DONALD MACINTYRE ("How can Labour stop Scotland slipping out of the British state?", 7 April) suggests that Paddy Ashdown might refuse to allow Scottish Liberal Democrats to make common cause with the SNP. I have to say of Don Macintyre what Malcolm Bruce said of Tony Blair, when he said he would not allow Scottish Labour to increase Scottish taxes in a Scottish parliament: "He doesn't understand what this devolution thing is all about." Paddy Ashdown, who is a genuine pluralist and does understand devolution, is under no such illusions.
As for the original question, Scottish objections to the UK are because they do not consent to Tory government. It is necessary to persuade them that Westminster government need not be Tory government. This is what Tony Blair has so far failed to do.
House of Lords
The writer is Liberal Democrat Social Security Spokesman