‘BRITAIN is full of people who care. We, together, care about the environment, poverty at home and abroad, the sick, the elderly, the young. Our country is jammed full of people who want a better world”. (Willie Rennie to tell LibDem conference that the Union should be cherished, not ‘trashed’, The National, March 13).
Can Willie explain the British compassion when the wealth gap is increasing, refugees are marginalised, personal independence payments are being withdrawn, social care is in crisis and young people are being denied housing benefit? That is the compassion of the British state. I do agree that Britain is jammed full of people who want a better world; the ever increasing poor! Scotland is full of people considering this “better world” in an independent Scotland.

Peter Barjonas

THE discredited LibDums’ only North British Nationalist Unionist MP in the English Parliament does not mind displaying his ignorance by trying to equate the nationalism of the oppressor with the nationalism of the oppressed. Wot planet is he on?

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Donald Anderson


My Yes was for independence, not for the SNP

TONI Giugliano tells Jim Sillars that in 2014 when “you voted Yes, you voted for independence in Europe” (Letters, March 9).

This will be news to Jim and many others, including me. In 2014, the independence referendum vote was not about the SNP but about independence and how to get members of all parties and none to vote Yes.

As Chair of Yes Shetland I voted Yes, and as a campaigner for Scottish Left Leave, I voted Leave. I will take one referendum at a time; if indyref2 comes along next then I will vote Yes, not for the SNP but for independence.

Brian Nugent

R IMRIE (Letters, March 11) has an understandable grievance about the increased cost of Class 2 National Insurance; unfortunately his reasons for it are wrong.

Statutory sick pay, paid holidays, employer pension contributions, statutory maternity leave etc are are all statutory requirements on employers but they are not part of the National Insurance Contributions, except that, in certain cases of hardship for the employer, assistance can be claimed from the government.

Generally, self-employed people work for higher hourly rates of pay than the employed, which is intended to go some way towards compensating for the benefits enjoyed by those in full-time employment.

Outsourcing has become a favourite way of mitigating market fluctuations, particularly by large companies. But whilst it has benefited employers it has also reduced the NI tax income, which is what the Chancellor is trying to recover to offset the £400 gift he has just given to higher-rate tax payers (except in Scotland).

Mike Underwood

IF the Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson is such a great leader – as some political pundits try to impress upon us – maybe latest polling begs some questions. If Jeremy Corbyn is seen as a “dreadful” leader with the latest Labour poll ratings at 25 per cent, then how can Ruth Davidson be a “successful” leader with latest poll ratings in Scotland for the council elections putting her party at 18 per cent?

Only last month her party was at 26 per cent in a poll for the very same elections whilst the “appalling” Mr Corbyn was lower than he is now at 24 per cent. Maybe Ms Davidson’s party conference, where she and Mrs May lectured the people of Scotland about how they were the masters of Scotland and we should meekly accept them, played a part in this change.

Nevertheless if Jeremy Corbyn is a “hapless” leader for poll ratings with a small one per cent rise, what’s the word to describe a leader who loses nearly a third of their support in the space of just three weeks?

Graham C B Roberts

IT would be hilarious if it were not so serious. Kezia Dugdale, leader of Labour in Scotland, insisting with determination that her party will totally oppose a second referendum on Scottish independence, while Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the big, grown-up United Kingdom Labour Party, announcing that as far as he is concerned another independence referendum would be “absolutely fine”. Poor Kezia, the unenviable leading the irredeemable in the cause of the indefensible.

Billy Scobie

YOUR article “Highlands Universal Credit mess to be debated in Commons” (The National, March 10), was a very welcome read and I applaud MP Drew Hendry (Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey) for securing an adjournment debate on this matter. This debate will bring to the forefront the untold stress, anxiety and hardship many are suffering at the hands of the Westminster Government and their relentless targeting of the sick and vulnerable in society. Many who sit in silence in the waiting game, waiting for the brown envelope to drop through the letterbox, apprehensively opening the content while the heart is racing in anticipation. What kind of society are we, treating the sick and vulnerable in such an atrocious way, plunging may into poverty as they await appeal dates, with no benefits in the meantime? I trust Mr Hendry will receive cross-party support for his adjournment debate.

Catriona C Clark

COURTING economic terrorists (banks) to relocate operations to Scotland and poaching anti-free-market companies doesn’t fill me with much confidence for the future prosperity of Scotland.

These are to be the campaign tactics to be used by the SNP for indyref2 (Indy Scotland will target rUK businesses anxious about Brexit in bid to close growth gap, The National, March 11).

To be a haven for corporate monopolies will only quicken Scotland Inc’s inability to create and grow new businesses in a free market of ideas and competition for the foreseeable future.

The SNP should take care not to assume the role of dictator perpetuo. Once the Scots gain self-determination then they will determine how their own country should be governed and by whom, and if I know the Scots well then I’m sure that being faced with having Brussels exclusively on the plate will be to much to stomach.

James Andrew Mills


I HAVE been defying the authorities for years now. I have been receiving envelopes in the post that have been instructing me to “OPEN IMMEDIATELY”.

Well I don’t, never have. I sometimes have left these particular envelopes lying on the hall floor for days. Quite rebellious of me, I know – but I don’t care.

However, things have been changing to a more sinister vein recently and I am very afraid. Although my television is a Sony I’m certain it has the same capability as a Samsung! The presenter said just before the adverts “NOW DON’T GO AWAY WE’LL BE RIGHT BACK!”

Well I did go! I had to go and purchase my daily paper, The National, didn’t I?

I’m expecting some men dressed in black to come chapping on my door any day now. Can you help me when the time comes!

Harry Schneider
Newton Stewart