Helping hand from England

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Were I a nationalist like Hugh Sneddon (letters, February 20), I would be wary of harking back to the “annexation” of 1707. Others might see it more as the rescue of an economic basket case.

Hugh will no doubt be eager to correct my off-message understanding of history, but did the events of 1707 not stem from a disastrously ill-judged Scottish adventure that was specifically designed to exclude the English, and that failed due to hopelessly-optimistic expectations, poor planning and Spanish hostility? Ring any bells?

As a result of this escapade Scotland found itself bankrupt, with almost all of its “national treasure” lost in a fetid, mosquito-ridden swamp. At that point, things were looking pretty grim.

A helping hand from the English (or “annexation”, as Hugh terms it) in the form of the Union of the Parliaments (the crowns had, after all, been united under a Scottish – not English – king a century before) provided Scots with opportunities that they have taken full advantage of over the following three centuries, to the mutual benefit of all in these islands. Why return to the mistakes of the past, instead of building on a Union from which Scots have done and continue to do so well?

Neil Stratton

Heiton