DEAR Elected Representatives, Over 250,00 people marched in London to protest against the attacks on the NHS in England. I am asking that you support the Scottish Government in their attempts to ameliorate the savage cuts to Scotland and play your part in protecting the NHS in Scotland. The NHS has always been an indicator as to the true social and humane values in our society.

I have offered my time at the weekends to help at the North Cumbria Hospital. I have no medical experience but as a proud Englishman I cannot simply sit by and watch the disgusting way the Conservatives are strangling the NHS in England. However, I can clean floors, make tea and chat to people while they wait and help out where I can.

Brexit has been a shameful episode in our history and brought out the worst in our society. I hope you can back Scotland and give hope to people in England by demonstrating your support for the hard work and efforts of our doctors, nurses and all staff in the NHS here in Scotland. If ever there was time that Scotland needed to be independent it is now before Westminster destroys anything that is good about our society.

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Ian Greenhalgh


More austerity from Hammond but there will still be cash for vanity projects

CHANCELLOR Philip Hammond is reported as wanting to salt away £60 billion for “unexpected challenges” followed by talk of “fight back” with new trade deals” if the EU does not give Westminster what it wants (Hammond plots more austerity to build Brexit fund, The National, March 6). At least, there was no mention of “on the beaches” and “cold steel”.

For “challenges”, we can assume it stands for “crises” as No.10 hopes that trade deals with the US will compensate, but perhaps it is dawning that Trump is really out to put the US first and aims for domination, in his own words. At the same time, Hammond has asked departments to find efficiency savings to take £3.5bn from the UK base budget. So more misery for society in the immediate future.

The former Remainer and disinclined Brexiteer is really looking like a sinking man starting to thrash in the water, realising that there might not be any rescue after all post-Brexit. His life jacket of £60bn is there to boast that he was at least prudent and had the foresight to plan for when things plunge badly, unlike the reckless three amigos Davis, Fox and Johnson. He will point out “it was the others who got us into this fine mess in the first place, not me!”

But he still makes the error of sounding tough for home consumption, unaware that he is doing so in full view of the EU27 who will decide the outcome. He cannot alienate the club with impunity. Hollande is quoted in the media as repeating there can be no “perks” for the UK after leaving!

So, Hammond will be forced to do “whatever we need to do to make the British economy competitive”. He has already ordered public sector cuts even while still in the EU.

No doubt, with the ever-growing historical annual deficit and increasing public sector debt, his £3.5bn start will be followed by even more desperate drastic measures while protecting the sacred cows such as Trident, HS2 and other vanity projects and institutions.

John Edgar

AFTER their successful SECC jamboree in a half full hall (pessimists would call it half empty) when Ruth Davidson reaffirmed her intention to be the next First Minister, regardless of the evidence to the contrary (a 22 per cent share of the vote) there will be no stopping the rise of the Conservatives in Scotland.

Indeed it appears that Ruth Davidson need not wait for the electorate’s imprimatur as like North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, her destiny is written in the stars.

She has announced from on high (BBC Sunday Politics) that Holyrood will get new powers after Brexit but only after “mature discussions with Westminster”. These discussions, of course, are predicated on finding someone mature in Westminster with whom to discuss matters.

FM-in-waiting Davidson stated that the PM agreed with her that the current Scottish First Minister had no mandate for another referendum as she had barely double the seats of the Conservatives at Holyrood and a derisory 46 per cent of the vote.

Future FM-for-life Davidson went on to taunt the imposter Sturgeon for not requesting a change to the referendum rules from the Smith Commission which bent over backwards to give Scotland the most powerful devolved parliament in the universe (copyright David Mundell).

Re-affirming her pre-eminent position as the most popular politician that Scotland has ever seen, Supreme Leader Davidson then mounted her own specially commissioned tank emblazoned in the Union colours and drove off into the sunset to the sound of martial music as the cheering crowds threw rose petals in her path.

James Mills

GLASGOW lacks a formal acknowledgement of the debt owed to the slaves in building Glasgow’s wealth (No sugaring pill of our country’s slave trade role, The National, March 7). We should have an official exposition of this important part of Glasgow history.

At the moment there is a proposal to build 600 luxury flats and 100 mid-level affordable flats on the site of the Govan Dry Dock, aka the Govan Graving Dock. These flats would not be for Govan people but those who can afford high purchase price or rent of the ‘affordable’ flats. The developers propose a very small heritage centre to be housed in the now derelict Pump House.

They have, as far as I know, no proposals as to what is to be represented in the Heritage Centre nor who would finance and run it. Thus, the developers would take their profit and leave the rest of the site to be maintained and run by someone else. So, apart from Council Tax, no real contribution to Govan, Glasgow or Scotland.

There is a counter proposal to build a Maritime Heritage Centre on the site which could provide space for all aspects of Glasgow maritime history, which could include the slave trade. It would also provide training for young people, employment for the area and attract visitors to Govan and Glasgow. The Council Tax from the flats would be a drop in the ocean of Glasgow’s finances.

This is an opportunity to save Glasgow’s history before the site is lost to expensive flats.

Sandra Durning

MIGHT I suggest in addition to Willie’s proposals (Letters, The National, March 6) that we do this taking the position of on our knees to better express our timidity in the face of Theresa and her so accommodating government. Alternatively we could behave like adults and stand up for ourselves.

David Anderson