YOU report Alasdair Gray as telling his audience: “This will be the third referendum, and at each of the past referendums, the vote for Scottish independence has increased” (“Gray encouraged by No camp’s promises”, The Herald, August 14).
For a polymath, this is surprising ignorance, as the two previous referendums were, in fact, both on proposals for devolution.
Nor is this mere pedantry, unless the verdict of the Scottish public is to be dismissed as a matter of mere mistaken identity, or that the settled will of the Scottish people for devolution was not that at all, but a Trojan Horse for independence (which was certainly not on the ballot paper).
On the contrary, in 1997 the people of Scotland voted for – and the late Donald Dewar and the Labour Government delivered – a Scottish Parliament with powers over Scotland’s domestic affairs, services and institutions, supported by and within the shared security and responsibilities of the United Kingdom. The devolution referendum was specifically a vote for the best of both worlds.
A Yes vote would be an insult to the memory of Donald Dewar and to so many others who campaigned for devolution as a rational and practical alternative to independence. Conversely, a No vote is the only vote which accepts and honours their efforts, and the verdict of Scots in those earlier referendums.
Peter A Russell,