Letters: guess which way Zelenskyy would vote in Indyref2?
WHEN in Fort William on business recently, I strolled down the main street and came across the SNP Indyref2 propaganda trinket shop.
On one side above the store front was displayed “their flag”, a floating saltire; the Ukrainian flag on the other side. The propaganda was clear – Scottish Nationalists support this other little guy against their big bad bad neighbour. All resounded with painted pastels and cries of “Freedom!”, united against tyranny.
Never let the truth get in the way of a good story.
But I wonder how many, like me, would like journalists to ask Nicola Sturgeon et al for honest answers to simple questions?
If Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Vladimir Putin had a vote at Indyref2, which way do you think they would vote, and why?
Soviet Russia, and its heirs, have long sought the destruction of the United Kingdom, and thus the fatal weakening of the Western alliance and NATO. KGB officer Putin was trained to recognize the usefulness of the foreign “useful idiot” – often a myopic populist or ideologue – who, out of sublime self-interest or ignorance, causes them the damage bombs and tanks cannot.
Would President Zelenskyy (or even Sweden or Finland) vote for deep strategic harm to the refuge they seek in NATO? And would they believe that Admiral Sturgeon would run his independent navy as efficiently as our ferries?
G. Sweeney, Glasgow.
WHY THE GENERAL ELECTION MAKES SENSE
There is both theoretical and pragmatic justification for using a UK general election to establish the legitimacy of Scotland’s right to be an independent state (“Leading Academic Fires Holes into SNP’s ‘de facto’ referendum plan”, The Herald, June 30).
Since the first-past-the-post electoral system is itself seriously flawed, the basis of this legitimacy must be the number of votes cast for candidates who have explicitly declared their support for independence, not the number of seats won. . This must be very clear to voters. It does not just depend on votes for a political party. In this regard, it can be seen as a more democratic test than many general election results.
Of course, there are other issues at stake in a general election, but Scottish votes have very rarely determined the outcome of a UK election. More often than not Scottish votes were “wasted”, so no big loss there.
It will be up to any candidates who declare their support for independence to also specify the policies they will support or reject while they remain in Westminster.
Of course, a referendum would be the preferred route, but the British state is highly unlikely to take that risk again, so the independence movement must take all available democratic routes or remain powerless.
The UK Government will try to overturn the result if there is a separatist majority, but a yes vote will leave a very big hole in the brick wall of Westminster and there will be an acceleration of the campaign both internationally and in England with a clear democratic legitimacy behind it. .
Two minor points that might appeal to voters. There will be no additional costs and two campaigns will be merged into one.
Isobel Lindsay, Biggar.
* Professor James Mitchell’s expert opinion on the difference between a general election and a referendum is welcome.
Above all, it demonstrates the arrogance and dishonesty of the SNP and of Nicola Sturgeon, who really need to be taught that democracy is not their plaything or their property. Their declared intention to hijack a general election deserves to be treated with universal contempt by all other political parties, by whoever will form the next British Government of Scotland and by Scottish voters. We will vote for the party we want to see form the government of our choice – and Mrs Sturgeon and her cronies can go whistle Flower of Scotland.
Peter A Russell, Glasgow.
THIS IS A FANTASTIC SITUATION
I have just seen Stewart Hosie of the SNP tell the BBC’s Jo Coburn that any future referendum on separation, such as those held previously, would not be a legally binding result but, in the interests of democracy, would mean that UK governments and Scottish must unite to negotiate the terms of the separation. It demonstrates the absurdity of what we are being asked to consider – that is, to vote on whether we want to do something and then, if we decide we want to do it, to negotiate with someone another to establish exactly what it is we voted for.
The SNP claims that before any referendum it will answer all our questions. Like Scotland’s future white paper ahead of the 2014 referendum, it will be a fantasy as the rest of the UK will not have been involved in setting their terms, conditions and agreements for the distribution of assets and liabilities . A party to a divorce does not unilaterally decide the terms of the settlement. We have the example of Brexit in which, six years after this vote, there are still problems to be solved with the EU. The best we can say is that so far it hasn’t been as good as many hoped or as bad as many predicted. Scotland’s exit from the Union will be much more complicated.
The SNP accuses Westminster of obstructing democracy because of its reluctance to engage in a legal referendum. I would say that the British government supports democracy in that it was not elected on a manifesto which planned to spend huge amounts of political, civil service, legal and financial resources at the expense of the many major problems that exist requiring urgent solutions. To do so would disappoint most Britons and, according to recent polls, a majority of Scots who think now is not the time.
No referendum should be considered until there is a clear and consistent majority of people in Scotland (say 60%) who wish to have one and the economic and cultural situation is stable enough to allow Holyrood and Westminster to have a meaningful discussion on the Canadian Clarity Act.
Mark Openshaw, Aberdeen.
BE A NATION… AGAIN
Ongoing discussions about the form of the question for a Scottish independence referendum involve domicile, ingenious juggling of percentages, voter psychology and accusations of bias or confusion. There are multiple question suggestions and challenges to any single question.
In all these political squabbles, there is one word that never appears but whose absence represents a crucial omission of historical fact. The appropriate question for the referendum should not refer to Scottish independence, but to Scotland becoming independent again.
All the proposed formulations tacitly support the idea of an arbitrary region seeking to secede. The historical reality is that Scotland was a settled country centuries before most of modern Europe and long before the United States was assembled from the various territories stolen from the native inhabitants by the Christian invaders.
When the Union was created, it was presented as a mutual agreement between independent nations (although no mention was made of the English occupying army which was ready to intervene if necessary). Failure to recognize Scotland’s great age as a country has allowed for false comparisons with Quebec, Catalonia or other secessionist movements.
The only valid comparison of a union and its dissolution is that of Norway and Sweden. The lack of balance between dominating Sweden and weaker Norway led to the dissolution of their union in the early 20th century. Despite predictions of Norway’s inability to function independently, it eventually prospered and the two independent nations now co-exist as cordial neighbors, each with an enviable standard of living.
Peter Dryburgh, Edinburgh.
CONSERVATIVES SPEND ON INDYREF2
YOU report that Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said the Prime Minister was turning Holyrood into a ‘do nothing parliament’ which neglected the real priorities of the people by obsessing over another referendum (“Sturgeon’s dramatic gamble to force a new referendum”, The Herald, June 29).
Why, then, is Mr Ross’s own UK Conservative government spending taxpayers’ money to fund research inquiries into the extent of public support for Scottish independence? Why then is he spending even more public money on legal battles to stop SNP MP Tommy Sheppard’s attempts to get him to reveal the results of his findings?
The top-secret research, of course, also shows that London is gearing up for Indyref2.
Tom Johnston, Cumbernauld.
MUST DO BETTER
A FEW years ago the Prime Minister said, “Judge me on education. Luckily for her, the electorate did not. Ironically, his party’s mantra seems to have become “lessons will be learned”.
Brian Johnson, Torrance.
Read more: Bring on the Indy General Election. The SNP will be overwritten