I WAS interested to read Kevin McKenna’s reference to the Orwellian nature of Ruth Davidson’s statements, in particular her ability to hold two conflicting points of view at the same time with apparent conviction (Orwell would have despaired to listen to Davidson on nationalism, The National, May 17).

A very different writer, Scott Fitzgerald, defined a poet as someone who could hold two mutually contradictory beliefs simultaneously and still function. Scottish Unionists seem to have no problem believing they can be British and Scottish at the same time. But can they really all be poets?
Peter Craigie
Edinburgh

IN March, Conservative candidate James Heappey asked a schoolgirl “Why don’t you f*** off back to Scotland?” (Tory tells Scots teen to f*** off, The National, May 17). Ruth Davidson poses for photographs alongside John William Buchan, trawlerman with extreme racist, sectarian and homophobic views (Davidson poses with trawelerman who tweeted ‘take her out’ threat about Sturgeon, The National, May 13). Still the Nasty Party?
James Stevenson
Auchterarder

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Labour are just hiding under Tory skirts on indyref

WITH a complete lack of conviction – and lack of ideas other than those plagiarised from the SNP – at the second time of asking, the Labour Party finally published their election manifesto (Corbyn unveils vision for Britain, The National, May 17).

It has obviously been cobbled together in haste, scrabbling around the political arena for any ideas they could put in. The wild, unrealistic and bizarre pledges have been formulated in the full knowledge that they are unelectable, therefore, they can be as outrageous as they want because they will never have to put any of them into practice!

As Angus Robertson said, most of the achievable and sensible pledges are a direct steal from the SNP. Unfortunately Kezia must have either been asleep or had not been consulted as they are already in practice. The whole manifesto, from start to finish is based on some Corbynesque socialist fantasy and are, to be kind, totally impractical.

Then, of course ,the ghost of the great clunking fist looms large over the neo-federalist “Peoples’ Constitutional Convention”, yet another re-run of the failed pledge of 2014. Again, Labour missed a fantastic opportunity to actually do something meaningful ... they could have endorsed indyref2 and worked with the progressive parties in Scotland to realise an outward looking, progressive nation.

But no, they hide behind the Tories skirts and adopt this pathetic proto-Unionist stance that is basically hybrid Conservatism. So we get to the end of this pathetic manifesto and discover there is no mention of Brexit at all! It is only the single most important issue on the radar and Jez and Kez don’t think it relevant or important enough to warrant inclusion. Again Labour miss the opportunity to have Brexit front-and-centre to challenge the Conservatives (who must be cock-a-hoop with this very peculiar omission), and bring this debacle into the election spotlight as the SNP will do. Then again, maybe it’s not as strange as it first appears as Jez would not lose any sleep over leaving the EU, and, as Labour have no real alternative strategies, they will just kick it into the long grass along with any chance of winning this election.

When one reflects on this poor imitation of a socialist party, one cannot help but feeling frustration that yet again, it will be up to the SNP to be the main opposition party at Westminster, and, if polls are to be believed, with a reduced amount of seats, thanks mainly to the other opposition parties in Scotland trying their best to undermine the one party who have made real change for the ordinary citizen, who have stood against the viciousness and savagery of the Tories welfare attacks, who have tried tirelessly to resist the maniacal Brexit fiasco for the betterment of the country. Labour, like the others have tamely fallen into line with the Westminster elite and will go quietly to the gallows. If you vote on June 8, then consider who does really represent you and your country and who puts the interests of Scotland before all else.
Ade Hegney
Helensburgh

UNFORTUNATELY, Scotland under a Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour Government would soon begin to look more like Britain (Jeremy Corbyn unveils his vision for Britain ... and it looks a lot like Scotland, The National, May 17). .

Labour are no longer the “Red Tories”, they are rather more the “Timid Tories” who like Tory policies but draw back after feeling their effects. So, instead of ditching the hated “rape clause” it will remain but the applicant won’t have to fill out a form. A Labour Government won’t rid us of the travesty of Universal Credit, it would spend billions tinkering at the edges.
John Jamieson
South Queensferry

I KNOW of one person, close to my heart, who is a little apprehensive (her actual word choice is “frightened”) about what will happen to Scotland after the General Election. She’s worried by attempts to re-invigorate the Conservative or the Labour Party in Scotland and perhaps, heaven forfend, both.

She fears what that would ultimately mean for herself, her family, everyone else living and working in Scotland today and the fairer society we have built up over the last decade.

I would say to anyone who has such frets; just imagine Scotland elects some Labour MPs and the economy of Scotland gets markedly worse.

A worsening Scottish economy, with at least 82,000 jobs at immediate risk, is not exactly an abstract reality given the looming Brexit negotiations and the potential disastrous conclusion thereof.

So, I would suggest that, pragmatically for the Labour Party, this is not the most opportune moment in time to ask for Scotland to lend it the support that it craves. But Labour will ask.

And, with its Janus-styled and ever-weakening opposition to a Conservative Brexit full to the brim with hubristic “master plans” for a mythical Global Britain, the Labour Party will fiddle about while it fans the Brexit flames.

Consequently, with any sporadic success in the General Election, the Labour Party will unintentionally advance the Scottish people further down the road to independence.

So, whatever transpires in the coming weeks, don’t be “frightened”. Scotland has never been as important in the eyes of the world, let alone those of the United Kingdom.

We will not lose that key position in world affairs, one way or another, we will continue to strengthen it until Scotland’s unquestionable right of self-determination is achieved.
Mark Saunders
Port Glasgow