As always, I read Michael Fry’s column (Economic inequality can be a good thing – it’s the reward for being successful, The National, July 18) with interest and, as always, I found at least part of it with which I fundamentally disagree.

In this week’s column Michael states: “There has been no shortage of economic issues in the Scottish and UK electoral contests since [the referendum].

“They have all confirmed the argument: if Scottish growth remains in the long term lower than UK growth, we can kiss goodbye to any chance of Scots voting in a majority for national independence.”

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While, depressingly, Michael may well be right about the reality of that situation it is surely completely backwards.

Scotland’s economy underperforming the UK’s while Scotland remains part of the UK indicates a massive failure of the union. Scotland’s economy performing far worse than it ought to is a strong reason for voting for independence, not for the status quo.

The UK has had over 300 years to prove beneficial for Scotland, and it has utterly failed.

Neil Caple, Aberdeenshire

WHEN James Andrew Mills claims that attempting to cancel Brexit is an attack on all our rights to democratic representation without molestation, isn’t he being a tad naïve? Isn’t the real democratic deficit Cameron’s poorly framed referendum Bill, with its woefully simplistic question about a complex issue?

Isn’t the deficit also the Leave campaigners being funded by Aaron Banks and his cronies, who admitted on BBC radio that he spent most of the millions he used in the final week of the campaign to turn the debate away from the economic distress Brexit would cause and on to the emotive topic of immigration; aided and abetted by gutter sections of the press and media highlighting asylum seekers in Calais, boat people crossing the Mediterranean, while ignoring that most of our immigration comes from outwith the EU in any case, and the essential EU migrants diligently working in our public services; all designed to appeal to the xenophobia whipped up by some in the media leading up to the debate?

And wasn’t the democratic deficit Labour’s pro-EU policy being articulated half-heartedly by a duplicitous leader whose record was of continual opposition to the EU, and who obscured the workers’ rights benefits the EU brought us, and which are now under threat?

Then there is the real democratic deficit of around only one-third of the electorate voting for Brexit. That’s an overwhelming two-thirds of the electorate who did not give their consent. Add in minors whose futures Brexit will severely impact on, then three quarters of the population have had this debacle inflicted on them against their expressed will.

And the added democratic deficit of, even according to Mr Mill’s concept of democracy, Scotland voting to remain and now in danger of being bounced out of the EU by a Westminster Tory government we substantially abhor?

Isn’t it disappointing that Mr Mills and his ilk must see the abject shambles of this Tory Brexit team and where they’re taking us, read the comments of their European counterparts which are directly opposite to the lies we’re being told by the Prime Minister and her team, and which illustrate the certain economic disaster we’re heading into, yet they would rather jump over the cliff of economic catastrophe than pause, reflect, recognise, and call a halt to this unnecessary failure of vested interest Tory Government.

Jim Taylor, Edinburgh

I AM disgusted with Michael Fry’s apologetics of inequality (Economic inequality can be a good thing – it’s the reward for being successful, The National, July 18).

Why on Earth should success – rather than merit – be rewarded? Most successes are built on privilege, exploitation or luck, or a combination of these. Creative people can be an exception, if millions truly love their books, music or artwork, but other than these?

Donald Trump is tremendously successful, but has no merit. Of course, Tory types deliberately confuse the semantics between success and merit to feed the myth that everybody gets their just deserts.

Fry brings up the lame old chant that companies succeed because they fulfil the needs of society. No, Mr Fry, big companies succeed because they ruthlessly exploit the natural world while foisting the real cost of their endeavours onto society at large.

By all means, let’s reward those with genuine merit who make positive contributions to our society – scientists, say, medical staff or owners of small sustainable businesses – but let’s not perpetuate the old lie that rich people have done anything to deserve their riches.

Annette Kupke, Dunblane

I’VE not had TV since 1999, thankfully (despite being a finalist in the BBC 2004 national comedy writing competition). However, other working class licence payers and people of colour and people not resident in London dutifully pay the licence fee year in year out.

So – as well as informing the UK public that in 2017 only one-third of top earners at the BBC are women – would Tony Hall do a breakdown on how many non-white, non-privileged persons are in the top percentage of wage earners at the BBC?

Amanda Baker, Edinburgh

WITH regards to a spaceport and Scotland’s involvement in space, every independence supporter should read Bill Smiths’ book, A Mickle, A Muckle, A Malt and the Moon, published in 2004.

Bill is a remarkable man, who through thick and thin, as well as health issues, has campaigned for independence tirelessly.

His book, although fictional, is a great example of where we could and should be.

Dave McKechie, East Lothian

I WAS pleased you published my letter yesterday about the mean-spirited comments of Jackie Baillie, but slightly puzzled that you attributed it to “Jim Lynch, Glasgow” rather than “Jim Lynch, Edinburgh”.

I live in Edinburgh, but as a native of Dundee I do not suffer from Edinburgh/Glasgow rivalry, but do experience occasional superiority complexes from both cities. During the referendum I recall one fellow campaigner asking jocularly: “Dundee, what’s Dundee got?” I responded, also jocularly: “It has two teams in Scotland’s Premier division and Edinburgh has nane”.

Alas, time moves on, both cities now have one in each division.

Jim Lynch, Edinburgh