JAMES Ahern writes “No-one has a strategy to make known ... what being a nuclear arsenal implies” and suggests “all of the groups who have the main thing in common to come together on the prime issue, a nuclear-free country” (Letters, The National, August 9).

In fact such a group already exists, and has a strategy of public education. It is called the Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (SCND).

We work tirelessly for an independent nuclear-free Scotland.

What I don’t understand is why out of a Scottish population of five million we have a membership of a miserable 3000.

Why are so few people prepared to put their money where their mouth is for this, the most important cause in the world?

Can they really not afford a membership fee of £1 a month?

I just don’t understand why every person of good will is not an active member of SCND.

If people really do want to help — simples — let them join SCND. They can do this online (scnd@banthebomb.org, tel: 0141 357 1529)
Brian Quail


Being critical of colonialism is not anti-English

PAGAN, in reply to my long letter suggests that I was advocating disrespect towards the English minority in Scotland (Letters, The National, August 9). Nothing is further from the truth. What would he call a vote for No of 75 per cent of that English/other UK national minority in Scotland? Respect for the wishes and feelings of the Scottish majority?

It is precisely that kind of knee-jerk reaction to any criticism that irks. Why doesn’t Pagan look at that huge No vote in this one ethnic group and ask himself — and, perhaps, within the group itself — why, because, from where many of us in the Yes movement are standing. It looks suspiciously like knee-jerk colonialism. Having heard a number of this group speaking about 2014, their observations echoed those of the British nabobs talking in relation to India, Gandhi and Indian independence. India is now an independent and thriving state, and will, one of these days, leave us far behind in its wake.

If Pagan wants respect, then the quickest way to gain it is to show respect to those he disagrees with. No-one is trying to demonise anyone. We have every right to demand independence and every right to call out colonialism and unenlightened self-interest. The Scottish Unionists could never have won the indyref without the help of the English minority, and they most certainly could never have taken their advantage to 55 per cent. I suggest Pagan ponder that.
Lorna Campbell
Via email

THERE have been a few letters printed recently in The National bemoaning the fact, as the contributors see it, persons born elsewhere in the UK but now living in Scotland could swing a future referendum outcome to produce another No vote.

They seem to argue that, because the other side are entrenched and downright nasty, then we should stoop towards their level and deny the franchise to a section of our current population. I totally oppose this viewpoint because, firstly, it amounts to vote rigging but secondly, and more importantly, to exclude such persons from voting runs contrary to the kind of Scotland that I, as a committed supporter of Scottish independence since my childhood in the 1950s, want to create.

Scotland can only thrive as an independent nation if it is a fully functioning small, participatory member of the European family of nations. This was true when Scotland first declared itself to be an independent state in medieval times. And it is still true now. We also need the diversity, energy, intelligence and drive that immigration brings to Scotland and that includes all EU migrants and those that successfully apply for and receive UK citizenship from other countries outwith the EU and who then choose Scotland as their home. All are welcome and all are equal in terms of citizen rights including voting in elections. With this in mind, to then deny the rUK population the vote is just plain discriminatory. For goodness sake, National correspondent Lesley Riddoch would be deprived of an indyref vote under this proposal as she was born in Belfast!

Scottish residents from other UK airts and pairts probably fall into the category of “difficult to persuade” in our ongoing campaign. Older citizens too are probably in same category. Let’s vigorously face up to these hurdles and win the arguments over currency, social care, the health service, nuclear power, economic prospects, childcare and educational provision, equality issues and peaceful international cooperation in stark contrast to the belligerent, suspicious, austere and divisive alternative policies implicit in remaining in an increasingly right wing, militaristic and isolated UK with it’s only friend an imaginary one, the US. Winning these arguments takes time, attention to detail, a lot of patience and, in truth, may only result in a small number of “conversions”. But blatant and unfair attempts to exclude will only result in a block vote against Scottish independence.

Rather than complaining, let’s get persuading. We may only need to persuade a few to get the result we want and we shall have achieved it fair and square.
David Crines

ALTHOUGH excellence is generally the norm from Yes-supporting letter page contributors, I feel Lorna Campbell’s perspicacious essay merits the accolade “letter par excellence”.

Her observation that “we will never win a second indyref by being nice” chimes with my opinion, formed during the last election campaign. In fact, following the election I asked an SNP politician “when are we going to stop being so damned nice?”

When is the penny going to drop from some on our side that in 2014, the Scots gave the British state the fright of its life and now — forewarned — it will be even more undemocratic and covertly devious in its determination to keep the Scotch in their place — e.g. the state broadcaster’s Scottish branch now appears to have, not just partial but total carte blanche in its bias with the bottom of no barrel left un-scraped in the search for anti-Scottish Government stories no matter how dubious or laughable.

So, henceforth, can the Indy movement and SNP politicians in particular stop arguing the toss about British issues with the British, on ground of their choosing?

In Scotland let us learn from history and stand for no hypocritical sanctimonious lectures from unionists, in short, no more Indy “Nice Guys” (or gals!)
Malcolm Cordell
Broughty Ferry