THREE readers in Wednesday’s The National letters page complained of the, orchestrated, efforts of newspaper distributors hiding the National from view. One complained that he saw a man in a posh supermercat, in the concrete car park, Byres Road cover the National with the Guardian. What else in Byres Road, home of the perpetual student trendy and Brit Nat left? The Guardian is the Bible of the Brit left, as the Express and Mail is of the Brit Nat Right.

Maryhill is only about a mile away geographically, but a million miles or more in cultural terms. Almost every visit to the local supermercat I find bundles of the Daily Wail superimposed on the National and I always return the favour by swapping back and complain to a disinterested staff. Perhaps a more formal approach by The National would help?

Appropriately, Tesco was planted on the site of the old Maryhill Railway Station after the failure of the Labour English Co-op supermercat, which took over the SCWS with all its assets and is now under investigation for jiggery pokery, alongside its bankers. That railway station, incidentally, links to the disused and neglected underground pre Beeching railway tracks, an asset that any other European city would give its eye teeth for. The blue trains could be linked to the inner city subway, as over-subsidised London can manage nae bother.

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To return to The National complainees, another goes out of his way to ask his newsagent where The National is, my local, atween Byres Road and Maryhill Road, who tells me the distributor only allows him six copies and I have heard that complaint elsewhere. Menzie’s, who deliver to Scottish shoaps, railway stations, airports and ferry terminals etc made a political decision to stop distributing the “Scots Independent” in the 60s.

It looks as if they are carrying on that “commercial” decision to The National now.

Similarly, Lidl and Aldi do not stock the paper at all and it is pointless appealing to the staff there. I tried complaining to their online service twice last year and still await their reply. Again, a job for The National distribution team.

In the face of mass hostility by the British Nationalist media, it is important to support and maintain the only daily newspaper supporting independence, regardless of any differences individual readers may have.

I subscribe to the online edition and buy a hard copy, usually to leave in public places. This, despite my own complaint of the newspaper promoting other divisive wee quarrelsome parties to outvote the SNP by encouraging readers to give them their second vote. Many not only did that, thinking it would do the SNP no harm, but also gave their first vote too. The result was that the Scottish Government lost its overall majority, allowing nonentity opposition parties to gain the headlines and a false sense of credibility.

The editor did support giving both votes to the only party capable of delivering independence, but this was on Polling Day. Too little too late.

I hope The National and readers have learned their lesson.

Donald Anderson, address supplied


I WRITE regarding Catriona Clark’s letter (Letters, February 23) regarding the House of Lords.

While I agree in principle to what she is saying, I suspect that she didn’t take the time to tune in to the debate she speaks of. If she had, she would have witnessed, by and large, a very well-informed and passionate debate from all concerned, apart from the Conservatives, who mainly followed slavishly their Mistress’s instructions and trotted out the Global Britain fantasy.

Yes, the Lords should be abolished, and it should be an elected upper house, but let’s wait and see if they are prepared to chuck a few spanners in Theresa Maybe’s works and bring it to a juddering halt, before we dismiss them out of hand.

I would also commend the way in which they allowed each other to speak without the constant giving way of the other place – that is something the other place should look at as there is nothing more bile-inducing than to hear them all braying at each other across the house, neither respecting nor listening to each other.

Of course, they could refer to Holyrood to see how a democratic debating chamber works... with the exception of Davidson and her attack dogs that is.

Ade Hegney, Helensburgh

AS a Scot residing in a Tory safe seat in England, what can I do to get the SNP message across?

@theweeman7 I wanted to add to Ask Angry’s response to the question posed by a Scot residing in a safe Tory seat in England (Ask Angry, The National February 23).

As is pointed out to Scotland at every opportunity, we live in a country that has a huge budget deficit, ranging from £15 billion to £19bn, depending on how frightened they want us to be.

As the Tory mantra is to divest itself of any drains on its budget surely the simple way to get the SNP message across is to start asking why your neighbours in England would want to hold on to a financial liability and a nation of subsidy junkies?

With the Westminster Tories pushing Scotland away, the Unionists north of the border would all feel honour-bound to switch sides and vote Yes to help rid their bosses of the burden of Scotland’s fiscal hole.

Of course, this would only work if we really are a basket case and a drain on their resources or, to be more accurate, merely adding to their huge budget deficit.

If the fiscal hole doesn’t really exist, or is eminently manageable by an independent Scotland with vast natural resources and a healthy balance of trade that’s merely masked by a smoke and mirrors fear campaign, they might be inclined to try to hang on to Scotland.

If they do want to hold on to Scotland perhaps our Scot residing in a Tory safe seat in England should be asking very nicely who is kidding who?

Geoff Tompson, Helensburgh

I HAVE long been a fan of Michael Fry and I rather fancy his vision for an independent Scotland,where our public sector is smaller, our businesses are focused on growth and exports, and the fact that we would be the “new kids on the block...paying a higher premium on fresh borrowings” would “induce prudence in the liberated Scotland from the start”.

He is less clear on the share of the UK debt we would inherit – I can’t believe we would get off Scot-free. The Guardian estimated £81bn in 2012 on a national figure of £988m. It’s now around £1500bn so it would hopefully be somewhere south of £120bn – the equivalent of nine years of NHS Scotland spending. Neither did he ponder the amount of reserves we would need to support a Scottish currency, estimates range from £10bn to £40bn.

On Europe, Mr Fry recently wrote in The National: “The concept of Scotland outside the EU yet inside the single market is certainly in need of more convincing arguments... the practical obstacles are enormous.”

My problem with all this, and the reason I am against independence, is I don’t think the SNP’s core voter base will relish the level of cuts, restrictions or general reality that the transition to former Tory candidate Michael Fry’s independent Scotland and the ongoing fiscal and behavioural rectitude require.

Allan Sutherland, Stonehaven