I JUST about choked on my dinner when I saw the pompous Anas Sarwar on Saturday night’s news decrying the SNP’s record on health. When will he and others in the Yoon parties accept that there is a UK-wide shortage of medical and care staff due to Wastemonster pay restraint and the Tory’s botched Brexit negotiations?

It also worth reminding him of the current performance ratings of the Home Nations. Top of the list comes NHS Scotland, run by the SNP, and trailing a long way behind at the coo’s tail we find Labour-controlled NHS Wales.

There is also a national shortage of GPs. My nephew’s practice in Essex should be a 10-doctor practice but is currently running on five, two of whom are two years past retirement. It seem to me that what is being deliberately avoided is the fact that this is a “free” country where doctors can choose where and what type of medicine they want to practice.

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My other point is that the Scottish Government must start laying down the law to medical schools to change their ways of selection to allow more young people with no family connection to medicine to gain entry.

Charlie Gallagher
Sullom, Shetland

I READ with interest Carolyn Leckie’s column on her advice as to how the SNP should react to the Corbyn phenomenon (SNP has to learn from Corbyn’s rise or face being left behind, The National, July 24). While I often enjoy her writings, I do feel she is somewhat overcooking the impact Corbyn has had on Scottish politics before, during and since the General Election.

Firstly, she claims that: “Overnight, hordes of tartan Blairites have been converted to Corbynism.” Have they really? A quick examination of the Scottish results from June 8 show that the Labour vote in Scotland only increased by 9860 overall. They still only have seven seats (down from 41 in 2010) and were third behind the Scottish Conservatives in all aspects of the election. Hardly the ringing endorsement Carolyn claims Corbyn has enjoyed in Scotland.

We must also remember that Corbyn is, first and foremost, a Unionist. He is also the leader of the party of which Kezia Dugdale is the Scottish leader, and she is more Unionist than the Conservatives!  Corbyn also supports a hard Brexit by wishing to leave the single market and customs union, and has blamed immigration for causing employment problems and wage reduction in the UK. He is in favour of renewing Trident; has no plans to scrap the abomination that is the House of Lords; does not speak out against the perpetuation of the monarchy; and has given no indication that he wishes to introduce a fairer electoral system by scrapping first-past-the-post and introducing proportional representation.

Corbyn would not reverse more than three-quarters of the Tory austerity programme, and now he can’t seem to understand simple arithmetic with his misguided plans to tour Scotland and attack the SNP, the very party that would have possibly helped him into Number 10. The list goes on and on.

The best parts of his manifesto were carbon copies of what the SNP has delivered in Scotland for a decade. Rather than saying the SNP need to be more like Corbyn in order to nullify his popularity, it seems to me there is much about the SNP that he admires.

While Carolyn Leckie stresses the role of class and its impact on social and economic inequality, I think she is mistaken if she believes Corbyn’s Labour Party has the solution to this fundamental problem. The best opportunity to tackle inequality in Scotland is by gaining independence. Once this has been achieved, it will be for future generations to decide who governs Scotland and to choose who is best placed to deal with inequality. After independence, we will see a very different Labour Party in Scotland. Watch them become anti-Trident, pro-electoral reform and pro-single market membership overnight.  Scotland is split down the middle on the issue of the constitution. Labour must recognise and support the right of the people of Scotland to decide their own future through democratic means. As long as Scottish Labour and their masters in London continue to be arch Unionists, who refuse to allow even the discussion of a second independence referendum, then they don’t speak for me.

Alan Carroll

ARE there little signs of some unified thinking from the Tories? Of course it won’t last, but they all currently seem to be saying, even the arch-Brexiteers Fox and Gove, that they’ll settle for a couple of years more in the single market after the official exit date of March 29, 2019. Is this a softening of the previous hard Brexit approach? Or is it just an awareness emerging of the chaos when we exit the EU?

Is Brexit dying by stealth? I would argue it isn’t. There is, in reality, only one way for Britain to stay in the single market or the EU and that is another referendum providing a different result from last year’s.

The likelihood of another UK-wide referendum taking place is low, though not impossibly low. If it doesn’t happen, Scotland will exit with the UK unless we choose a different path to the UK, and that path is independence. It’s a no-brainer as our health as a modern and advanced nation is dependent on us making the correct choice.

It would not in any way be divisive for Scotland to choose to stay in the European mainstream. Quite the opposite. The divisive borders are being put up by Brexit, not the Scottish movement towards independence. If there is a border of sorts at Carlisle, is it not the same kind of border as that which will go up at the English Channel ports and English airports and which may have to go up between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

It is Brexit that is divisive, so don’t fall for the fake news. I would love the UK to somehow stay in the EU or even somehow negotiate fully staying in the single market. If it doesn’t happen, we’d better be fit and ready for campaigning. Independence within the EU is our only realistic alternative to the dominion status desired by the Tories and other Unionists.

David Crines

THE now general acceptance of the need for transitional arrangements is the clearest indication that even the arch-Brexit Tories are beginning to realise the whole project has been mis-sold. Delaying the cliff edge will only allow the inevitable unpalatable truth to be clouded in political prevarication for a few more years. The introduction of transitional periods will further complicate the definition of the final terms should a final parliamentary vote be required, and by that time there is no guarantee the existing negotiating team will even still be in place.

Peter Gorrie