The game is afoot?
Sir - It is official an independent Scotland cannot use sterling as a currency. The response of the Scottish Government was consistent with any other criticism in the form of abuse and accusation of scare-mongering. However this time there were threats of reneging on debt payment, both answers guaranteed to damage Scotland’s international reputation, not to mention borrowing potential.
There is no greater bond between people than that created when comrades fight side by side against the common foe to defend their homeland. Such a bond has been established in Britain over many years throughout the world, and cannot easily be broken by ambitious politicians.
Could the First Minister of Scotland really believe the demand to break up the United Kingdom would not attract opposition from the rest of Britain?
It would be expected of any Prime Minister to defend the country he represents from breaking apart, to the detriment of the People, which is why he now rallies the country to unity.
The game would appear to be on and our hobby politicians may have to face professionals, and we can expect even demand answers from the Nationalist camp.
A week is a long time in politics
Sir - A week is indeed a long time in politics. One week the Prime Minister is “lovebombing” the Scots with his “good cop routine”, the next his Chancellor, Mr Balls and Mr Alexander are acting as “bad cop”, ruling out a formal currency union in the event of Scottish independence.
As the polls narrow such acts of desperation are to be expected, but it is a dangerous game the UK Government is playing as it would of course leave them having to pick up the entire UK debt.
A currency union clearly makes economic sense for both parties.
The UK balance of trade deficit is £35billion a year and Scottish oil and gas exports amount to £30billion, with Scotland being the second-biggest export market for the rest of the UK after the US.
For Scotland not to continue to use sterling would double the sterling zone trade imbalance and have a massive negative impact on the currency. In addition, transaction costs will lead to businesses in the rest of the UK losing hundreds of millions of pounds and destroying jobs. It is up to Messrs Osborne, Alexander and Balls to explain to employees in the rest of the UK the threat that non entry to a currency union will have on their livelihoods.
Maintaining the currency union post independence will help Scotland with trade and energy sales to the rest of the UK, and in addition help the rest of the UK maintain the sterling zone’s balance of payments at a manageable level.
For the rest of the UK to try and prevent Scotland continue to use sterling would be tantamount to economic suicide, effectively cutting off its nose to spite its face and is yet another example of scaremongering we Scots are intelligent enough to see through.
Leamington Terrace, Edinburgh
Can you help?
Sir - Has anyone any used/unwanted dolls’ clothes and toys, crochet or knitting patterns they don’t use any more as my daughter is leaning to knit and crochet and we are finding these really hard to find.
1 Hillcrest, Thirsk, North Yorks, YO7 4 JJJJ
sting in tale
Here to help
Sir - News that Robert Redford has directed a movie about a building named after Polio vaccine developer Jonas Salk is a timely reminder that while Polio touched the lives of millions, including stars like Redford, the sting in the tale is the late effects Polio and Post Polio Syndrome (PPS) developed by thousands of ordinary people in the UK who remain in need of support.
Redford had a brush with Polio aged 11 and he is not alone.
For 75 years since its inception in 1939, The British Polio Fellowship has been supporting people and it’s easy to forget Salk’s vaccine was an event of global significance in the fight for Polio eradication, which up to the 60s had seen every ‘cure’ from electric shock therapy to cobra venom considered.
Redford said: “I was around when the polio epidemic was still a threat. I had a mild case of it myself when I was 11 years old and fortunately it was mild enough not to cause me any real damage.
“Polio was part of the picture so when Jonas Salk invented the vaccine, it was just earth-shattering news.”
Over 120,000 ordinary people in the UK living with PPS have not been so lucky. Fellowship members know only too well what this terrible disease can do. PPS is a neurological condition characterised by weakness, fatigue and pain. Difficult to diagnose, there is also no test for it.
Fortunately, The British Polio Fellowship is here. For Polio survivors facing PPS, to those in the Asian community living with Polio, or medical professionals seeking information we are a call or a click away. Visit www.britishpolio.org.uk or call us on 0800 018 0586.
Ted Hill MBE
CEO, The British Polio Fellowship (via email).