IF anyone was under the misapprehension that the BBC had mended its ways on the question of Scottish politics, they only had to tune in on Monday evening, hours after the First Minister’s referendum announcement.

Following an extremely fair analysis on BBC Scotland’s Reporting Scotland, the Corporation’s usual bias reared its ugly head on 100 Days, its Worldwide News programme from London and Washington.

From three-and-half thousand miles away, the US-based Katty Kay knew all about what was best for us over here. And it certainly wasn’t independence.

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Christian Fraser in London was quick to agree, although he did admit that Brexit might sway “middle-class voters” who voted No last time into possibly thinking again.

And here was I believing BBC staff outside Scotland might remember what their role is. Report, interview and let viewers make up their minds.

Not give us their own views on something which frankly should be none of their business.
Bill Aitken


WHAT a brave and insightful article from Cat Boyd (Time to fight on our feet, or we’ll die on our knees, The National, March 14).

During indyref1 there was none who could have been more active in promoting independence for Scotland than myself. I gave it my all. However, back then in 2014, for me there was no European dimension to consider.

Things are different now. In the interim I have learned a lot about the institution which is the European Union. It has produced a trade deal called Ceta which is a neoliberal nightmare and which will most certainly affect an independent Scotland in Europe, threatening Scottish jobs, the environment and the ability of a Scottish Government to regulate in the public interest. We will be thirled to the will of multinational companies.

What worries me is that the SNP are most reluctant to discuss Ceta and the darker side of going forward towards independence within Europe. Cat has revealed aspects of the European Union as an institution which must be addressed by SNP politicians during indyref2. For a start, they should be much more vociferous in demanding from Liam Fox proper scrutiny of Ceta in Westminster, instead of shying away from this for fear of complicating the EU debate (in addition, the National could be doing more to tackle this confusing issue).

Thanks to Cat Boyd for daring to face up to the fact that there are negative aspects to the European project which have to be addressed without delay. If we wait till after independence, it will be too late, for there is a pressing question which needs to be asked now: What kind of independence can we hope for with Ceta and the multinationals breathing down our necks?
Jean Kemp
St Andrews TTIP Action Group

IN your coverage of the swingeing sanctions imposed by the Spanish Government on Catalonian independence leaders for planning illegal referenda on the topic, you carry a quote from a supporter: “who would want to live in a country whose government is uninterested in their opinion and is willing to go to such lengths to keep them from expressing it?” (Mas banned from office over indy vote, The National, March 14).

Already, less than 24 hours after our First Minister’s Bute House statement, it is all too clear that the same prohibitive mind-set is alive and well here.
Ken MacColl

ADAM Tomkins MSP repeated on television last night and on radio this morning that no-one in Scotland wants a second independence referendum. Really?

We heard this declaration almost daily in the run-up to indyref1. Ultimately what happened was slightly different. Turnout was 84.6 per cent – this hasn’t happened before in a UK election or referendum since the introduction of universal suffrage. Incredibly, given no-one was interested, 97 per cent of the electorate registered to vote. This hasn’t happened before, anywhere in the world.

As perhaps the angriest and most arrogant personification of extreme right-wing English Conservatism in Scotland, we can only hope he can find the time to grow his media profile. How wonderful if he became Project Fear’s leader.
Cllr Fraser McAllister

THE longer the run-up to the next referendum, the better it will be for all those who take independence seriously. Those who support independence can’t inflict one tenth as much damage to their cause the preposterous duo of Keiza Dugdale and Ruth Davidson wreak every time they open their mouths.

Their line conforms to the cast iron rules of Scottish Unionism, which are as follows:

1. Falsely accuse the other person of ad hominem attacks, while making vicious ad hominem attacks of your own.
2. Ignore or gloss over the most substantial criticisms.
3. Never admit that you are wrong. Even when your errors are staring you in the face, do not acknowledge them. Never apologise, never concede.
4. Project your worst characteristics onto your opponent.

This will all be mixed with the usual blend of self-righteousness, self-loathing and self-pity so ingrained in the Unionist mind-set.

The line coming from the Davidson/Dugdale Unionist axis is that the people of Scotland don’t want a second independence referendum. This begs the question as to why the Tories simply refuse a Section 30 order in all circumstances. The majority in Scotland should be delighted and Tory popularity will reach into the stratosphere.

Alan Hinnrichs Dundee THE future of the UK’s economy now lies in the hands of a dozen people, the survivors of the Brexit shambles who have became the UK Government by default not through ability or election.

Fortunately Scotland has the opportunity to go its own way, leaving the rUK to pursue whatever pot of gold is envisaged at the end of the Brexit rainbow.
John Jamieson
South Queensferry

SO Theresa May is now arguing this she will only allow a referendum on Scottish independence after the UK Brexit deal is complete. Isn’t that a bit like saying we will hear your appeal right after the hanging?
Donald Sharp