OH dear wasn’t Ross Greer making a total stooshie with his tweet about The National! Sure there are times I get p****d off with articles and letters in the paper – but it is a free voice for us all to express our opinions that would get little if any airing in the Unionist press. And if we don’t like it we can respond with a fair chance our response will be printed. This is the power of The National; it is not constrained by the narrow agenda of one viewpoint and will take risks and throw in the controversial.

This is called free speech (something supposedly close to the heart of the Greens!). Ross Greer is young and hopefully will learn you can not smear one paper or person with a blanket condemnation due to one or two incidents, but need to see the whole. And when you are reaching out and breaking new ground ,you will not always get things right or you may say things that others take exception to.

This is stretching boundaries and challenging the status quo. Thank God we have The National to shake things up and challenge us, including our views!
Crìsdean MacFhearghais
Dùn Eideann

Loading article content


The Yes movement must avoid these two fatal errors  

I ENJOY most of The National’s columnists as even those I tend to disagree with provoke me to look anew at the political backdrop against which independence has to be won.

There are two fatal errors which the wider Yes movement must avoid at all costs. The first is to adhere slavishly only to the SNP leadership line on all things as the magisterium of all truth; the second is to believe that the SNP can be ignored totally in favour of leadership from the fevered shores of far-left adventurism.

So long as diversity does not degenerate into open discord, the more visions of an independent Scotland the better. Indeed, it was, as Alex Neil MSP has pointed out, this obsessive SNP focus on the mechanism for independence rather the vision for independence that cost the party dear at the Westminster election.

Brexit, regardless of how individuals voted at the EU referendum, poses massive challenges for the Yes campaign, for the valid economic reasons Cat Boyd underlines (The hard right stood up to business when it backed Brexit – can the left do the same by backing indy?, The National, August 1) that a hard border between Scotland and England is bad for both countries and for the case for independence.

Regarding this dilemma, it might well be that the late Gordon Wilson’s call for a Celtic corridor of Scotland, Northern Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland, in the single market but outwith the EU, will gain political traction in Holyrood, Stormont, and Leinster House in the coming years.

The fraternalism of the Yes movement can be strengthened by looking at new projects which benefit the Scottish people and strengthen the case for independence. For example, a renewed focus on creating small businesses in Scotland would weaken the grip of pro-UK corporate businesses, bring vital new employment in all fields of economic life, rejuvenate town centre economies, and boost national self-confidence. Community empowerment must become reality a reality not just a slogan, and such a project would have broad appeal from the far left to the centre right of the Yes movement.
Councillor Andy Doig (Independent)
Renfrewshire Council

THE UK establishment imagined they could get a Scots majority to save the Union by backing the Tories and we had a couple of years of relentless promotion of Ruth Davidson.

They now know that there was no chance of that (as we all could have told them). So the tactics have changed to accommodate their new realisation that they need Unionist Scottish Labour in the Brit army. This is problematic as they had more or less thrown Kezia and Co overboard until fairly recently, so we are being largely Corbynised to get round this.

This is going on in lots of insidious ways, particularly online.

Sadly, there are those supposedly on our side who have been sucked into the distraction. It might indeed be a better thing for the UK that this incoherent Tory rabble in government is overthrown, but it in no way invalidates the certainty that Scotland’s best future is to be no part of any Westminster rule.

Any silly notion that Scotland’s priorities will figure largely in London’s priorities under any London government is political naivety at its most dangerous. Corbyn is being used in Scotland to damage the SNP and damage the independence cause.

That is all, and the naive who imagine they can vote for Labour in Scotland and still claim to support independence need to be shown the bigger picture as the reality of what they are doing has obviously escaped them.

Or perhaps they just joined the independence bandwagon to get on to the platform when that was the best place to be.
Dave McEwan Hill
Sandbank, Argyll

WE are now hearing about tolls being removed from a bridge in Wales. And is it not simply wonderful that the first naval ship to be built on the Clyde is to be called HMS Glasgow? These are items of good news but they have a purpose. They are designed to instil a favourable attitude towards our wonderful UK Government benefactors.

Then we hear Michael Gove telling fishermen there is a sea of opportunity out there. And farmers can look forward to a land of milk and honey. And Liam Fox seems to want us to eat special chicken from the US. Was he not once the defence secretary who had to resign a few years ago? He could perhaps feed some chicken to a member of his family to prove its quality, as happened at the time of mad cow disease.

And on his visit to Australia, I wonder if our Foreign Secretary, who represents our country in the world, will have learned to comb his hair? It is to be hoped that they won't live to wish they had not listened to the philistines.

Or that the fishermen don’t find themselves “all at sea”. As for the farmers, who have the serious problem of avoiding inheritance tax to contend with, the Second World War parody comes to mind: Underneath the spreading chestnut tree, Winston Churchill said to me, “If you want to get your gas mask free, you must join the ARP”.

Robert Johnston

NO surprise that our ruling party is increasingly fractured (Cabinet of chaos, The National, August 1). As soon as Theresa May “lost” the General Election, she became a lame duck and a behind-the-scenes power struggle ensued.
Joe Wilson