DESPERATELY looking for some sort of constitutional war-cry which will be tolerated by their Unionist bosses, while seeming to distance themselves from the Tories, Labour’s Scottish branch office have dredged up the old “federal United Kingdom” fantasy.  They know perfectly well they will never be in power to implement such a policy. No Westminster Government would ever be remotely interested in any set-up in which Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland were given equal status with England.

But let’s just imagine we had a federated Scotland. Would it have the power to get rid of Trident? Could it opt out of UK military interventions? Would it remain in the European Union?

We’re listening, Kezia.

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Billy Scobie


Mundell's 'vow' of more powers from EU must be viewed against Westminster's track record 

THE validity of the “promise” by Scottish governor general David Mundell to repatriate powers currently held by Brussels to Holyrood (May refuses to guarantee devolution of fishing and farming powers, The National, March 2) can be judged by previous assurances given by Westminster.

The Liberals proposed home rule in 1905 but the idea was mothballed and fell away at the outbreak of the First World War.

In 1951 two million people signed the Scottish Covenant requesting home rule. Westminster dismissed it. Mrs Thatcher said in 1979 a No vote in the devolution referendum wouldn’t be the end of the process. Alec Douglas-Home said there would be “something better” if Scotland rejected an assembly.

In 2014 Gordon Brown was wheeled out to promise federalism and a down-market tabloid infamously wrote The Vow signed by all three UK party leaders. Most notoriously Scots were told voting against independence was the only way to hold on to EU membership.

Seventy per cent of Scottish taxes and 80 per cent of welfare spending are still controlled by Westminster. The truth is, Westminster wants to hold on to Scotland as a repository for its illegal, immoral and ineffective nuclear weapons, to provide cannon fodder for illegal wars in defence of corporate interests and to keep North Sea oil revenues, which help the UK balance of payments deficit.

The only people who fall for the line about “new powers” can rightfully be branded as credulous idiots. The same Westminster that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, that Hillsborough was caused by drunken Liverpool fans, and that now proposes to jail journalists and whistleblowers for 14 years who expose government corruption.

Westminster has a culture of lying that renders it untrustworthy.

Alan Hinnrichs


IF British nationalism is so exclusive then why is Britain the most multicultural place on Earth? Why are our borders some of the most porous anywhere on the planet, where anyone may enter and feel entitled to do so?

If Scottish nationalism is of the best kind (Norway’s nationalism, like ours, is inclusive, The National, March 1), and the antithesis of British nationalism, then why is “xenophobic” England the most ethnically diverse place in the UK? Scotland, along with the rest of the UK, shall continue to be an inclusive society and sanctuary for those who are fleeing oppression, though this must never impinge on the safety of our citizens and societies at large.

Inclusivity must not take precedence over common sense: an obvious example, amongst many, of how the most well-meaning inclusivity can go disastrously wrong is self-destructing Sweden.

James Andrew Mills Renfrewshire ARE there racists in Scotland? Of course there are. There are racists in probably every country on earth. There are religious bigots of all religions and none in every country. There are divisive nationalists in every country.

We must not take stereotypes as being the only examples. Today I watched footage on TV from Pakistan where hundreds were applauding the killing of Asad Shah and praising his killer.

Some years ago I was returning from Glasgow one night when the train was boarded by football fans who had been at an international against a non-England team. However, despite a police presence, we were subjected to anti-English ranting which could only be described as racist.

My step-daughter used to live in Leicester which has a large Asian population. She was frequently subjected to racial abuse by some members of this population.

In Scotland we have two kinds of nationalists. Scottish nationalists who, by and large, support independence for Scotland so that we can build a country where, regardless of place of birth or ethnic origin, we can work together to provide a better life for all the people of Scotland.

The others are British nationalists, who may describe themselves as patriots, but are simply nationalists from the right-wing of the political spectrum. These nationalists believe in the domination of the ordinary people by a central government which should not be questioned or opposed. They believe in the expansion of their empire so that they can exploit the people and resources of other countries.

Robert Mitchell


I READ with great interest the letter from Dorothy Jessiman (Letters, The National, March 1) regarding the harassment they received from the TV Licensing Authority. I can sympathise with their predicament as I too was subjected to similar intimidation from these people.

Some years ago I lived in the Scottish Borders where TV reception was patchy, to say the least, so decided a television set was not worth it, and that being surrounded by the natural beauty of the Eildon Hills was compensation enough.

However, there then began serial harassment from this authority, which refused to believe I did not own a TV set. This intimidation culminated in a red letter threat to take me to court. Deciding that attack was the best form of defence, I sent a registered letter to them stating my intentions to sue due to constant threats that had caused me anxiety and ill health. Although I didn’t receive any apology but the harassment ceased.

The conclusion being the immortal words of Dads Army’s Corporal Jones: “They don’t like it up em.”

Terry Keegans
Beith, North Ayrshire