Historically, the Union saw Scotland going from virtual bankruptcy to being one of the richest nations on Earth and achieving in the 18th century an international intellectual and cultural ascendancy that continues to reverberate in the world today.
The Union created the largest empire in the world. world has ever known, and whatever your views on that empire, it undoubtedly led to the creation of the Commonwealth of Nations, the positive value of which cannot be denied.
The Union led the European resistance against Nazism and was ultimately instrumental in its defeat, and has now led the European resistance to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
The BBC is a product of the Union and is the world’s leading broadcaster of news and entertainment and the promotion of international freedom of expression.
The Union maintains a key element in NATO’s nuclear defense profile that is now, more clearly than ever, seen as essential to protect the free world against the monstrous and corrupt but powerful totalitarian forces that rule much of the world and would extend that dominance. .
The Union will maintain the existing free movement of people, goods and services in Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the obstruction of which, for example, by inserting a border with the EU, would make the catastrophic consequences of brexit looks like a tea party.
The Union will continue to provide Scotland with access to working banking services and real, not merely token, currency, neither of which would currently be available in a separate Scotland.
The Union can combine resources to provide a larger National Health Service and more efficient and uniform motor vehicle registration, tax and benefit systems than can be achieved in any separate part of the UK.
Employers, employees and customers within the UK will benefit from existing uniform UK-wide business and financial regulation and practice.
The Union will avoid exposing Scotland to the adverse consequences identified in the Scottish Government’s own documents on independence, which are likely to arise from the commencement of Scottish secession until the unsecured achievement of the benefits deriving from that secession.
There is much more to the value of our Union than can be adequately described in this short letter.
Michael Sheridan, Glasgow.
Early opportunity for Hepburn
I WAS interested in seeing Jamie Hepburn appointed to the position of Minister of Independence in the Scottish Government.
He should bring a clear vision to the debate, as his career appears to have been unhampered by real work, having transitioned smoothly from a university degree in politics to government minister.
Now he can concentrate on convincing Scots to support secession by explaining the SNP’s currency plan and how they would reduce the current crippling Scottish fiscal and trade deficits. All of this without raising taxes, cutting public spending, and cutting local government services. (They may have already started this on the sly.) Your opportunity has come sooner than expected. The impending Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-elections will provide the ideal platform for Hepburn and her nationalist friends to lay out their independence plans for Scotland’s economy.
I’m sure the voters of Hamilton and Rutherglen can’t wait.
James Quinn, Lanark.
The constitution really matters
We hear constant complaints in the print and broadcast media about the SNP’s “obsession with the constitution.” This reveals a troubling ignorance of the meaning and nature of a constitution.
There can be nothing more important to the life of the nation than the constitution. The constitution gives us the freedoms we have. It gives us protection against arbitrary rule. It gives us our rights. It gives us our institutions and therefore our public services.
The nature of the constitution is of paramount importance. Apartheid South Africa had a constitution that allowed imprisonment without trial. It only allowed a small part of the population to vote. He enshrined racism. Were the o[ponentsofApartheidal”obsessedwiththeconstitution”wrong?
The nature of the constitution determines what kind of country we have. It is absurd to say that we should forget about the constitution and concentrate on bread and butter issues. The most important gift of a constitution is the gift of self-determination. Everything else flows from that.
David Curry, Tarlandia.
The sad rise of acrimony
THERE IS one thing in her term in office that the previous Prime Minister can say with certainty increased, in fact, almost exponentially. It is the bitter division of the country between those who want to divide the UK and those who would prefer to leave things constitutionally as they are.
In place of the old sectarian dividing lines in Scotland, we now have the equally, if not more, corrosive divide of nationalist and non-nationalist politics. I am an old man and can clearly remember the old Tory-Labour divide from years gone by, but then it came down to politics and it was never, ever close to the naked hatred and downright obnoxiousness of the current divide. And the truth is that the longer the SNP has been in power, the worse it has become.
Opponents of nationalism are no longer simply fellow Scotsmen with a different idea of the best way forward for our country. They are the “enemy”.
Unfortunately with the new FM I see little to no change, and it is a time when fresh new direction is sorely required.
Alexander Mackay, Edinburgh.
SNP has had many successes
WALTER Paul (Letters, April 1) complains that I spent more than 50 per cent of my letter “talking about the Tories and Labour” but Mr Paul spent 100 per cent of his letter talking about the SNP and me . And while there are certainly challenges ahead for all governments, I do not recognize Mr Paul’s description of Scotland as a ‘crumbling disaster’.
I could list the many successes of the SNP in government, such as Scottish Children’s Payment, baby boxes, building thousands of council houses, new or renovated schools and no tuition fees; but I suspect Mr. Paul would find fault with that too.
Time SNP abandoned the Greens
WOULD IT NOT BE GREAT if the SNP disassociated itself from the Greens and with it their crazy and expensive Deposit Return Scheme, which is causing endless problems not only with big business but also with the most expensive retail outlets? little ones?
I think if we had Kate Forbes as our new Prime Minister she would have thought the same thing and put the Greens in touch. Humza Yousaf is so weak that she needs all the support she can get. And sadly, that means the full support of the Greens and, as part of that support, having to accept her policies.
Come on Prime Minister show you’ve got a backbone and can get by without the Greens and I’m sure your supporters will think better of you if you throw off that tether and chain.
neil stewart, balfron.
The progressive issue is not simple
IS Scotland a socially “conservative” or a socially “progressive” country? This question has preoccupied columnists and correspondents ever since Kate Forbes’ sizable vote in the recent SNP leadership contest (“Scots aren’t as left-wing as we like to think we are,” The Hetald, March 31). One of the dangers of trying to answer it is that it is stated too simplistically. Individuals can be conservative on some social issues and more progressive on others.
An even greater danger is a limited understanding of what social issues really are. Every issue facing our society is a social issue: health, education, transportation, energy, economic policy, environment. The list could go on. It is necessary to argue for this given the recent debate on gender reform and same-sex marriage could give rise to a view that social issues are reduced only to questions of sexuality or gender.
In addition to what could be called macro-issues, issues such as assisted death, abortion, capital punishment are also social issues, which were previously called issues of conscience does not alter this. There is no doubt that the debate on gender reform divided opinions, however, if we want to ask ourselves if we are a socially progressive or socially conservative country, our perspective must be much broader and questioning.
Brian Harvey, hamilton.