THIS Sunday, an event of huge significance to the world will occur. The Nobel Peace Prize will be awarded to Ican, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. It is being given this for its work in achieving a treaty banning nuclear weapons agreed by 122 states at the United Nations on July 7 this year.

Both of these historic acts have been boycotted by the nine rogue nuclear states. Britain is going ahead with the renewal of Trident at a cost of £200 billion. Westminster clearly sees the UK remaining a nuclear-armed state in perpetuity, with Scotland housing the biggest arsenal of H-bombs in Europe for aye.

This is in spite of the opposition of the churches, the trade unions and all the political parties except the Tories. Who cares about the “democratic deficit”? To all true British patriots our atomic status symbol is cheap at the price.

America is planning a $3 trillion “modernisation” programme for its nuclear weapons. So, it is business as usual for those states to which divine favour has granted the right to threaten the world with weapons of mass destruction – a privilege forever denied to lesser breeds. And how dare North Korea do what we are doing?

What is unforgivable is that both the Peace Prize and the treaty have been ignored by the mass media. I am confident that The National will give these events the emphasis they deserve. After all, this means that we just might have a future.

One thing is for sure. Earth can be home to either human beings or nuclear bombs, but not both. We must choose. Life or death.
Brian Quail

BRAVO Mairi Gougeon! She is showing commendable integrity and courage in raising the matter of Catalonia’s right to express its people’s political views despite the oppression of the Spanish Government (Political silence on Catalonia is shocking – is Europe so afraid to discuss democracy?, The National, December 5).

Yesterday’s National was filled with cries for Scotland’s vote in favour of remaining in the EU to be recognised in the name of democracy. Your front page, “No excuses: Scotland must now have its own deal”, demands that Scotland’s democratic vote on Brexit be honoured.

But we are guilty of hypocrisy if we continue to turn our faces away from the injustice of politicians in Catalonia, such as Carles Mundo and Raul Romeva, being imprisoned for standing for election on a platform which the Spanish Government doesn’t like; or Oriol Junqueras being obliged to “abandon efforts to seek unilateral independence” in the hope of “securing release”, and the judge who issued the decree being reported as saying that it remained to be seen if his promise to abide by Spanish law was “truthful and real”.

Mairi Gougeon describes the EU’s inaction following the European Committee of the Region’s debate and reports: “In fact, throughout the corridors of Brussels, Catalonia has become the elephant in the room.”

This is a situation which will continue unless and until other politicians of all parties and from all EU countries stand up for democracy.
Lovina Roe

GEORGE Kerevan’s excellent analysis of the break-up and sell-off of the Royal Bank of Scotland makes the case for action (George Kerevan: The fiasco at RBS shows Scotland must be in charge of its own finances, The National, December 4).

We now need to buy/acquire/take over the 62 branches in Scotland owned by RBS. We – Scotland – own part of that 72 per cent state-owned bank, so let’s have some action. Take these branches into our ownership as a statement of a new Scotland.

Our Central Bank and our Scottish Investment Bank must support proper financial services for all. Open, accessible, a bank account for everyone – no financial exclusion. Make these former branches centres for Citizens Advice, financial services and support for our small businesses.

This is what happens elsewhere – only here do need to act. Let’s grasp the nettle.
David Roberts
Lochgilphead, Argyll