Readers' letters: Scotland relies on UK market revenues

Scotland conducts the vast majority of its trade with the rest of the UK. It is fair to say that tens of thousands of Scottish jobs are dependent on these markets and links to the rest of the UK.

Saturday, 23rd October 2021, 7:00 am
Actor Brian Cox is a fervent supporter of Scottish nationalism

SNP-supporting Elaine Smith makes the perfectly legitimate point that Scotland breaking off and going it alone is more a choice of emotion rather than an economic one.

Of course, that is true, but it rings hollow if the person saying so is very well-off or have moved to the USA and are now established in their profession and living in luxury.

But in Scotland, for the less well-off, for those in low-paying jobs or surviving on pensions or benefits or perhaps struggling with a mortgage, I am afraid the exact opposite of Ms Smith’s theory holds and emotion should come far behind basic human comforts.

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Alexander McKay, Edinburgh.

Brian’s living the dream in the USA

On one of his periodic visits to Scotland, the actor Brian Cox tells us how proud he is of how Scotland has developed in the last 30 years and how ‘amazingly impressed by Nicola’ he is.

Keir Starmer, on the other hand, gives us a different view, of Sturgeon’s handling of the pandemic being no better than Johnson’s.

He calls her record on education and health ‘appalling’, before mentioning Scotland’s record drugs deaths and child poverty, and rightly identifies her focus on another referendum as a diversion ‘to mask an appalling record of failure by the SNP’.

As Professor James Mitchell has said, Ms Sturgeon’s administration has the powers to make improvements in the areas of education and social deprivation - it has the mythical ‘levers’ of which nationalists like to speak - but, while 'it talks the talk, it doesn’t walk the walk’.

It seems that Mr Cox has heard the talk but not investigated the SNP’s actual record.

Jill Stephenson, Edinburgh.

China’s real-estate crisis concerns West

It's understandable that business commentators in the Scottish press focus mainly on domestic stories, but the 'Evergrande' real-estate crisis in China is worthy of far more attention. For years I had naively assumed that the Chinese were doing capitalism better than the West, by deterring land speculation. Now I see I was wrong. And it's not only Evergrande teetering on the verge of bankruptcy; there are other speculators too.

How all this will play out geopolitically, given that the West's banks have run up a skyscraper of debt, requires a crystal ball.

In the 'good' old days a war would have been agreed, to kill off enough creditors and see business-as-usual restored. But in the age of hypersonic missiles, bearing lord-knows-what, that ain't so easy.

George Morton, Rosyth.

Police priority

That a Catholic priest was prevented from crossing the police cordon to give last rites to David Amess has led MP Mike Kane to propose an “Amess amendment”, arguing that rites should be seen as “an emergency service”.

Essex police have stressed that, “A cordon is put in place to secure and prevent contamination of the area” and, “This is fundamental to ensure the best possible chance of securing justice”.

While this religious ritual is important to Catholics and should be facilitated where possible, we must take police advice in weighing compassion with concerns that a perpetrator might escape or worse, create further victims.

Neil Barber, Edinburgh.