I ADVISE Pete Rowberry to relax (I’m insulted by Yes supporters being labelled nationalist, January 18).

When those opposed to Scottish independence call you a “nationalist”, they are annoying you deliberately. But it is really not an insult and I suspect they know that very well.

So keep your cool. If they are Labour supporters, remind them that what Hitler called himself was a “national socialist”. It was a lie, of course. He was not any kind of socialist. Nor was he any kind of nationalist. Many, in fact nearly all of the people he condemned to the gas chambers had better qualifications to call themselves “German” than he had. He was an Austrian. What he was politically, however, was a racialist – or, if you prefer, an “ethnicist”. He believed in the natural superiority of those whom he identified as being of the Aryan race and its associated ethnic origins.

A true nationalist, however, identifies with those who live within the geographical boundaries of a nation state and share the interests of all those living there. They do not necessarily think of themselves being in any way “superior” to others of some other nationality. They just want to do their own thing. Remind your insult-ees of that too.

Many years ago there was a good reason for wanting to merge countries to form large political units. It was simply a question of having more strong arms to hold swords or guns. But those days have gone and have been overtaken by the introduction of defence alliances. We can now also see that the larger a nation state becomes, the greater is the problem of the political leaders not sharing the interests of the people. We can now see that that is an important factor when we look at the condition of China, India, Russia, and even the USA. Europe, with its looser alliance of semi-independent states, is a better arrangement. It could be even better. Perhaps we could help them become so.

The problems that we now face – like climate change – can be dealt with only by all nation states cooperating. In no way is it helped by the domination of one people by another.

Keep the faith Pete. Keep cool. And let them see you cannot be so easily upset by (deliberately) false arguments.

Hugh Noble

IT might be more prudent to concentrate entirely on independence even to the exclusion of re-joining the EU. Up and down the country our NHS is one monumental bone of contention among many, including No voters. Instead of trying to pull down our national debt, the government should plough such moneys into the NHS and worry about joining the EU later.

After all, if Norway can accrue a wealth fund of $1.4 trillion (albeit over many decades), surely Scotland can gather enough funds to join the EU after we are independent?

The absolute priority is convincing the electorate. Markedly improving the NHS would be more convincing than simply banging the independence drum. We must maximise this one chance.

Robert Gritton

IN his article in the Sunday National (Why Boris Johnson can’t say no forever, January 19), Gerry Hassan states that “it isn’t about the nukes, landed estates and grouse moors”. I think he is deliberately citing three of the less serious injustices foisted on Scotland.

One of the most serious issues is the material one of natural resources. England, a country with a population of 11 times that of Scotland, is much less than twice the size of Scotland. Its population grew because that was where the jobs were. Also, if we subtract mountains and lakes there was more land for agriculture and coal mining. Now, however, England is a victim of its own questionable success. It needs Scotland’s oil, Scotland’s fish, Scotland’s water, Scotland’s wind. To cap it (though it might not matter for a few thousand years), after adjustments with the retreat of the last ice age, England is sinking into the sea while Scotland rises – just like a floating block of wood in disturbed water.

With survival at stake, Boris Johnson can use cheap tricks to defy morality, democracy, decency and world opinion to say no for long enough to secure continuity of exploitation and inflict serious damage to Scotland’s future.

Victor Moncrieff

SORRY, Mr Sillars but you need to think. The AUOB marches have become bigger and stronger. I have been on a good many of these marches – all good-natured, no trouble, child-friendly. What has struck me is the number of first-time marchers I meet on every march, whether supporters, Yes group or SNP members.

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Many are people who don’t attend branch meetings or indeed don’t normal attend any political gatherings but feel they can be pro-active by marching – that the time has come for Scotland to be independent. The only negative is the anti-Tory chanting. This now must surely stop. Independence is not exclusive to sympathetic political parties. The marches must be totally inclusive irrelevant of political persuasion. There are Conservatives out there that do recognise Scotland is big enough, strong enough and rich enough. Surely that is a worthy cry to chant. When it comes to the vote, a Yes for independence will need every vote possible.

Mr Sillars, I do hope you join us in Arbroath on April 4 . Be part of the new declaration – big, strong and rich enough.

Frieda Burns

OH, Jim, are you so devoid of the ability to multi-task? It is possible to march and think simultaneously.

Keith Scammell