December 7: SNP and Ukip flying in face of today’s global environment

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From: Don Burslam, Elm Road, Dewsbury Moor, Dewsbury.

HAVE there ever been two political parties more short-sighted than the SNP and Ukip? At least the SNP have won a lot of the seats, so we must treat them with more seriousness and full marks to the Tories, by the way, for refusing to make a deal with Nigel Farage and company.

The two parties, though, have something in common. Both fly in the face of the fact that we now live in a global environment. Gone are the days when small or medium-sized countries could survive in splendid isolation picking and choosing ad hoc relationships while maintaining total independence.

Worldwide terrorism, plus international crime including cyber crime and people trafficking, are gigantic menaces. I would add the threat of competition from the likes of Brazil, India and China which can undercut the economies of small nations.

The case for close association of traditional countries in areas such as Europe seems self-evident. Union is obligatory, not an optional extra. Of course, Scotland has the advantage of the support and protection of its southern neighbour. Banks and financial institutions are well embedded between the two and one can only imagine the chaos which would ensue if all these links were severed or nullified. What would happen if independent Scotland hit the economic buffers? If aid was forthcoming, no special treatment could be expected.

The final absurdity is that the SNP would want to stay in the EU. Talk about illogicality! The days of nation state are done, thank goodness if we look back to two world wars.

From: Terry Palmer, South Lea Avenue, Hoyland, Barnsley.

The 2015 General Election was the most disproportionate in British history. ‘First past the post’ is a system that has proved itself to be outdated.

Democracy in the UK has been around for hundreds of years, but it has never been static. Our democracy is constantly evolving and improving and it is now time to bring it up to modern day thinking. Nearly half a million people have signed petitions calling for voting reform. A recent poll showed 74 per cent of the electorate were in favour, that is a majority of Conservative, Labour, Ukip and Lib Dem voters.

Our voting system is totally unrepresentative, for instance Ukip and the Greens received five million votes between them, but only one seat each. The SNP have 95 per cent of seats in Scotland with just over half of that number of votes. Surely it’s now time for a fairer system?