HAMISH MacPherson’s articles on Scottish history are a joy to read. I have always felt that part of the reluctance of so many Scots to vote for independence is down to an inadequate knowledge of our history.

I was a history teacher for almost 40 years and course material, exam questions, etc, forced me to teach mainly about the glories of the British Empire. Hamish describes fully the outrage at Berwick upon Tweed, which was caused mainly by the garrison taunting Edward from the wall by shouting ‘Longshanks’ at him. He was six foot two in height, exceptional for the time.

England’s Plantagenet monarchs were also virulently anti-Semitic. Edward’s father forced all Jews to wear identifying badges on their clothing and Edward himself expelled all Jews from England. Despite all of this Edward has a place of honour in Westminster Abbey. His tomb carries the description “Hammer of the Scots”. To my mind it has always defined the relationship between Scotland and England.

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Alan Clayton, Strachur, Argyll

IN response to Robert Anderson’s long letter (Letters, The National, June 28).

Voter turnout undoubtedly affected the SNP. And as you said, inspiring voters to turn out is a job for political parties. Policy is a fundamental way to do that.

Since the election, people, including myself, have been calling for a move to the left, “bolder” more “radical” policies. It has to be clarified what this means – or what it doesn’t.

It doesn’t mean marching down town centres with hammer and sickle flags. It doesn’t mean sending armed soldiers on to the oil rigs. It doesn’t mean banning anyone from owning their own home.

What it does mean is policies that people care about – across Scotland. Nationalising the energy industry. A minimum wage locked to the living wage. Greater land reform.

Replacing the Council Tax. Greater control for citizens over decision making in government and their workplace.

People, even on the left, tend to look at socialism with scorn and forget what it actually is and what it has given us. Forget the clichés. Socialism is the NHS. Socialism is a national minimum wage. Socialism is the welfare state. Socialism is equal pay. Socialism is mass social house building.

Forget the label “socialism” even! Even Corbyn has. What people are calling for is that edge that the SNP had. Radical policies like free university tuition for example – which is a socialist policy based on universalism.

The First Minister’s recent announcement that the Scottish Government would take stock and refresh is welcome and I believe that it will lead to that edge returning.

While some of these policies may be “unpopular” amongst certain groups and maybe Mr Anderson, they appeal to the masses – the wider electorate.

Many of these policies require greater powers which is why that should be the top priority of SNP MPs at Westminster. There is a clear mandate. But even just stating support for policies demonstrates your aims.

Switch the onus on to the other parties in Holyrood – especially Labour. Offer an alliance to back the devolution of another package of powers. Don’t leave them in the Tories’ hands. Empowering the Scottish Parliament will only strengthen the case for independence as it has done.

The SNP was one week away from our MP count going into single figures. While voter turnout was a huge issue, as was organisation, our message, Brexit and independence, the switch to the Tories, and Labour in particular, cannot be ignored. It must be addressed and in the coming months, I’m sure it will be.

Rory Steel, SNP Youth National Vice Convener

PERHAPS the lesson to be learned from the Tories stitch up with the DUP, a deal that would discredit Tony Soprano, is that instead of of sending the David Davis Delegation to Brussels, we dispatch the DUP.

If they can so painlessly extort £1 billion from a cash-strapped UK Treasury, in a couple of weeks, think how much they might blarney off our outstanding UK Bill of £100bn, over a couple of years.

And, if you still think it’s the Irish who are daft, spare a thought for those who voted to send Tories to Westminster from Scotland.

Joseph Miller, Dunfermline

I WAS reading Alyn Smith this morning (Credit where it’s due: it’s the EU that has ended mobile roaming charges, The National, June 28). My brother lives in Ireland and in hospital. Calling him every day from Scotland was a bit expensive and was delighted to see roaming charges were abolished, or so I thought.

I was told by my provider that I would be able to use my allowances and texts at no extra cost but what they didn’t tell me I had to be in another EU state to get the benefit.This I found very misleading. Could someone explain why through my provider I have to go to another EU country to get the benefit? I do understand what roaming charges mean but still cannot get my head round it. If I use a phone of a stranger from another EU state to phone Ireland it will be at no extra cost to either of us, but I can’ from my own. Surely this is not right?

Michael Mcdermott, Old Kilpatrick

LONG-AWAITED data for global energy consumption for 2016 has finally been released, courtesy of BP. It doesn’t look good for renewables.

From 2006 to 2016 the share of all energy (not just electricity) from renewables has only increased from seven to 11 per cent, despite the huge number and cost of renewables schemes. And CO2 emissions have not reduced since the credit crunch. What a waste of money!

Geoff Moore, Alness, Highland

THERESA May has just announced tough new immigration tests after Brexit.

A British worker must earn more than £18,600 before a spouse from outside Europe can join them and they must pass an English language test. If the couple have a child, who does not have British citizenship, the threshold rises to £22,400, and an additional £2,400 for each child.

These are the sort of curbs that the public have been demanding from both Labour and Conservative governments for years to stop the abuse of our welfare system, social housing and the NHS.

If May had announced such a policy before the election she would not have needed the DUP.

Clark Cross, Linlithgow