Letters to the editor

independence

Let’s be passionte not passive

The Scottish Referendum debate appears to have concentrated to far on discussion of what the prosperity of the people of Scotland might, or might not, be in an independent Scotland.

All very important of course, but transient, short term, because the realities are and always will be subject to the changing circumstances of politics and the world’s economy.

It is time that the deep unchanging truths should be put forward and with passion.

Consider what the UK and Great Britain has given to the world over the past 307 years. Remember the great men and women from all walks of life and all parts of the Union who have achieved so much for the good of us all, and remember the countless others who have gladly followed.

How do gifts and achievements rate against the uncertain offerings of the independence seekers?

Consider the United Kingdom’s part in the two world wars, instrumental, as a single nation, in achieving victory both times and, with our Commonwealth in 1940 standing entirely alone to do so.

Do we ignore how fully the blood of us all is blended in the families of our four nations, and can we forget how freely it has flowed, as one, in those two wars?

Let us be passionate about this, not passive, and hold to our great union.

Remember it would be forever.

M.S. Hardy-Bishop,

Grey Peel, Lintalee Estate, Jedburgh.

The financial aspects

Firstly, the meaning of Independence is: free from control and financially self reliant!

Now that the SNP Government has been told that in the event of Scotland becoming independent they will not be able to use the pound sterling. What’s the reaction from Nicola (you’re scaremongering) Sturgeon? They’re bullying us! Nicola, welcome to the real world. Never start a battle unless you’re sure of winning it. So what we’re left with is a Scottish pound which won’t be accepted in the rest of the UK without exchanging it. There will be a cost attached to this.

The other aspects are, Scotland has an ageing population who are either receiving a State pension or will be receiving it in the next few years. There is no pension fund, it’s financed by the existing tax payers ie people in work. So where does that leave the pensioners? Lower pensions and rising costs.

This goes on to employment. There is no new inward investment heading Scotlands way. Everybody is waiting to see what will happen. No foreign companies will invest in a country which is a potential financial basket case. Just look at Greece and the rest. Therefore unemployment will rise and revenues in the form of tax will drop. Then the young men and women who could afford to go to University will go off to the rest of the UK to find employment.

In my last letter, I mentioned the Barnett formula which is the subsidy Scotland receives from the UK Treasury. The population of Scotland is 5.25 million. Muliply this by the subsidy that’s received per person. It’s a good number that will cease if Independence happens. I did e-mail Paul Wheelhouse on February 2 asking for the up to date figure re the subsidy. To date no response from him although an assistant did respond saying that he is a very busy SNP MSP. So busy for this very important SNP MSP who lives in Ayton to respond to one of his constituents.

But the real answer is that Salmond and Sturgeon don’t want us to know how reliant Scotland is on the UK Treasury. They’re saying that North sea oil and gas will save everything. I always thought that the territorial boundary was 12 miles out to sea? So the day after Independence there will be no money coming in. No doubt they will attempt to fight the ownership through the courts, the lawyers costs will be enormous, no matter it’s OPM (other peoples money). Ours, the taxpayer will pay the costs. So what happens in the meantime? Scotland will borrow money. No problem, every country does this. But the problem will be interest rates. Our credit rating will be risky. But never mind, Salmond and Sturgeon won’t mention this.

We’re already seeing the effects on Police Scotland and the Justice department cutbacks with the closure of police stations and courts due to restrictions of funding. This is just the start. Then there will be cutbacks which may happen to the health service and other services that we take for granted as again the lack of finance takes effect. I could go on.

The SNP Governement have published a white paper which should only be read with rose tinted glasses. It’s not worth the paper it’s printed on. Re-nationalise the Post Office? Where’s the money coming from? Scotland’s own armed forces, the cost? A couple of fishing trawlers painted grey, half a dozen Land Rovers and finally the Cessnas for the airforce.

Can anyone explain why born and bred Scotsmen and women working in the rest of the UK can’t get the vote on Independence? The SNP Government say it’s too difficult to organise. Strange this when you think that members of HM Forces get the proxy vote when they are serving abroad. Also interesting that people who arrive in Scotland from eastern Europe can get the vote on this very important issue. The real reason is that Salmond and Sturgeon know that the majority of these people will vote against this! So, no vote for them.

The EU, there’s an emotive subject. Scotland will have to reapply for membership, not necessarily forthcoming. Spain has already indicated that they will veto Scotland’s membership as they don’t approve of breakaway nations. Farmers, your subsidies will cease on Independence day. Make the most of them now. Passports will have to be renewed as we won’t be members of the EU. Another cost.

If there is a yes vote on Independence, and after a few years Scotland’s finances collapse and Salmond and Sturgeon after strutting the world stage disappear into obscurity, people should remember that the Genie can’t be put back in the bottle. No going back!

Robert Scott,

Lindenbank, South Cheviot View, Chirnside.

Currency union needed

I do not want Scotland to leave the UK.

If both the Labour Party and the Conservatives think it is a bad idea for England Wales and Northern Ireland to be in a currency union with an independent Scotland, why did we have a currency union with the Irish Free state and Irish Republic for over 50 years?

Of course it is in the interest of those of us in England to have a currency union with an independent Scotland. It allows for easier trade.

As part of that do we have to admit to ourselves there are no Scottish Banks any more? RBS bought Nat West 20 years ago. Have they really been a Scottish bank since then? The National Australian Bank owns Clydesdale. Didn’t Bank of Scotland stop being Scottish when they merge with the Halifax forming HBOS? So in what sense are any of these three remaining banks Scottish?

Is it time to admit to ourselves they should probably have lost their right to print their own Scottish bank notes some time ago under the terms and conditions that privilege was originally granted?

If Scots vote for independence I certainly want a currency union with an independent Scotland and so do many millions of voters like me.

I am sorry we no longer have a currency union with the Irish Republic and so I think are they. Aren’t Ed Balls and George Osborne just making themselves look ridiculous?

Nigel F. Boddy,

Fife Road, Darlington.

Other highs were omitted

So eager was Lawrence McDonald (letters, February 13) to get back in touch with his inner Viking that he inadvertently omitted a number of the other highs such as high prices, high taxes or high suicide rates from the list of superlatives that adoption of the Scandinavian model might bring us. And as for high profits, which particular berserker of the business world shall we start with? How about Nokia?

Neil Stratton,

Heiton Mains, Heiton.

Economic suicide

A week is indeed a long time in politics. One week the Prime Minister is “lovebombing” the Scots with his “good cop routine”, the next his Chancellor, Mr Balls and Mr Alexander are acting as “bad cop”, ruling out a formal currency union in the event of Scottish independence.

As the polls narrow such acts of desperation are to be expected, but it is a dangerous game the UK Government is playing as it would of course leave them having to pick up the entire UK debt.

A currency union clearly makes economic sense for both parties. The UK balance of trade deficit is £35billion a year and Scottish oil and gas exports amount to £30billion, with Scotland being the second-biggest export market for the rest of the UK after the US.

For Scotland not to continue to use sterling would double the sterling zone trade imbalance and have a massive negative impact on the currency. In addition, transaction costs will lead to businesses in the rest of the UK losing hundreds of millions of pounds and destroying jobs.

It is up to Messrs Osborne, Alexander and Balls to explain to employees in the rest of the UK the threat that non entry to a currency union will have on their livelihoods.

Maintaining the currency union post independence will help Scotland with trade and energy sales to the rest of the UK, and in addition help the rest of the UK maintain the sterling zone’s balance of payments at a manageable level.

For the rest of the UK to try and prevent Scotland continue to use sterling would be tantamount to economic suicide, effectively cutting off its nose to spite its face and is yet another example of scaremongering we Scots are intelligent enough to see through.

Alex Orr,

Leamington Terrace, Edinburgh.

All singing all dancing

It would be a waste of my time trying to explain to Mr Walthew why it would be a bad decision by the Scottish people to vote for independence, I will therefore desist from filling his head with facts which he ignores.

It is with a groan on turning to the readers’ letters pages that another letter is in from Mr Walthew, I would be better reading the ‘Beano’. He must be the first person since Moses to look down on the promised land and not be disappointed. I can only say “ if only”.

We only have another seven months to have his all singing all dancing letters up to referendum time but will I have the strength to last that time?

Robert Dickson,

Cheviot Terrace, Coldstream.

wind turbines

Horrified at plans

I was horrified to read that Berwick Community Trust want to erect 80m wind turbines on the historic England/Scotland border.

Advance Renewables had ‘hoped to avoid the requirement to complete an environmental impact assessment’. What is going on here? If the local newspaper had not been present at that planning meeting, would the people of Berwick have been notified or consulted on this?

The 80m high turbines would be situated on moorland behind the lay-by where tourists take photographs of the breathtaking Border views.

This area is renowned for its unspoilt landscape, consisting of open moorland and panoramic views which are an important tourist asset to the area.

The turbines would be highly visible from the A1 and local Heritage Sites such as Halidon Hill and would also be seen from a radius of over 20km away.

The turbines would completely overshadow and be out of keeping with the open character of the landscape. They would have an adverse impact and cause significant damage to the beauty of the National Border landscape which should surely be protected for future generations.

I urge Berwick Community Trust to seriously reconsider this proposal and the impact it would have upon Berwick-upon-Tweed.

Further details can be viewed at: http://publicaccess.northumberland.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do? activeTab=documents&keyVal=MWVQ72QS0CH00

A. Sanderson,

Main Street, Tweedmouth.

charity darts

Lifeboat benefits

May I through your paper thank everyone who came to the Joseph Walker Memorial Trophy Mixed Pairs Darts Competition in aid of the Eyemouth Lifeboat.

To everyone who donated raffle prizes and gave donations.

To all staff and Douglas at the Tavern for the hospitality. The total raised was £500.

Winners of the darts were Jamie Aitchison and Jackie Robertson and the runners-up were Carl Jamieson and Brenda Thomson.

Thanks also to the lifeboat crew for the beautiful flowers.

Irene Aitchison,

Kerrigan Way, Foulden.

coffee morning

Romanian orphans

A coffee morning in aid of the Romanian orphans was held in the Masons Hall, Eyemouth, on Saturday February 8, when the sum of £324.40 was raised.

I would like to express my sincere thanks and appreciation to everyone that helped in any way to support the coffee morning.

Peter Craig Maltman,

Church Street, Eyemouth.

Wojtek statue

Clarification

I write to you in order to clear up any misunderstanding regarding the Wojtek statue.

In the minutes of Duns Community Council meeting on January 7, it was stated that D. McCormick had been in touch with the sculptor to say that due to financial implications, the commissioning of the statue would not go ahead.

I would like to make it clear that the financial implications were to the Duns Community Council and not the sculptor. As had been made clear in the December minutes seen by your newspaper, a proposed outlay of £150,000 was considered to be too expensive in the current economic climate.

Anne Cummins,

Secretary, Duns Community Council.