Viewpoints on Scottish independence

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From: Paul Emsley, Newton Way, Hellifield, Nr Settle, North Yorkshire.

REGARDING the Scottish Independence Referendum:

Dear Mr Cameron,

The Scottish people are intelligent, they are well educated and socially aware; they are financially astute and – dare one say it – more politically active than their Anglo-Saxon cousins. To make a speech as you did the other Friday, with the central theme on sport and culture, just shows what an uninformed and politically naive person you are. Did Andy Coulson write your speech?

Go to Scotland and have a serious political discussion with Mr Salmond and his SNP supporters. Emphasise the global, political and social benefits of the United Kingdom remaining united. Point to the flaws of nation states and a political elite; elaborate on the needs of the peoples of the Outer Hebrides and the Shetland Islands, as well as Edinburgh; and illustrate the financial problems of Iceland, Ireland and Israel. And then let the Scottish people choose.

Scottish history has been intrinsically linked to English history, since 1603. Perhaps that period is about to end. Perhaps?

But it won’t be changed on the saddle of a bicycle or from the handle of a tennis racket. It will only be changed by convincing the collective will of the Scottish people. They are the people you need to present your arguments to. Convince them that democracy in the United Kingdom is better than nationalism in Edinburgh.

Listen to Alistair Darling.

From: Graham Branston, Emmott Drive, Rawdon.

AS VI Day gets closer for Scottish Independence, the rhetoric used by the SNP Leader Alex Salmond and others seems to be increasing. Not long ago he was referring to the fear of engaging in debate.

When the chief executive of BP spoke against independence, he said many other chief executives supported it, but couldn’t name any when challenged in the Scottish Parliament.

Now, on the back of George Osborne spelling out one of the realities of independence – exclusion from union with our currency – first Nicola Sturgeon, his deputy, referred to it as bluffing, but now it is reported that Salmond has written to David Cameron calling it bullying.

It seems to me that this Britain- busting party will lose whatever the outcome of the vote. Either the nationalists will lose outright or, if there is a pro-independence vote, it won’t be long before the financial and other realities kick in. I hope Salmond, Sturgeon and co. will then take the full rap.

From: ME Wright, Grove Road, Harrogate.

IN a rare and unedifying show of unity, our Westminster masters threaten to cast disobedient Scotland into fiscal outer darkness (Yorkshire Post, February 14).

If the worst happens and independence comes about, will Ukip vilify the Scots as ‘bloody foreigners’ and perhaps demand armed guards at Berwick-upon-Tweed? Furthermore, will Jersey and other tax-avoidance rat holes still be welcomed in the sterling fold?

From: GAW Heppell, Rawcliffe Lane, York.

DAVID Cameron asks us to ask any relatives in Scotland to say no to Scottish independence. Why should we? Many of us are fed up with subsidising the Scots through the Barnett Formula which enables them to have free prescriptions, free care for the elderly, no student fees for their own children.

We English should also have 
a referendum on whether we wish this to continue. The final straw is the proposal to close our Royal Navy shipyard at Portsmouth and give the work to the Clyde. I am asking my relatives to vote yes.

Regions need real power

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

IF ever there was a case of a set-up having passed its sell-by date, it is our system of government. It creaks like an arthritic pensioner, it is unresponsive, wasteful, bureaucratic and ineffectual to the nth degree. The failure to deal properly with the floods says it all.

The proposal for regional assemblies was rightly thrown out. Wasting yet more money on another layer of government probably paid for by the locals failed to attract and people are not fools.

Linda Riordan MP (Yorkshire Post, February 10) is right. What we need is real power to resuscitate the regions. As I see it, this can be done in one of two ways. I would favour the devolution of central government to a more central location. London could of course be 
kept as a ceremonial and symbolic locale for prestige purposes.

It is of course very likely that vested interests would veto this but there is no reason why wholesale decentralisation of offices with concomitant financial resources should not take place.

This region has by far the bulk of Labour MPs yet they have never exercised their power systematically to apply pressure for real reform. You can be sure the Metropolitan establishment would never take the lead on this.

A ban too far
for smoking

From: Brian Sheridan, Redmires Road, Sheffield.

I AGREE with Conservative MP Philip Davies that any move to ban smoking in the home would be a step too far (Yorkshire Post, February 12). If parents want to poison themselves and their children so be it; they are not a danger to anybody else.

I also agree that a ban on smoking in cars where children are present would be very difficult to enforce; it is harder to spot an infant in the back of a car than a lone driver who is smoking or, for that matter, using a mobile phone.