Watching England beat Germany just a few hours after Ian Blackford got another ticking off from the Speaker for his overblown, embarrassing rhetoric made me realise just how far England is pulling way ahead of Scotland in many areas including football, education, business, culture, optimism and ambition. You can’t blame the SNP for all of this, in many ways they take their lead from the electorate in order to win votes. But they have accelerated the decline. We haven’t been challenged, we have been fed excuses, told someone else is always to blame and taught that mediocrity is acceptable. There has to be a better way, and it needs to come quickly. My generation of baby boomers, the people who remember how to cast off our shoulder chips and leverage our education and pride to our advantage, who gloried in our comedians and history, will be gone in the next 20years. Scotland needs a reboot. More Harry Kanes, Andrew Neils and Rishi Sunaks and fewer Blackfords, Janey God-leys and Humza Yousaf’s. ALLAN SUTHERLAND Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire

THE UK Covid-19 debt has now risen to a massive £2.19 trillion and given Scotland’s share would be approx 12 per cent, this surely ends the independence dream. Scotland could not possibly survive without the wider spread of resources of the UK. Any vision of an independent Scotland would now see a severe contraction of pensions and benefits for those living in Scotland and a bleak financial future struggling with the inherited debt. Dennis Forbes Grattan, Aberdeen.

Sir, – I find it sad that contributors on the Indy debate like Stuart Smith (Letters, June 28) seek to foster division by subjecting the family of nations of the UK to a cynical almost paranoid analysis of why there is continued desire to continue our 300-year success. Mr Smith uses the usual tiresome rhetoric trying to fire up conspiracy theories that there has to be some questionable, biased, underlying quid pro quo for Westminster wanting “to hold on to Scotland”. I can say quite honestly that I have worked,  served, celebrated and sadly mourned alongside my fellow countrymen and feel honoured and privileged to have done so. I can see Scots far from being disadvantaged or exploited, are more than well represented throughout the UK in all fields of military, industry, education, science, health, civil service and politics etc. Serving in leadership roles, up to and including the prime minister, 800,000 born Scots choose to live and work in other parts of the UK. Unless I have missed something, there is still so far a clear democratic desire expressed by the electorate of all of the UK to continue this generally mutually beneficial and supportive Union. Westminster does not have to explain anything. William Morgan, Midstocket, Aberdeen.

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