THE Growth Commission Report in all its aspects was proclaimed by Andrew Wilson as a basis for debate. But in a lot of ways it hasn’t been positively debated, it’s been criticised by those who have different views, and in a highly critical fashion.

There’s nothing to stop them putting out their own papers, and so they have. But why criticise each other? Pretty much any well-put-together plan will work for independent Scotland. It’s not governments that make a country work, it’s the people – we, all of us, are Scotland’s real assets.

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The GCR did indeed appeal to “the establishment” and was precisely what was needed to move independence on a step. It’s neoliberal in its nature, well, the establishment is neoliberal. Anything really “out there” would have them scoffing their boots off. Personally I want our own currency from Day One, and Modern Monetary Theory to be brought in and applied. But the same old same old will work too.

As far as currency is concerned, sterlingisation is grand, it’s fine, it’s safe. But the SNP should ALSO – IN ADDITION – have a well firmed-up plan for our own currency without regard to the six tests, and be able to apply it overnight if neccessary, in a similar fashion to the velvet divorce of Czechoslavakia, where a shared currency betweem the Czech Republic and Slovakia quickly fell apart and they went their own separate ways on currency.

It’s one of the reasons I keep pushing the parallel currency from Day One – it really does give the best of both worlds. Sterling for “safety”, our own currency for those that want it, and can switchover as and when they want.

Peter Piper

THE National’s attempt to swing the SNP conference vote on behalf of the Growth Commission resolution is a clear but unfortunate message that it is not the voice of the movement but the voice of the SNP leadership. It is probably an indication of how much dismay there is with this policy that you felt you had to intervene to help the leadership out.

This is not just about currency, although that is central; it is about a whole post-independence economic strategy that delegates are being asked to swallow and that few of them will be able to defend when our opponents spell out what it really means.

On currency, there are only four countries in the world who use the system that is being proposed – ie, using another state’s currency without a currency union or any access to a central bank – and two of these, Equador and Montenegro, are at present in severe economic crisis with no control over monetary policy.

If conference votes for the Growth Commission policies without amendment, they will have crossed a crucial line. The SNP will have become a centre-right party not a centre-left party. I have no doubt that this does not reflect the wider movement or the SNP membership, but that will be Nicola Sturgeon’s legacy as she tries to make this a confidence issue. She will no doubt produce lots of platitudes about social justice but the turn to the right will be fundamental and will be deeply divisive in the independence movement.

Isobel Lindsay

I AM in complete agreement with Tony Perridge’s letter and George Kerevan’s column with regard to the Growth Commission report as published in Monday’s edition. As an independence supporter I have never felt quite as depressed as I was reading Nicola Sturgeon’s article. To seek to replace the positive transformative potential of independence with a neo-liberal clone of the British state is truly heart-breaking.

It is neo-liberalism which has brought us to the cusp of ecological disaster and reduced our nobility as a species to little more than savages. What needs to be understood is that at the basis of ecology is economics. As long as we perpetuate an economic system which has profit as its driving force, then the planet’s natural resources will continue to be exploited until there is nothing left to exploit and human life can no longer be sustained.

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This is the crossroads we are currently at, and failure to grasp this cannot lead to any improvement in the situation. To quote George: “Expect the radical millennials to ask if an independent Scotland is willing to deliver a systemic break with the economic system that threatens the extinction of life on the planet, and which is driving human beings literally mad by turning them into consumer automatons for the sake of profit” (The SNP needs to make sure it won’t fall behind..., April 22).

Like Tony, I won’t be voting for independence if the Growth Commission report is what’s on offer. As Tony says: “The whole reason for independence is to have a clean sheet on which to write a new positive and egalitarian ethos, free from the control of Westminster and the grasping hands of the corrupt financial industry.”

I have long suspected, but tried hard not to believe, that Nicola Sturgeon is an impediment to, and not a facilitator for, independence, and support for the Growth Commission report confirms this. Like Tony, my optimism has been dashed, but I can only hold on to the knowledge that there people like Tony and George who understand the situation, and give my vote to the Greens who seem to be the most capable of providing a solution.

Solomon Steinbett
Maryhill, Glasgow

I AGREE with the bulk of Tony Perridge’s letter. By all means let’s have a clear link from today’s scenario to reassure us all about existing finances, but the goal must be a dramatic and clear shift away from the current banker-driven system. The excellent suggestions and ideas coming from Common Weal give exciting options to be considered. We will lose support if our medium- to long-term policy is seen as “more of the same”.

James Macintyre