I HAVE to take some issue with Alasdair Allan MSP’s comment piece in The National (“Impressive polls and marches mean nothing to wider world”, July 24) that the international community will not recognise Scotland as an independent country even if the UK/England blocks all democratic means of the people of Scotland to express their wishes.

He cites Catalonia as the example of this, but there is a major difference between Scotland and Catalonia. Catalonia is still part of Spain, an EU member. The EU is duty bound to support a member country – even through gritted teeth when that country sends riot police in to bludgeon people for peacefully voting in a poll it called illegal – whereas the UK/England is no longer an EU member. England has consistently put two fingers up to the EU so there really is no love lost there.

Once the UK/England crashes us all out of the EU without a deal, or even if there is a deal, England is no longer an EU member, therefore the EU is not bound to side with England. Indeed, it is far more likely to support Scotland’s bid for independence and Scotland’s return to the European Community. After all, Scotland did not want to leave the EU in the first place but was forced out by that increasingly rogue state to our south.

I think it is entirely reasonable to expect that if England continues to block Scotland’s democratic right to choose its own future, the EU will recognise an independent Scotland and that countries like Norway, Iceland, New Zealand and a host of other countries will follow suit. After all, what have they got to lose? Nothing.

What have they got to gain? A good trading relationship with a progressive country which is rich in resources and a wealthy country in its own right. The only reason we don’t look like it at the moment is because we are forced to hand over vast amounts of that wealth to England – which is why England does not want to let go of us.

Peter Jeal


THANK you for the Fact Check in The National (“Every single lie in Boris Johnson’s latest pro-Union newspaper article”, July 24) pointing out the money the Treasury is spending “has been created electronically by the Bank of England and ‘lent’ to the Treasury”. This is because the UK has its own currency and as the issuer of that currency it does not run out of money.

Please, please can we all try to understand that the finances of a country which controls its own currency do not operate in the same way as the finances of households, businesses and local government.

When Thatcher told us “if the state wishes to spend more it can only do so by borrowing your savings or by taxing you more” she was totally wrong, because she believed a state’s finances work in the same way as a household’s or that of a business. We have been labouring under this myth ever since.

A currency-issuing government does not need to tax and borrow but will usually choose to do so. Governments tax to alter the distribution of wealth and income and to encourage or discourage certain behaviours – but above all to prevent undue inflation.

Governments also tax us to encourage us to earn by doing the jobs the country needs done, in services such as health or education, or by running businesses. Most of us understand that our taxes go towards ensuring these services are in place.

When a government “borrows”, provided it does so in its own currency, it is essentially providing people with a different kind of money, ie bonds, which pay some interest and are usually a secure investment.

Scotland needs to control its own currency and have its own central bank from the first day of independence. If it uses another currency, such as sterling, it is not in control and we are not truly independent. To wait as much as a decade as the Growth Commission recommended would leave us open to whatever the issuer of sterling, the rUK, wanted to do to us. Given the current malevolence of Westminster towards Scotland, that does not bear thinking about.

Andrew M Fraser


AS Brian York writes (Letters, July 24) Elsie Inglis deserves commemoration in Edinburgh, possibly by a statue near ground level where folk can see it. The very tall column in St Andrew Square might better be topped by something symbolic, like a Saltire or a unicorn, when Henry Dundas goes. Certainly Inglis is far worthier of being kindly remembered than most of those currently commemorated by statues.

David Stevenson


A SMALL group of us who belong to the Royal Lyceum’s 60-plus acting group recorded a Zoom “play” at the end of the spring term. In a fairly light-hearted way, we envisaged Edinburgh Council deciding to instigate a five-yearly review of the city’s statues.

In our scenario, it is 2025, and Joe Public (the council’s own statue, which stands outside its HQ) is asked to interview some of the city’s statue personalities. The “reveal” in our little drama was that the final interview was with Elsie Inglis, who had recently been elevated to the column in St Andrew Square!

David Ferrier