Scotland and seeking independence

Sir, – The problem with a dialogue between the Tories and Scotland is that, despite being the Conservative and Unionist Party, the Tories have never needed Scotland to form a government in Westminster. Old Labour, with an organisation in every constituency looking to Westminster for power and policy, provided the strongest organic link between Westminster and Scotland. Thatcherism and New Labour destroyed British national politics.

Listening to a Conservative MP (of either sex) talking to a Scottish nationalist MP (of either sex) on television or radio is like finding oneself in the embarrassing position of being in a cafe sitting beside a stony-faced couple as the old patriarch yet again explains to the good lady wife that the only reason she is driving around in a Volvo is because he goes out and does the hard work that pays for it, so she should button it. Only one of them seems to realise it’s well and truly over. – Yours, etc,


Dublin 8.


Sir, – I refer to your editorial "The Irish Times view on Scottish independence: SNP raises the stakes" (January 27th) concerning the issues around Scotland seeking independence. I agree with your concluding comment that, "Westminster would be better advised to engage constructively", because there is an absolute minefield of problems to overcome.

For example, would the Scottish/English border remain totally open, what currency would Scotland adopt, and critically how would the economy survive without the current Westminster subvention?

All these issues, and many more, must be openly addressed by the SNP before serious consideration can be given to another independence referendum.

Lest we forget, prior to the last referendum, the SNP produced a 649-page tome justifying independence on North Sea oil revenues, which have and will continue to decline.

So let’s hope the Scots’ well-known canny nature will prevent any hasty break-up of the union. – Yours, etc,



Co Dublin.