WHILE there are many good things happening in Scotland on the whole, we are still fighting with one hand tied behind our back, despite the good efforts of our present SNP government.

There is a fear by some that if we leave the Union they will lose what they still have. They need to wake up and open their eyes; they have lost and will continue to do so many more jobs while the are still controlled by Westminster! Many years ago I would have said being part of the Union was a good thing. Not anymore! I can see in the in the not too distant future a country brought to its knees, if we don’t have the guts to stand up against roughshod over all that is legal, honest and compassionate.

My mother is English and I am half and half, as my father was Scots. Even mother was proud of Scotland and its people, as I was. But now as we get older and see many of the changes that are not for the better, our feeling are changing.

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We sing Flower of Scotland , yet I wonder if we left our guts with those who so long ago died on Flodden’s bloody field.

Yes, that was long ago, but this is now, but we still lack the courage to take on those who would pull us down. Our emblem is the Lion Rampant, sadly, more like the Lion Coward. Our government has more to do to fight against the tyranny of Westminster — are they too as afraid as the rest of the Scots? They can’t wait for Bruce and his spider, that day is in the past as well. But it shows that with courage, patience and determination, freedom and justice can prevail.

Do the Scots or their government have it? At the moment I very much doubt it.

It seems our government can be bullied with impunity. And that is unacceptable. Scotland should remember its own motto and act on it.

Nemo me impune lacessit [No-one provokes me without impunity]!
Alex Imrie
Paisley

I ASK whether it would be helpful if the Scottish Government declared that a referendum to be dependent on whether or not we could stay in the single market and customs union and further, if Brexit delivered this for us then the rational of changed circumstance to necessitate a referendum would disappear?

As it stands, the removal of Scottish referendum would be in the power of May’s “inclusive, listening”’ negotiating team to deliver what was the will of the substantial majority of Scottish voters.

Failure to deliver this for the people of Scotland would then necessitate a Scottish referendum. A simple, reasonable argument.

In Scotland, this would then give the Conservative opposition nowhere to go other than to place their draconian Etonian Westminster policies to the fore for scrutiny. Shallow rhetoric underpinned their electoral success as the election was fought on a battlefield of their choosing or rather press choosing and the record of the Scottish Government, in ameliorating the excesses of the carpet bagging Westminster government, gained no traction on the oiled surfaces of the union press.

So by making this statement it removes the Scottish Government to a battlefield of their choosing, removes gummy Tory rhetoric and places the onus on the grass roots organisations to deliver the changed circumstance amongst the sovereign Scottish population by demonstrating a majority in favour of independence.

But only if the Tories deliver for Scotland in Europe and when have Tories delivered for Scotland? So 2019 then after all.

Just a thought.
Derek Pretswell
Oban
 

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Impact of Brexit on Aberdeen not as bad as reported

A FEW weeks ago local and national headlines included “Aberdeen to be worst hit by Brexit”, referring to a report by the Centre for Cities that Aberdeen’s economic output would decline by 3.7 per cent in a hard Brexit, Many reports didn’t mention that this 3.7 per cent decline is the total over 10 years, it is not cumulative every year. This is less than 0.4 per cent a year compounded, a miniscule amount that could vary wildly in each direction and be lost among other influences.

I confirmed this with the Centre for Cities Chief Executive, Andrew Carter. He also confirmed the figures they had for Aberdeen were from 2014.

Some newspapers omitted the section which said cities most likely to suffer were also “home to large, highly skilled labour markets, significant numbers of innovative firms and strong business networks ... crucial in enabling a city to reinvent or adapt its industrial structure to changing economic circumstances”.

This is happening now. Spurred by the oil recession, Aberdeen businesses are increasing exports of complex, high-value goods and services in Africa, the Middle and Far East, the Americas and Australia. These countries are not EU members, which augurs well for the future.

Aberdeen also ranks higher on key metrics such as patent applications, ranking sixth out of 63 cities. Dundee is 18th, Edinburgh 23rd, Glasgow 50th. While its GVA is sixth out of 63 cities, Edinburgh is 12th, Glasgow 36th and Dundee 40th.

Most local businesses or non-SNP politicians will tell you our key economic risks are indyref2, the huge rise in business rates whereby City and Shire companies are paying half the total £390 million Scottish increase, and the fact that our two councils receive 13 per cent less in block grants from Holyrood than they should. Their total annual spend of around £1000m is £120m less than it should be, according to Aberdeenshire Council.

We also collect £23m more in local taxes than we get back from Holyrood.

The north east economy has more to worry about than a statistically insignificant estimate of Brexit decline.

For the record, I voted to Remain in the EU, but I accept the result and want a good Brexit deal and the end to this indyref2 madness. It does no good at all to peddle weak statistics, we need facts and truth from all sides.
Allan Sutherland
Stonehaven

J F DAVIDSON’S correspondence (Letters, The National, July 8) sums up Scotland’s position now. Westminster/England are never going to relinquish their power over Scotland, now or later. I think we have got to think “colonialist”.

We are a colony of England and no persuading will make either the Tories or Labour think otherwise.

I think the answer is to take note of A Baird’s newsnet.scot article dated Jul 5 and entitled Does Brexit Vote Underline Scotland is not a Country, but a Colony?

In the article, Baird states that the Scottish Government must make representations to the United Nations. Their (UN)avowed written policy is that colonial nations should most definitely apply for independence through their auspices.

If we don’t do this we will continue going round in circles.
Michael Watts
Tarbert, Argyll

THE lasting legacy 10 years on from the global financial crisis has left many still suffering the consequences. But alas, it has not been the banks and financial institutions who have paid the heaviest price, it has been ordinary hard-working families being hit by pay freezes and austerity cuts, which plunged many of those hard-working families into poverty and dependant on benefits. How many bankers and financiers ended up on state benefits for survival? The government of the day and since, went for the easy option and penalised the vulnerable and defenceless while bailing out the bankers. Unforgivable, I would suggest. Those actions spoke louder than words and the actions of successive governments still speaks louder than words, especially to those who are still suffering the consequences. Going forward and to secure any kind of just society for all, lessons must be learned.
Catriona C Clark
Banknock, Falkirk