HOW much more bankrupt and bereft of principles and policies can Scottish Labour possibly become? A rhetorical question since I know the answer already: as much as necessary to survive even as a spent force.

I am referring to the New Year messages from the party leaders at Holyrood. Tory and Liberal statements were utterly unremarkable. Nicola Sturgeon promises to do the best she can to protect the best interests of Scotland and its people throughout the Brexit manipulations. A principled and worthy position reflecting her mandate and the express wishes of the nation state of Scotland. She can do nothing other if it is accepted that the people of Scotland are sovereign – Declaration of Arbroath!

Kezia Dugdale, on the other hand, shows complete disregard for the wishes and hopes of these same people. She pledges her party to work for retaining Scotland in dUK (disunited) rather than in the EU. This is the same party which as part of Better Together argued that it was necessary to vote No in 2014 referendum in order to ensure that Scotland stayed in EU. That worked out well, didn’t it? And this is the same party, in Scotland anyway, which campaigned to remain in the EU in the more recent referendum. Her double-speak and duplicity and that of her party is breathtaking in its cynical arrogance and opportunism.

Doubtless she and her party will now go on with the two other Unionist parties in Holyrood to embrace the worst elements of the hard-line Brexiters including their ethnic scapegoating tendencies. They will all campaign now for Brexit in total disregard for the wishes of Scotland’s people.

There can surely now be no doubt that Scottish Labour has subordinated itself to Westmonster and all its trappings. That is where Scottish Labour believes sovereignty to lie, as it has always believed. There is certainly no attachment or belief in the concept of the Scottish people being sovereign. It is time for this un-principled lot to pack their bags and go! Hopefully the council elections will help achieve this.

May I wish all your readers the very best for 2017 and let us all work harder for the cause in what looks like being a momentous year.

Still Yes!

John F Davidson

THE ironic contradictions emanating from Kezia Dugdale are so obvious, yet she does not recognise them (Salmond’s New Year call to end arms deals, The National, December 31). The UK seems to be more important to her than the EU. For Scotland’s “future prosperity and security” we must remain in the UK. Then, she attacks the UK Tories “reckless Brexit gamble”. Indeed, it is reckless, but Kezia does not say why. Probably, it is because it will be harmful to Scotland’s “future prosperity and security”. Yet a Tory England is turning in on itself and becoming Ukipped, and Labour are imploding even further in Scotland and down south beyond the Tweed.

So why stay in a UK which is dominated by reckless Tories taking Brexit gambles? Is she not aware that UK Labour under Corbyn, her leader, is also for Brexit and even wanted an immediate invoking of Article 50? Very reckless indeed.

So, how can the UK be, in her words, “good for our economy ... and public services”? Inflation is on the increase due to the falling pound. The Chancellor has indicated that the UK deficit, annual and historical, is increasing, and the UK Government is still moving ahead with vanity projects and Trident renewal. And we have not left the EU yet.

Unless we in Scotland have continued access to the Single Market, we will be thirled to a UK set-up that is increasingly introspective, xenophobic and undemocratic.

Labour’s own internal polling shows that they could be “all but wiped out” at council elections in May, 2017. Perhaps Labour north of the Tweed needs to re-orientate its focus away from the “Union” and return to its former ILP roots.

English and Welsh Brexit, Scottish SNP and other pro-independence parties and groupings have squeezed Kezia’s branch party out. This undying loyalty to the UK is killing Labour in Scotland. Is Kezia Dugdale next to being replaced in an internal coup?

John Edgar

THE annual fawning and false modesty of honours list recipients shows once again its shallowness and venality.

Invariably prime ministers use the patronage to give tat gongs to cronies, donors, failed politicians and other worthies. This year has been no exception. David Cameron once gave one to his barber for “services to hairdressing”.

Those receiving them bang on about how “humble” they feel. What is being remembered and “celebrated” is bloodthirsty conquest and white supremacy.

The concentration camp was first invented by the British Empire during the Boer War. Colonialism wiped out the entire native population of Tasmania. At least 50 million Indians starved under British rule. The Labour Government of MacDonald dropped 500 tonnes of bombs to maintain rule there. The later government of Attlee rearmed Japanese imperial troops to reinstate colonial rule in Vietnam and Indonesia.

Those previously “honoured” have included Fred Goodwin, Jimmy Saville, Rolf Harris, Cyril Smith and Robert Mugabe.

The Empire is now history trying to rewrite and “honour” its shameful acts with gongs. Those accepting are accessories after the fact to British imperial crimes.

Alan Hinnrichs


I LIVE in Scotland and can easily tell when summer is over, so when I’m planning trips using the services of Caledonian MacBrayne in summer 2017, I don’t need them to tell me 2016 summer is over!  In the mid-winter of 2016, I dream of walking on the beaches of Lewis and Harris and so, to plan ahead, I look at the CalMac time table for 2017. I select “Summer Timetables” only to be told that 2016 is over. Well there’s a surprise! 

Is it that, because they are just about the only operator, we, the potential customers, have to put up with what they do and don’t do?  The people involved in the leisure industry that rely on CalMac to bring their customers must be thrilled that people can’t book ahead because they don’t know when, or even if, a ferry runs!  CalMac must get their act together. They are a Scottish company heavily financed by public Scottish money. They must provide a proper information service. This is 2017, not 1917!

I am unhappy to say the least, at their inability to grasp the concept of the world of information technology.  Sorry, Harris, it is easier to plan and book a trip to the Amazon! 
Christopher Bruce