Flagging up devolution benefits

It was with great amusement that I read Tom Dobson’s letter last week.

Tom is obviously a unionist and has the right to his own views – he makes an interesting point about how any future union flag might be put together after Scotland moves to total self government in 2016.

What concerns me, however, is when he suggests that the layout of some future ensign should in any way influence any referendum decision in 2014.

The merits of self-government in the Scottish Parliament are now proven facts and we all benefit from free prescriptions, frozen council tax, free tuition for Scottish students – the list goes on and on.

Just think how much more we could do if we had the right to control our own taxation and spending instead of begging for hand-outs from London.

Contrary to what Westminster would have us believe, this is not about separation but more about self-determination. Personally I see no reason why, post-2016, Scotland should not be able trade and to live in harmony with our neighbours south of the border as we have done for generations.

Finally, I can announce that even dyed-in-the-wool Tories like Tom Dobson can occasionally make sensible decisions. Rumour has it that he voted first choice Jim Brown in last month’s election, not for party political reasons but because he felt it was the right thing to do for Jedburgh.

If he can manage to encourage all his unionist colleagues to adopt the same sensible thought process during the referendum, then Scottish independence is guaranteed.

Jim Brown

SNP Councillor, Jedburgh and District