EXCELLENT article by Kevin McKenna (Christian are being persecuted for their faith by the UK’s liberal elite, The National, June 21). He came from an excellent angle by defending the Free Church, an organisation certain folk in certain areas of these islands would consider his natural “foe”.

Satirical humour is, to me, one of the greatest sources of amusement in entertainment.

But it must be properly researched. Colin Campbell’s Local Radio does this with brilliance in his Radio Back sketches – the Rev Callum “Moon” MacLeod of the Hebridean Moon Revivalist Church.

What Kevin’s article shows is how the former minorities senselessly attack the former majorities as if in some warped sense of revenge. Many minority groups, with power, now preach with the same “fire and brimstone” that Free Church ministers are alleged to have preached. Having never heard one I can’t say! But I have been preached to that by failing 100 per cent of the LGBT gospel then you are homophobic.

A wee story, not a “Wee Free” one (though not many in Scotland know who that group are). In the early 90s I moved from Belfast to the Isle of Lewis. I went there as a minority but knew enough about the lifestyle. I laughed after my first haircut, it was a weekday. The girl asked if it was my day off, I replied I do shift work. “Oh, so you could work all six days a week,” she responded. A tale I continue to tell, funny and non-derogatory.

During my time there, as a non-churchgoer, did I experience any abuse as one of the minority? No. For well over 60 years Harris and Lewis proportionately had one of Scotland’s largest groups of people of Asian descent. Did I hear the “P” word? No, except when returning to the mainland.

Did places being closed on a Sunday affect me? No I’ve been to France and Germany, where shops close on a Sunday.

One side job I did a few years ago was booking accommodation and travel for folk on a long-distance walking trail. I would meet them on the first or last day. One couple I was due to meet on their last night of six concerned me. I had been receiving feedback at how ungrateful and unpleasant they were at the three previous places they were accommodated.

On meeting them I found no unpleasantness and they were grateful, also of the same sex. The lady of their last B&B described them as “a lovely couple”. So we can guess why the other three held another opinion.

The lazy writers of the play described by Kevin would call the lady a “Wee Free”. The lazy writers of the other places that couple stayed would call them secular and open-minded.

The correct terms are an open-minded Christian lady who attends the Free Church of Scotland (and continuing); the others, well how about ungrateful and unpleasant in understanding humanity.

The world is big enough for all of us but are we big enough to understand?
Bryan Clark

MY grateful thanks to Kevin McKenna for his article on the “liberal elite”. They simply want to make their own rules without regard to the moral code which has served us well over the years. There are no absolutes in their world. Everyone can do their own “thing”. Only “self” matters.

It’s a sad state of affairs when belief in God is an accepted subject for mockery but such is the world we now live in. They forget that faith can span the political spectrum.

I’d suggest they spare an hour or so and go along to their nearest Free Church. They might well be surprised at what they find.
Catriona Grigg


Delaying indyref2 could allow us to sort mistakes

I FEEL I must take your correspondent Dave McEwan Hill to task for using lazy and one-sided arguments to berate those Yessers who feel its better to delay a referendum and win it, rather than risk all on a too-early vote (Letters, The National, June 21). By which, I mean one in which the very good reasons for independence would be mixed up in many voters' minds with questions about the EU and Brexit.

Dave's counterfactual about Edward II shouting to Robert the Bruce “Can’t you wait till we’re ready!” could easily be counterposed by a dozen others (Prince Charlie at Culloden on the eve of battle saying to his troops “let’s get decamped from this boggy heathery ground and find a place to fight that works to our strengths”).

The point being that argument by counterfactual and lazy emotional appeal can be a two-edged sword.

His other argument rests on the old “blame the media”, nothing the SNP can ever do can be wrong, theme. Anti-indy media didn’t stop the SNP winning a majority at Holyrood, or Yes going from the low 30s in percentage polling to nearly winning the indyref in 2014. He argues that delaying the second indyref might allow the media to destroy a potential majority for independence at Holyrood 2021, losing the opportunity for independence for a generation.

However, it could equally be argued that delaying indyref2 would give the SNP time to recover from some of the strategic errors they have made – not least the tying of the question of Scottish independence too closely to membership of the EU. It would also give them more time to work on sorting out the mess in education caused principally by the generation of bureaucracy and unsound teaching practices with the Curriculum for Excellence.

And I am not so pessimistic about the Holyrood elections either.

If all indy parties stand on a clear mandate for a second indyref in 2021, and say they are willing to leave the question of Scotland’s place in Europe to be decided by the people once independence is achieved, I believe we will once again elect a majority of pro-indy MSPs across Scotland.

This would especially be the case if the SNP – for one Holyrood election only – were to place movement before party; reject the both-votes-SNP strategy which saw nearly 750,000 mainly pro-indy votes wasted at the last election and only benefited the Tories; and embraced instead a Max the Yes strategy. This is where the SNP stand unopposed in the constituencies but backed by the whole pro-indy movement, and a Team Scotland or all-under-one-banner slate of pro-indy candidates stands unopposed (but implicitly backed by the SNP) on the list.

From where I stand, it is not those who want to take stock, and go again to the country on independence when we are on firmer ground and pro-indy polling is stronger, that “seem to lack any form of observational understanding”, but those who want to continue on regardless with a strategy that has seen both support for indy stall, support for the SNP fall, and that does not inspire confidence in large sections of the indy movement.
Steve Arnott

AS a cyclist who was used to dealing with tramlines, I couldn’t understand why cyclists didn’t swing slightly to cross the lines at as nearly right angles as possible.

However, by chance, being on a bus crossing the intersection in the West End of Edinburgh, where the fatal accident recently occurred, the problem became obvious. The road has multiple directions splattered over the surface. There are divisions, large arrows, plus many other signs. These are all in very white paint on a black tarmac surface.

I realised that I couldn’t see the tramlines until I concentrated on looking for them.

The tram rails are much smaller than the the old tram lines were, and they are beautifully sunk into the tarmac – almost invisible.

I would suggest that there should be a strip of bright orange paint, three inches wide, painted on both sides of each rail. This would catch the eye and all cyclists, and pedestrians, would be able to identify the tramlines. This would only be necessary where tramlines and road routes were crossing.

The orange lines would not be necessary on the straight parts of Princes Street (the passenger islands would not need the orange strips) and would not be expensive.
Evan Lloyd