Star letter: Neither side will emerge from the vote Scot-free
Both campaigns around Scottish independence have been horribly mismanaged considering the gravity of what is at stake.
The Better Together campaign has left it far too late to offer inducements, which now look like desperation, and the Scots know that the reputation of Westminster politicians for keeping their promises is abysmal. They must realise that the rest of the UK will react badly to these inducements and probably overturn them.
Those in favour of independence have had decades to formulate a strategy and yet, in the final days, have no coherent strategy at all. Such a fundamental issue should have been foremost in their thoughts for years, not weeks, and this speaks volumes about their probable incompetence in making a success of independence.
I feel for the Scots – half my ancestors are Scottish. I would not know which way to vote but I know that Scotland has always leaned more to the left of the political spectrum than England and, as this country continues to move further to the right, the Scots may feel this is their only chance to escape.
Salmond ignores the rest of the UK
Even if the Yes campaign wins, that only gives the SNP a mandate to start negotiations for withdrawal from the Union. At most there will be two million votes in favour of Scotland leaving a Union of around 60 million people.
What does Alex Salmond think the rest of us feel about him attempting to break up the Union? Answer: nothing. As long as he gets his high from this, the long-term future of Scotland and the Union is not being logically factored in.
Salmond is promising he will get all manner of wonderful things for Scotland from any negotiations that would have to ensue from a Yes vote and it would be up to the Scots to put forward their proposals as to how they could withdraw from the Union.
In effect, they would need to petition the UK Government to find out what terms the UK might be prepared to talk about. Perhaps Salmond could start by offering to discuss buying back the Royal Bank of Scotland from the British taxpayers – otherwise there will be no significant Scottish-owned banks in his nirvana.
He also arrogantly tells the rest of the UK that it will be in our interests to enter a currency union with an independent Scotland. Cloud cuckoo land, Alex, and I doubt you would like to put that to a vote in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. But we may well suggest to our politicians that this must be a prerequisite before any agreements are reached.
What on earth is an accidental landlord?
The Government’s move to bring in regulation for part of the buy-to-let market to comply with the EU mortgage directive is contradictory. Its lack of clarity and ill-thought-out approach is entirely in line with much FSA/FCA regulation.
Merely defining an accidental landlord is an impossibility.
The suggestion that either an inherited property or a former home automatically creates a regulatory burden when they come to remortgage to a normally unregulated buy-to-let is ludicrous.
Assets which were personal can transfer to become business assets and the start of a property portfolio. To suggest that a first investment property will forever be subject to regulated mortgages is also ludicrous.
Of course, in reality an accidental landlord who is letting out a property on a residential mortgage or has obtained consent to let has a mortgage that is already subject to the regulations.
All buy-to-let deals need regulating
All buy-to-let mortgages need to be regulated to deter investors. The sooner investors are encouraged to put their property portfolios on the market, the sooner prices will fall and allow the many millions of would-be first-time buyers to get on the property ladder.