ON Saturday a number of members of the Scottish Socialist Party took an active part in the latest AUOB independence march and rally in Edinburgh.

Support for independence being written into the party’s DNA, so to speak, we are regular participants at such events with our flags and banners and as always it was heartening to see a large turnout, with tens of thousands of people calling for Scotland’s right to govern itself as a sovereign nation.

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As is our custom we set up our stall and gazebo with our petition for a Living Wage of at least £10 per hour now for all workers and an end to the disgraceful scourge of zero-hours contracts.

While this petition is always popular, this year it had an extra edge, with Boris Johnson’s empty pledge to raise the Minimum Wage to £10.50 per hour five years hence still fresh in the news.

Scotland’s working-class majority are nobody’s fools, and many of those who signed the petition rightly pointed out to us that £10.50 in 2024 is no use to anybody today, when so many are subsisting on poverty wages.

We were particularly encouraged by the response we received on Saturday, with many people queueing in the rain to sign the petition and show their support for a Living Wage for all.

This remarkable response served to strengthen in our minds the conviction that for the independence movement to succeed it must mean something to our working-class majority.

Scotland is a nation riven by inequality and poverty; currently one million Scots officially live in poverty – most of them working – while in our capital city a quarter of children are expensively educated at so-called “public” schools.

The Scottish Socialist Party maintains that Scottish independence will never be won by references to William Wallace and Robert the Bruce or by simply changing the flag but by convincing Scotland’s working-class majority that it is their best hope for a real improvement in their material conditions.

Cries of “Freedom!” are all well and good, but freedom from what? Freedom from poverty wages. Freedom from inadequate housing. Freedom from Dickensian working conditions. These are some of the freedoms that will win Scotland her independence.

Michael Davidson

WATCHING a recording of late-night reruns of a decades-old TV show seems much more like an indulgence born out of a halcyon time, all rosy and warm, than an education.

Certainly I had warm memories of Tutti Frutti, and started rewatching the series in hopes of a remembered youth.

The settings are bleak, so bleak that they seem contrived, but then memory stirs, perhaps not. Those were bleak days of damp and cold, played out against a background of miners strikes, blackouts, factory closures and Thatcherism. Days when we were only beginning to awake from the power of racism, misogynistic male supremacy and sectarian hate.

Older these days, woken, experienced and educated I see all the tonal shading that the writer placed at every opportunity, waiting for those who looked.

Every female character with her own cross, their unwitting male counterparts the carpenters.

Noreen trying, and failing, to cope with Diver. Gleanna failing to control herself, while seeking Vincent’s attention, while he was self-absorbed in a career that never was.

Suzy Kettles and Danny McGlone seem much more promising characters, which merely heightens the disappointment of their existence.

This all throws up as some sort of metaphor for Scotland’s place in the Union. Some of us are aware and see the true picture, while others, more self-absorbed perhaps, wallow in the desperate situation we are in. Perhaps feeling powerless to change, insulating themselves from a truth far too painful to behold. The faint lines of control run through our society – we only have to look. Breaking them takes little effort once they are identified.

The last episode airs, once more, next Sunday. I can’t remember the end – perhaps there will be some hope.

Brian Kelly

I AGREE with Robin MacLean (Letters, October 7) that we need to do something about the litter problem in Scotland. But I don’t think we need to look as far as Japan.

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We need only look and learn from as Far East as Edinburgh, where the streets are mostly devoid of litter – especially when compared with Glasgow.

I see Edinburgh bins have a notice saying “I am a bin. Put your litter in.” Could it be all that’s needed is to point this out to folk? Cheap solution. Job done.

Liz Davidson
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