IAN Forbes (Letters, January 20) seems to struggle with the concept of democracy, as he feels it outrageous that the SNP (note not the Scottish people) could rip Scotland from the Union on the strength of a simple majority. Has he already forgotten that we Scots have left the EU, ripped out by a majority of English votes on a simple majority of two per cent?
As regards the antiquarian voting regulations in his golf club, some may see them as an artifice used by the established clique that all golf clubs have to maintain a status quo that serves their interests. In many ways the UK is like his golf club in that the new members have no realistic chance of introducing change and if they are unhappy with how the club functions, they have no alternative other than to stop paying their subs and leave an institution that ignores them.
David J Crawford, Glasgow G12.
* I WAS surprised that Ian Forbes has confidence in incorporating golf club rules into Scottish politics and future referenda. Perhaps we will have to wear a particular tie or scarf when we vote, or women can only vote in the afternoons, or we’ll all show proof of subs paid?
Bowling club rules are much more democratic.
Allan McDougall, Neilston.
IF IT’S GOOD ENOUGH FOR THE SNP…
IAN Forbes is correct to say that to give credence to the major constitutional change which could result from any Indyref2, what is required is a clear and unarguable demonstration of the will of a significant majority of those entitled to vote. Obviously plus 1 does not provide that. To add to the example he mentions of his golf club, a highly significant other is the SNP itself, the constitution of which (Article 27) requires a two-thirds majority for any change to it.
How it can be justified as democratic for the SNP to consider a two-thirds majority is essential for any change to its constitution affecting only its membership of around 125,000, but unnecessary for the huge constitutional change it seeks to achieve affecting the whole 5.5 million population of Scotland ?
Alan Fitzpatrick, Dunlop.
SCOTLAND IS HELD IN CONTEMPT
IAN Forbes is concerned that “Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP could rip Scotland out of the UK with a 50% + 1 majority”. This could only happen if such a decision was based on a simple majority referendum as in the Scottish independence referendum of 2014. Those so concerned may wish to lobby Boris Johnson for change as, currently, this is Westminster’s favoured method of democratic choice for Scotland, but the Prime Minister will not approve a referendum while they look to be on the losing side – a heads I win, tails you lose scenario.
Mr Forbes should be much more concerned about the democratic deficit in the 50% + 1 referendum on Brexit, where Scotland voted 62% to remain in the EU and 38% to leave. Scotland’s huge majority in favour of the EU has been completely ignored by Westminster with no attempt to assuage the people as in Northern Ireland. Quite the reverse in fact, we are held in utter contempt and there is demonstrable ongoing action, despite Covid-19, to render the Scottish Parliament toothless and for direct Westminster rule to be re-imposed on Scotland despite the democratic wishes of the people.
Alan M Morris, Blanefield.
MUST WE GO CAP IN HAND?
THE only political party I ever joined is holding yet another leadership election … in the “middle of a pandemic”, yet the two candidates are opposed to Indyref2 which can only take place in late 2021/early 2022, after the pandemic, and we have all been vaccinated. We are instead supposed to concentrate on the economy. Will they have Scotland go, cap in hand, to a Westminster Government whose conduct toward our Government is dismissive and contemptuous, and ask for our share?
We have recently had £100 million per annum of EU Structural Funding stripped from Holyrood spending control and placed in the hands of Westminster. Will this money even be spent in Scotland, or will it just be badged as “allocated” to us: spent on some project in the south (Crossrail2/HS2?) as a “benefit to Scotland”. We have already seen the Johnson Government handing out contracts in a fashion that approaches nepotism. No due process of bidding, only cronies in the “chumocracy” need apply. Government with on-the-side graft, corruption and a wee bit of baksheesh in what is really a rich Etonian oligarchy is what Labour wants Scotland to stick with.
GR Weir, Ochiltree.
PETER Wright (Letters, January 20) is absolutely correct in drawing attention to the speed at which our predecessors carried out rail infrastructure work. Bridge replacement in a weekend was normal for the railways of old, something which nowadays takes many weeks on our motorways. And in the case of a rail accident such as recently occurred near Stonehaven, the Victorians, after completion of course of all necessary investigations, would then have had the line cleared and re-opened in a week or so. It took our generation months.
Scott Macintosh, Killearn.
JOHN Macnab’s letter (January 20) of my experience on introduction to National Service. We sat at a table arms outstretched, palms up. We were “attacked” by two medics who jabbed us on lower arms then upper arms. The final assault was the following week – a jab on the Saturday morning and we were “out the game” until Monday morning, Oh happy days.
John P Foxworthy, Bishopbriggs.