I WAS delighted to see lots of references to 1984 and its prophetic content in yesterday’s paper (The National, May 17). “Better together” was, and is doublespeak! It is a part truth.

So here it is, decoded. It is true that England, Westminster, are better off when we are together, but by far the greater truth is that Scots and Scotland are not!

The hidden wealth that flows from north to south is so significant and so important to the political machine in Westminster that they are prepared to tell any lie, sacrifice any politician, destroy any national institution, just to keep their hands on it.

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Politicians used to deal in politics but not any more. They studied imagery and trickery at university and employ it in large degree in their daily lives. They spread it liberally in the press and television. It is far more than the drip, drip, drip process, this is a serious flood and frankly it is overwhelming. They have not the slightest concern at being caught out. “£350 million to the NHS!” Who was sacked, castigated?

Orwell proclaims in 1984 that each room would have a TV screen and Big Brother would be watching you. It transpires that Orwell was not technically savvy enough to understand what was really happening and has continued to happen with growing ferocity ever since.

The screen is in front of everybody and they are fed an infectious, habit-forming comfort drug every day and every minute of every day. Orwell thought that the screen would be watching you, but he simply didn’t understand how insidious the state machine really is.

They have used the screen to lure you in and ensnare you but they spy on you by other means.

They read your texts, your emails, they note how you vote and listen to your every word on that oh so private mobile of yours in the pursuit of “national security”.

You are being cheated and robbed but you are happy to let it happen providing they let you watch your favourite shows.

Say “Poverty!” and a swathe of party men will tell of laziness, recalcitrance, incompetence, aversion to work. Say “Invalid” and the machinery of state professes they are losing far too much money by being conned and lied to. And so, to protect you, they are going to weed t hem out.

Say “Racial intolerance!” “Not at all” they’ll say as they usher the black man, the Australian, the Canadian and the Asian, (living in Scotland all their adult lives), away towards the Border, though they have been contributing socially and financially and lawfully. “We can’t discuss individual cases” they tell us but listen, every single one of these is an individual case. We stand by and let it happen. It is hard to fight and anyway, Corrie is on in a minute!

What will wake the Scots?

The Scots believed, naively, that Westminster would play fair. They didn’t and they won’t next time. The wealth they derive from Scotland, directly affects their personal wellbeing and their ultimate power and therefore their influence in the greater world. They are quite at ease with sacrificing as many Scots as it takes, to retain that power.

The period leading up to and including a successful vote for independence will have the greatest asset stripping exercises ever seen as Westminster punishes Scotland for daring to answer back. This will make it harder, but not impossible.

This is how it will be but despite that, Scotland and the Scots will be better off after the event.

So, we have yet to see. Will the Orwellian “Better Together” drugs, pushed out 24 hours a day by the media prove too powerful for our efforts to “get our country back”? Are the Scots really too stupid? Only the Scots can answer that!
Christopher Bruce
Taynuilt

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Brown is right to put poverty on the election agenda

AS a member of the SNP and a near neighbour of Gordon Brown, I have disagreed with him on numerous issues from the Iraq War to the Union.

I find his speeches from on high to “save us” from various things somewhat irritating. But Michael Fry’s questioning of Brown’s attempt to put poverty on the election agenda, apart from references to Scotland and independence, reads like a page from Theresa May’s Tory manifesto. I wonder if Mr Fry has ever listened to some of the desperate stories of clients of the food banks in Scotland, not all of whom are out of work.

As a historian, he should be aware that the poverty and inequality gap in Britain (not just in London) is wider now than when Dickens wrote Oliver Twist. I am a bit older than Michael Fry, and I was at school when the post-war government, at a time when national debt was a multiple of what it is now, addressed poverty by radical means that were a thousand miles from the dictatorship of North Korea that is cited.

Most ridiculous of all, was his old misquoting of the poor “will be always with us” – the words of one who in his short life on Earth ceaselessly worked to raise the poor up and to castigate the callousness of the rich. I hope that in two weeks’ time we will return a large number of SNP MP’s to Westminster. I am confident they will ignore the complacency shown by Mr Fry, and continue the opposition to the Tory war on the living standards of the poor and vulnerable.
Iain Whyte
North Queensferry

ALL parties choose an election slogan. The slogan should summarise the essence of your party’s campaign in a concise, and snappy phrase. Some reckon that soundbites can influence their popularity more than precisely detailing the content of their policies! Do they really believe that the British public are so gullible? Let’s prove them wrong. Now some might be saying that the SNP also get involved in such behaviour. Remember the famous slogan from the 1970s “It’s Scotland’s oil” and, of course, Nicola’s latest “Stronger for Scotland”.

Yes, they may have a point but don’t forget Nicola supports her chosen slogan with real campaigning, talking to all walks of life in a non-orchestrated way, appearing on tough live debates and is able to strongly rebuff difficult questions from her opponents.

It’s easy to see why Theresa May avoids such debates. When Angus Robertson and colleagues so scathingly and eloquently oppose her in Parliament, her voice begins to crack and acts more like that of a supply teacher who can’t control an unruly class. So, so much for “strong and stable”... more like “wrong and unable”.
Robin Maclean
Fort Augustus, Loch Ness

FOR Kezia Dugdale’s proposal for a federal constitution for the UK to have any credibility, the Labour Party in Scotland must support Nicola Sturgeon’s call for Scotland to be directly represented at the Brexit negotiations, along with Wales and Northern Ireland.

The First Minister has expressed the view that should the SNP win a majority of Scottish seats at Westminster as a result of the forthcoming General Election, then her party would have a mandate to present arguments for Scotland, if not all of the UK, to remain in the EEA single market.

Equally, should the Labour Party win in Wales, then “Welsh Labour” would have a mandate to represent the prevailing views on EU matters of the people of Wales.

A “federal approach” to the Brexit negotiations would not only increase the likelihood of avoiding the outcome orchestrated by those pulling the Tory Prime Minister’s strings for a hard Brexit, or worse still no trade deal at all with the EU, but could further another apparently key Scottish Labour objective of delaying a possible new referendum on self-determination until after Scotland, along with the rest of the UK, has left the EU.

Such an outcome would also give Kezia and her fellow independence-referendum-obsessed chum Ruth less cause, if indeed they have genuine cause, to be concerned about whether a future independent Scotland could effectively remain in the EU or would have to seek interim participation in the EEA single market via EFTA.
Stan Grodynski
Longniddry, East Lothian