I WHOLLY agree with Neil Cameron regarding the proposed move by Neymar to PSG (Neymar’s £200m Paris Saint-Germain move is proof the ba’s burst, The National, August 1). Followers of football will have seen this coming as the beautiful game is not so beautiful any more. The elite level has become filled with greed and corruption. Modern football is no longer the game I fell in love with as a child.

However, this summer I travelled to The Netherlands to watch the Scottish women play in the European Championship. These young women are the antithesis of the men’s game. They play for the joy of it and the glory of winning.

Every one of them has a story to tell about sacrifices they have made to play for their country at the highest level, having travelled the world due to the absence of a professional league here. And yet they receive no great riches.

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Watching these talented women and the sporting fans restored my faith in football. They played the game in the spirit it should be played. I intend to attend a few more women’s game this year as they deserve our support. Football may well be saved – but it will be women who will save it.

Robin Hall, Aberdeen

TUESDAY’S National exemplified the need for a pro-indy media that not only supports indy, but enables the kind of debate and discussion required to get us there. After all, where else would I find Michael Fry presenting counter arguments to those of Kevin McKenna (Sorry Kevin McKenna, but your paradise of equality is more like La-La-Land, The National, August 1.

Access to and the use of free speech are integral to equality and justice. Let’s face it, free speech is not a given, worldwide, so to quote (and manipulate) Virginia Woolf in A Room of One’s Own: “Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.”

My mind requires the stimulation of independent thought from others, which meant I delighted in reading about McKenna “being on the ropes”, and being reminded of Gordon Wilson’s call for a Celtic corridor (Letters, The National, August 2). Independence won’t be the end product in itself, just the beginning of the next phase. And if getting there means there is open criticism of pro-indy parties and politicians, their policies, and actions (or lack of) so be it.

If we are to retain Yes votes, and draw in the doubters, the undecided, those within the No camp open to persuasion, then we have to be the broad church that the Union denies us in its biased media. In microcosm, isn’t that what the indy movement is all about: broad based, open to ideas, engaging all and sundry? Post-2014, and with the continued assault by the Unionists and their supporters, claiming a second indyref will be divisive and damaging, I, for one, need The National, one paper where I know ideas can be shared and indeed challenged.

Selma Rahman, Edinburgh

WHEN Michael Fry began writing for The National, I was pleased to see the paper was allowing voices from across the political spectrum who supported the cause of independence to be heard. However, of late, Michael seems to have weaved his hostility to ideas of equality into almost everything he writes. The picture he painted of the equality desired by Kevin McKenna and many, many others is a ludicrous parody and patently not one which any of us on the left would advocate.

Michael, deliberately or otherwise, confuses making everyone equal with making everyone the same, a favourite ploy of the right to discredit egalitarianism. What most of us object to is the obscene and undeserved wealth of the mega-rich, of the over-privileged one per cent who should indeed be subject to higher taxation – much higher.

What we are looking for is greater equality, not absolute parity. What most of us on the left dislike is the fact hard work is not rewarded fairly. Hospital cleaners, social care workers, strawberry pickers and fast-food employees all work just as hard as a merchant banker or a QC, but are paid a fraction of what the latter earn. Are bankers and chief executives really working 100 times harder than those people scrabbling to make a living, often in jobs with no status, no kudos, no sense of satisfaction, and little prospect of betterment?

Michael sets up many more straw men – the hard-working Polish plumber (see I’m open-minded about immigration) whose bequest to his children is confiscated by a levelling-down state-socialist bureaucracy, or the law-abiding home-owners’ houses and pension pots seized by a faceless neo-communist regime. Even under Stalin such a dystopian scenario did not exist – why would this be the case for a Scotland which chose to make itself more egalitarian? Michael, our model is Denmark and Finland, not Mao’s China.

Dr David White, Galashiels     

MICHAEL Fry constantly criticises what he calls socialism. He compares private capitalism with state capitalism and has a preference for the private capital model. Both systems suffer periods of boom and bust. This happens in the private model of the US and UK, it also happens in the state model of China and Russia.

Socialism has never existed in the modern world as it requires an end to the money economy and competition between nations.

If Michael wishes to refer to socialism I suggest he keeps to examples such as the San people of the Kalahari or the St Kildans of the Western Isles.

Brian Davis, Tongue, Sutherland

THE Scottish Government is setting up an independently-led group to examine grouse moor management, which includes mountain here culling (The National, July 31). Will this be similar to the one that allowed the taildocking ban to be reversed and the foxhunting ban to become a joke? A lot of SNP supporters like myself are finding it difficult to continue believing in this party. Are we indeed back to the time of the tartan Tories?

Willie McDonald Nairn IN reply to CJ Kerr (Why should I pay for damage caused by problem drinkers? Letters, July 31), minimum pricing is only part of the issue of alcohol dependency. We must try to become a country that cares about our young people. As adults, we are all responsible for the unemployment and poverty which brings people to the depths of despair because we allowed it to happen without fighting back. It does not help if we call people “junkies”. As a smoker, you were also drug dependent.

Rosemary Smith East Kilbride