YOUR article about the Crimean War (Exhibition will display the first ever images to document the reality of war, (The National, August 4), is very interesting but I would like to draw your readers’ attention to a book by Duncan Brown of Larkhall – My Hero, My Soldier Laddie – about the life of one of the first soldiers to be awarded the Victoria Cross, David Mackay, of the 93rd Sutherland Highlanders, who fought in Crimea.

He was awarded the Victoria Cross, which was made from the metal of the Russian guns the regiment captured, as requested by Queen Victoria.

Although he came from Lyth, Sutherland, David ended his life in the parish of Lesmahagow, near Auchenheath.

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After the death of his wife in 1879, David sold his VC for £75 to ease the financial burden on his family and, when he died in 1880, he was buried in a pauper’s grave in Lesmahagow cemetery along with his wife.

It would be good to know where that medal is now, not from a financial point of view, so that its owner may learn its real value.

The author arranged for a gravestone to be erected for David, a hero’s hero, after 118 years.
Dennis White


Fishing industry is merely pawn in Tories’ game

ANOTHER day, another Brexit bombshell, this time cruelly involving our fishermen (Gove’s Brexit Bombshell for fishing, The National, August 4).

In a visit to Denmark the Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, has confirmed that some EU fishing boats will still be able to fish in British waters. This is totally at odds with previous claims by the Brexiteers, reinforced by Gove himself on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show last month, who said no foreign boats would be allowed to fish within six to 12 miles of the UK coast. Indeed, he continued by saying that the UK would become an “independent coastal state” after leaving the EU, which would allow it to extend control of its waters up to 200 miles from its coastline.

This U-turn is a quite incredible revelation and a total let-down for our fishermen, many of whom voted for Brexit on the basis of “taking back control”, but now find they are pawns in a game; the promises made bartered away. It should also be noted this statement was made without consultation with the Scottish Government, despite fisheries being a devolved issue.

The fishermen were sold out when the UK entered what was then the EEC, on the basis they were “expendable”. They recently put faith in those advocating Brexit on the basis that the UK would take control of its waters. While Gove tries to keep fishermen onside with false promises, he is jetting around Europe telling them the opposite.
Alex Orr

I DON’T know what makes me more angry, is it that Michael Gove has already sold out on his promises to the Scottish fishermen or, is it that our fishing industry was so gullible that they traded their votes for a tissue of bare-faced Tory lies?

Personally, I do not think that the CFP was ideal, however, all of the fishing restrictions that it created have ensured that Scotland’s waters now have sustainable stocks.

During the restrictions that were created by the CFP, Scotland’s fishing fleet suffered serious financial consequences, and now that the seas are abundant with the world’s finest seafood, the Scottish fleet and the economy will lose out again as access to our seas is traded away in shady Westminster deals that have already started in Denmark.

Scotland needs to regain full control of our fishing grounds and retain access to the European single market. Hopefully our fishing industry will realise this and change course quickly before the bargaining chips are all traded away and our fleet is sunk forever.
Craig Hunter

MICHAEL Gove has let the Tory cat out of the bag with his careless statement to the Danish fishermen. Whether he had forgotten that the issue of fisheries is a devolved area, or just so full of his own self-importance as a Brexit windbag, he blithely confirmed what a great many of us suspected (other than the fishermen’s union who swallowed his promises hook, line and sinker): that the Westminster Government intends to snatch back this devolved area – and no doubt many others. It also flies in the face of his statement that he made on the Andrew Marr Show the other week when he clearly said that no foreign boats would be allowed to fish six to 12 miles from the UK coast.

It is, of course, par for the course that he contradicts himself at almost every turn, but this time it appears more insidious as this statement, if true, proves just what the Tories are up to with regard to devolved administrations, and just how little they regard the devolved administrations or their legal governments. By not even seeing the requirement to consult the devolved administrations on this matter he confirms that we are just a necessary evil in their minds, who have to have the occasional perfunctory acknowledgement on the Brexit process. Time and again we have seen the way in which Westminster views the devolved areas with the exception now of their new best friends in N. Ireland, and it is high time we stood up to this treatment.

One final thought, Gove stated that the Scottish fishing industry couldn’t land all the fish that are to be caught in our waters. What a stupid remark to make. Two solutions spring out at you. One, increase the size of the fleet; or, keep the catches as they are and allow stocks to grow.
Ade Hegney

THE article by Professor Richard Murphy in “Get the currency and the tax system right and indy Scotland could flourish, The National, August 3) hit the big rusty nail of all arguments about Scottish independence square on the head: “Get the currency and the tax system right and an Indy Scotland could flourish.” The Better Together mantra was “what about the pound” in 2014 and in 2017 it is still being churned out.

Many, if not most, people have no understanding how “money” works but despite their ignorance will use this money topic and embark on bizarre and fantastic arguments – both sides – why Scotland could, or can’t, be a sovereign state.

These arguments have been a waste of time for years and lead straight into the cul-de-sac of failure and thus the continued status quo with the Bank of England and the City of London owning, and running, our country.

The professor is 100 per cent correct, that in order to be an independent country Scotland must have its own currency and a central bank. This policy has to be adopted as a red line by all of the Yes movement or we will all lose.
Gary Smith