I READ Naomi O’Leary’s article in Saturday’s Bella Caledonia magazine with a great deal of interest (A Wake-Up Call: Britain’s ignorance of Ireland is leading it blindly into crisis, The National, December 2).

I wholeheartedly agree that the border issue on the island of Ireland is of more importance than the UK Government is commenting on in public.

Having studied geography even beyond S6 in school I don’t think I ever encountered much, if anything, about Northern Ireland or the Republic. Like the English and Welsh students she commented upon, I too know less about the situation than should be the case.

When undertaking a bus tour of Belfast just a few years ago I was amazed that there were still huge wire fences between back gardens of neighbouring streets straddling a boundary between a Protestant area and a Catholic one.

The peace is fragile.

There were parallels and differences with the Republic of Ireland and Scotland. She and her compatriots have a grounding of her own country’s history far greater than I had of mine. I am just glad that the Scottish Government has made notable steps to remedy that situation.

I would have liked, however, if Naomi hadn’t just lumped us in with the Brexit-voting lands to the south but explicitly noted the very different view of the large majority of Scots who chose to put their ballot box cross for Remain.

As a postscript, can I add that I feel there is a question to ask those who voted Remain in 2016 and are quite understandably anxious about the future when we are all lumbered with Brexit.

Did you vote No in 2014? If you did, you actually voted then to give us Brexit! You made all our Scottish Remain votes in 2016 a total irrelevance.

An independent Scotland would still be in the EU and undoubtedly challenging very strongly for the HQs of the EU medicines or finance agencies which will be departing from London.

Neil Myles


IN a week where Brexit looms ever larger in the public psyche and the fate of Scotland lies in the hands of a shower of brigands, one would think that wee Wullie Rennie would be front and centre proclaiming his and his party’s commitment to fighting this farce.

But no, Rennie thinks that having a go at the Scottish Government on the teething problems of the new Queensferry Crossing is much more important (Carolyn Leckie: Petty point-scorer Willie Rennie seems to have a short memory,The National, December 4).

Is he really that desperate to get some media attention that he has to resort to this? Is he so devoid of opinion or fire regarding Brexit that this is the best he can come up with?

It would appear that this is the case.

Rennie and what is left of the LibDems have been almost anonymous of late both in Holyrood and in the media, and they seem to believe that their main purpose in life is to constantly scream “SNP Baaaad” at every opportunity.

On this occasion he chose the wrong subject completely. If he had taken even a few minutes to research the issue he would have seen that not only was it in the public domain, but written into the contract of the project, that snagging work was to be expected for a year after the bridge opened.

That is of little consequence to Oor Wullie.

All that matters to him is that he gets a smidgen of media exposure and the chance to try and rubbish the SNP.

It backfired spectacularly, as his argument was trashed in minutes and the bridge-using public apparently accepted the inconvenience as the were aware that projects of this size will inevitably have teething problems.

So my advice to Rennie is this: please get your facts right and refrain from spouting anti-SNP propaganda, and get yourself involved in the saving of Scotia from the Brexiteers.

What is needed right now in our nation is for all parties to drop the tribalism and work together to try and save us from the horrors of Brexit as, unusually, that is a common cause we can and should be able to work together on.

Wouldn’t that be a more productive form of media exposure Wullie?

Ade Hegney