I READ with interest the article by Andy Anderson (Letters, January 9) concerning the Scottish pound.

That was very informative, and it also raises the question of why, in this day and age, we still have three different types of Scottish notes.

Yes it is nice to be nostalgic about the old £1 note, but nostalgia does not buy mince. Well it could with Scottish pound notes in Scotland, but would not buy tapas in Spain (as you cannot exchange them for Euros).

The truth be told, these notes even south of the Border are considered a bit of a joke.

Banks in England only have one style of banknote, so why do we not also have a single style of Scottish note across all Scottish banks?

It would save the Scottish banks money, as the cost per item would be less.The costs could be spread across the three major banks, with and a contribution from smaller ones.

The banks could have a draw from the hat to see which banknote style was to be the common Scottish note.

Surely we do not have to wait for the Scottish Government to buy into a bank, in order that a common note can be established?

My local branch of the Bank of Scotland has recently converted two of its six ATMs to issuing Bank of England notes, in order to provide Scots with holiday money! Is this the beginning of the end of the Scottish pound note?

I would like to see someone conduct a survey asking the Scottish people: would you prefer a single style of Scottish pound that could be recognised abroad, or keep the three existing styles?

In the past number of months I have requested that a number of Scottish newspapers conduct a survey on this matter, but to no avail.

So in the meantime it looks like I and my fellow Scots going abroad will have to continue to be embarrassed about these worthless Scottish notes in our pockets.

Gordon Latto

I DON’T understand how the change to the East Coast Main Line contract, which Lord Adonis indicated will cost the tax payer £2 billion, can be the best deal that the government could have achieved for the tax payer (Branson defends East Coast trains deal, The National, January 6). Even given any failure by Network Rail, how could any subsequent compensation for resultant loss to Virgin Trains East Coast come anywhere close to the figure of £2bn? Richard Branson indicated “significant” amounts lost of well over £100m. If we assume £120m, that equates to 3.6 per cent of the £3.3bn agreement. £2bn equates to 60 per cent.

It makes a mockery of any legitimacy of a tendering process when the successful bidder is effectively allowed to break the contract part way through when it suits them to do so.

This seems to be yet another case of these great entrepreneurial risk-takers of private industry having no difficulty taking all the profits/dividends that come their way but somehow avoiding taking all the losses, with the taxpayer yet again picking up the bill. If the railways were renationalised at least the public purse would benefit from all profits, not just pay for the losses.

Jim Stamper

WE know the well-rehearsed arguments against the invasion of Iraq (Cat Boyd: It’s our duty to pass on to young people what the Iraq War meant, The National, January 9). We have been hearing them for 15 years. For those of us who recognise that Iraq was (in the words of M Gove) “a torture chamber above ground and a mass grave below”, the infinitely more difficult question is: what should the limits on national sovereignty be in those countries where tyrants are able to brutalise or murder their own people with impunity? A mature, independent Scotland will have to confront this. Are there to be no limits? Has the failure to intervene in Syria produced a better result?

Frances Roberts

“BIG cats kill kids in violent spree” (The world in brief, The National, January 11) was an appalling headline, worthy of The Sun. I expect better from the National. You are tabloid in size not content. The implication that leopards kill children for fun and there was a whole spate of killings was not borne out by the actual story. “Leopards kill children in two separate attacks” may have been more appropriate.

Cliff Uney