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When I first came to Scotland in 1965 I soon realised that I was in a very different part of Britain.

It was another 45 years before Scots seemed to come to the same conclusion and voted for the only party fighting exclusively for them. So do they now also understand that the future is independence?

People who are frightened or dubious about an independent Scotland should ask themselves the following questions.

If independence will be as catastrophic for Scotland as the NO campaign claim, why have the 50-odd empire countries which have become independent from Westminster since 1945, not requested a return to London rule?

If the Scottish population is too small to be financially independent how are countries such as New Zealand, Denmark, Slovakia, Lithuania, Norway, all with smaller populations than Scotland, surviving?

If independence is rejected in 2014, and a London controlled Unionist party is elected to Holyrood in the future, how long do you think it will be before we are paying for prescriptions, higher education fees, care for the elderly, privatised health care and goodness knows what else?

If Westminster governments are working so well for Scotland why is there only one Scottish Tory MP? And why is Labour’s support melting away as fast as the Liberal’s?

If Scotland is such a drain on the Treasury as some MPs and the London right-wing press claim, why is Westminster desperate for Scotland to stay in the Union?

Apart from a few small pockets of conservatism, like Berwickshire, the Scottish people are left of centre and quite egalitarian.

Conversely, politics in England is continually moving to the right and becoming more divisive.

Recently we have seen the dramatic rise of the UKIP xenophobes, who are only reflecting the aspirations of many right-wing English voters. They could win a general election and if so do you really want to be ruled by such an extreme party?

I know there are many Scots who are scared stiff of change – better the devil you know and all that.

But for those of us who can see beyond the negative rhetoric of the NO campaign, the only prosperous and fair future is via independence.

Richard Walthew



Her Majesty The Queen recently visited Abbotsford House, Selkirk.

I heard from a local person that hordes of police were in attendance and even police sniffer dogs.

Well H.M is more than welcome to visit Birgham as we witnessed motor-cyclists deliberately roaring through the village as well over the 30mph on Sunday, July 7.

We could have done with her “hordes of police” to give us protection from being killed or insured.

However, I suppose that’s too much to ask.

Jean Cunningham

Kingston Cottage,


I write concerning the proposed sculpture for Kelso Square.

Surely it is not beyond the wit of man to celebrate something of real relevancy to Kelso in such a statue without stooping to the “visionary” nonsense of artists who seek to force their ephemeral rubbish onto one of Scotland’s most elegant town-centre squares, the openness and buildings of which are truly outstanding.

Any “public art” must fit with its surroundings and not detract from them.

It should have simple and direct impact, of the correct scale, without the unnecessary extra frills which all of the shortlist seem to have. Nor should it have no connection to the town or so forced that the outputs of any local map might serve better.

One might also ask whether most of the statuary would be in 50 years’ time – doubtless effaced by weather, traffic and vandals, etc.

Nowhere in Kelso is there a commemoration of the greatest public event which has ever taken place here – if one ignores the tragedies associated with the abbey – namely the crowning of King James III.

Why not? What an opportunity missed by semi-educated non-locals.

G. Squires

Whinny Braes, Kelso


The examples of so-called “public art” which you describe as being a shortlist is quite amazingly pathetic.

If it really was a community decision, who asked and who knew? Certainly not most of the community who will have to suffer it for years to come.

Sainsbury’s, as the sponsors, should seriously question the consultation issue, to say nothing of the waste of its money on the shabby detritus being forced on us in lovely Kelso Square.

Gilbert Brown

Crockett Gardens, Kelso


In these increasingly difficult times we really should be looking to help each other so much more than we do. We never know when we will lose a job, become ill or need the support of others to get us through a difficult patch.

I was quite disturbed to learn that Berwick now has a food bank to help those who are unable to afford food. Many cannot afford quite basic work to be done on their homes. They cannot afford new clothes and do not know how to repair what they have.

Between us we have the means. Share our skills, help each other through and look out for our neighbours.

If you have time on your hands there are many opportunities to volunteer, it might even lead to better job prospects. Stop waiting for the government or council to help, they increasingly cannot (or will not).

Helen Johnson

Castlegate, Berwick