AS if any right-minded person needed reminding, this week saw the mask fall from the face of Ruth Davidson. Her willingness to be associated with the most horrendous of a long list of odious attacks on the disadvantaged by her party has proved once and for all that she is nothing but a nasty, careerist opportunist, with her eye on bigger things within the Conservative Party.

She has hidden behind the skirts of her spokesperson the whole time, and when she finally was forced to make a statement, she further enhanced her newly revealed image without a trace of shame or embarrassment. Like all bullies. That basically is what she is – she uses a crowd to do her dirty work. I can’t wait until Holyrood resumes to see what a mauling she will receive from all parties!

Unfortunately, she will try to brazen it out and shout loudly to try to deflect any criticism away from herself and her morally bankrupt party, but that will not work this time Ruthie, because, like your Westminster cabal, you have gone way beyond the pale, and to have the effrontery to employ the cheapest trick yet by trying to shift the blame to the Scottish Government, the SNP and, by association, the Scottish people is unforgivable. That type of fake news/alt.right garbage may sit well in the cesspit of Westminster, where nothing is out of bounds, but it will not and cannot be allowed to become acceptable ever in our Parliament.

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What compounds the vileness of the whole affair is that Davidson, the Conservative Party and the DWP spokespersons justify their obnoxious and perverted actions upon the poor and the needy as being necessary to “provide value for money for the taxpayer”. By reducing the subjects of these attacks to objects or statistics rather than human beings in dire need, they are wilfully desensitising the general population thereby making it oh so easy to continue to persecute the disadvantaged to save money that should be theirs as a given.

The real objects of their persecution should be the reckless and greedy bankers who caused the financial black hole in the first place, but as we all know this will never come to pass.

To end it all, she “proudly” unveils the Tory “the Scottish people are fed up and don’t want another referendum”. She has again tried, in the most blatant and juvenile fashion, to turn said elections into a mini-referendum about independence. The local election pledges that do exist could be written on the back of a postage stamp, and without a trace of irony, she demands that the SNP do their day job. Rich!

May I suggest to Reckless Ruth, Dugdale and Rennie, that they offer some positive and meaningful proposals for local government instead of their ongoing mantra of SNP/Greens Bad! I, along with millions of other discerning voters, see through your vacuous propaganda and you will be held to account in the forthcoming elections. Wouldn’t it be a pleasant change to wake up one morning and hear that the opposition parties in Holyrood had decided to work with the Scottish Government to try to get Scotland out of the Brexit miasma, to work towards keeping our place in the EU and to forge a new path for an outward looking country, that we, and our children deserve? Ah well, at least I am still allowed to dream.
Ade Hegney

SCOTLAND’S mothers, and other women in Scotland who are disgusted with the Tories’ Rape Clause have the power on May 4 to severely dent or practically eradicate the British Tory Davidson and her Nasty Party in Scotland!!
Allan Templeton


Deja vu? I’ve heard trade deal warnings before...

I THOUGHT Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp’s article (It’s time to get real about post-Brexit trade with India, The National, April 14) was excellent. However, I felt I should point out he’s not the first to put the UK’s trade with India and other developing countries into perspective.

Almost 12 months ago to the day, a prominent low-profile Remain-supporting career politician wishing to keep her options open said: “It is tempting to look at developing countries’ economies, with their high growth rates, and see them as an alternative to trade with Europe. But just look at the reality of our trading relationship with China – with its dumping policies, protective tariffs and industrial-scale industrial espionage. And look at the figures. We export more to Ireland than we do to China, almost twice as much to Belgium as we do to India, and nearly three times as much to Sweden as we do to Brazil. It is not realistic to think we could just replace European trade with these new markets.”

So said Theresa May, and methinks: “Gordon couldn’t have put it better himself!”

Gordon also highlighted the fact that the UK has the world’s second-worst balance of trade, but let’s not forget that HMRC figures for 2016 showed that Scotland is the only part of the UK that exported more than it imported. The UK might have a terrible balance of trade but Scotland doesn’t. It most definitely is time to get real.
Geoff Tompson

AH, I see Murdo’s popped up again, this time railing against the establishing of a Scottish Monetary Institute (2014’s indy proposals on sharing the pound, The National, April 14). All the usual Murdo-isms are there, of course. The violent imagery of “hammer blow”, the totally discredited “deficit” yowl, and the “too poor” outburst are fast becoming a bit tedious but on he goes at every opportunity. You’d think someone with such an extensive history of being shunned by the electorate might just change his presentation skills. Ultimately, I don’t know which is funnier – the fact a Shadow Tory finance minister can’t seem to understand that setting up a monetary institute would, of course, cost money or that it would lead to the creation of, in his words, “hundreds of staff” positions. Is this the first time a Tory has actively railed against an issue so closely related to the finance and banking sector?
Graeme Finnie

THE use of one of the US military’s largest non-nuclear explosive devices – the MOAB – to kill 36 jihadis in Afghanistan is baffling in more than just military and economic terms of cost alone (Mother of all bombs ‘sent Donald Trump’s message to Daesh’, The National, April 14).

What is consistently overlooked, besides the effect on the natural world, is that the dropping of the bomb was also the destruction of the vast resources – human, material and financial – utilised in its development and manufacture.

This has an economic cost that is disregarded by conventional economics. The American corporations were paid, the US Government recorded the production as a positive contribution to GDP and the country got richer, right?

Wrong. In reality, the effort expended to create this destructive force can also be argued to have destroyed previously existing wealth in the form of the resources that could have used for beneficial purposes and, as a consequence, devalued the currency.

Negative production, such as this, can be considered to be a hidden cause of price inflation in essential goods and services affecting us all.

Geoff Naylor Winchester THE recent spate of period dramas on TV has certainly given the lie to the old cliche that history is “just a boring list of dates of kings and queens’’. One aspect of the study of history that is perhaps too little considered is the question of how do professional historians go about their work? Textbooks don’t write themselves! At Easter, a natural question might be, what would a professional historian make of the biblical resurrection story?

You can Google an excellent evidence-based answer to this by Professor Richard Carrier: “Why I don’t buy the resurrection story”.
Doug Clark