CAT Boyd (Scottish Tories are riding on a wave of liberalism that’s bound to turn toxic, The National, April 25), is right and I have been saying this for some time.

Until we challenge the sacred cow of neo-liberal economic policies there will be a sizeable number of people in Scotland, the UK, Europe and the US who will feel discontented, sidelined, alienated – how many terms have to be used to describe how angry many people are with the consensus among politicians of all parties, including, as Cat Boyd points out, the SNP – and who will look for politicians who claim that they will stand up for them. Hence the election of Trump.

Neo-liberal economics compel us to accept, meekly, that globalisation is a good thing, that bankers and multinational companies have a right to keep the vast majority of people in thrall to them, that austerity is good for us and that, somehow, we’ve brought it upon ourselves. I don’t but I don’t see any mainstream party which I am prepared to vote for espousing my views.

So do I vote SNP in the hope that if we finally get independence, the party will turn its face against new liberalism or, for the first time in my life, do I not vote?
Lovina Rose


What is it that Labour stand for now?

DOES anyone understand what the Labour Party stands for now? Jeremy Corbyn lays out a vision of Britain that will remain a dream for many years to come unless Labour win an overall majority in June (Jeremy Corbyn asks Scots to help his Labour Party banish ‘vicious’ Tories, The National, April 25).

Labour will not form a coalition government even to save us from the damage that will undoubtedly be inflicted by a vicious majority Tory government from June until 2022.

Even more perplexing is that the party that gave devolution to Scotland with a built-in electoral system that (almost) guaranteed coalition governments refuses to consider a coalition with any other party.

The next five years will be the most significant in UK history for a long time and the effects will last far into the future, yet Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party are willing to opt out of playing a leading part in these momentous decisions.

Among his promises, Corbyn says his government would repeal David Cameron’s Trade Union Act, but what about the Thatcher era anti-trade union legislation still in force? Although Labour had the day job at Westminster for 13 years, they left that legacy almost completely unchanged, let alone repealed.

Labour in power are very different from Labour in opposition. Their lack of supervision of the finance sector led to its collapse in 2008 when they felled the money tree to bail out the bankers, finally digging up its roots by voting with the Tories for £12 billion in social security cuts or savings. Jeremy Corbyn now has the brass neck to tour Scotland condemning the SNP Scottish Government, with no borrowing powers, for passing on the cuts that Labour voted for in Westminster.

It was a Labour backdoor tax on company pensions that led to the closure of almost every final salary scheme for workers in this country, a Labour government that introduced university tuition fees and laid the foundation for the bedroom tax.

Perhaps Corbyn hopes Scots will not remember that Labour were best mates with the Tories in Better Together for more than two years before the referendum in 2014, then joined with the Tories in the Westminster lobbies to vote down every proposal and amendment made by the SNP to the Scotland Act that followed the Smith Commission.
John Jamieson
South Queensferry

GEORGE Kerevan (May and the Tories cannot win the 140-seat landslide being predicted, The National, April 25), unlike most of the SNP leadership, astutely understands the importance of reaching out to SNP Leave voters in the forthcoming General Election.

At the EU referendum an estimated 30 per cent of SNP supporters voted for Leave. This is not surprising as it is in the DNA of the SNP to be suspicious of political centralisation. While in the 1990s it was content to define its EU vision as one which was confederal, this is increasingly at odds with post-Treaty of Lisbon (2007) aspirations to move towards things like a common defence force.
Councillor Andy Doig
Address supplied

THERE has been much talk and buzz on social media, in The National and elsewhere about the SNP losing its mandate for ScotRef if the Tories gain a few more Westminster seats in Scotland in the General Election.

I think the best way to deal with this is to be bold and call the Unionists’ bluff, by asking them if they will accept 40 Westminster seats (two-thirds) plus 50 per cent of the vote as a mandate for independence negotiations to start right away. Failing that, the default would be that 40 seats would guarantee us our ScotRef with a Section 30 agreement, and the referendum being at a time of our choosing. These are high hurdles to overcome but I am certain we can clear them.

I wonder if the Unionists would be confident enough to take up the challenge if the Yes movement put it to them?
Dave Thompson

ON the radio this morning Humza Yousaf was speaking from Uist about proposals to give the Benbecula-Glasgow air service a Public Service Obligation.

He also praised the public of South Uist for their determination on persuading the Government and CalMac to re-instate the Lochboisdale-Mallaig ferry service and how successful it has been.

The National has raised the issue of another ferry, Mallaig to Armadale, Sleat, Isle of Skye. Articles mentioned how the Sleat business community claimed this service has deteriorated. Coincidentally since the introduction of the Mallaig to Lochboisdale route.

I used the Sleat ferry last week, there was a choice of nine per day. I would say that is rather good. Most islands would be overjoyed with more than one or two ferries a day.

What is not so good is bus service to and from Sleat. On Saturday, I travelled from Glasgow by train to Mallaig and onward to Sleat, arriving in Armadale at 14.45. There was no bus until Monday. I paid £33 for a taxi to Broadford (25km), fortunately I was able to share the cost with a fellow traveller who had been assured there would be a bus.

Should the Sleat community not be doing something about their appalling bus service, instead of making silly complaints about an excellent ferry link? Remember, too, that is not their only link to the mainland, Skye has a bridge!
Bryan Clark