RARELY can such contrasting views of the Scottish economy and its prospects on independence have appeared in the same newspaper on the same day. Andrew Wilson’s sincere appreciation of the “genius economist” – his estimation of his mentor, the late Andrew Hughes Hallett – is both touching and speaks well of Wilson as a man and as a devoted student (World-class academic and Yes supporter who wore his genius lightly, January 3). I have no reason to doubt his judgement of his subject’s personal qualities.

Hughes Hallett, he tells us, was a “world-class” denizen of the neoclassical economic firmament “advising governments, central banks, the IMF, and the World Bank” among many neo-liberal players that have made the world what it is today. Not all of us would regard that as a recommendation, including an increasing number of distinguished “real world” evidence-based economists.

READ MORE: Andrew Hughes Hallett: genius, economist, and Yes supporter

His late hero’s pedigree as the son and brother of UK Vice Admirals, and  economics education at Princeton, Harvard and Frankfurt, clearly impressed Mr Wilson and others close to the Scottish Government. His was the “first name” for Wilson and senior Scottish Government figures when it came to choosing economic advisors for the Sustainable Growth Commission. Many of us find this baffling.

In contrast, Prof Richard Murphy’s piece (Why it’s time for the SNP to ditch the GERS figures, January 3), presents an evidence-based assessment of the bogus economics and dodgy accounting upon which the Growth Commission’s findings are largely based.

READ MORE: Why it’s time for Scotland to ditch the GERS figures

His very long and highly logical article is essential reading for those who would wish an independent Scotland to avoid capture by the banking and finance interests that have wrecked every economy that they have so far touched. His incredulity at the NP government’s failure to challenge, never mind dispense with, such voodoo economics is shared by many of us.

As he states: “The SNP government, through its Growth Commission, has actually produced an endorsement of ... GERS… that it imagines continuing well beyond independence as a result of ... sterlingisation”.

The National has done its country a service. It really is time to debunk these policies which, if maintained, will result in the continued dominance of the banking and finance sector over our economy, and result in an independent Scotland being stillborn. Were I a cynic, I might conclude that this is the intention.

Dr John O’Dowd

ANDREW Hughes Hallett must have been a very dyed-in-the-wool neo-liberal economist to have come up with such a disastrous currency plan for Scotland, if as Andrew Wilson says he was the main author of it. The Chicago School/Milton Friedman/Rational Expectations dogma of the last 40 years has been comprehensively debunked and exposed as little more than a right-wing plot to shrink the state and advance the interests of the very wealthy global elite.

Independent countries DO NOT informally use somebody else’s currency because that is a very dangerous place to be (no lender of last resort for starters), and risks an economic catastrophe. State deficits are actually a good thing most of the time (the exception being if the economy overheats) as a state deficit is a private surplus (and of course the opposite – the state running a surplus – pushes the private sector into debt instead).

Far from trying to get Scotland below a 3% deficit (or even run a surplus as Nicola, in blissful ignorance, suggested to Andrew Neil) an indy Scotland should actually run an 8-10% deficit in the first years of indy as we invest in all the things needed plus the Green New Deal.

As for this from Andrew Wilson: “Even in these last months we would speak over the ether and he would enthusiastically engage in any argument that emerged against what we all proposed. I would check each new one I heard to be assured we hadn’t missed anything. To date, we haven’t.”

Words fail me! I have done more than 20 talks on currency around Scotland now, meeting several thousand Yes and SNP supporters. Not one has indicated any support for the No Growth Commission.

Leading economists such as Profs Richard Murphy, Warren Mosler, Bill Mitchell and Joe Stiglitz have all said the plan, especially on currency, is a disaster waiting to happen. Even some members of the Commission have publicly disagreed with it in the pages of The National.

There are clearly none so blind as those that will not see! Take a look at reservebank.scot to find out the real facts and plan on currency.

Dr Tim Rideout

THE sheer hypocrisy and dishonesty of Westminster in the shape of Boris Johnson has survived the season of good will.

When he calls for a united step forward to grasp the opportunities outside of the EU, Scotland will remember that we have “no role” in such matters as personally emphasised by him in the House, and will note also the already concerted efforts in “the media” and in the London-encouraged “Scottish” Tory, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties to pour as much negative criticism as can be dug up on the Scottish Government.

This is nothing less than a continuation of the programme adopted by those hostile to Scottish independence in 2014, a programme of lies, distortions and hollow vows of partnerships and equality.

History will again repeat itself, and the supporters of the independence movement will this time be better armed to deal with it.

J Hamilton