YOUR correspondents Alex Leggatt and Alan Adair considering we should be showing those we need to persuade to support independence “how our outcomes compare to the rest of the Westminster-led UK” or “proclaim the relative better state of our NHS, and care service, versus the rest of the UK” strikes me as being inherently illogical and coming at the problem from the wrong approach (Letters, May 29).

If we were able to demonstrate Scotland’s success in managing all of the areas we are responsible for, wouldn’t the counter argument to independence become if we can succeed with the status quo, then why do we need independence when devolution is already working?

Of course, this premise is wrong!

The reality is we need independence because this very devolution most certainly is not working. Although a country rich in resources, Scotland is being restricted not only in the means to satisfy its basic needs but also stifled in its ambitions to resolve them by a Westminster government that places the interest of its own hinterland before those of the regions of the UK, far less those constituent countries of the UK we’re expected to believe are partners in it.

Scotland has special needs in terms of every area of governance from investment, drug and health policies through to immigration, the irrational overstating of which this Tory government hopes to use as the means to persuade English voters to return it to power at the forthcoming election.

However, Scotland doesn’t need less immigration, it needs more. We need to bring to our country skills in medicine, nursing and social care and education, trades people and even as we know staff for our agricultural and hospitality industries dealt a crippling blow by the Brexit we didn’t support.

Is it a coincidence that Scotland has always lagged behind attracting the immigrants we need in the face of the population bulge that was the baby boom coming to its end? Since 1924, England’s population has increased by 34%, whereas Scotland’s only by 12%. So, how is such restriction and being part of the UK union working for Scotland? Where could we be now with the immigration we urgently need and that Westminster – dominated by blue and red tory parties – denies us? Where could we be with the opportunity of the wealth we would create with full political and fiscal control, the services funded by the profits and taxation of this new army of enterprising and willing workers who want to come here and contribute to our society in return for the benefits of settling here?

If we have to wait for our government to show how it is running our services under devolution, then indy will assuredly never arrive; we’ll be stuck in the stifling yoke of devolution – our future will always be determined by a Westminster government using our resources for the common good, just not the common good of we Scots.

If we really want the same indy and living standards as the 180 or so smaller, less resourced successful countries that already enjoy their independence, then shouldn’t we be demanding our independence because of the failures of the status quo, not because we have struggled to make the best of a bad situation and papered over the cracks?

Don’t we need to show those we need to persuade how and why the status quo is failing, offer the potential to improve and promote the vastly improved future we should all want to leave as the legacy for those who come after us?
Jim Taylor

I HAVE been loath to get involved in the HPMA controversy but a few observations might be relevant.

During a holiday in the Western Isles in 2009, we came across the result of a dredging operation where the foreshore was made up of mountains of scallop shells – too numerous to mention!

We have a neighbour who formerly dived throughout Scotland for scallops, razor shells etc. He used to comment on the devastation visible on the seabed caused by the actions of dredging for scallops.

On another occasion when on holiday in Caithness in 2012, we purchased “hand-dived smoked scallops”. These were at least 2.5cms (one inch) in diameter. Yet when eating out, I am appalled that menus sell scallops that rarely exceed 1cm in diameter – clearly the result of being dredged. There can only be one result of this destruction of the seabed.

So, I support HPMAs and hope they are implemented regardless of the claims of fishing communities as they will allow future development of the seabed and the shellfish which give these same fishing communities a future. Why they don’t see this is beyond me. Or maybe they are happy to go on and see our seas empty like the Grand Banks south of Newfoundland, with the result that they have no future.
Paul Gillon
Leven, Fife