Alexander McKay interprets George Orwell as saying that patriotism is love of one's country and nationalism hatred of other countries (Christianity and human values, Letters, March 12).

If he wishes to use this as an argument against proponents of Scottish independence he was partly answered in advance by Angela Haggerty: "While I still hesitate to self-label as a nationalist I'm less bothered about others slapping the label on me" (The pond life who bully don't care about Yes or No, Comment, March 5). Personally I joined the SNP as the "Scottish National Party" in 1950. There was not then and there is not now any "ist" in its title but, like Angela Haggerty, I have stopped worrying about others slapping the label on.

As for hating other countries, like many other SNP members and supporters I have lived and worked in other countries, have sought to serve them well while doing so and wish them well. A big motive for Scottish independence is so that Scotland may play a constructive role in world affairs, seeking to use Scottish resources and ingenuity to help others as well as to better ourselves.

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David Stevenson

Edinburgh