HUGH Noble of Appin (Don’t be so sure you know the real motives of older ‘No’ voters’, May 2) makes a very good point. One can add a number of points to his well-made one about the “gutter street diction” seen in many of the interviews of the vox-populi type that take place in Scotland. To that can be added the notable frequency of Scottish accents among arch-villains on radio (I have no TV, thank goodness).

My own particular favourite, if it can be called that, is in Hitchcock’s film of John Buchan’s The 39 Steps, which contains a depiction of a Scot, the girl’s father, that is so unpleasant and nasty as to be quite unbelievable if it were not there to be seen. A lot could be said on this subject, but we don’t seem to do sociology or linguistics any more.

I am of the age group that Hugh so aptly characterises. Through my schooling at a Scottish academy in Dundee I acquired an appreciation of the major English poets – Shelly, Keats, Byron, Gray – all of which I found interesting. I have no regrets about that. I did not, however, have any detailed introduction to Burns, though we did know him from New Year’s Eve songs and, as for Robert Henryson, William Dunbar, Gavin Douglas, Allan Ramsay and many others, well, they simply did not figure at all. In the last few years I have been doing catch-up, but it is difficult.

Later still in my life, at around the age of 65, I enrolled on the distance learning Gaelic course at Sabhal Mor Ostaig – never would I have appreciated the richness of the language and I spend many hours over it. With most of my acquaintances and my fast reducing circle of friends, if this is not a conversation stopper, it is greeted with “clever” remarks about Glayva, cartoons on BBC Alba and, most sinister of all, the veritably visceral condemnation of bilingual Gaelic-English road signs evidenced by many people that I know.

I fear that there is little chance that either my generation or myself will be able to throw off the mantle of “British” acculturation that has affected so many older people. I do feel, however, that little by little, coming generations will gradually cast off the yoke. Things have been much better for our daughters and I do believe things will start changing even more rapidly during our grandchildren’s lives, which is why, although it goes against my upbringing, I support the Green strike movement being undertaken by schoolchildren.

It is my hope that the present and future younger generations will look at things with more open minds, uncluttered by the baggage of social class and the snobbery that goes with it, as Hugh Noble so bravely notes.

With The National including regular features on Scottish literature and history and the regular Gaelic page (which I have archived from day one) I have no excuse for learning even more about the country that I have lived for most of my life.

Douglas Howkins
Broughty Ferry

I NOTE this month the Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund has reached two thousand billion dollars and the interest it received in the last year was $82bn, which, alone, is more than the total Scottish annual budget.

Each Norwegian citizen is worth $200,000 and their pensions are double those in the UK.

There has been more oil produced from Scottish waters than from Norway yet we do not have a single penny in an oil fund and UK pensions are the poorest in the developed world, according to the OECD.

The enormous wealth produced so far from Scottish waters has been totally squandered by Westminster with absolutely nothing saved for future generations, and although there is at least fifty years of massive oil production to come, Scotland is routinely told by Unionists that we are too poor to be independent and are only supported by the “broad shoulders” of the UK.

The story of the UK oil industry will be viewed by future historians as probably the most disgraceful waste of a nation’s wealth ever recorded.

James Duncan

VOTERS in Scotland will have a greater choice of parties in these EU elections than ever before, which in itself will raise some problems for those who would like to make a vote that counts (Scottish Greens launch manifesto for European elections, May 7).

If there is a repeat of the switches seen in the English local authority elections, the majority of staunch Brexiteers deserting the Tories and Ukip will probably go straight to the right-wing pro-Brexit Party.

The LibDems and Greens should pick up votes from pro-Remain Labour and Tory voters who are disillusioned by the recent performance of the two parties.

Consequently as in the previous EU election several parties expected to poll around the 10% mark will be competing for tactical votes for the final MEP seat.

There is no “second vote” in the EU elections, it is a straight choice between parties; voters must take into consideration the counting system in this election which means that tactical votes for another party could be at the cost of an MEP for their own party.

John Jamieson
South Queensferry