Keeping us in our place

The proposition by Colin Strang Steel in your columns last week that if the voters favour Yes in the forthcoming referendum, the Borders could elect to break away from Scotland does neither shock or surprise me.

There was a strong social class in the Borders who originally were the mill owners, landed gentry and their followers who ruled the roost politically and otherwise, keeping the ordinary people in their place and themselves at the top.

As a young apprentice in the mills in Galashiels, I remember on one occasion being told by my foreman not to engage in conversation with some people at the gate as they were inviting workers to join a union. The mill owner would not like it.

We are now well into the 21st century and, hopefully, this no longer happens. But as the referendum debate rumbles on, it can be seen that the descendants of this social class still want their place and will stop at nothing – even giving up Scottish citizenship – if the vote does not give them what they want.

How can this gentleman write that he will always remain fiercely loyal and patriotic to Scotland while even considering that the Borders should become part of Northumberland or Cumbria?

Derek Philips

Clovenfords