Brexit epitomises the folly of Westminster two-party system
READING Ian Mcconnell’s article (“Brexit fears at record but Government lacks leadership to call a halt”, The Herald, October 12) it struck me that Brexit is the ultimate folly of the Westminster two-party system.
Brexit is the result of a perceived threat to the continued dominance of the Tory Party in Westminster.
Over several decades the Westminster government has evolved into a two-party system where each party is capable is of achieving an overall majority at a General Election. Government has now deteriorated to the position that it proceeds on the basis that the current government is trying to resolve problems resulting from the failures of the previous government.
The captive electorate is always paying for the follies of the last government before reaping the true rewards for their sacrifices when the new government’s policies eventually reveal the pot of gold at the end of its rainbow.
Of course the situation turns out to be much worse than expected, dogged from the start by the failures of the previous government’s policies the new government fails to deliver.
Eventually the voters get fed up and reject the sitting government only to discover that they have elected the only opposition party and the merry-go-round starts again.
Brexit is the epitome of this tragic comedy of errors.
37 Echline Place,
IAN Mcconnell reports on the concerns of business over Brexit uncertainty. Yet the UK and EU negotiating teams know an eventual deal is likely to be mutually beneficial and so will be secured, not least because of the benefits to all sides in seeing an end to that uncertainty.
In Scotland, however, things are more complicated. After two years of agitation over Brexit, the SNP has still not deigned to properly explain what the alternative for an independent Scotland would be. Yes we are all clear that for Nicola Sturgeon and her colleagues the best deal that Brexit can deliver will always be rejected by them as the worst, in their continued efforts to argue for independence off the back of it. However, the likeliest outcome of a successful push for independence would be, and arguably always has been, an extended, potentially indefinite period outside both the UK and the EU, as the powers that be in Brussels consider how Scotland’s public finances would have to be restructured to satisfy them. Even then, a number of EU national governments, including Spain, will be cautious about setting any precedents that could encourage their own separatist movements, so would likely block our entry.
Is the SNP position that its obsession with independence justifies casting ourselves adrift from both the UK and the EU? Keith Howell,
PERHAPS the notion of holding national referendums – on considerations such as independence for Scotland, or the UK leaving the EU – only “once in a generation” has robust merit in terms of a state remaining governable, whether or not a vociferous minority, disagreeing with the results, continue to agitate for naïve politics, such as a new “People’s Vote” on, for instance, the considerations mentioned above.
As I have put forward on this forum before, re-running referendums in the hope of getting a reversal of previous results that you didn’t agree with would be neverending chaos threatening the stability of society.
Therefore, let’s give referendum decisions – whether you agree with them or not – adequate time to “work out”; let us remember that our present degree of integration with the EU has taken almost 50 years, to “work out”; thus, everyone now supporting the UK Government’s attempt to work out Brexit for a generation – and I voted Remain – is the reasonable, adult path to take.
7Whirlie Road, Crosslee, Renfrewshire.
THERE are some very straightforward facts to answer Douglas Cowe’s basic questions on independence (Letters, October 12). ● Far from being ignored, Andrew Willson’s Growth Commission was debated at three all-day assemblies, involving hundreds of participants, with more to come.
● The GERS “deficit” of £13 billion includes several items that don’t get spent in Scotland such as a theoretical £3.6bn a year for Scotland’s “share” of interest on the UK national debt or the £3.1bn charged as a pro-rata share of UK defence when less than half that amount is spent in Scotland. With oil prices around $85 a barrel, if an independent Scotland levied taxes at the UK 2010 levels it would bring in £6bn a year. Combined, these items would almost wipe out the GERS deficit.
● It has emerged that the No vote on 2014 was built on a tissue of lies and, having been taken out of the EU against our democratic wishes, the SNP now holds two democratic mandates in 2016 and 2017 backing another independence referendum ● Small nations have much greater say in EU decision-making, and often have a veto, whereas Scotland is regularly ignored without any say on UK decisions such as the Brexit negotiations.
● Scotland can have the same type of defence set-up as other small northern European countries at half the cost the UK charges Scotland under the GERS figures.
Economically, the UK remains the most unequal country in Europe whereby London sucks government infrastructure investment at the expense of the rest of the UK. Also, Scotland’s GDP per head is greater than France or Germany’s.
Watson Crescent, Edinburgh.
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THE SNP conference reminded me of the kind of religious gathering where bearded men in weird clothing roar support for such unlikely things as “end global warming, poverty, abortion, etc, now” or in this case, “independence, now”.
There was even the same competitive moral tone. Nicola Sturgeon compared the “mired-inlies” Brexit campaign with the 2014 independence referendum where she and Alex Salmond had been “consistently straight with Scotland’s voters”. I know religious slogans should not be treated as rational statements but there are limits: the White Paper and oil projections were so preposterous we were only spared economic ruin by the fact that the pair decisively lost the independence vote.
Rev Dr John Cameron,
10 Howard Place, St Andrews.