THERESA May has returned to her old ways of vagueness and deception. Case in point, her much-vaunted appearance at the EU summit, where she finally had to actually tell someone what her proposal was regarding the fate of EU citizens resident in the UK.

One year it has taken to wring this out of her, which is in itself a national disgrace and brings shame on us all. To compound this, she is deliberately vague in what she says, leaving wriggle room for her to backtrack when required. These poor people are being used as bargaining chips – as we suspected all along!

The reaction from the principal members of the EU’s negotiation team should make it crystal clear to May that she is dealing with highly skilled politicians, and not members of her ragtag Cabinet. As Cameron discovered to his cost, they do not suffer fools gladly, and will not suffer the Queen of Vague anytime!

Big questions now should be asked about her ability and suitability to being anywhere near the negotiating table representing the UK, and it also should now be imperative that Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have their negotiators at the table to monitor what May and Davis will try next.

It highlights also that the contrite, remorseful and reformed May was just more smoke and mirrors. No longer strong and stable, but still devious and untrustworthy.
Ade Hegney

THE Scottish Government have made a fair fist of building a better Scotland but we need fresh radical thinking and lay the basis for progressive change. For instance, Scottish Water, unlike in England is in public ownership. There should be incentives offered to democratise its management. Innovation schemes using student engineers could help to publicise it and offer it as a model of successful public ownership.

We should be driving the nationalisation of energy in Scotland with an emphasis on renewable energy. We have many innovative schemes – wind, wave and tidal, which should be out there, well publicised.

Much more could be made of our land buyout successes like the wonderful island of Eigg. We should be considering further buy-outs especially in urban areas and housing schemes to build energy self-sufficient, community housing projects.

Closer community engagement between schools, parents, libraries, arts organisations and universities could be part of the process of boosting aspiration in poorer communities – not a new idea, but it could be more effectively integrated and financed.

It is critical to promote the successes of our Scottish NHS which has been shielded from the worst neo-liberal depredations in England.

There is a need for higher incentives to attract young GPs to rural area and the islands – perhaps through medical schools having partnerships with certain areas for trainee GPs.

Could we initiate a Scottish television project that delivers neutral news coverage and helps to protect the electorate from the outrageous propaganda of the BBC? And, of course, a Scottish Investment Bank and Scottish currency!
Maggie Chetty


WHEN compared to Brexit, Indyref and the whole mess of being tacked on to the British state, “MSPs vote to allow tail-docking of dogs” might seem a minor matter (The National, June 22). The problem is, however, as Lesley Riddoch says: “What vision of scotland do we want?” Well the kind of vision I am looking for does not include SNP MSPs vying with the Tories in forelock tugging to absentee lairds, grouse moor managers and other huntin’ shootin’ types who lobbied so hard to have this ban lifted.

The dogs who work hardest over the roughest ground are hill sheep dogs and farmers are not queueing up to have puppies’ tails amputated without anaesthetic. Let us also call a spade a spade. Tail shortening is a silly euphemism for amputation without anaesthetic. A puppy’s tail at five days old is like a baby’s finger, but let us not worry, “they won’t feel pain – chop it off”. You can almost hear them saying “Jolly good show. The Scotch Parliament flunked it”.

Roseanna Cunningham says “shortening” of the tail will reduce injuries to the tail. How true! If you chop someone’s head off they won’t get a headache! The British Association of Shooting and Conservation sent out 17000 questionnaires to its members, and also to members of the Scottish Gamekeepers’ Association and the Countryside Alliance. Out of that number, many with more than one gun dog, they found about 20 that required serious veterinary treatment. Does that kind of incidence justify hundreds of puppies having their tails amputated without anaesthetic?

Puppies’ tails are sensitive. Amputation causes pain and stress. Mostly they get over it, but in a civilised society can we ever be justified in carrying out this amputation without anaesthetic?
George Leslie


AH, Such fond memories of the 70s described by Rab Wilson (The National, June 22). As his slightly older peer who also attended Cumnock Academy at that time I am, unsurprisingly, familiar with the Ayrshire dialect but sometimes many Scots I know have struggled to understand Rab’s unique style.

Glaswegian friends who read The National often ask me to translate his column but I plead with them if I could decipher Goethe’s “Faust” or Schiller’s “Ode to Joy” instead!
Mick Flynn