Letters to the editor – Even hand in Yes/No debate

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The Southern Reporter is to be commended for its even-handed coverage of the referendum. There have been several letters of persuasive erudition both for and against separation and if, for the former, the rhetoric has tended towards the emotional, for the latter, pragmatism has been the main thrust. Nevertheless, all the separatist rhetoric, however well crafted, remains echoingly hollow as shall be shown below.

Firstly, the entire separatist prospectus is balanced upon a pile of vitally important, but unresolved matters (known unknowns) which can only be resolved after the vote. Thus, anything they say now has to be taken with a pinch of salt, being nothing better than a wishlist woefully lacking the underpinning of fact. And what sort of normally intelligent person would vote for such a pig in a poke? And by “normally intelligent”, I discount both sides’ passionate supporters and am only addressing anyone who still may still be neutral.

If there is a ‘no’ majority, these matters can remain unresolved but, if ‘yes’ wins the day there is a second reason to have nothing to do with separatism. In such an event, the hands of Scottish negotiators will be fatally tied. The boats will have been burned and there will be no going back. What the separatists want is already well known, but the things that they want are not Scotland’s to demand, they are all other peoples’ to give. I accept that there are items which could be horse traded but, even in horse-trading, there have to be both willing buyers and willing sellers.

The net result will be that Scotland will have to accept what is on offer by the end of the two-year period and just get on with it. For example, it could take a long time to resolve the matter of what currency we shall be using.

If, at the end of the day, it becomes clear (as seems to be the case at the moment) that continuing to use the pound sterling is a non starter, what do we do? How long does it take to invent design, print and circulate a new currency? And there are innumerable similar matters.

In passing, since the end of the First World War, the Earl Haig Fund (now known as PoppyScotland) has been the principal generalist in giving support to our ex-service community with money raised through the annual poppy appeal. Recently, and not without a great deal of heart-searching, it has allowed itself to be taken under the wing of The Royal British Legion because it gives the ex-service community in Scotland access to a far bigger financial pot than Scotland could manage itself. Great Scot! The separatists would lead in the diametrically opposite way and the fate of PoppyScotland becomes another known unknown.

Tim Usher

Chesters Grange, Ancrum

Scots are in 
the mood to leave UK

I’ve just spent a week in Scotland and the mood of the people suggests to me they have had enough of the political establishment in London and are going to leave the UK.

I feel a lot like the unwilling party to a divorce. The chances of the English regions asserting any kind of control over London-based politicians and making them see sense are pretty slim without the Scots.

I was involved in Hartlepool politics when the town elected the local football club mascot as their first directly elected Mayor. A town of 92,000 people made a gigantic gesture of defiance to all Westminster politicians and the London political scene, which has so entirely failed them. Scots are about to do the same, I think.

Robert the Bruce owned Hartlepool – well the island of Hart by the Pool as it was then. Isn’t his brother buried in St Hilda’s Abbey in Hartlepool? David Baliol his rival for the Scottish crown owned Barnard Castle in County Durham.

If Scots go it alone, shouldn’t we in Cumberland, Westmoreland, Durham and Northumberland be allowed to choose if we go with them and where the border is drawn?

Nigel F. Boddy

Fife Road, Darlington

Yes vote disrespects

our veterans

It feels small-minded, and even disrespectful to the many brave Scots, English, Welsh and Irish who fought bravely and gave their lives, that on the anniversary of D-Day, Scotland is even considering breaking away from a union which has served Scotland, its people and the world, well.

Operation Neptune, the largest amphibious operation ever, was a magnificent example of what the British can achieve together: it was planned by the British, commanded by a Scot (Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay, from the Borders), equipped by the British (who provided more than 80 per cent of the vessels) and Americans (the rest), and the combined coordination and manning by English, Welsh, Scots, Irish, Americans, Canadians and other nations ensured success.

Scots and Scotland will continue to have influence and serve the world best as part of a G8 country.

William Ramsay

Bughtrig, Coldstream