ANDREW Wilson has a strange taste in “heroes”, and an odd prescription for Scotland’s future prosperity (Why Scotland needs more success stories like Martin Gilbert, October 3).

Whilst I hold no personal animus towards Martin Gilbert, nor do I doubt his energy and drive in building Aberdeen Asset Management, this is most assuredly NOT a model for Scotland’s future prosperity. Indeed, the triumph of finance capital under neoliberalism has brought destruction to Scotland’s real economy – you know, the one that actually makes useful things and creates real prosperity.

The finance, insurance property sector is today’s incarnation of the rentier sector. Investment banking is neither investment nor banking, in any socially useful sense.

Banking’s only socially useful function is to allow investment in future real production, and to allow savers to participate in that, whilst making provision for their own future.

Finance capital in contrast merely extracts rents from existing assets, whilst inflating bubbles in pre-existing asset classes. Its role is to plunder value created by the ingenuity and labour of others, and much of its activity lies in churning fictitious capital, earning ludicrously large fees and “profits” for the rentiers who use these interments as claims on the product of the real economy.

Finance Capital inflates asset prices without raising commodity prices or wage levels, creating a reciprocal flow of debt service (from which only asset owners and mangers profit), ultimately leading to debt deflation.

If Scotland is to prosper after independence, it must cut itself loose from the clutches of those “City types”, who would burden it with debt overheads on its real economic activities.

Dr John O’Dowd
via email

ACCORDING to his very good friend Mr Rees-Mogg, poor old Crispin Odey has already made, or stands to make, a mere £200 million out of Brexit (Rees-Mogg launches bizarre defence of No-Deal Brexit hedge fund manager,, October 3). One-fifth of the billion that Mr Soros made on Black Wednesday.

Poor wee thing! Shouldn’t our hearts bleed for our Mr Odey? Think of the psychological damage that must have been so unjustly inflicted on the poor chap, simply by realising that Mr Soros is so much better – five times better – at his game than he is. What kind of inferiority complex does that give to a chap? We better keep track of him before he is fun’ curled up in a ball, blubbering in a pile of his own self-pity, somewhere underneath his gigantic sky-high hedge.

Do go and console him, Mr Rees-Mogg – he is, after all, your very good friend.

William Russell

THE council in the heartland of whisky production has given the green light to Trumpland extension and development as the White House slaps on tariffs of 25% on Scotch whisky. This should be called in at once and thrown out.

Richard Easson

ON Wednesday night in Edinburgh’s radical bookshop, the Lighthouse, with an audience including more than 40 young people, I witnessed the launch in Scotland of Facing the Apocalypse Arguments for Ecosocialism.

I think this book puts in context our case for the important issue of for Scotland’s self-determination. This could be an academic issue for us if the world’s governments don’t also actively intervene.

We have to realise that while we might be correctly preoccupied with Johnson’s dangerous shenanigans, there’s not a lot of point if we leave an irreparable world for the next generation. In particular we urgently need to think of the environmentally sensitive work with which Scotland could lead the world and usefully employ North Sea workers rather than adding to the source of the damage. By the way, great to hear we won’t be adding fracking to our list of problems.

Norman Lockhart

ALISON Hamilton’s letter (October 3) points out that there cannot be a UK-wide vote under the UK constitution. The PM meanwhile argues that the indyref 2014 result means that he can ignore the 62% in Scotland who voted to reject losing EU membership. Given that Scotland voted as one of the sovereign nations of the political condition (state) of the UK, it is clear that the 2016 result should be accepted and seen, due to the emphatic nature of the result, as even more valid under the UK constitution than the 2014 vote.

Paul Anderson

POOR Carlaw Jackson, he just happened to be the head at the time it was pointed out that Ruth Davidson had been allowed to pretend that the Scottish Tories were a real party as it suited London Party HQ. Not any more, so they are back in their box again until needed.

John Jamieson