WE live in a digital age, so could I suggest that Davidson, Rennie and Dugdale get their digits out and do the day job of supporting Scotland against this crisis of Brexit which they and the Scottish people voted against?

Of course if they think otherwise, being members of British political parties, perhaps they are in the wrong parliament.

Richard Easson

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THE Labour, LibDems and Conservative parties are actively campaigning as Scottish political parties, and the LibDem leader has spoken out to assert his party’s right to do so.

The date of founding of the Scottish National Party is well recorded. Can you state the founding date of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, and the similar dates for Scottish Labour and the Scottish LibDems?

I do not think these entities exist, and I think the Scots are being cynically misled.

In my view, these parties are based in England and take their instructions from London HQs. This should be made clear to the electorate, who are entitled to know for whom they are voting.

John Hamilton


Claim about US nuke sabotage is not a fanciful one

ACCORDING to Malcolm Rifkind the “US may have sabotaged [North Korea’s] missile test” (Trump silent on claims that US sabotaged missile test, The National, April 17).

This far from fanciful assertion exposes that notion that (our) “independent deterrent” is neither.

It is assumed that the US has had, for some time, the ability to interfere remotely with the avionics of North Korean nuclear missiles.

Rifkind’s assertion is very credible, as is the fact that the US could easily ensure the UK could not fire its nukes without their permission. If they did so they would be, at the very least, disabled and possibly even re-directed.

It is a fact that the UK does not own any Trident missiles. Although the Trafalgar class subs are British, the missiles are the property of Uncle Sam. They are rented from the US. The warheads are “sort of” British as as they are copies of the US W76 warhead.

On a regular basis the missiles themselves are sent “home” to Kings Bay, Georgia for reconditioning. There is one source pool of Trident missiles and a sufficiency of same are doled out to the Royal Navy. They all have serial numbers and during the life of a missile it will find itself for a time aboard one the Royal Navy’s four Trafalgar class SSBNs and at another time aboard one of the US Navy’s fourteen Ohio class SSBNs.

The notion that the US Navy will not have, over a period of time, taken the opportunity to develop override software is simply incredible. Indeed looked at from the perspective of the US Senate’s Armed Forced Committee, NOT to take the opportunity so to do would properly be seen as an act of treason against the USA by the US Navy’s top brass.

Bill Ramsay
Convener, SNP CND

THE suggestion by Malcolm Rifkind that the launch of the North Korean missile might have been sabotaged by US activity is in itself sinister enough for the rest of the world, but has anyone thought of the other possibility, namely that the Koreans themselves may have deliberately caused this to happen in order to make themselves look incompetent in order to lull the rest of the world into a false sense of security!

George M Mitchell
Sheriffmuir, Dunblane

UNDER the destructive ideological Tory austerity, the following cuts will occur: The family element of tax credits has been abolished. Housing benefit for 18 to 21-year-olds is disappearing. Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) is being cut by £29.05 per week.

Bereavement payments are being axed and the “rape clause” will mean victims with more than two children will have to prove their ordeal in order, to get funding for any subsequent children conceived through being raped.

The Tories and their Westminster allies are following the diktats of Adam Smith. He noted the “invisible hand” of the market that shaped the character of economies near and far.

The right-wing neoliberal capitalist movement, dominant in the West since the early 1970s, has turned this phrase into the sacrosanct dictum of its secular religion.

All human behaviour must be submitted to the “free market.” (This is the notional credo, but in practice corporate elites are subsidised, bailed out, and given every possible taxpayer benefit to ensure higher private profits.) The growing Empire on which Smith based his work was undertaking economic interventions. The British Empire set out all over the globe, claiming colonies in the New World and later India and Africa, setting up trade policies that benefited the British at the expense of the colonised.

The British imported cotton from their colonies for their own factories, as well as wheat to feed British workers in the isles.

In colonial India, meanwhile, millions starved. Even as tens of millions of Indians starved to death, record amounts of Indian wheat were exported to feed British factory workers labouring in a so-called free market.

Before the Industrial Revolution, Indian textiles reigned supreme.

But British authorities kept industrial textile technologies out of India in order to capture the global textile market, impoverishing the colony further.

Other staples, tea and sugar, were also imported from British colonies. That sugar was produced by enslaved Africans in the Caribbean.

Smith also overlooked the utter misery textile workers lived in.

The consequences of this system were seen last week when the BBC Panorama programme on the Libor scandal revealed not only the criminality of the global financial system centred in London, but the massive web of corruption and complicity involving governments and financial regulators the world over. The gospel of capitalism with absolutely no government intervention is a myth and always will be.

Alan Hinnrichs

UNIONIST commentators like to cast doubt on forecasts of an oil price of $100 per barrel in the near future, and pour scorn on the potential benefit of oil to an independent Scotland. Correct me if I’m mistaken, but isn’t 100 per cent of revenue from oil at $50 per barrel a better proposition than eight per cent at $100?

Alyn Smith MEP informed me in 2014 that under EU rules the 6,000 square miles of Scottish waters, including seven major oilfields generously donated to England by Tony Blair in 1998 – an act for years shrouded in secrecy – automatically revert to Scotland on independence.

James Stevenson