HAS anyone noticed the yoon media’s new trick? Photographs they use of Nicola Sturgeon will usually show her frowning or looking a maybe bit annoyed. In contrast, photos of Ruth Davidson, Kezia Dugdale or Willie Rennie are usually smiley or cheery.

Nicola and the SNP are now the “narky party” who get very angry and lash out at anyone who criticises their performance in government or at elections. The intention, of course, is to frame the SNP as under pressure and failing, and being very angry about it.

As usual in this 1984-esque dystopia we call the UK the reality is the total opposite. It’s Davidson, Dugdale and Rennie who are the nasty, narky, angry people lashing out at any good news or success by Scotland, its people or its government and constantly harping and moaning about the “failure” of Scottish education, health, transport or anything else, while ignoring the fact that in most, if not all of these areas, Scotland outperforms the rest of the UK.

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Don’t be fooled by these photos of Nicola frowning or looking peeved – anyone who had to listen week in, week out to the constant carping of the three stooges could be caught out looking cheesed off.

John Murphy, West Lothian

THERE is much talk and debate on how to proceed with a view to gaining independence on the one hand and whether or not we should remain in the EU on the other. Should these topics be dealt as one or separately?

Given the current fiasco which represents the political state of the UK, I do not see any need to reiterate the forceful arguments in favour of Scottish independence but I would ask the question – how would Scotland survive as an independent nation outside of the EU?

As the situation regarding Brexit develops and with time running out, it has already been made abundantly clear that the UK as a whole will be set adrift into stormy unwelcoming seas with neither friend nor ally when it leaves the EU. It will be no different for an independent Scotland despite our riches of natural resources.

It is obvious to me that Scotland becoming independent is insufficient in itself. It brings many advantages, of course, all of which are part and parcel of a being normal nation state, but the population must be assured that it has the ability to survive and to pay its way.

It should never be forgotten that before the UK joined the EU, the UK was the sick man of Europe and that is exactly where Brexit is leading us once again. As Alyn Smith so clearly stated “The EU is more than an economic union; it is a union of people who learned from history and meant it when they said ‘never again’. Although his comments refer to the success of the EU in enabling peace to be maintained among the EU states since its conception, they are nonetheless very relevant to how we Scots should perceive our membership of the EU since 1973.

Hugh McLean, Newton Mearns

ONE is forced to wonder at the workings of the military mind when it comes to how Ruth Davidson could be considered for promotion from effectively a private soldier to the rank of honorary colonel.

I believe it to be a position normally awarded to senior officers who have earned it by virtue of previous service or to senior figures in public life who have a record of considerable achievement – not something I would attribute to Ms Davidson.

I hold no brief for her or her party but I do take considerable exception to the tone of Kevin McKenna’s sneering comments (At least her TA role might keep Ruth busy over the summer holidays, The National July 12) with reference to the Territorial Army in general. He would appear to have no direct military experience or knowledge of the TA.

My father-in-law was among those mobilised with the TA in 1939. He was captured in France in 1940 and spent four years as a prisoner of war, having been part of the 51st Highland Division which was sacrificed to delay the German advance and allow the evacuation of British forces at Dunkirk.

In modern times I was part of the TA whose role was to reinforce British Army of the Rhine in the event of Russian forces invading Germany. We had 48 hours to leave home and be in our positions in Germany to buy time for the politicians to reach a settlement. We trained and mobilised for this eventuality and were certainly not home in time for tea. Billy Connolly earned the right to make his jokes, I question whether Kevin has. So, I suggest to Kevin that he should speak not of what he knows not! By all means comment on the ridiculous promotion of a politician to such a senior position but I would ask him to think before he rushes into print.

Allan Martin Farr, Inverness-shire

RUTH Davidson accuses nationalist supporters of making anti-patriotic political capital out of her most recent public relations stunt, appearing in a British Army uniform. What on Earth could wrong with appointing her as the honorary colonel of 32 Signal Regiment? With no background as a distinguished military figure, it has emerged that her appointment is made on the grounds that she is leader of the Conservative Party in Scotland, thereby flouting the rules guiding such appointments.

Although her role will be largely confined to turning up at cocktail parties, mess events and dishing out tankards and trophies, my objection is that in any secular democracy it is essential that religious, political, legal and military roles are scrupulously segregated. Davidson should not be seen strutting around in public in uniform and wrapping herself and her party in the Union Flag for political purposes.

Dr John Moore, Dunscore, Dumfries

IN claiming “the country has been happily at peace for more than 70 years”, Kevin McKenna is not being strictly accurate. It is true that we have not had a war involving the whole population during that time, but since 1945, indeed since 1914, there has not been one year in which UK armed forces have not been sent into conflict somewhere in the world.

The UK surely qualifies as the world’s leading warmonger, something which makes our Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, very proud – like when he said what made Britain great was that “of the 193 present members of the UN we have conquered or at least invaded 171”.

Andrew M Fraser Inverness LET’S all get behind Mrs May, the born-again team player, and make constructive suggestions about Brexit! In other news, turkeys engage constructively with the upcoming Christmas project.

Derek Ball, Bearsden