Linlithgow