Leaders must accept result

Even as an active Better Together supporter, I accept the Yes referendum campaign was by far the better of the two.

But if Yes supporters are to live up to their claim that regardless of the result, the decision of the majority will be respected and we should all work together for Scotland, some changes in the independence camp need to be made.

When campaigning, I met many honest, sincere Yes supporters who committed to both sides coming together after the result. They now need the SNP leadership to accept their will and not allow, in their name, Alex Salmond, Christine Grahame and their acolytes – such as Bob Burgess (Southern, September 25) – to refuse to accept the outcome.

However much I disagree, it is perfectly valid to believe in an independent Scotland. It is quite another thing to continue the disruption, distraction and risk of enmity by prolonging the campaign through a rearguard refusal to accept that the case for Union has been argued and that it has the support of a large majority.

Second, the Yes coalition and the SNP in particular need to consider what it really stands for. I encountered a great range of ambitions from those seeking to establish a socialist, Trotskyist even, state to those who felt nationhood can only be fulfilled by independence. These many, but strange bedfellows need to decide what they have in common. Some people may need to recognise how their name and ambitions have been exploited by others with very different goals.

Third, we all – including Better Together supporters – need a good course of education. The question will be put again to voters, although I hope it will be at least a generation (25 years, not the truncated 15 years the SNP seeks).

When that happens, how much better, if inconvenient for some, would it be if voters were able to spot the truths from the myths? For example, how Scotland came into the Union; how Scottish land-owning has developed; what the tax-raising powers of Scotland are; how an independent currency works; why Scottish mines and steel mills closed; and last, but not least, the origins of the term Scots and what makes someone Scottish (not, apparently, 300 years of traceable Scottish ancestry and being born, raised and educated in Scotland)?

Some of the bunk pedalled about in the name of fact was appalling and we will all be better off next time for knowing it when we see it.

P.J. Lewis