Know our place

It was intriguing that I was identified by Douglas Turner as part of “the cacophony of doomsayers… who leap on any evidence…. that Scotland is not big, competent or wealthy enough to survive” on its own (Letters, 14 March).

How he leapt from what I actually wrote (Letters, 13 March) to that sweeping vilification illustrates a fundamental weakness in separatists’ proposals, in that hard facts are too often ignored and replaced by bombast.

The Gers estimates issued by Holyrood for last year show that we continued in a multi-billion pound fiscal deficit and that it is certain that the oil revenues’ decline added to that burden.

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We did drop eight places in the global GDP league table, illustrating that oil is just not a bonus, it is especially significant to us and as its associated revenues will, experts say, surely decline over a few short decades, replacement revenue streams must be established.

Hearing all the time about our abundant natural resources without definition and explanation of how each one will enhance our wealth and thus ensure our future is not satisfactory.

We also do not have accumulated financial assets to cope with bank bailouts.

That Scotland’s citizens are highly capable has never been in dispute for centuries (with the exception of Darien); the prominent part played in the pan-European enlightenment in the 18th century continues to this day.

Scotland’s universities and research stand tall internationally. The expertise of Scotland’s oil and gas firms is evident from the many start-ups that are snapped up by the USA as soon as their success is apparent (pity that they are not built up further here).

“Doing better on our own” needs a lot of detailed back-up: I do not relish being run by an Etonian-type Westminster clique either, but we should take into account the fact that that will not always be the case.

Joe Darby



Ken Currie (Letters, 14 March) says Scotland’s fiscal deficit “highlights the dangers” of independence. Is it too much to ask that the same logic is applied to both sides of this argument?

Scotland has, for years, had a substantially smaller fiscal deficit than the UK as a whole. Many regard this week’s figures, in which Scotland’s finances are very slightly worse than those of the UK as a whole, as a short-term blip.

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I would therefore ask Mr Currie and the Better Together parties if they would agree that the normal, more prevalent situation (ie where the UK deficit exceeds that of Scotland) highlights the dangers of the Union?

C Hegarty

Glenorchy Road

North Berwick

Ken Currie makes the classic error of those who indulge in hindsight: he appears to presume that certain outcomes would result if past decisions were changed.

So, by way of indulgence, let me suggest that had Scotland indeed been independent in 2008, the lead time to that state might have afforded greater scrutiny of the financial sector, and potential avoidance of the ruin that ensued under inadequate UK Government regulations.

Graeme Forbes

Longformacus Road