THE provocative article by George Kerevan yesterday lives up to his usual high standards by stimulating the wider Yes movement to debate, both within itself and with the Scottish people, exactly what kind of position Scotland should take on multilateral defence given its unique geopolitical place in north-east Europe.

It has to be said that some conservative voices, fundamentally within the current SNP leadership, believe such a debate to be a loaded gun which could kill the independence cause stone dead by frightening the Anglo- American political establishment. In doing so they carefully overlook the fact that in the recent Western disengagement from Afghanistan, the UK was considered such a major player that they seemed to be the last to know about the disastrous strategy to suddenly pull out.

The Alba Party are quite right to have the widest debate possible about whether an independent Scotland should be in Nato or not. Scotia Future is clear that the flexibility of Partnership for Peace is the best defence option for an independent Scotland rather than Nato membership, primarily because it allows co-operation with established neutral nations such as Ireland, Malta, Finland, Austria and Sweden, without Scotland being rigidly under the direction of Washington DC.

Neither does the glib belief that responsible countries need to be in a military alliance stand up to historical scrutiny – for example, it was the confrontational military alliances straddling Europe in 1914 that led to the conflagration of the Great War. And during the Cold War, it was only due to the shrewdness of Harold Wilson that the UK, and Scotland, were not dragged into the Vietnam War.
Councillor Andy Doig
Scotia Future

I WILL admit, as an ex “I believe in the Union” voter turned (fanatical) independence proponent, I feel we are failing. We are failing because our government does not take the time to correct anti-Scottish bias or inaccuracies when they are reported, and when it does object to something, it is like in the film Oliver: “Please sir, can I have some more?” or “Please sir, can you reconsider Cambo?” Courtesy is one thing, abject pleading another.

Nor do we demonstrate against the harm Brexit has done to Scotland. Brexit isn’t old history, it’s now! It’s affecting our farmers, our fishing industry, our Scottish exporters, hospitality and potentially Christmas dinners and presents for our children. We’re all seeing empty shelves in supermarkets now, why isn’t our government at the very least saying its hands are tied because of Westminster, what it’s done to mitigate Brexit damage for us and more importantly how it would deal with it if we were independent.

It seems to me that Westminster would probably actually do better by telling the First Minister to hold the referendum this November – there’ll be less time for Boris Johnson to damage their cause, less time for the independence movement to unite, mobilise, counter Project Fear 2 and sell independence. Westminster has already laid the groundwork and, if they win, they won’t have to spend as much of that promised Scottish levelling-up money as the “Scottish problem” will have gone away again and then they’ll suck us dry and spit us out.

Which is why we need our leaders to stand up and lead.

Which is why we need to stop fighting about policies and start fighting the opposition.

Which is why we need to persuade our neighbours by listening to them and having conversations.

Which is why we need the answers to the “sticky” questions repeated ad nauseum by our leaders.

Which is why we need to broadcast, also ad nauseum, the positives about what Scotland has and does.

KAIRIN van Sweeden’s article in yesterday’s National is helpful in clearing up much of the misunderstanding of the role money and national debt play in the political debate in Scotland. The Unionists and their media are constantly referring to the national debt, which the Scots people are responsible for, and what steps we must make to repay it.

This is the central plank of the Unionist Project Fear campaign and it is based on lies and misrepresentation. Unfortunately, for all its lack of substance, it is believed by many Scots, particularly among us older ones, and it makes the real understanding of real economic values difficult for people to see and understand.

Back in 1776, Adam Smith, perhaps the best recognised economist who ever lived, told us that money has no intrinsic value. It acquires its “exchange value” from the goods and services in the market which do have real intrinsic value.

It is difficult for us, who are so used to handling money, and estimating value in terms of money, to accept that money itself has no value, but it is true. If you were shipwrecked on an uninhabited island and had the choice of having a large trunk full of money or one full of old tools and equipment, what would you take? Yes, the tools, because you could not exchange the money and therefore it would revert to its intrinsic value, which is nothing.

Money or currency is something which we in Scotland could make ourselves, to serve our economy, as and when we need it, as Kairin says, we do not need to borrow it or pay it back. Scotland’s wealth lies in its natural resources and its people, not in paper money.

Once we understand this, we can see those who try to tell us that we have a national debt to pay back are trying to deceive us, and this includes not only the Unionists and their media but also people like Andrew Wilson who suggests we Scots should contribute to England’s Treasury after independence as a gesture of good will.

Scotland can’t be independent if it does not have its own currency and in this Kairin is absolutely right, any economist worth their salt knows this, if he/she knows the subject at all. So those who oppose this are opposed to independence for Scotland and should be honest and say so.
Andy Anderson
Via email