AFTER a mercifully quiet few weeks when Ruth Davidson was off resting her weary tongue, normal service has been resumed. She is back and once again talking about the subject dearest to her heart – herself! I suppose we should not be surprised by this as policy issues were also conspicuous by their absence throughout her council and General Election campaign – with the obvious exception of her crie de coeur “No to indyref2” (copyright R Davidson).

And she certainly does not want to talk about issues such as Brexit, the rape clause and the pitiful performance of “her” MPs at Westminster.

Abuse of Ruth Davidson or indeed anyone, whether on social media, in the press or anywhere else, is wrong. Sadly, most public figures these days are recipients of similar abuse – indeed some of Ruth’s own supporters are as guilty as those who abuse her.

Now, brace yourselves for the return of Ruth Davidson’s comedy roadshow when she reprises her greatest hits from the past year – “Get on with the day job”, “No to indyref2!” and “Sit down!”. Coming soon to the most powerful devolved parliament in the universe.
James Mills


Brexit hardly a shining example of democracy

MAY I remind Julia Pannell that Scots did not vote for Brexit, we are being taken out of the EU against our will (Calls to disregard the Leave vote should disturb Yes supporters, Letters, The National, July 26). Neither did two-thirds of Britons explicitly consent to it, so let’s please not have any lectures about democracy.

When the independence vote was lost in 2014, it was because of an intrinsic fear by many that Scotland was not a viable economic option on its own. This was promulgated by the No campaign despite a lack of specific and relevant statistical data to refute it, and despite the fact that countries as small as Iceland, with a population of only 330,000, have little difficulty supporting themselves, while countries of a similar size near us are thriving; their oil revenues used for common good and not squandered on the excesses of our central government in Westminster.

My gripe with Ms Pannell’s view about the EU, however, is that Britain has been a woeful member.  It has shuffled about like a reluctant bride for 40 years, allowing others to shape the EU. We could have led it by now; instead we are leaving in embarrassing disgrace. Even now, with diplomacy and political will, we could still influence and help reform the EU. It’s not too late.

Personally, having embraced the EU model, I don’t view immigration from the EU as a bad thing.

And Nicola Sturgeon is absolutely right – with an ageing population exacerbated by the demographic bulge of the baby boom generation, we do need more enterprising, tax-paying workers to fund the social provision we will need in the future. This is irrefutable and Brexit, with Westminster’s xenophobic immigration outlook, will curb this against our interests.

As for the euro, don’t we always seem to hear how bad it is, without actually being told why? Greece was a fiscal failure, effectively mass tax evasion, and it’s the stable euro and the European Central Bank saving the day. It’s the pound that is currently losing value in the exchange markets, not the Euro. Our financial power base supports retaining the pound because it creams commission off every import and export transaction. The euro is designed to create a lower-cost level playing field in the single market, benefiting us all whether we are a business or a holidaymaker.

And shouldn’t Julia have recalled what Britain was like before the EU? Our economy was a low-wage, strike-blighted basket case, with none of the relative employment and investment stability we have since enjoyed in the EU. Who wants to return to that?

I am 64 and don’t consider myself thrown on the scrapheap.  I have recently begun working with Britain’s foremost supermarket with the prospect of being welcome to work as long as I see, and am, fit. Just this week a colleague was congratulated on reaching his 80th birthday. No scrapheap there.

Julia, Brexit hasn’t happened yet. Watch this space.
Jim Taylor

I READ Julie Pannell’s Long Letter with some interest until I came to this: “The biggest fudge of all, of course, is the euro which apparently we don’t have to use (we do).”

I looked through my pockets for my euros and even had a keek in my wife’s purse. None, just that old British stuff we have been using the whole time we have been in the EU. Case dismissed.

Dave McEwan Hill  Argyll I ENTIRELY agree with Julia Pannell. I also voted Leave, not – and I have said this many times – because I am a racist xenophobic, uneducated, etc, but because of the manifest failings and injustices inherent in the EU.

It has saddened me that, recently, The National has adopted the kind of language and sensationalist coverage I normally expect from Unionist tabloids in misrepresenting the motives of many independence supporting Scots who, after a great deal of thought, and not a little anguish, voted against SNP policy in this matter.
Lovina Roe

MICHAEL Fry’s columns are usually well written and challenging but I have read the last two through gritted teeth. The only thing we have in common seems to be support for independence, although his vision is very different from mine. In fact, it bears a frightening resemblance to the model from which we are trying to escape.

It would seem, to coin a phrase, you can take the man out of the Tory Party but you can’t take the Tory Party out of the man. As for ways of tackling inequality, how about: reducing tax evasion and avoidance; reducing hours and extending holidays rather than paying obscene amounts to those whose jobs are considered so demanding they deserve such salaries; or, as has been suggested by others, considering a maximum wage.
Andrew Sanders

MICHAEL Fry is wrong. Human beings are free agents, not slaves or subservient to any order, no matter how different, how true or how capitalist. Reason provides we are free to treat each other as equals.
James Graham

I ENDORSE Linda Horsburgh’s plea to be able to acknowledge publicly our nationality (Letters, The National, July 26). I recently purchased tickets to Alex Salmond’s show at the Fringe and was forced to state my country as the United Kingdom. What irony!
Ian Richmond
Dumfries and Galloway