INTERESTING and readable as was Michael Fry’s history of Catalonia, his continuing hymn therein to capitalism drifted off pitch as he worked up a conclusion that it might not be “at all possible” for a socialist Scotland to come to terms with a more rigidly capitalist ethos in Catalonia and EU member states at large (Why Catalonia might be more welcome in the EU than Scotland, February 16).

Nicola’s “worthy social aims” might put some businesses and states off Scotland, Michael suggests, failing to mention that the EU itself has many such aims, with recent examples seen in measures championing workers’ rights and (especially abhorrent to Tory Westminster) moves to outlaw tax havens. Indeed, only those who considered “worthy social aims” less important or less holy than the making of profit would want to deny Scotland re-entry into the EU. The social heart of that family, its people, will welcome us with open arms.

READ MORE: Michael Fry: Why Catalonia might be more welcome in the EU than Scotland

Michael’s hymn waxes loud in praise of Catalonia taking the lead in Spain’s development of trade and industry, “especially the manufacture of motor cars, ships and textiles”. Scotland, by comparison, has taken no kind of lead anywhere.

But the other side of that coin is a shiny example of how a wee country may prosper if aided instead of being shackled by a powerful neighbour.

Scotland’s heavy industry was almost destroyed by a Westminster that shut down the mines and shuttered the steel works. Coal and steel! And no big effort by that powerful neighbour to encourage industries to replace these hammer-blow losses and employ redundant miners and steel workers.

Motor cars litter the streets of all our towns and cities but who ever sees one made in Scotland? The Scotland of legendary ocean liners couldn’t make cars?

Recently too there was big-capital interest in developing Prestwick as an intercontinental airport but Westminster’s cold shoulder turned the developers away to another site in mainland Europe.

Independence will at a stroke sever Westminster’s financial restraints and free up Scotland’s own version of capitalism, which, like nuclear fission, is capable of great things but has to be contained.

John Melrose

MICHAEL Fry wrote a very eloquent, but presumptive article entitled for The National on Tuesday.

As someone who lives in the real world, I can tell him categorically that neither Scotland nor Catalonia will be granted membership of the EU, if they gain independence.

The Spanish Government will oppose Scotland’s application for EU membership on the grounds that this would not only encourage Catalonians to continue their aim of independence from Spain, but could also create renewed trouble in the Basque region.

Forget about individuals all over the place saying they would support an application from Scotland for EU membership. It is not individuals who have the power to decide that outcome. It is elected EU governments.

In short, the SNP government shot itself in the foot by humiliating the Spanish Government in its quest to get Carla Ponsati back to Spain for her involvement in the unrest in Catalonia. It is payback time for Spanish politicians. Trust me.

Daniel Harris
via email

LEAKED papers from the Conservative central office have confirmed the existence of a dirty tricks department so secret that even those who work in it don’t know what they are doing. Somehow they have successfully harnessed three titans of the laws of physics and mathematics to do their dirty work: Heisenberg, Schrodinger and Lorenz.

Leading the charge is Dr Werner Heisenberg’s uncertainty principal that induces the initial disorientation of the public. Simply put, the more you think you know where you are, the less you know where you’re going. This is rapidly followed by Dr Erwin Schrodinger’s proven quantum theory that two states can exist simultaneously, allowing the Tory party to be wrong and right at the same time. Finally the coup de grace. Dr Edward Lorenz’s deterministic chaos theory. Put into practice, this theory determines that the most insignificant early error in a calculation that can completely alter the outcome, is entirely predictable. Useful if you don’t want people to know what you’re doing.

Mike Herd

READER M Ross was looking for a source for Boris Johnson’s use of the “once in a generation” soundbite in an election campaign. (Letters, February 16).

In the Sunday Express on December 8 2019, Johnson described the forthcoming General Election as a “critical once-in-a-generation election.” What could he have meant?

During that campaign, Jeremy Corbyn also described the election as “once in a generation” on more than one occasion. What did he mean?

Whenever supporters of indyref2 see or hear “we were told it was once in a generation” as a reason not to have it, they should respond with the above information.

Douglas Morton