ANOTHER rocky rollercoaster ride of a week for Trump ended with him taking to Twitter to suggest he could pardon everyone connected with him, his family and any of the crooked schmucks who are involved in the Russian electoral scandal.

It is a typically grandiose statement from the Whitehouse windbag, who is now showing distinct signs of panic in each new tweet on the subject. It would not surprise anyone if he tried to pull off such a stunt, but if he were to check the history books he would find that “Tricky Dicky” Nixon tried to pull a similar stunt over Watergate and was told in no uncertain terms that one cannot be the judge at your own trial.

The very fact that Trump has the nerve even to contemplate such a thing is dumbfounding to anyone with any sense of decency. However, the people who voted for him have been so hypnotised by the constant feed of fake news from his supporters that they would probably still want him as POTUS. Let us all hope that if he gets enough rope he will hang himself and the rest of those associated with him.
Ade Hegney
Helensburgh

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Repeal Bill poses a major threat to fragile devolution

IT seems that one of the biggest stories in town at the moment is how the Brexit process will affect the three devolved governments. The growing narrative is around the question of whether the Repeal Bill will eventually give greater powers to the devolved governments or, on the contrary, it will result in Westminster retaining these powers and appropriating others from the devolved governments.

In the current language, is it to be “a bonanza of powers” or is it to be a “power grab”?

I have tried reading for myself the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill but I confess to finding its contents to be, for all practical purposes, unintelligible. It is a very difficult read and is best described as dry and technical and full of legalese, jargon and endlessly confusing cross-references to numbered paragraphs, sections and sub-sections.

It is exceedingly difficult to ascertain the “truth” and what the future will hold for us. The collusion of the mainly Unionist media does nothing to provide clarity, far less objectivity.

What, then, if the worst-case scenario should prevail; that Westminster fails to transfer the repatriated powers to the devolved governments but holds on to and uses them in order to diminish our current, but incomplete, devolution?

Surely such an outcome would be an existential threat to all our hopes and expectations for increasing self-determination and ultimately independence? What support and help could we expect from the people of Scotland and their political parties and institutions in mounting a strong resistance to any power grab or diminution of our still infant devolution and Parliament?

Although many of us believe that the Scottish people are sovereign and that Holyrood is accountable to us, this view is not shared by our principal opponents.

It is a very regrettable and uncomfortable fact that three of the main opposition parties in Holyrood are so fixated on preserving the Union that they would condone and assist in the dismantling of our parliament and the denial of our sovereignty.

As things stand, we should not anticipate much assistance from any of the media in highlighting the threat to our devolution. It is obvious that it is down to all of us in the wider independence movement to look to our own efforts for the defence of Holyrood.

By coincidence, as I try to finish this letter I have just heard the guests on the Andrew Marr programme gush about the virtues and qualities of Ruth Davidson, and what a wonderful person and politician she is.

I almost choked on my porridge! For pity sake and for Scotland, we must with all urgency put an end to this nonsense by working harder to win our freedom.
JF Davidson
Bonnyrigg

DEAR Nicola Sturgeon, I read today that you are now denied direct access to the Prime Minister. Instead, you are required to liaise with the Scottish Secretary (Sturgeon told May now too important to meet with her, The National, July 22).

I am sure I echo the thoughts of the majority of Scots in saying this is an insult and a demeaning gesture. The Prime Minister is increasingly imagining herself in a presidential role, contrary to our political practice, and this denial is a further indication of her attempts at self-elevation.
I would respectfully urge you to resist this petty, small-minded edict.
William G Gray
Edinburgh

SINCE devolution, hasn’t the incumbent Scottish Secretary effectively been a minister without portfolio in the UK Cabinet?

Isn’t Theresa May suggesting this is the same level as our First Minister not so much a slur on Nicola Sturgeon as a gross insult to the people of Scotland? Where is the equality of partnership professed by May herself, and the subject of repeated lies to us during the referendum by the Better Together campaign?

Where is this equality in refusing Scotland, and Wales and Northern Ireland, to take their rightful part in the Brexit talks in our interest?

Where is the equality in according us the status of a subordinate and subjugated realm in a British colonial empire that thankfully has been consigned to an inglorious history? Haven’t we had to witness in shame the Westminster government’s complete disrespect for the EU and its negotiating team, despite the fact that it is not the EU floundering with ill-conceived aims, ill-prepared briefs and insulting negotiating conduct? Aren’t Scots cringing with embarrassment at this debacle not of our making?

Even if this is May deliberately playing us in an attempt to get us to foil Brexit, and get her off the hook before the whole nation is consumed by its own folly, surely the Scottish Government’s response must be to complete the process started with the vote at Holyrood to hold the referendum when the terms of Brexit are known?

And shouldn’t our First Minister refuse to talk directly with anyone other than the PM?
Jim Taylor
Edinburgh

CAN someone please explain why a disc jockey is worth a wage of more than £2 million of TV licence payers’ money? Also why a defunct footballer (and tattie crisp advertiser) is worth nearly £2m for presenting a football programme? That’s more than 28,000 licence fee-payers covering these two turnips’ wages alone!! How did we ever manage with Stuart Hendry and Arthur Montford?
Ian Heggie
Glenrothes