• Print

‘Yes’ in the West

In response to:

How the Scots Are Still Scaring Britain from the November 6, 2014 issue

To the Editors:

There is a small error in Ian Jack’s excellent article on the Scottish referendum and beyond, “How the Scots Are Still Scaring Britain” [NYR, November 6, 2014]. One of the “Yes-voting areas” is named as East Dunbartonshire. As Ian Jack will doubtless know, this should have read West Dunbartonshire. They may be close neighbors but the contrasts are stark. Much of East Dunbartonshire consists of affluent suburbs and dormitory settlements of Glasgow. West Dunbartonshire meanwhile still suffers from postindustrial blight and its attendant social problems. To illustrate: in the 2008–2010 Scottish Local Authorities’ league table of life expectancy for males at age sixty-five, East Dunbartonshire ranks first out of thirty-two. West Dunbartonshire is twenty-ninth. As Ian Jack pointed out, “the Yes vote…did best where people were poorest.”

Incidentally, in 2006 the Calton district of “Yes-voting” Glasgow had an average male life expectancy of fifty-four. In Iraq at that time it was sixty-seven.

Charlie Docherty
Dumbarton
West Dunbartonshire, Scotland