Letters: Scots have had enough of London rule

These letters appear in the Friday 29th November edition of the Independent

Share

The gloves are well and truly off! The SNP has published its prospectus for an independent country and all the No campaigners can do is say: “But we may not allow you to use the pound as your currency.”

They do more than hint that membership of the European Union should not be taken for granted. All they can actually guarantee is that if Scotland opts to remain within the UK, the Scots can expect more of the same poor government that we have become accustomed to from Westminster.

Of the 59 Westminster MPs representing Scottish constituencies, only four voted in favour of the “bedroom tax”. Disgracefully, 10 Labour MPs did not vote. Does Scotland have the bedroom tax? Of course it does. Does it matter that it doesn’t want it? Of course not.

Fear of change is the major impediment to an independent Scotland. The Scots actually don’t like being governed from London but somehow, the propaganda machine that is the media and the major political parties exert a disproportionate influence on voters.

Devolution has shown that Scotland can govern its own future. Given full fiscal powers its chances of succeeding and prospering are no less than that of the UK.

Robert Stewart

Wilmslow, Cheshire

I heard Alex Salmond explain his military isolationist policy with interest. It would seem when the British Army are seeing off some future dictator set on world domination the brave Black Watch (heroes of the Normandy beaches) and the valiant Scots Greys (heroes of Waterloo) will sit champing at the bit and watch events on the BBC. 

Perhaps, on the other hand, the bravest soldiers in the world will say no to Alex Salmond.

Michael Beary

London NW3

Could any of your readers enlighten me on why people in Scotland do not have to pay for prescriptions and student fees as we do in England?

How is this possible and where is the money coming from?

M Finn

Hednesford, Staffordshire

The Scots made a huge contribution to building the British Empire, and thus the prosperity of the United Kingdom. It seems only right that if they are to leave the UK, they should get to take some of that with them. The obvious way would be for some of the British overseas territories to become Scottish. Perhaps the Falklands and Pitcairn Island?

Mark Walford

London N12

Clegg saved us from  a Tory Government

Owen Jones’s world is a fanciful place. He condemns Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats for backing some Tory policies in coalition, albeit many that stuck in the craw of Clegg’s pre-election supporters (28 November).

If David Cameron, in the absence of a leftish rainbow multi-party coalition, had formed a minority government in 2010, waiting to be brought down or going to the country that autumn, there would probably be a majority Conservative administration in power until late 2015. Despite all his disdain for the Liberal Democrats in government would Owen Jones have preferred the alternative of a red-meat Tory government?

Charles Foster

Chalfont St Peter, Buckinghamshire

Confrontation in Downing Street

Your correspondent (28 November) who is tired of the Mitchell “bleatings” is missing a rather large point.  Sure, addressing Her Maj’s Finest with “I thought you lot were supposed to f——ing help us” wasn’t the brightest, though brushing up against officialdom late at night after a day’s work might try anyone’s patience.  

But to dismiss what followed – including  a ludicrously long, costly and unsatisfactory “investigation” – as a minor matter is breathtaking.

Ian Bartlett

East Molesey,  Surrey

How fortunate for Andrew Mitchell that his altercation with the police has escalated into serious accusations against the officers.

This minister ignored a perfectly good exit gate and demanded that the main gates be opened for him. When the police pointed out that this was an unreasonable demand he abused them, using strong language which he has admitted to. That is alarming and unacceptable behaviour from a government minister.

John Hade

Totnes,  Devon

Press charter a threat to freedom

Roger Schafir is absolutely right in his letter on press regulation (25 November). It is clear that  politicians, newspapers and the police were scratching each other’s backs and allowing a culture of impunity to prevail. Like him, I find supporters of the measure unable to explain clearly why all the press and only the press should be made to pay for this by being regulated.

Think of all the times over our recent history – maybe the febrile atmosphere during the run-up to the Iraq war or the current spying revelations – when a desperate government which is out of its depth would want to silence criticism. We should then ask ourselves whether a parliamentary majority of our often whipped and unprincipled representatives could possibly be found in such circumstances to tighten regulation – in the name of “the national interest” of course.

If the answer to that is even as vague as “perhaps” then we should consider this Royal Charter as an absolute threat to freedom of speech and the thin end of the wedge.

In the end the politicians managed to glide across this Rubicon quite easily over a pizza and a few beers in private with lobbyists. For some reason the press weren’t invited to that, and neither were members of the public. Perhaps this is a sign of enlightened government to come.

John Laird

Rome

No case against  plain packaging

Why are we having a debate about the compulsory use of plain packaging for tobacco products? If it reduces smoking, then why is it not good?

Why wait to see if it works elsewhere in the world? If it might work then it should be tried. I’m afraid the marketing and advertising gurus who make money from trying to sway addicts to their employers’ products will have to find other products to promote.

Andrew E Cox

Hinckley, Leicestershire

Students take a stand against outsourcing

Since the evening of Tuesday 26 November 2013, students at the University of Sussex have occupied the first floor of Bramber House. This space was occupied last February and is currently where Chartwells, the company now in charge of outsourced catering services, are operating their offices.

In their demands, the students declare their continuing fight against the outsourcing process. They are protesting against the marketisation of higher education exemplified most recently through the selling of the student loan book. Student protests in Birmingham, Leeds, Sheffield, York, Brighton, London and Manchester, as well as statements by the NUS show widespread discontent.

Since 30 October 2013, Occupy Sussex has twice taken action to support us, lecturers and tutors, in our national dispute over fair pay. We consider their actions, and ours next Tuesday 3 December, to be part of a broader struggle. One to defend and move towards a model of education that prioritises and financially secures the teaching-staff relationship that makes our universities so attractive.

The injunction obtained in April 2013 against the previous occupation cost the university £81,812 in legal fees. Considering the widespread support for the occupation inside and outside the university, the fact that the injunction banned any unauthorised protest on campus and that it failed to do so in practice, we consider these costs unnecessary and misplaced.

We are signing this letter of support to pressure the management to open a dialogue with students and staff over outsourcing, issues of representation, and fair pay. It is important to protect the right to protest at our university and avoid any injunctions that could criminalise protestors and curtail that right for all of us.

Prof Gurminder  K  Bhambra, University of Warwick

Prof Charlie Post, Sociology, Borough of Manhattan Community College and the Graduate Center-CUNY

Prof Des Freedman, Media and Communications, Goldsmiths, University of London, Secretary Goldsmiths UCU

Prof Mario Novelli, Political Economy of Education, University of Sussex

Prof John Holmwood, Sociology, University of Nottingham

Prof Marie-Bénédicte Dembour, Law and Anthropology, University of Brighton

Prof Bill Bowring, Law, Birkbeck, University of London

Prof Michael Outhwaite, Sociology, University of Newcastle

Prof Raphael Salkie, Humanities, University of Brighton

Dr Mark Erickson, Reader in Sociology, University of Brighton

Dr John Drury, Senior Lecturer in Social Psychology, University of Sussex

Dr Benjamin Selwyn, Senior Lecturer in International Relations and Development Studies, University of Sussex

Dr Lucy Robinson, Senior Lecturer in History, University of Sussex

Dr Reima Ana Maglajlic, Senior Lecturer in Social Work, Uni. of Sussex

Dr Barry Luckock, Senior Lecturer in Social Work and Social Policy, University of Sussex

Dr Benno Teschke, Senior Lecturer in International Relations, University of Sussex

Dr Catherine Will, Senior Lecturer, Sociology, University of Sussex

Dr Andrew Chitty,  Lecturer in Philosophy, University of Sussex

Dr Ben Fincham, Senior Lecturer, Sociology, University of Sussex

Dr Kenneth Veitch, Lecturer in Law, University of Sussex

Dr Kimberley Brayson, Lecturer in Law, University of Sussex

Dr Emily Robinson, Lecturer in Politics, University of Sussex

Dr Michael Kearney, Lecturer in Law, University of Sussex

Dr Kamran Matin, Lecturer in International Relations, University of Sussex

Dr William McEvoy, Lecturer in English and Drama, Uni. of Sussex

Dr Paul Kirby, Lecturer In International Relations, University of Sussex

Dr Anna Stavrianakis, Lecturer in International Relations, University of Sussex

Dr Bhabani Shankar Nayak, Lecturer, Glasgow School for Business and Society

Dr Alana Lentin, Senior Lecturer in Cultural and Social Analysis, University of Sydney

Dr Charlie Masquelier, Lecturer in Sociology, University of Surrey

Dr Ruth Charnock, Lecturer in English Literature, University of Lincoln

Dr. Rebecca Searle, Lecturer, University of Brighton

Dr Doug Haynes - Lecturer in American Literature, University of Sussex

Dr Paul O'Connnell, Reader in Law, SOAS, University of London

Dr Matt Dawson, Lecturer in Sociology, University of Glasgow

Dr Lucy Finchett-Maddock, Lecturer in Law, University of Brighton

Dr Nadine El-Enany, Lecturer in Law, Birkbeck, University of London

Dr Ben Jones, Lecturer in modern British history, University of East Anglia

Dr Tamsin Hinton-Smith, Lecturer in Sociolog, University of Sussex

Dr Luke Cooper, Lecturer in International Relations, University of Richmond

Dr Jennifer Cooke, Lecturer in English, Loughborough University & Sussex Alumni.

Dr Tish Marrable, Lecturer in Social Work, University of Sussex

Dr Tom Hickey, Chair, UCU Coordinating Committee, University of Brighton

Dr Jeffery R. Webber, Lecturer, Queens Mary University, London

Dr Louise Purbrick, School of Humanities, University of Brighton

Dr Synne Laastad-Dyvik, AT International Relations, University of Sussex

Dr Cherine Hussein, Research Scholar, Council for British Research in the Levant

Dr Maïa Pal, AT in Sociology, University of Sussex

Dr Chris Kempshall, AT, History, University of Sussex

Dr Yuliya Yurchenko, Associate Researcher CGPE (Sussex), Lecturer in International Business (Greenwich)

Dr Kerem Nisancioglu, Visiting Lecturer, University of Westminster

Dr Shamira A. Meghani, former Tutorial Fellow, School of English (now University of Leeds)

Dr Andrei Gomez-Suarez, Research Associate, Centre for Criminology, University of Oxford

Dr. Nikolas Funke, University of St. Andrews

Dr Joanne Lee, Senior Lecturer in Fine Art, Nottingham Trent University

 

Kit Eves, Global Studies and University of Sussex Library

 

Patricia MacManus, Chair of Moulsecoomb UCU at the Uni. of Brighton, UCU NEC Southern Regional Rep

 

Daniel Watson, AT and Ph.D. Candidate in International Relations, University of Sussex

 

Pedro Salgado, Dphil candidate, IR department, University of Sussex

 

Frances Thomson, PhD Candidate, International Relations, University of Sussex

 

Beatrice Chateauvert-Gagnon, PhD Candidate, University of Sussex

 

Steffan Wynn-Jones, PhD Candidate, International Relations, University of Sussex

 

Tom Southerden, PhD Student, Law, University of Sussex

 

Andrea Brock, PhD Candidate International Relations, University of Sussex

 

Nancy Turgeon, PhD Candidate International Relations, University of Sussex

 

Rose Holmes, AT and PhD researcher, Department of History, University of Sussex

 

Erica Consterdine, AT, PhD student, Department of Politics, University of Sussex

 

Joseph Ronan, Associate Tutor & PhD Student, School of English, University of Sussex

 

Phil Homburg, AT Philosophy, University of Sussex

 

Sam Appleton, AT and PhD Candidate, International Relations, University of Sussex

 

Richard Weir, AT, Philosophy, University of Sussex

 

Tanya Kant, PhD student, Media, Music and Film, University of Sussex

 

Sahil Dutta, AT and PhD Candidate, International Relations, University of Sussex

 

Shadreck Mwale, PhD Candidate Sociology, University of Sussex

 

Tom Martin, AT and PhD Candidate, International Relations, University of Sussex

 

Tim Carter, AT, Politics/Philosophy, University of Sussex

 

Neil Dooley, AT and PhD Candidate, University of Sussex

 

Adam Fishwick, PhD Candidate, University of Sussex

 

Sanjeedah Choudhury, Associate Tutor, Psychology, University of Sussex

 

Stella Sims, PhD student, Media and Film, University of Sussex

 

Richard Lane, PhD student, International Relations, University of Sussex

 

Zac Rowlinson, PhD student, School of English, University of Sussex

 

Grainne O'Connell, AT, History and International Development, University of Sussex

 

Luke Walker, Associate Tutor in English, University of Sussex

 

Rebecca Partos, AT, PhD student, Department of Politics, University of Sussex

 

Benjamin Litherland AT/PhD student MFM, University of Sussex

 

Frances Hubbard, PhD student and AT, Department of Media, Film and Music

 

Ana FitzSimons, PhD Student and Associate Tutor, University of East Anglia

 

Viviane Lucia Fluck, PhD Student, University of East Anglia

 

Alex Casper Cline, PhD Candidate, Anglia Ruskin University

 

Juliette Harkin, PhD Student, University of East Anglia

 

Birgit Hofstaetter, PhD Candidate Philosophy, University of Brighton

 

Holly Phillips, PhD Candidate, University of Otago, New Zealand

 

Andy Lockhart, PhD candidate, Department of Town and Regional Planning, University of Sheffield

 

Anne Templeton, University of Sussex

 

Paula Hearsum, University of Brighton

 

Alice Gibson, Library assistant, University of Sussex

 

Hannah Elsisi, Alumnus

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Business Analyst - Banking - London - £550 - £650

£550 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Business Analyst - Traded Credit Risk - Investmen...

Data Insight Manager - Marketing

£32000 - £35000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based o...

Data Centre Engineer - Linux, Redhat, Solaris, SAN, Puppet

£55000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A financial software vendor at the forefro...

.NET Developer

£600 per day: Harrington Starr: .NET Developer C#, WPF,BLL, MSMQ, SQL, GIT, SQ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Letters: The West flounders in the Middle East morass

Independent Voices
David Tennant as Hamlet  

To vote no or not to vote no, that is the question... Although do celebrities really have the answer?

David Lister
All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans