Scotland needs a fresh start

I wish to reply to David Spence’s letter which you published on February 13.

The reason I mentioned the English settlers in Malta who tried to block Maltese independence was to highlight those who have a vested interest in the status quo. So it is okay for Mr Spence to dismiss their actions because they were far enough away from Britain not to be reported in the British press?

He claims the 1707 Act of Union saw feudal, backward Scotland rescued by the enlightened English.

Yes, the Scottish economy was in trouble due to the disaster of trying to set up a trading colony in the Americas. But would it have failed had the English government not told their colonies not to come to the Scots’ aid, thus helping along the union of parliaments?

We were bailed out on condition of accepting a share of English debts, and some Scots who signed away our freedom were amply rewarded. Our national poet, Robert Burns, summed them up perfectly as “a parcel of rogues in a nation”. These people had to go into hiding in fear of their lives when the people of Edinburgh rioted in protest at their actions.

I’m glad Mr Spence quoted Scottish history as schools in the Borders during the 1940s and 1950s only taught British history. I had a good grounding of 1066, Drake, the Wars of the Roses etc., with only one chapter on the Scottish rebellion.

This was a time when the Labour Government tried to airbrush out the name of Scotland by referring to it as North Britain. The state-owned North British Railway was an example of this.

As for rescuing us from feudalism, is this the same country that still has the unelected House of Lords?

This is not anti-English, as Mr Spence implies, for there are many Scots unionist career politicians who have dreams of being elevated to that gold-plated retirement home. They have a lot to lose if we vote Yes.

If we are all so British, why does the Royal Navy fly the English flag with a small Union Jack in the corner? Why did Lord Nelson signal the British fleet, when going into action, “England expects every man to do his duty”? Why, when referring to the Queen, she is referred to as the Queen of England? Why, when the British Empire has been defunct since 1947, are we still handing out medals and honours in the name of that empire – i.e. MBE, BEM etc.?

I’m surprised that Yorkshireman Mr Spence can’t see that that county is as remote from London-based government as we are – the difference being that we are trying to change that.

I want Scotland to make a new start. Britain is a small island off the coast of Europe. The empire is gone. Let’s just live with that and try and be a peaceful nation and a power for good, and stop invading other countries on an almost annual basis.

Jim Calder

Aitken Bank