MR A Tomkins attempts to make it clear that political democracy in Scotland is a Yes/No dichotomy, in respect of Scotland’s union (subsuming) within the UK, but fails, in part because like so many Tory claims it is simply and fundamentally dishonest.

His assertion that left/right remains dominant in the UK as a whole, but not in Scotland, is really quite misleading and simplistic, so aiding the electorate of Scotland to better understand his political Tory wisdom.

The political split of those who support “state enterprise”, “social enterprise” and “free enterprise” endures within the UK as a whole, and within Scotland in particular, but to quite different proportions when taken overall or collectively.

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UK “left/right” pre-Blair might well have equated with “state enterprise/free enterprise”, after which point the dominant UK political parties’ messaging became more dishonestly targeted at the electorate, giving the UK “lefty free enterprise/one British nation free enterprise”.

The electorate in Scotland in 2015 decided that this nuance of difference expounded by those at the UK trough face was unacceptable, and moved back two steps to pre-Blair times, then three steps forward towards an improved “state/social/free enterprise” mix, albeit only in Scotland.

The electorate in England then diverged away from that of Scotland, and with the political deceit that was Brexit moved to primarily support “one British nation free enterprise” at the expense UK democracy, the rule of law, and human rights for all UK citizens.

READ MORE: Would a Unionist electoral pact defeat the SNP as Adam Tomkins suggests?

It is undeniable that Yes2 is the key to a balanced “state/social/free enterprise” economy, but they are not separate issues, as Mr A Tomkins would have us accept.

Mr A Tomkins, is, in real terms, arguing that the SNP/Green “just transition” to move away from fossil fuel use, and rebalance the “state/social/free enterprise” balance, is pure vandalism of the “one British nation free enterprise” UK political system that ConDemSlab should be/are supporting.

Stephen Tingle
Greater Glasgow

THANK heavens for two recent items in The National, the article by Gerry Hassan (Why Yes case needs to offer that ‘shining city on a hill’, Dec 14), and the letter from Ian Stewart (Dec 15). It was a relief to read support for ditching a proposal that has been a millstone round our necks ever since it was published.

In every opportunity I have taken to talk to waverers on independence, not once have I found the Growth Report to be anything other than a complete turn-off. It has even, on occasions, reinforced the belief that independence threatens pensions etc. It was therefore a great boost to our campaign armoury when the recent SNP conference passed, by an overwhelming majority, the resolution in favour of preparations now for our own central bank and currency.

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It now surely remains only for the SNP leadership, of what is supposed to be a member-led party, to accept this instruction from the membership, ditch the Growth Report and back the ongoing work to have plans ready to implement on day one of independence.

Then we activists can go forward confidently with a realistic, well-researched and planned proposal, backed by the evidence of so many small countries that have become independent in the last 50 years, to defeat the question that scuppered us in 2014.

P Davidson

A WARNING from environmental groups and charities that the UK will become a “dumping ground” for harmful chemicals due to the proposed new post-Brexit regime is no exaggeration.

The UK Government recently published a policy paper setting out how its approach to regulating hazardous chemicals will diverge from the EU’s REACH chemical safety regime, which no longer applies in the UK after Brexit.

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Of ten potentially hazardous chemicals that were added to an EU’s watchlist of “substances of very high concern” (SVHCs) during 2021, only four will be considered for inclusion in an equivalent UK list. This not only represents a major weakening of the UK’s post-Brexit safety regime, weakening protections against harmful substances, but will allow potentially toxic chemicals to slip through the next.

With British consumers and the environment having greater exposure to harmful chemicals than in the EU, a second-rate system for regulating chemicals post-Brexit is emerging. Also to be noted is that under post-Brexit legal arrangements this is not subject to public consultation and will not require a vote in parliament.

As predicted, the protections that UK citizens formerly enjoyed as EU members in this and many other areas are gradually being eroded.

Alex Orr

SURELY it’s time for all opposition parties at Westminster to stand together on the issue of human rights. In my opinion, all the opposition parties should stage a mass walkout during the debate and not return until the proposed changes have been withdrawn. If this does not work, all the leaders of the opposition should seek an audience with the Queen and request that she dissolves parliament due to the unfitness of the current regime.

Steve Cunningham