Tangled web over Scots independence

From: Jeff Snowden, Bardsey.

The whole issue of Scottish independence is profoundly depressing in these uncertain times when we should actually be growing together as a nation and especially when we seem to be gradually losing our sense of nationhood – in part due to unfettered and uncontrolled immigration.

Successive Westminster governments bear a heavy responsibility here, only serving to give the impression of alienating our Scottish neighbours from mainstream British politics – witness how many Tory MPs there are north of the border.

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The single responsibility of any Westminster government should be to keep the United Kingdom together at all costs, the clue being in the title “United”.

Cue the advent of an opportunist silver-tongued charmer with very few factual answers to Scottish aspirations and Alex Salmond may well succeed in doing what many foreign nations have aspired to do in the past – break up the United Kingdom.

And what of the disadvantaged English here? What voice do we have in the debate? We have no right to vote in the upcoming referendum even though a “yes” vote would affect us profoundly. Nor can we vote in the Scottish Parliament. We English are already disadvantaged with regard to prescription fees, care for the elderly and university fees vis à vis the Scottish.

Of course we are better off together. The costs and the ramifications of a separation in almost every area large and small are either going to be unpredictably prohibitive – just as we stumble into a recovery from the recession – or send us into uncharted waters where everyone loses out. It will inevitably be the taxpayer – on both sides of the border – paying for politicians’ ambitions. Better the “devil” we know.

From: John Leek, Carlton, Goole.

REGARDING Margaret Whitaker’s letter (The Yorkshire Post, September 3) about “Wallace’s wise words”, surely William Wallace was hanged, drawn and chopped into little pieces for allowing Mel Gibson to portray him in Braveheart with that awful imitation Scottish accent – or was it for being a nuisance and giving the English king a good thumping?

The spider was watched by Robert the Bruce, and after seven attempts it got its web across to the next roof beam. Suitably inspired, Robert went out and gave the English king a good thumping.

Have we not got any spider-watching leaders in this country who could give the Scots a good (economic) thumping to convince them of their folly in trying to break up the Union of the United Kingdom?

From: Gordon A Potts, St Nicholas Way, Wigginton, York.

I WOULD like to correct the letter from Margaret Whitaker (The Yorkshire Post, September 3) regarding Sir William Wallace.

As any self-respecting Scot knows, the incident of the spider in the cave happened several years after the death of William Wallace and, in fact, involved the king of Scotland, Robert the Bruce who, having been beaten by the English army, was in hiding and resting in a cave at Patrick Fleming near Lockerbie in the Borders. He watched the spider trying very hard to weave a web, giving rise to the saying, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again”. This gave Bruce the strength to regroup his army and beat the English King Edward at the battle of Bannockburn.

The legend of the spider first came to light in a book by Sir Walter Scott in 1829, more than 500 years after Bannockburn.

Here endeth the lesson.

All aboard bandwagon

From: Arthur Marson, New North Road, Huddersfield.

with the Ukip bandwagon firmly on the roll, and the party conferences in the offing, now is a good time to point out that the General Election next year could be the referendum that so many people want.

The electorate should be advised to discount the candidates for the main parties and join the bandwagon.

The three main parties have been tried and found wanting, especially over the last 40 years, while members of the EU, during their time in office have feathered their own nests and rewarded themselves with more than generous pensions and other benefits. The IPSA should be directed to make a sensible pay scale for the public sector, with a reasonable maximum, and second pensions should be phased out, becoming the responsibility of the individual, which would result in better pensions for everyone.

There are more advantageous changes that could be pointed out between now and next May.

Drivers know their limits

From: Hugh Rogers, Ashby, Scunthorpe.

CONGRATULATIONS to Hull’s council officials for slapping down road safety zealots.

Speed limits or no speed limits, there will always be idiots behind the wheel, but the now-proven fact is that most drivers are sensible creatures who, surprise, surprise, know how fast they can safely drive under prevailing road conditions.

The recent evidence from Hull city centre proves this. If Hull councillor Martin Mancey wants something to do, perhaps he should devise a cunning plan to penalise mobile-using pedestrians who stray mindlessly across busy roads.