THERESA May has set in motion an election as soon as her present government with its slim majority was awarded unprecedented powers by Parliament in the Article 50 Act, in order to strengthen her hand in Brexit negotiations.

She is now gambling on obtaining a massive majority to give the Tories the opportunity of setting up a virtual dictatorship using these sweeping powers and the Great Repeal Bill to rewrite UK law, removed from EU influence.

If she is returned with a majority capable of stifling opposition from within her party it will prepare the way for a decimation of our human rights, attacks on trade unions, privatisation of the NHS and anything else that’s in public hands, reducing social services, slashing benefits and of course negotiating Brexit.

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The Scottish Government will bear the brunt of even more cuts in the block grant, jeopardising the existing hard won benefits gained under devolution. A hard-right Westminster Government will not tolerate the growing differences in attitude between Scotland and the rest of the UK.

The solution is to take all the powers of nationhood back from Westminster to our own parliament.
John Jamieson
South Queensferry

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BE WARY OF ELECTION HOPES, MAY WILL TARGET US

MOST Scottish commentaries I have read since Theresa May announced an unnecessary General Election on Monday have centred on the June 8 vote solidifying the call for indyref2.

Call me deeply cynical but I doubt that Mrs May has any intention whatsoever of seeing it that way. In fact, I strongly suspect that one of the main planks of her election manifesto will be to rescind powers that have been devolved to Holyrood over the past 18 years.

She has already made a feature of referring to the upcoming vote as one which will strengthen her “precious Union”. I do not think she means to let the Scottish people decide the nature of that Union (like Gollum, she wants her “precious” regardless of the damage to anyone else).

What she intends to put forward to the greater UK – that being her definition of the Union – is a proposal to neuter the Scottish Government and any other devolved assembly that stands in her way.

She will be asking Tory voters across the country to cast their “referendum” vote against Scottish independence and against the Scottish Government’s right to even propose a referendum. She might even propose that all future referendums on the issue include all UK citizens, not just residents of Scotland.

The upcoming election will not be about the First Minister’s referendum mandate. We are now in a fight of our lives, for the future of Scotland and of the Scottish Government itself. The SNP needs to be prepared to stand on a manifesto of outright independence if a simple majority of SNP MPs are returned at the election. The United Nations will then become the arbiter.

The gloves are off – we should be prepared for all the dirty tricks in the book from this hard-right Prime Minister.
Dr Jim Walker
Hong Kong

THERESA May has thrown down the gauntlet not only to the Remainers in her party but to Nicola Sturgeon with her decision to hold a snap General Election on June 8.

The last General Election on May 7, 2015 resulted in the SNP securing 56 seats out of the 59 in Scotland.

Since then we have witnessed their embarrassing behaviour and their lack of respect for Parliament and their constituents.

These MPs are paid huge salaries which they would be incapable of earning in the real world.

The Scottish people must show their displeasure with these MPs and the SNP-dominated Scottish Government and its well recorded failures, and turn out to vote for anyone other than the SNP candidate at the local elections in May and the General Election in June.
Clark Cross
Linlithgow

WE must be careful not to get too excited about Theresa May’s decision. She clearly is hoping to increase her control over Westminster not just for Brexit purposes but to pursue her developing right-wing agenda of anti-immigration, more austerity and draconian welfare cuts policies.

If successful, she will also doubtless see this as giving her the right to continue frustrating the desire of the Scottish people and their parliament to hold another referendum. In this she will be fully supported by Ruth Davidson and her Scottish branch office of the disgusting Tory “Nasty Party”.

Should her strategy work we can all look forward to being trapped in the grip of an arrogant Westminster which will carry on ignoring the wishes of Scotland’s people.

I have heard it said that the SNP should counter this by making an independence referendum the main plank of its election manifesto. In my opinion this will not achieve the progress we want, if across the country, ie including rUK, the Tories become even more dominant. They have already denied Holyrood’s request for a referendum; why would they then be inclined to grant it from a stronger power base?

I believe we must be more explicit in our manifesto and spell it out clearly that a vote for the SNP is a vote demanding independence, not just a renewed and subservient request to hold one. We have to get this done and do it now for I fear that our cause may be caught up in the devious politics of Westminster .

There is nothing more important for me than that we should break the chains that bind, declare our independence and embark upon a journey of self-determination. It’s time to be bold, to dare, to hope and grasp the opportunity – as Karl Marx might have said: “Scotland unite, you have nothing to lose but your chains.”
John F Davidson
Bonnyrigg, Midlothian

FOR elderly political aficionados there is a very real sense of deja vu about the current political situation.

In February 1974 Prime Minister Edward Heath called a General Election to bring the Conservative Party under control and to strengthen his government.

He was soundly defeated and within just over a year was dumped by the Conservative Party.

History really does quite frequently repeat itself.
Alan Clayton
Strachur, Argyll

DURING PMQs today Theresa May proved once again that the old adage is still as true today as it has ever been.

The adage being that you can always tell when a Tory Prime Minister is telling lies when you see their lips moving.

Harry Key Largoward