ANOTHER great letter from Ian Greenhalgh (Letters, February 28)! Messrs Corbyn and Khan and many south-east politicians do not get Scottish nationalism. It is both inclusive and outward-looking. British nationalism is about birth place; it is exclusive, xenophobic and inward-looking.

Having attended several Norwegian Independence Day Celebrations (being half- Norwegian), their nationalism is very similar to Scottish – if you decide to live there, you are accepted as Norwegian. Some factors could be considered in a future independence referendum. Focus on self-government and co-operation – it is not separation.

We should emphasise that Scotland is a country of five million people and not a county. We have been lied to consistently about oil, the EU and powers. Our sea border has been shifted south towards England by a Scot. As Westminster can give special deals to Isle of Man, Channel Islands, Crown Dependencies and maybe Northern Ireland and London, it is strange not to do so for England’s biggest neighbouring country.

Loading article content

If Scotland is treated with inflexibility and contempt, there is no alternative to independence.
Dr Kris Hansen


I SEE that the TV licence collectors employed by the BBC are accused of targetting vulnerable people who have not paid their licence. They also target and harass (threatening with visits from enforcement officers to enter and inspect their homes) those who have committed the crime of their address being unlicensed because they have no TV.

This has now been modified to threaten inspection because I have not updated my No Licence Needed Claim. When this started in 2008 I wrote explaining the situation. They know it has not changed since.

Who gave these people the right to breach what I have always understood to be a basic principle of our law that you are innocent until proved guilty? To assume insultingly that should I buy a TV I should not comply with my legal obligations? And furthermore to impose an obligation to answer their letters merely to reiterate a situation which has held for the last 40 years to the point that we are both now in our 80s and do not need to buy a licence at at all – a fact of which they are aware. I understood that even the police would require a warrant to enter your home against your will. If I am right I hardly think that the BBC and any agents they choose to employ should be left to behave in this way.

I assume these people get paid by the numbers of letters sent, and that this is considerably cheaper than the former system of employing mobile intercepting equipment so that only those caught breaking the law were pursued. I have been told by friends of the bullying culture surrounding some BBC interviewers. It seems it extends through the whole system.
Dorothy Jessiman

THE Labour Party’s mini conference last week concentrated my mind. Empty seats all about a moderate-sized auditorium told its own tale. The fact is that the constitutional future is the only political issue of immediate importance but there was no debate about it. That is because, despite a very significant proportion of its support and membership, perhaps even a majority, supporting independence, Labour in Scotland has declared itself Unionist. And made certain its suicide in the process.

Which poses another question. There is no SNP For The Union group. That would be obviously ridiculous. But any more ridiculous now than Labour For Independence? If the Labour Party refuses to even allow its members to debate independence, the most important issue that faces Scotland, what is the point of members who support that position being in the Labour Party?

The most sensible course of action would be that all those who those support independence recognise that the SNP was formed by the amalgamation of a right-wing and a left-wing group to provide a national independence movement and that is where they should be. A fairly fractious past has maybe made that a step too far for some (and congratulations to those who can see the bigger picture and have taken that step), but another progressive solution would be the re-formation of the Independent Labour Party.
Dave McEwan Hill
Sandbank, Argyll

IS it just me, or is there an overwhelming stench of fear coming from the massed ranks of the Unionist parties as well as their friends in the media at the prospect of the next independence referendum? This weekend has seen a veritable blizzard of rhetoric against the SNP and everyone in favour of Scottish independence from both north and south of the Border, with accusations of racism and calls to arms from left and right. Unfortunately for all of these frothing-at-the-mouth defenders of the Union, I believe the law of unintended consequences will prevail here – the more they rail and rant against the idea of independence for Scotland the more “free publicity” our movement gains and the more apparent it is that their protestations about our financial dependency on the broad shoulders of the UK ring hollow.

Again I ask if we are so much of a drag on UK finances why is Westminster so desperate to stop us becoming independent?
John Murphy
West Lothian

I SUPPOSE being the only MP in the party allows Ian Murray MP to lay down the law to Scottish Labour. And dictating that they will oppose indyref2 in the Scottish Parliament suggests that he can foresee a leadership vacancy looming.

But to insist on federalism being a second choice on the ballot paper when everyone knows full well that English nationalists (ever heard of them?) would never tolerate it seems naive. The second choice was not allowed on the 2014 ballot paper until desperation set in and up came the Vow. And, who knows, by now an independent Scotland may well have been already voting for a Scottish Labour government again.

Both Ms Dugdale and Mr Murray seem to be driven by a desire to be the saviours of the UK Labour Party. Whereas after a lifetime of voting Labour, my SNP vote is not a vote for a political party. It is a vote for scotland.

Of course, as Longshanks said: “the trouble with Scotland is it’s full of Scots”.

Robert Johnston Airdrie IF a world-class firm of beancounters can’t get it right for an awards show (Epic fail at the Oscars, February 28), should they be trusted to provide audit and business consultancy to governments and companies?
John Eoin Douglas
Address supplied