I GROW tired of hearing various spokespersons in this election telling us that the UK has the fifth (or the sixth) largest economy in the world. I am also impatient to hear any interviewer responding to that confident claim by pointing out that if we are making comparisons between countries, GDP (or “Gross Domestic Product”) is not the most appropriate statistic to use, because it takes no account of the size of a country’s population.

One does not need to be an expert in economics to recognise that. It is obvious that if country “A” has twice the population of country “B”, other things being equal, A is likely to have a GDP which is twice the size of B’s.

READ MORE: Ruth Davidson vows to skinny dip in Loch Ness if SNP win 50 seats

A fairer measure for comparison is produced by dividing the GDP of each country by the size of its population to yield a measure of GDP per head. If we do that, we find that the UK tumbles down the league tables to a less impressive position in the mid-twenties. We also find that the GDP/head of all those Scandinavian countries rise to being within the top 10 economies in the world.

Perhaps we should make a point of asking those who deprecate an independent Scotland’s ability to maintain itself why we are so far behind those other independent countries? Is it some innate incompetence of the Scots, some lack of resources held belonging to those other countries (we have a considerable wealth of renewable energy which is the envy of most other countries), or is it some other reason which they are unwilling or perhaps too embarrassed to reveal?

I would really like to know.

Hugh Noble

I HAVE just finished reading the mini version of Scotland The Brief, the booklet produced by Business for Scotland. It is a mine of information and makes a very strong economic case for an independent Scotland.

Why, I ask, have we not heard more SNP politicians referring to this booklet and using the figures it contains? It’s not enough to just say that Scotland is blessed with huge natural resources and has great potential; they have to give figures to drive that message home.

READ MORE: We put YOUR questions to Nicola Sturgeon ... here’s what she said

The politicians should be repeating over and over again the figures for Scottish exports, renewable energy, agriculture, tourism, food and drink, our diverse industries and many other facets of our economy.

When did you last hear an SNP politician point out that Scotland has a higher GDP per head than the UK as a whole? Another area we should be highlighting is the superior performance of small northern European nations, superior not just to Scotland but to the UK. Unionists need to explain why an independent Scotland couldn’t emulate these other nations. They should be challenged on why they want Scotland to be less prosperous than the likes of Denmark, Norway, Ireland and Iceland etc, as will surely be the case if we remain chained to the UK. It should be pointed out that in a list of 17 northern and western European nations ranked by GDP per head, the UK comes 14th. I urge all National readers to read Scotland The Brief and digest its contents.

Bill Hamilton
nr Lockerbie

HAVING been fortunate enough to have a break in Iceland, I was approached by people who saw the saltire on me napper.

The sense I felt from these chats was of shame and embarrassment as they explained how they see Britain. One very nice man, who was an excellent guide, put it perfectly. He said: “Boris is a clown and all of Britain are sitting in their ring-seats watching the show of gibberish lip tactics, and Nicola holds back the lions sent to tear her down, the bankers and businessmen are pulling the tent pegs to have the whole performance come crashing down”.

He then asked me what my opinion was on the whole farce. I first of all said how embarrassed I am of Britain’s stance on its inward-looking policies and how intolerant we have become with each other, never mind visitors and EU members. I said to him we are a Scottish nation that is being colonised and lied to. Most of Scotland want to stay in the EU, and we are fighting a very biased battle as even the media and papers are all misreporting and distorting any truths. Everything is “Scotland too poor, too weak, too small”. He said “Iceland is smaller and yet we thrive”. I said: “Yes, my friend, and Scotland knows we will too”. We shook hands and parted.

So the sad fact is that Britain is seen as a disgusting joke and countries of gibberish fools. Except for our FM, who my guide said has the only hope forward for the people. How sad has Westminster made us look to the world.

CJ Serbie
via email

VERY proud of Dr Philippa Whitford in the debate on Channel 4 on Sunday night. She was absolutely on point. Had done her homework AND the maths as expected, and every one of her points scored. Back of the net!

Well done Philippa!

SC, Aberdeen
via text