REGARDING Carolyn Leckie’s column (GDP is causing poverty, but Scotland can make progress, The National, November 13). The deficiency in relying solely on GDP to measure progress was beautifully summarised by Robert Kennedy, when a presidential candidate as long ago as 1968.

He said: “[GDP] counts air pollution and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage. It counts special locks for our doors and jails for the people who break them.

“It counts the destruction of the redwood and the loss of our natural wonder in chaotic sprawl. It counts napalm and counts nuclear warheads and armoured cars for the police to fight the riots in our cities.

“It counts Whitman’s rifle and Speck’s knife, and the television programmes which glorify violence in order to sell toys to our children.

“Yet gross domestic product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials.

“It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country, it measures everything in short, except that which makes life worthwhile.”
Roddie Macpherson

I REFER to Michael Collie’s letter in yesterday’s National on the subject of a Scottish/English trade border if Scotland were to be an independent country within the EU. Part of the solution would be to re-establish a Rosyth-continental ferry service thus bypassing England and allowing Scotland to be in charge directly of imports/exports to Europe.

The problem of trading goods between Scotland and England would remain, but with less pressure on the Border. We await to see what the UK Government comes up with as a solution to the Irish/Northern Irish border question, but if the UK actually wants to leave the EU then it has to come up with some solution. This would then have a bearing on cross-border trade between Scotland and England if Scotland were to remain in the single market or as a full member of the EU.
Susan Grant

JOHNNY McCloskey, a good Scottish Nationalist, made a timely intervention recently on Facebook when he differentiated civic nationalism from ethnic nationalism. Up to now Scottish Nationalism has been that of the civic variety, being positive in that it is inclusive, welcoming all that live in our country as being part of our nation.

However in recent times we have had a number of opinions expressed on social media about English people living in various parts of Scotland, more or less saying they should be forced out of Scotland so that we can get a better ethnic population mix. Very few have criticised this racist nonsense on social media. This uglier side of Scottish Nationalism has to be rejected.

Others have also talked about treacherous and traitorous Scots, and this does not help our cause. This form of hatred-based nationalism amounts to ethnic nationalism which ultimately leads to violence. This is not acceptable and should be rejected by all civilised people living in Scotland.

More recently there have been vicious comments made on social media about young working-class Scots who have served in the armed forces. There is no place in a tolerant Scotland for this kind of hatred. It is only by engaging with people with Unionist beliefs through democratic discourse that we can win the day.

Scottish nationalism has to be based on inclusion for all, meaning that we envision a society based on giving equal opportunities to all of our people and therefore Scotland can be transformed by socialism ensuring first-class public health, education, housing, social security and a high wage economy.

This can all be obtained. We just have to believe in ourselves as it is the people of Scotland who are sovereign. We all need to be tolerant of each other and unite to campaign for Scottish independence. We will become an independent nation again if we are outward-looking and progressive in outlook rejecting the politics of hatred.
Sean Clerkin