WE refer to the open letter published on May 15, related to alleged repression of rights in Spain, and direct this response to the signatories.

Upon reading the headline, we were pleased to note that 150 academics may have decided to draw attention to “the constant violation of civil rights in Catalonia” which today continue to polarise Catalonia and stoke political tension in Spain.

We expected you would mention in your letter that the highest court of Catalonia has found that the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona (UAB), one of Spain’s top universities, had breached the fundamental rights of their non-nationalist students. We were certain you were going to denounce that the management of the same university repeatedly ignored the rulings of the Electoral Board of Sabadell (Barcelona, Spain) instructing the university to maintain a neutral environment in campus during the electoral campaign in April 2019. We expected that the open letter would have raised awareness about the many attacks against individual freedoms perpetrated by Catalan nationalist groups.

Reading your letter, we were hopeful that finally an international group of academics had become aware of the systematic restrictions applied to the use of Spanish language in primary and secondary education in Catalonia, as discussed numerous times in the European Parliament. We had no doubt that you would mention that many small businesses in Catalonia face absurd and punitive fines and penalties for not servicing their customers in Catalan. We were convinced that you were going to express concern about the fact that the regional President of Catalonia has distinctly and repeatedly expressed his xenophobic and racist views against people who moved to Catalonia from the rest of Spain. We were confident that you would be aware of the fact that the laws passed – against Spanish Constitutional and Catalan Statute of Autonomy – by a thin nationalist majority in the regional Catalan parliament on September 6-7 2017, effectively derogated the Spanish Constitution in Catalonia.

Incidentally, we would expect that you would be alarmed about the fact that these laws, subsequently suspended by the Constitutional Court, intended to abolish constitutional rights in Catalonia and would have eliminated any meaningful separation of powers since the President of any such future republic would have had the sole authority to appoint the judges of the highest courts in the land.

Perhaps, we thought, you would have been following the live streaming or the ample live coverage of the trial of those responsible for the attempted secession in 2017 currently taking place at the Spanish Supreme Court. The report on the trial in different languages would have allowed you to hear the witnesses testifying to the physical attacks and injuries suffered by the police force at the hands of self-proclaimed pacifists, while they were sarcastically singing “we are peaceful people”. This happened when the police officers were enforcing a lawful and specific court order during the illegal referendum. We presumed that you may have learned about the accusation by the public prosecutor of the misappropriation of public funds and misuse of public resources by the nationalist government of Catalonia to organise and finance the illegal, illegitimate and divisive referendum of October 1, 2017. The panel of judges will make their findings in time, but the witness statements are certainly disturbing.

Finally, we thought that you may have stumbled across the detailed report of the Court of Audit in Spain which reveals that the Foreign Affairs department of the regional government of Catalonia spent €416.8 million in their activities between 2015 and 2017. Incidentally, some of that money went to foreign academics who coincidentally expressed supportive views of the secessionist movement.

We thought you would have raised all these points in your letter. However, that was not the case.

Instead, upon finishing the letter, it was clear to us that you are totally unaware of the real situation in Spain, and that you had not been following the worrying deterioration of the social fabric in Catalonia. We do, however, concur with you that the silence of the academic community is no longer an option in light of the serious breach of civil rights in Catalonia.


Alfonso Valero Aguado. Founder of the Foro de Profesores, former law lecturer, Nottingham Trent University; Montserrat Ginés Gibert. Associate Professor of English (retired), Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya; Luis Rodríguez Abascal. Professor of Philosophy of Law, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid School of Law John Elliott. Historian and Academic Jonathan Israel. Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton (USA) Anthony Pagden. UCLA (USA) Michael Freeden, Oxford University Santiago Álvarez García. Doctor en filosofía, Profesor de filosofía (Sevilla) José V. Rodríguez Mora. Professor of Economics, University of Edinburgh Miguel Ángel Quintana Paz. Professor of Ethics, European University Miguel de Cervantes Moisés Ponce de León. MCF (à la retraite), Géologue, Univ Rennes2, FRANCE Fr Francisco Ramos. Professor, Loyola Marymount University Fernando Jiménez Sánchez. Professor of political science, Universidad de Murcia Mariana Castells. Professor, Harvard Medical School Juan Ramón Fernández Torres. Catedrático de Universidad (Derecho Administrativo) y Abogado Jose Villadangos, Professor, Microbiology and Immunology; Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, The University of Melbourne, Australia Hugo Antonio Quiroga. Profesor Titular, Universidad Nacional de Rosario Jorge Calero. Professor of Applied Economics, Universidad de Barcelona Barbara Loyer, Professeure université Paris 8 France José J. Jiménez Sánchez. Profesor titular de Filosofía del Derecho Luke Stegemann. Writer and Hispanist Carlos Diaz. Senior Aerospace Engineer, Berlin, Germany José Torné-Dombidau y Jiménez. Profesor Titular de Derecho Administrativo, UGR Rafael Arenas Garcia. Catedrático de Derecho internacional privado, Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona Maria Zozaya-Montes. Investigadora del CIDEHUS-Universidad de Évora Marta Martín Llaguno. Catedrática Comunicación, UA Carlos Conde Solares. Senior Lecturer in Hispanic Studies, University of Northumbria Antonio Hermosa Andújar. Catedrático de Filosofía Antigua, Universidad de Sevilla Carlos Kohn. Profesor (jubilado), Universidad Central de Venezuela Jerónimo Moreno. CEO Jose María Rosales. Professor of moral and political philosophy, Universidad de Málaga Luis Castellví Laukamp. MPhil PhD (Cantab), Humboldt Postdoctoral Scholar, Heidelberg University Juan José Rubio Guerrero. Full Professor Public Finances, Dean Faculty of Law & Social Sciences, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha Eduardo Vírgala-Foruria. Professor of Constitutional Law, Univ. of the Basque Country (Spain) José Luis Vallarta. Embajador de Mejico y Profesor de Drecho Internacional en la Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico José Ramón Montero. Professor of Political Science, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid Francisco Castilla. Profesor Titular de Filosofía Roberto Colom. Catedrático de Psicología, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid Araceli Mangas Martín. Catedrática de Derecho Internacional Público y Relaciones Internacional, Facultad de Derecho, Universidad Complutense de Madrid Alberto G. Ibáñez. Escritor y ensayista Gerardo López Sastre. Catedrático de Filosofía, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha Rodrigo Vázquez de Prada y Grande. Periodista Pablo de Lora. Law Professor, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid Juan Manuel Poyato Galán. Profesor Externo del Departamento de Fisiología Médica y Biofísica de la Universidad de Sevilla David Jiménez Torres. Associate Professor, Universidad Camilo José Cela Julio Carabaña Morales. Profesor honorífico, UCM Alfonso Ruiz Miguel. Professor of Philosophy of Law, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid Javier Tajadura Tejada. Catedrático (A) de Derecho Constitucional, UPV - EHU César Nombela Arrieta. Assistant Professor, Experimental Hematology, University of Zurich Rafael Sánchez Saus. Catedrático de Historia Medieval, Universidad de Cádiz Rafael Martinez Ferreira. Professor of Finance, IE Business School Alberto Oehling. Profesor de Derecho Constitucional, Universidad Complutense de Madrid Manuel Fernández Salmerón. Profesor Titular de Derecho Administrativo, Universidad de Murcia Jose A. Olmeda. Professor of Political Science, UNED David Guillem-Tatay. Profesor de Moral Social y Deontología, Bioderecho y Responsabilidad Civil Sanitaria, UCV. Juan Antonio García Amado. Catedrático de Filosofía del Derecho, Universidad de León Ignacio Gómez de Liaño Alamillo. Profesor de Universidad y escritor. Jose Antonio de Yturriaga Barberan. Embajador de España y Profesor de Derecho Diplomatico Universidad Complutense de Madrid Paz Garzón. Inspectora de Trabajo y Seguridad Social (jubilada) Luis Miguez Macho. Catedrático de Derecho Administrativo, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela Jesús de Garay. Catedrático de Filosofía Carlos Martínez Gorriarán. Profesor Titular de Filosofía, UPV-EHU Rafael Dobado González. Catedrático de Historia Económica, Universidad Complutense, Madrid Antonio Guillamón. Professor Emeritus of Psychobiology, UNED, Madrid, Spain Emilio Vieira Jiménez-Ontiveros. Abogado, Profesor de Derecho Civil, Universidad Loyola Andalucia Martín Alonso. Profesor jubilado Jose Ignacio Torreblanca. Professor of Politics, UNED University Madrid Miguel Caínzos. Profesor de Sociología, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela Natividad Fernández. International Law and Int. Relations professor Francisco Oya. Profesor de Historia José Manuel Cansino. Professor of Economics, Universidad de Sevilla (Spain) and Universidad Autónoma de Chile (Chile) Montserrat Baras Gómez. Profesora Titular de Ciencia Política Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona, jubilada Fernando García-Romanillos Valverde. Periodista Carlos Ruiz Miguel. Professor of Constitutional Law, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela (Spain) Sebastián Zambelli. Political scientist (Argentina) Javier Fernández Sebastián. Professor of History of Political Thought (University of the Basque Country, Bilbao, Spain, and Fulbright Visiting Scholar at the University of California Riverside Juan Antonio Carrasco Lobo. Académico en Academia Norteamericana de Literatura Moderna Internacional Leonor Zozaya-Montes. University Assistant Professor, ULPGC Roberto Muñoz Bolaños. Profesor de Historia Contemporánea, IUGM-UNED Carlos Ramon Fernández Liesa. Catedrático de Derecho Internacional, Universidad Carlos lll de Madrid Estanislao Arana García. Catedrático de Derecho administrativo Luis Perdices de Blas. Catedrático de Historia del Pensamiento Económico, Universidad Complutense de Madrid Jaime Javier Domingo Martínez. Profesor Asociado Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Sevilla Antonio Manuel Peña Freire. Lecturer in Philosophy of Law, Universidad de Granada (Spain) Lourdes Ruano Espina. Catedrática de Derecho, Universidad de Salamanca Ángel Caminero Gómez. Profesor Titular de Psicobiologia Rafael Palomino. Professor of Law, Universidad Complutense (Madrid, Spain) Jesús Rul Gargallo. Inspector de Educación (j) (Cataluña-España) Santiago Mondéjar. Consultor y columnista Nuria Magald-Mendaña. Associate Professor of Administrative Law, Universidad de Córdoba Manuel Oliete. Director General Azeler y Abogado Mariano Fernández-Enguita. Professor in Sociology, U. Complutense Ángel J. Sánchez-Navarro. Full Professor of Constitutional Law, Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Julio Valdeón. Escritor y periodista. Mikel Buesa. Professor of Applied Economics, Universidad Complutense de Madrid Alfred Martin Bucher. Retired Engineer Luciano Espinosa Rubio. Profesor de Filosofía, Universidad de Salamanca María Fraile. Lecturer Constitutional Law, Universidad Carlos III, Madrid, Spain Javier Hernández-Pacheco Sanz. Catedrático de Filosofía, Universidad de Sevilla Ángela Herrero. Antropóloga Joaquin Diaz Alonso. Retired Full Professor in Theoretical Phisics, Universidad de Oviedo, Long standing visitor in the Paris Observatory. Ángel Viñas. Catedratico Emerito de Economia de la UCM e historiador Elena Díaz Almela. Researcher in Marine Ecology Esmeralda Ubeda de la Casa. Profesora de la Universitat de Girona Gerardo Caetano. Historiador y Politólogo Macario Valpuesta Bermúdez. Profesor de Derecho Romano, Universidad Pablo de Olavide José María Marco, Profesor de Relaciones Internacionales UPCO - ICADE/ICAI Madrid José Luis Díez-Ripollés. Professor of Criminal Law. Universidad de Málaga (Spain) Lola Peláez Benítez. Professor of Spanish, Simmons University Delia Manzanero. Professor, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos Isabel Fernández Alonso. Senior Lecturer in Communication at the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona. Helena Torroja. Senior tenure professor Public International Law, Universidad de Barcelona Fernando Lara de Vicente. Profesor de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Córdoba Omar Astorga. Profesor Titular, Universidad Central de Venezuela Alfonso García Figueroa. Profesor Titular de Filosofía del Derecho, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha (Spain) Javier Roldán Barbero. Catedrático de Derecho International Público, Universidad de Granada Pedro Tent Alonso. Associate Lecturer of Private International Law, Universidad de Valencia (Spain) Ricardo García Manrique. Profesor de Filosofía del Derecho, Universidad de Barcelona Marta Postigo Asenjo. Profesora Titular de Filosofía Moral y Política, Universidad de Málaga Armando Fernández Steinko. Full Professor of Sociology Víctor M. Sánchez Sánchez. Director del Máster en derechos humanos, democracia y globalización, UOC Andrés Rivero Lira. Maestro de derecho UNAM y Abogado Indepediente Francisco García García. Catedrático Universidad Complutense de Madrid Gorka Maneiro Labayen. Escritor y analista político Federico A. Castillo Blanco. Catedrático de Derecho Administrativo, Universidad de Granada Jose A Rozas. Pofesor titular de Universidad María José Villaverde Rico. Catedrática, Universidad Complutense de Madrid Tomas Jimenez Araya. Profesor, UOC (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya) Carlos Silva Campañón. Catedrático de inglés Eduardo Butragueño Cerviño. Profesor de Filisofia (jubilado), Universidad de Barcelona Francisco J. Llera-Ramo. Catedrático de ciencia política, Universidad del País Vasco José Luis Orella. Profesor titular de Hª Contemporánea, Universidad CEU San Pablo Toni Timoner-Salvá. Economista Antonio Bueno-Armijo. Associate Professor of Administrative Law, Universidad de Córdoba Carmen González Enriquez. Full Professor on Political Science, UNED (Madrid) Jesús Fernández Muñoz, Universidad de Sevilla Susana Beltran Garcia. Senior Lecturer, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (on leave) Francisco Jose Ramos Vega. Abogado Mariano C. Melero de la Torre. Profesor de Filosofía del Derecho Evaristo C. Martínez-Radío Garrido. Marie Curie Research Fellow Mikel Arteta. Doctor en Filosofía Política Julio Iglesias de Ussel. Catedrático de Sociología Camilo J. Cela-Conde. Emeritus Professor. Universidad de las Islas Baleares, Spain Jorge Ruiz Ruiz. Técnico de investigación social Manuel Parra. Profesor de Secundaria (jubilado), Barcelona (Spain) Pilar Pozo Serrano. Senior Lecturer of Public International Law and International Relations, Universidad de Valencia (Spain) Antonio Elorza, Professor of Political Science, UCM (Madrid) Göran Rollnert Liern. Senior Lecturer in Constitutional Law, Universidad de Valencia (Spain) Emilio Lamo de Espinosa, Catedrático Emérito de Sociología (UCM) Jose Javier Olivas Osuna. Political Scientist, UNED & LSE Iñaki Iriarte. Assistant Professor, Universidad del País Vasco Guillermo Íñiguez. Law Tripos, University of Cambridge Luis F. Rull. Catedrático de Universidad Fermín del Pino Díaz. Investigador científico CSIC Domingo González Herández. Profesor contratado doctor, Universidad de Murcia Luis Méndiz. Sociologist and educator (Reading, UK), member of European Movement UK Carlos Fernández de Casadevante Romani. Prof. of Public International Law and International Relations, Chair Jean Monnet Law of tue EU, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos Manuel Cachón Cadenas. Catedrático de Derecho Procesal Óscar Alonso Fernández. Lawyer F. Jesús Carrera Hernández. Professor of Public International Law, Universidad de La Rioja Pablo Fernández de Casadevante Mayordomo. Profesor de Derecho Constitucional, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos Luis Martín Arias. Profesor Titular, Universidad de Valladolid Waldimeiry Correa da Silva. Lecturer, Universidad Loyola Andalucia (Spain) Mª Victoria Petit Lavall. Catedrática de Derecho mercantil, Universidad Jaume I de Castellón Esaú Alarcón. Profesor de Derecho Tributario, Universidad Abat Oliba CEU José Manuel Vera Santos. Catedrático de Derecho constitucional, URJC Javier A. González Vega. Professor of Public International Law, Universidad de Oviedo (Spain) Mariano J. Aznar. Professor of Public International Law, Universitat Jaume I André Filler. Professor in Slavonic Studies, University Paris VIII Romualdo Bermejo Garcia. Catedrático de Derecho internacional público Enrique Yturriaga Saldanha. Diplomático José Luis Fernández Fernández . Profesor Ordinario – Catedrático – Fredys Orlando Sorto. Professor, Universidade Federal da Paraíba (Brazil) Maurice Goldring. Professeur Université Paris VIII. Guillermo Pérez Sarrión. Ex catedrático de Universidad Tomás Pérez Vejo. Profesor-Investigador Instituto Naciona de Antropología e Historia de México Nuria Amat Noguera. Escritora, Doctora en Ciencias de la Información Carmen Parra Rodríguez. Profesora Titular de Derecho internaciona privado, Universidad Abat Oliba CEU José Luis Rosello Serra. Ambassador of Spain, Retired José Clemente Polo Andrés. Professor of Economics, Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona María Fernández Fernández. Medico especialista en Geriatría Mauricio Suárez. Full Professor in Logic and Philosophy of Science, Universidad Complutense de Madrid Yolanda Gamarra. Catedrática de Derecho internacional público, Universidad de Zaragoza Enrique Gimbernat. Catedrático emérito de Derecho penal, Universidad Complutense de Madrid Antonio Fanlo Loras. Professor of Administrative Law José Antonio Zamora. Economista Leopoldo José Prieto López. Profesor Titular de Filosofía Eloy Ybañez Bueno, Embajador de España Raylane Andreza Dias Navarro, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco (Brasil) Liziane Oliveira. Centro Universitário de Brasília (Brasil) Alba Patricia Cardona Zuluaga. EAFIT (Colombia) Óscar Mauricio Donato. Universidad Libre de Colombia Antonio Gutiérrez Pozo. Catedrático de Estética, Universidad de Sevilla José Álvarez Junco, catedrático emérito de Historia del Pensamiento y de los Movimientos Políticos y Sociales en la Universidad Complutense de Madrid Mauricio Meglioli. Academia de la Historia de Buenos Aires John Christian Laursen, professor at University of California, Riverside, USA Victoriano Martín. Catedrático, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos Marlene Wind. Professor, CEP (Centre for European Studies), Copenhagen (Denmark) Eric Marquer. Professor of History of philosophy, University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne Juan Pimentel. CSIC Nuria Plaza Carrero. Profesora de Filología Hispánica Daniela Coli. Università di Firenze (Italia) Joaquín Álvarez Barrientos. CSIC & Presidente de la Sociedad española del siglo XVIII Christian Bonnet. Catedrático de Historia de la filosofía alemana, Universidad Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. Fernando Savater. Catedrático, UCM Fernando Sánchez Costa. Head of Studies, Societat Civil Catalana Daniel Crespo Delgado. Lecturer, Universidad Complutense de Madrid David Hernández de la Fuente. Professor of Classics, Universidad Complutense. Madrid Antonio Jiménez-Blanco. Universidad Politécnica de Madrid Batia Siebzehner. The Harry S. Truman Research Institute for The Advancement of Peace, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Israel) Carmen Sanz Ayán. Catedrática de Historia Moderna, UCM miembro Real Academia de la Historia Raimundo Bassols Jacas. Embajador de España, Profesor de “Práctica Diplomática y Negociaciones Internacionales en el Máster de RR.II., Universidad San Pablo CEU de Madrid Angel Rivero. Profesor de Ciencia Política, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid Enrique Ujaldón. Doctor en Filosofía Béatrice Giblin. Professeure des Universités Juan Manuel de Faramiñán. Catedrático de Derecho Internacional, Universidad de Jaén Fernando Vallespín. Catedrático U. Autónoma de Madrid y miembro Real Academia de Ciencias Morales y Políticas Edouard Patino. Directeur Immobilier Benigno Pendás. Catedrático de Ciencia Política, Universidad CEU San Pablo y miembro de la Academia de Ciencias Morales y Políticas Cristina Hermida del Llano. Profesora Titular de Filosofía del Derecho Emilio J. Castilla. Professor, MIT (United States) Chantal Moll de Alba. Professor of Private Law, University of Barcelona Eugenia Mattei. Universidad de Buenos Aires José María Espinar Vicente. Catedrático de Universidad Marie-Blanche Requejo Carrio. Maître de Conférences Laura Sancho Ferrer. Catedrática de Historia Antigua, Universidad de Zaragoza Benoit Pellistrandi. Historien Jose Lopez Hernandez. Catedrático Filosofía del Derecho, U. Murcia Jukka Kekkonen. Professor of legal history and Roman law Marta Diez Castellnou. Clarín-Cofund Fellow, University of St. Andrews Jean-Christophe Coffin. Associate professor Manuel Contreras Casado. Catedrático de Derecho Constitucional (jubilado), Universidad de Zaragoza Eugenia Sainz González. Profesora de Lengua Española, Universidad Ca’Foscari de Venecia Miguel A. Ruiz de Azúa. Prof. of Political Science, Universidad Complutense de Madrid

WELL, are we, the Scottish people, watching and listening? They are saying she has fallen on her sword but really she fell back on a dozen daggers. The daggers had been well and truly plunged weeks ago by her own so-called Rt Honourable and Honourable friends and the instruction to carry out the final twist only came when she had the temerity to suggest that the people may be given the opportunity to vote again.

And that meant the whole of the people of the UK, not only Scotland. And we should all recall that the first we heard of this treachery was on Wednesday when it emerged that Mr Mundell was seeking a meeting to tell the PM of his concern. Could it have been he who gave the final instruction for the coup de grace to be enacted?

The saying goes that although I do not agree with what you are saying, I will fight to the death for your democratic right to say it. In this case he must have meant the political death of a friend whom they are now queueing up to praise. So here we have the Scottish Secretary taking drastic steps to prevent those he represents – and that is all of us – from having democratic rights.

When they came to power we heard the Tory leaders being described as Thatcher’s children. Can it now be said that it is the children of Thatcher’s tormentors that have imposed the same fate on the second female prime minister?
Robert Johnston

I WAS dismayed to see a photograph of the former Labour party spin doctor Alastair Campbell in your paper this week, and saddened to read that the Celtic rock band Skipinnish had named him as the inspiration for a song on their latest album (New album with a spin, May 20).

Perhaps the band members are too young to remember that Mr Campbell was Tony Blair’s enabler who produced a fake dossier containing lies about Iraq’s possession of weapons of mass destruction, a document used in Parliament to justify the invasion of Iraq, leading to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi citizens and of hundreds of our own military personnel, including those from our own Scottish regiments.

To make matters worse, Campbell seems to have suggested to the band that they send another song they composed in memory of young Eilidh MacLeod from Barra (a victim of the Manchester bombing two years ago) to the Mayor of Manchester, Andy Burnham. This simply reeks of hypocrisy. There were no terrorist attacks in the UK before the UK/US attack on Iraq.

In his pathetic attempts to rehabilitate his destroyed reputation, Campbell has, of course, the full co-operation of the BBC, who have this week shown his struggle with depression and attempts to find a remedy. Ironically, the same broadcaster also showed a heart-rending documentary titled Iraq – A State of Mind which revealed that there is only one psychiatric hospital in the whole of that destroyed country where children and the young victims of war can seek the most basic help.

May I suggest that the best and most appropriate therapy for Mr Campbell would be to spend the rest of his life fundraising for proper psychiatric services in the country he helped to destroy?
Joan S Laverie

I MUST object to Dougie Gray’s letter in Friday’s National (Who might be the next Scottish Secretary?) regarding his characterising Ross Thomson as Right and Honourable.

Even Mr Gray himself questions the Honourable sobriquet. However, I would point out that the member for Aberdeen South has not, is not, and never will be “Right”.
Eric Hamilton
Bearsden, Glasgow

EARLY discussion of a constitution for the future independent Scotland is vital (The Long Letter, May 24). John Drummond’s articles have been excellent.

An important part of this discussion will involve the currency. The SNP must never again be caught out by trite comments by the likes of Alistair Darling; this is best achieved by thinking radically. What Scotland needs is to become a cashless society.

It is a myth that banks lend only the money in their vaults. In fact they have a licence to create money out of nothing – at the mere stroke of a computer key! (See R G Hawtrey’s article on “Money” in the Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1929).

In 2014, the total UK money supply was £2.1 trillion – but a staggering 97% of this had been created out of nothing by the banks as loans; only 3%, £62 billion, had been issued as legal tender in the form of notes and coins.

Almost without knowing it, we have transferred huge, unaccountable power to the private banks and credit card companies. These licences to create money ex nihilo should be revoked – only the state should have the power to create its legal tender. It is not well-known that credit card companies have the legal right to refuse anyone a card or to revoke an existing card without giving reasons. It has already happened! How would one function in a cashless society without a card?

In proposing that Scotland becomes a truly cashless society the replacement of cash (coins and notes) should be entirely in the hands of the government. In this system, everyone would be given a unique Scottish Treasury Cashless Account (“STCA”) – just as now every UK resident has a unique NI number. The only “money” in your STCA would have been put there by you, or your employer or your pension provider. This account would garner no interest.

Just as there is no possibility of going into the red with your wallet, so there would be no overdrawing facility of your STCA. Once it is empty, that’s it – as with your wallet, replenishment is your responsibility.

We would think of an STCA, and treat it, in exactly the same way as currently we think and treat our purse or wallet. In fact, your STCA would be your purse or wallet!

But, unlike your current credit card, it would not cost you or a vendor a single penny on top of the cost of the item you are buying – just exactly as if you are paying with cash. Credit card companies would no longer charge you for the privilege of using their cards to spend your money. And, as with cash, there would be no data mining possible of your purchases.
Doug Clark