MICHAEL Fry is right to proclaim immigration’s vital importance for Scotland. But he should be wary of invoking the Home Secretary’s Asian heritage (More and more, it looks like Scotland must path of Ireland, not England, Jul 27). Priti Patel is as British as the cat o’ nine tails.

She apparently no longer wants to bring back the gallows, but otherwise her penal instincts belong to ancient British tradition: cram immigrant prisoners into decaying ferry vessels (“The Hulks”, in Dickens’s time) or transport them to Ascension Island or Rwanda (previously Van Diemen’s Land or Botany Bay).

READ MORE: Michael Fry: Why it is becoming clearer Scotland must follow Ireland's path, not England's

As for immigration, praise where praise is due. It was Jack McConnell, as FM, whose Fresh Talent Initiative wrenched power out of the Home Office’s hands and brought in a host of young European immigrants. The Poles especially, with their hard work and gift for setting up small start-up enterprises, did Scotland great service.

Neal Ascherson
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