ES Views: Do Scots need another vote on independence?

Second referendum: Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon wants a second vote on independence: PA

Most Scots do not want to have a second referendum on independence. They were promised that the 2014 referendum was a once-in-a-generation decision that would be respected by all sides, and yet three years later we find ourselves talking about the prospect of another vote.

In 2014 we heard people talk about hearts over minds, taking back control, sovereignty and deciding our own future. Sound familiar? It should, because that is exactly what the Leave camp said during the EU referendum — and now look what is happening.

The call for independence is nothing more than nationalist rhetoric disguised as progressive politics but the arguments remain the same, in particular about the economy.

If the Scottish National Party is going to treat this debate with the maturity and respect it deserves, the onus is on it to prove to the people that Scotland can be economically self-reliant should it achieve independence.
Barrie Cunning, former Scottish Labour candidate for Ettrick Roxburgh and Berwickshire

It is amusing to see the Union that the Conservative Party allegedly holds so dear being torn apart.

First, former Prime Minister David Cameron fulfilled his reckless promise to hold a referendum on EU membership, which resulted in a Leave vote. Now SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon wants another referendum on Scottish independence on the basis that the Tories are denying the Scottish people access to the European single market.

It would appear that Sturgeon has a good chance of winning, given the narrowness of the defeat in 2014, and if the referendum is allowed to go ahead this may well stop the Brexit negotiations in their tracks.

Leaving the EU is already a complex issue but it will become even more so if Scotland becomes independent.

The Tories are responsible for the current state of the Union. Cameron may have set the wheels in motion but Theresa May’s refusal to take on board the concerns of those across Scotland, Ireland, London and some of the north has made a bad situation a lot worse.
Paul Donovan

Nicola Sturgeon is quite right to act upon the views of her people with her plan to hold another Scottish independence referendum. At least she was elected, unlike Theresa May, who is set to trigger Brexit, an im pending disaster which will overwhelm England for a generation.

The Brexiteers have gagged all opposition to leaving the EU as firmly as any dictatorship. And is it not time also to give London a say in its own future as part of Europe?
Susanne Groom


Some people have little left to give

I work as an unpaid administrator supporting four ladies who are organised as a workers’ co-operative running a pre-school playgroup. They have no contracts of employment and no entitlement to any remuneration.

Each year they share out what is left after paying the insurance, rent, bills and for the children’s snacks. In a good year, which they have just had, they get about £10,500.

They are incredibly committed to the children and supportive of their parents and families. But now I have to tell them that the Government is going to charge them at least £40 a year more in Class 4 National Insurance contributions and give them absolutely nothing in return.

How can it be fair to take more from people who have so little?
Rod Dingwall


Address the root of Syria's conflict

The Syria peace talks in Geneva have focused on preparing for a transition of power from Assad’s government. While this may be a desirable outcome, it is possible the Assad regime could remain in power, and even if he does go, there are no guarantees peace will follow.

Peace requires addressing the root causes of the conflict. We must support the Syrians already working towards this goal.
Caroline Brooks, Syria projects manager, International Alert


Good actors don't just begin on stage

I can’t agree with Rashid Razaq that film actors should “learn to act” by working on stage [“Denzel is so right: the best actors start on the stage”, Comment, March 10]. The skills of stagecraft are inappropriate for film, which requires a different approach.

Many American actors begin their careers working in commercials, where they can learn how the camera captures fleeting expressions. Some of the greatest screen stars such as Jennifer Lawrence and Kristen Stewart have never worked on stage. This is irrelevant to their artistry.
Peter Benson

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We need to limit traffic in the city

Air pollution in London is a killer. Each year, more than 9,500 people in the capital die prematurely from poor air quality, most of which is from motor traffic, with our children among the worst affected.

School street closures, where vehicles are restricted outside schools during pick-up and drop-off, are a successful way of reducing pollution and congestion outside the school gates, as has been seen by trials undertaken in Edinburgh and Camden.

Living Streets also recommends initiatives such as “park and stride” and walking zones, which limit traffic outside schools and help reduce pollution while encouraging children to walk — which has associated health benefits.

We fully support the Mayor’s suggestion of banning cars outside schools in London in combination with making it safer and easier to walk to school so the next generation is able to travel in a healthier, more active environment.
Tompion Platt, head of policy and communications, Living Streets

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Jose — grumble less and play more

Jose Mourinho complained about having to play an FA Cup quarter-final against Chelsea, which his team lost 1-0 on Monday evening, just three days ahead of playing a Europa League game against FC Rostov. But good teams thrive on playing several games in a short period.

In 2012 Chelsea had to play an FA Cup semi-final against Tottenham in between Champions League semi-final matches against Barcelona just a few days apart. They too had a squad depleted by injuries and suspensions. Yet they went on to beat Tottenham 5-1 at Wembley and knock Barcelona out of Europe — memorably with 10 men, after captain John Terry was sent off in Barcelona. They also went on to win both the FA Cup and Champions League that season.

Too many games for your Manchester United squad? No way, Jose.
Pavlo Thomas

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