This Week’s Letters – 13th February 2011


Greetings to Readers of Newsnet Scotland

I have been reading articles on this site for some time now and I have to say that I am impressed with what I have seen so far – the standard of the articles is extremely high and I have learned many things I was previously unaware of.

As a Scot currently based in the United States of America (and having spent a number of years working abroad before my most recent assignment), my access to news from the ‘Auld Country’ is generally limited to what I can find on the internet.

For the SNP to win an overall majority in the upcoming elections in May, they need to convince locations which are currently against the independence agenda – one such area that I am aware of (since my family live there) is Dunbartonshire where, I believe, up to 11,000 people depend upon HM Naval Base Clyde (Source: an article in the Scotsman from April 2009).

Given the fact that the policies of the SNP Government include nuclear disarmament, it must be clearly explained how these many thousands of people are to be re-employed – it is completely understandable that people who depend on the bases at Faslane and Coulport for their livelihood would be nervous of anything that would threaten their jobs, especially in the current economic climate.

I have yet to see any suggestions to address these fears and I suspect that, without a sensible and clearly thought-out plan which explains how the closure of the bases on the Clyde would be handled with respect to employment, the chances of the SNP making in-roads in this area are small.

Do readers of this site have any thoughts on this?  I would dearly like to see this issue debated.

I have also noticed that the comments on this site are generally from pro-Independence contributors.  It would be good to have more comments from people of other beliefs and viewpoints so that the exchanges become more than just self-congratulatory partisanship and could develop into genuine constructive debate.

I think we should be encouraging opposing views and that we should be careful not to treat those with differing views as either stupid or uneducated.  If we present sound and reasoned arguments in favour of an independent Scotland to participants of currently differing viewpoints and actively encourage them to share their own views, we will perhaps manage to bring some converts into the fold.

We, as a country, need reasoned and informed debate in order to ensure that people are armed with the facts and fully understand the implications of independence prior to the elections in May.

I was very impressed to see an article by the First Minister last week (a remarkable achievement for Newsnet Scotland) and I would dearly love to see articles from other party leaders in Scotland – would it be possible to invite them to write a piece outlining their views on the way ahead for Scotland?

Congratulations to all involved for an excellent web site – it’s good to have somewhere to go on-line to keep up to date with the goings-on in my much-beloved homeland.

Impartial Observer

Newsnet Scotland encourages contributions from readers on any subject.  We will publish a collection of these letters once a week.  To submit a letter simply compose it in a word document then hover your mouse over the Opinion tab and click on the Reader’s Letters – Submit menu to send your letter.