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Independence

Lively debate

Dear Ed, – I very rarely write to newspapers but with such a major issue as the Scottish referendum coming up, I felt compelled to do so.

In the run up to the vote in September, it is refreshing to see the level of debate that this matter has generated.

Friends, relations and family, for and against independence, have made their views known and I believe it would be of some interest to readers to actually hear what the voters on the ground are saying, rather than just the propaganda that has been emanating from the key players in the yes and no camps.

Some of the debate has left more questions than answers; for example, one friend tells me that the founders of the SNP originally did not have complete independence as one of their aims, rather more devolved power, so why the change now he asks.

Another relation has severe reservations about why the SNP have pushed for such a vote, when many in their party believe that they should have stuck to their original aim – as much devolved power as possible.

Many believe that Alex Salmond has been put under pressure by SNP activists and indeed the opposition parties, to have this vote and the fact that he has waited to month 53 of the 60 months that the SNP will be in power, has made many suspicious that he is not confident about the outcome.

A friend informs me that the ‘yes’ campaign meeting he attended was mainly attended by SNP supporters; he felt it was stage-managed and any implied criticism of the ‘yes’ position was unwelcomed.

With regard to the Better Together meetings, the consensus opinion was that there was a far better opportunity for debate, with Labour, Tory, Lib Dem, don’t knows and other political parties’ supporters in attendance.

The debate was reported to be of a high standard and everyone was given their opportunity to contribute to it. SNP supporters in attendance also had their opportunity to put forward their case.

Giving the vote to 16 and 18-year-olds in the referendum, was thought to be an excellent idea.

However it was noted that a recent poll of these ‘new voters’ showed that the majority were not in favour of an independent Scotland.

A major concern was also that personality politics were coming to the fore, with comments about poor or good standards of debates by key players, taking away from the actual issues themselves.

One friend thought that the millions that the SNP had received from the lottery winners, perhaps gave an unfair advantage to the yes campaign in the publicity stakes.

Another friend said that he had followed the polls and that a 60/40 no vote, on average, still seemed the most likely outcome.

A yes campaign friend said that we should vote to give independence a go as it must be better than what we have now.

Another said that Scotland would be jumping off a cliff, with the risk factor being too high to gamble upon and that we should be thinking about generations to come, who could suffer if the decision proves to be catastrophic.

I have no doubt that in the last few weeks of campaigning, that the press and media will be bombarded by contributions from both camps.

All I would ask is that everyone who is eligible takes the opportunity to vote in this momentous ballot and studies all the facts before making their decision. – Yours etc.,

JOHN MULDOON,

Hemmingen Court,

Carluke.

Carluke’s past

A long history

Dear Ed, – Better late than never! Re article on saving The High Mill, (Gazette April 16):

Around twenty years ago several enlightened Carluke residents tried unsuccessfully to have the Mill saved.

Let’s hope for success this time, as it is claimed such a restoration will transform the town.

An ancient town, whose charter granted by King Robert 1 is dated 1315, Carluke deserves no less.

It is a town with a significant past.

As well as being a centre of culinary excellence (jeely and bacon) it has produced a polymath, an ordnance survey pioneer,a Puritan army officer turned Devil’s Disciple, three VC heroes, two WW1 and one WW2 heroes, and several well known footballers.

Dr. Daniel Reid, as well as a surgeon, was an eminent geologist, a palaeontologist and historian.

Of course everyone knows of Major-General William Roy, educated at Lanark Grammar, the first ordnance survey cartographer.

Follow that with the Jekyll and Hyde character Major Thomas Weir, born Kirkton and said still to haunt the area, a seemingly devout and pious man who along with his sister Jean sold his soul to Satan, both eventually executed for witchcraft. Last, but not least, a much loved local character, town crier and chimney sweep Punkie (William Ewing). A remarkable record. – Yours etc.,

MARGARET YOUNG,

Castle Yett,

Biggar.

Owenstown

Site was wrong

Dear Ed, – I was actually present at the whole council debate on the Owenstown project; that is very unusual and shows that South Lanarkshire Council did consider the Owenstown project seriously.

There was extensive debate on the project and in this debate politicians of all persuasions asked a wide variety of questions. Then everybody was asked to decide on the project. Amazingly, every politician of every political persuasion rejected the project.

This very rarely happens in politics and gives a clue as to why the projected site of Owenstown might not have been the best choice.

The rejection of the project was by no means weak-willed nor was it Nimbyism. It was that the site itself was deemed unsuitable for such a project for many different reasons.

However, I wish the Foundation well and maybe they will find a more suitable location elsewhere which might be more successful. – Yours etc.,

ED ARCHER,

Lanark.

With thanks

To LGS pupils

Dear Ed, – We would like to express our sincere thanks for the recent donation we received from Lanark Grammar from the sale of the S2 pupils’ Damn Delicious calendars.

We are extremely grateful for this donation and, as a small local charity, are delighted that the school chose to nominate us as a benefactor of this fundraising project. Our intention is to use the money in the Lanark Moor Sensory Garden thus benefiting the local community and hopefully some of the staff and students will get to enjoy the difference that the donation will make.

We would like to congratulate all pupils and staff involved in the project on the production of a lovely calendar. – Yours etc.,

NIALL MCSHANNON,

Managing Director,

Clydesdale Community Initiatives.

with thanks

All wonderful!

Dear Ed, – I would like to say a big thank you to all the wonderful people who helped when I had a nasty fall, resulting in a dislocated shoulder, at the Carluke Filling Station on Good Friday.

To the customers who picked me up, helped me to regain my feet and helped me to a chair. To the staff who also looked after my wife - who is partially disabled. Well done, Carluke.

To the ambulance crew, Craig and Michael, who managed to control the pain and took me to Wishaw General.

To the team at Wishaw emergency who tended to me and reset my dislocated shoulder.

The doctors and nurses could not have been more helpful or kinder to me.

My shoulder is now getting better – many thanks to ALL. Aren’t people wonderful? – Yours etc.,

JOHN LYNCH (79),

via email.