The Flag of our Unequal Union
John Milne (Letters, September 5) rightly raises the question of whether there should be more attention given to the non-economic case for independence. A useful starting point might be to look at the ethical basis of the British state. Are there any reasons today why we should feel loyalty to or admiration for that state? Permanent warfare and the promotion of major corporate interests have become core objectives of the UK, whether with Labour or Tory governments.
We know that governments engage in dishonest and low tactics in pursuing their interests but the evidence emerging from Libya about the close co-operation between Britain and the Gaddafi regime still has the capacity to shock. Although we knew about the outsourcing of torture, to see the details of the co-operation and the willingness to give the Libyan security service information on their opponents in the UK, shows such cynicism and dishonesty that must seriously undermine respect for central British institutions. What values are the unionists seeking to defend?
The powers that we already have in Scotland have enabled us to protect some social democratic values in our services that reflect majority opinion in Scotland at a time when so much in the health, social care and education services is being dismantled in England by Westminster. Scotland has taken important initiatives in environmental policy. This should give us the confidence to take on the full powers of a normal state in the knowledge that we have established a political culture that is comparatively open, comparatively democratic and comparatively egalitarian. We need to initiate a debate on how Scotland could develop a national security policy and make a positive contribution to international peace and justice issues rather than remain attached to a state committed to militarism and nuclear weapons.
Isobel Lindsay, Biggar.