THE history of any nation consists also of a history of spies and traitors, human nature being as it is. This can range from the self-advancement, jealousy and petty feuds to internal spies and agents provocateurs and external interference.

Empires of old were able to exploit this and any variances in local societies. The classical training of Anglo/British imperialism enabled them to perfect the age old art of divide and conquer. Hitler and his Nazis also admired and copied this trait, and loved old movies of the British Empire controlling such a vast section of the globe. Even Goebbels was jealous of the power of the BBC.

England gained its first colonies amongst the Celtic nations by exploiting this method. Strongbow only had a few hundred troops when he invaded Ireland and allowed the Irish factions to do the rest. More recently, some Irish journalists have claimed that British intelligence not only infiltrated but orchestrated both republican groups and loyalist paramilitaries in the recent troubles.

What has this to do with Scotland past and present? Everything! Throughout our history we have been dominated with the same curse from MacBeth to stabbing in the back Alex Salmond, Angus Robertson and Nicola Sturgeon.

The Sherriff of Dunbartonshire, Sir John de Menteith, was able to plot with other Scottish nobles against our national hero, William Wallace, in the Traitors' Tower of the Rutherglen Kirk. Menteith was absorbed later into the independence movement after the civil war against Bruce by the Baliol faction. Today, it is still standing, ignored, but overshadowed by a larger, contemporary “Traitors’ Tower”, which dominates the skyline with a huge Butcher’s Apron to celebrate a defeat of an SNP council. The SNP just won a majority of Rutherglen seats, where Labour formed a coalition with their fellow Unionists, the Tories. Its first act was to betray an election pledge and close schools and sack classroom assistants. Elsewhere, Ayrshire and other Unionist coalitions pulled down the Saltire from public buildings.

Labour were absorbed almost immediately into Westminster and the class system almost 100 years ago. “Abolition of the monarchy, House of Lords” etc is now just a sick joke amongst the Labour Party in Scotland, who parrot from the same Anglican hymn sheet as the official Tories and LibDems. No policies, just anti-SNP and anti-independence rhetoric, about day jobs and nobody wanting freedom. Corbyn’s mild reform policies are no further left than the Scottish Government’s achievements. He may be anti-Trident but his party isn’t, either in Scotland or England.

Scotland is in a Catch-22 situation where the SNP had won 56 of 59 seats, but were unable to demand independence because they had just lost a referendum. Yet, without the referendum they would never have won 56 seats.

Some in the referendum Yes camp belonged to different groups and factions, where independence was not a priority. As a result, they spent most of their time attacking the SNP rather than promoting independence.

If the British left is not in the pay of British intelligence then most of them are doing it for nothing. If the British left, whose first item on the agenda is a split, was told to form a firing squad, they would form a circle. They did manage to split the vote by persuading some Yessers to vote for Unionist Corbyn through the even more self-hating Unionists in the form of the anti-Scottish Labour Party. Will we ever learn from past failures? Will we clean up our act and Unite and fight? If we truly want independence we will have to.

Donald Anderson


All parties should support a sovereign wealth fund

THE aim of creating a new, stronger, more socially just and generationally fair society is a laudable one, now shared, it seems, across the Commons.

Conservative MP John Penrose, on similar tracks to Labour’s manifesto, suggests we need a sovereign wealth fund to build growth-promoting infrastructure. How he and Labour square this with potential catastrophic climate change and achieving permanent sustainability is something left to the Greens to question.

A newspaper columnist thinks “politicians need to tell older generations that the care they need must be paid for from their unexpected property bonanza”, (Polly Toynbee, The Guardian, July 6). This could be right – but only if tax and social justice is implemented across the board.

Such justice – within the limits of sustainability – requires us to look at some hard facts: it is better for all to live well than for a few to die very rich; we cannot expect to amass wealth and pass it on to our chosen inheritors any more because it is unsustainable, unjust and will, eventually, collapse the economy.

Accumulation of excessive wealth – anywhere – diminishes general prosperity as money is hoarded, the life-blood of the economy which, just like the human body, needs to circulate to do good for everyone.

This is the principle we could adopt to solve a multitude of economic problems: keep the money circulating by taxing excess amounts. It is not beyond the wit of any chancellor and the Treasury to devise the metrics that would limit the wealth and gains of corporations and individuals to a set amount or face 100 per cent excess taxation. To avoid the tax, businesses would be forced to invest in research and development, expand their business or pay employees and shareholders more.

Geoff Naylor

I HAVE been reading your paper almost daily now for quite a while and every now and then a question is asked along the lines of, how do we reach out to non-indy supporters?

For example, you’ll never get 99 per cent of Tory and Labour voters to read the likes of your article from Alex Salmond last week, even if it was the only paper left for them to pick up in a waiting room. Far too much hatred and polarisation of opinions; people get stuck in their ways.

An older lady in our street voted Tory, and the reason she gave was that Theresa stood up for UK Christian values when she complained about the word Easter being removed from a Cadbury’s Easter egg hunt! Even if you were to mention the fact that Cadbury’s was set up by the Quakers, who wouldn’t have done Easter, she’d still have voted Tory – and don’t even think of mentioning the SNP to her.

Even if the SNP came out with a plan to build a new factory that could turn rain into gold, these type of people would still complain.

So what am I getting at? As long as the independence question is only put forward by one side (Greens are pretty much on the same left/progressive side as the SNP) then the voter share or reach of the positive news of being independent will find it very hard to break the 50 per cent mark.

Scotland has a great representative voting system that fairly accurately maps the overall percentage split between what the voters asked for and the percentage split in MSPs. So, if a party was to even get two or three per cent of votes then they’d probably get an MSP. If there was a “Conservatives for Scotland” party, or a “Labour for Scotland” party whose values matched those of the Tory/Lab party but were in favour of indy then you immediately get more reach. Those opposed to indy just because it’s an SNP thing will probably read a “Conservative for Scotland” leaflet put through the door and it would break the impasse that has developed where the main issue being discussed is indy. We know there have been groups of Tory/Lab voters that want indy – who do they vote for? Give them a choice of austerity + indy, or some Labour value + indy. Choice is what’s needed. While I don’t agree with current austerity measures many do, so why not try to get them on board as well? Give the a party that matches those aims.

We all want policies to represent our views, so surely more choice with different parties should be the way forward.

Kenneth Sutherland