THE Scottish Unionists’ mantra that the people of Scotland don’t want another referendum is beginning to sound a bit hollow. Is that all they have to say to Scotland? Perhaps they should provide us with the evidence whereby the Scottish people wanted to have a referendum on Europe?

Marjorie Forrest
Seamill, West Kilbride

THREE of the Tories' many faces were on parade in Perth High Street on April 1: true blue Scottish Conservative and Unionists; wishy-washy red Scottish Labour; and a group calling themselves Scotland United, who didn’t see the irony of their being separate from the others. The true blues were soliciting signatures against a second referendum. The thing is, we had that last summer, in which the Scottish people clearly demonstrated a wish to remain within the EU. The only way this would be possible, we were told, was to vote No in the first referendum. Unfortunately our second vote was at odds with the demands of Little England and we are leaving the EU in any case.

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See Tories? See democracy? See truth? Aye, right!

Jim Clark
Address supplied


Yes campaign must not alienate any generation

FOR goodness sake, Carolyn Leckie, get a grip on how you write! I am a pensioner, born in England, living in Glasgow and gagging for independence, I found your article quite chilling (Baby-boom generation may not be worth the effort, The National, Apr 3).

How do you think your anti-baby-boom article sounds? Ageist at least. I’m really getting worried about the labelling of a whole swath of older people in a racist manner. By racist manner I mean a crude stereotyping that denigrates a whole category of human beings as if they were some kind of cohesive group to be despised.

Sure, some of your best friends might be old too, maybe even your parents and you might well love them to bits. That would be nice. But still you use crude generalisations about older people when you say: “As well as having more money, they also have more time on their hands. They have long dominated the radio phone-in programmes and the newspaper letters pages.” Try putting “Jewish people” in instead of “they” and how does that sound? Does this kind of group-blaming sound familiar? I don’t want the independence debate to include an ageist version of Mein Kampf.

Truth is the economic cycle goes in a saw-tooth up-and-down graph. Sometimes older people will be well-off generally, sometimes not. Have you heard of the Bank of Mum and Dad? Sounds like some of these wealthy older folk might be quite kind and good to know! Most old people also do not have a long future ahead to adapt to the changes that are coming. Our reserves of energy are not what they once were. It makes us nervous of change, even when it is inevitable. Many older people are actually very nervous and do not want to actively vote for change and they close their eyes to a future that looks uncertain, even when it is unavoidable. They may have saved all their lives and have a nest egg. Good on them! None of these attributes means that they are demons or a “waste of time”.

Go look in the mirror Carolyn and check for wrinkles or grey hair. If you see any, it does not mean you are becoming a bad person. It means that you are a person – just like a baby-boomer. Tell you what, I’ll give you some of my savings if you take the arthritis too! It ain’t all fun being older. Please be more thoughtful, Carolyn, and follow Nicola’s advice to be respectful and kindly in your campaign writing. Even when you write about folk that tend to believe in a mythical and unrealistic good British past. Thirty per cent of us old folk are keen on independence and get quite cross being wrapped up in labels that hide our dreams of a kindly and positive European Scotland just because we represent a minority of our generation.

Dr Paul Millar

I AGREE with Carolyn Leckie in her analysis of the problem of older voters. I take no offence at her opinion even although I am an older voter myself. I do not, however, agree that we should simply write them off. We must convince them that the only way to avoid their grandchildren growing up in a toxic, right-wing, racist and xenophobic country with regressive social and economic policies is to vote for an independent Scotland. Surely even those with a strong “I’m all right Jack” attitude will want to do right by their families?

Lawrence Alexander

I AM very disappointed by Carolyn Leckie’s rant against the baby-boom generation. This is just what we don’t need – the alienation of a whole section of society on age grounds. There are people of all ages who voted No in 2014. When door-stepping or at a street stall, pro-indy campaigners know by now which people to spend time discussing issues with, and those who will never be convinced of the merits of indy, even if their reasons against it are shown to be irrational. It is never good to make assumptions and even worse to dis a whole generation. I suggest Carolyn gets out there and experiences this for herself.

Liz Davidson

WHILE his name may have been taken in vain by many, Carolyn Leckie is right to quote Karl Marx’s “conditions determine consciousness”. Apart from a saintly few, how can we expect the wealthier to know what it’s like to literally “count the pennies?” Many older people are No voters because they benefit from the status quo and are scared of losing their wealth. At the same time, many of the most enthusiastic, radical and energetic supporters of independence are over 60. This is a complex issue, and I agree with Carolyn that it’s perhaps with younger people that we need to focus our limited energies on. They are the ones who have most to gain or lose.

Karen Black

CAROLYN Leckie again raised the issue of pensioners' voting intentions in an independence referendum.

In January, the work and pensions committee of the House of Commons called for an end to the triple lock on pensions. More recently the DWP has issued a green paper which would allow firms to renege on their company pension plans. This assault on hard-won pensions sees the Tories and Labour parties acting in collusion. Pensions in the UK are already amongst the lowest in Europe (21 out of 27 surveyed). Pensioners should be clear – a vote to remain part of the UK will mean a cut in the value of our state pension and perhaps the loss altogether of our company pension.

Ian Richmond
Dumfries and Galloway