IT is well established that there is a strong correlation between holding left-wing political views and supporting Scottish independence, yet many such voters either feel politically homeless, or, like Labour’s two dozen indy-supporting election candidates, feel compelled to contort their views into incoherent political compromises (Tories furious as handful of Labour candidates back independence or indyref2’, Apr 12).

Since the “Rainbow Parliament” (2003-07), the ideological spectrum of Scottish politics has become depressingly, dangerously narrow, with only the constitutional question separating the Holyrood parties, both from each other and now, apparently, internally as well. The once-radical Greens now exist only as a pseudo-progressive fig leaf struggling to conceal the corporate capture and incompetence of the SNP, while Alba are to the SNP what Ukip once was to the Tories: a toxic redoubt for the movement’s malcontents, weirdos and bigots.

READ MORE: Douglas Ross refuses to call on Boris Johnson to quit over Met partygate fine

Fortunately, left-wing independence supporters need not despair, because there is still a home for them in Scotland’s radical pro-independence party of the left, the Scottish Socialist Party. In May, the SSP will be standing candidates in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Paisley, Cumbernauld and Irvine. In a political and media environment implacably hostile to socialist voices, each of these local campaigns will be an epic struggle, which is why all who wish to elect councillors committed to fight tirelessly for communities and a country founded on the principles of justice and solidarity should get involved and support the SSP’s alternative, optimistic vision of Scotland’s future.

Ian Macbeth
Scottish Socialist Party
Lothians Branch

IN these turgid economic times it is heartening to read that counselling by the charity Citizens Advice Scotland not only aids families and individuals but is worth up to £245 million in net gains for Scottish society. The valuable and selfless work carried out by CAB employees and a veritable army of volunteers, often to support the most vulnerable people in the country, sits in complete contrast to the ruthless economic liberalism of the unprincipled and uncaring Westminster government.

Clients who contact Citizens Advice are invariably treated with empathy, understanding and common sense regardless of their social standing or issues, and every effort is made to meet their needs. Sadly, in times of real economic and social privation, charities like CAB act as a barometer of just how badly people’s lives are being affected on a daily basis. So as fuel and food prices rocket, accompanied by the tangible effects of a Brexit orchestrated to benefit the super rich, CABs are inundated by requests for food bank referrals and advice on other avenues of support.

READ MORE: UK's economic growth slows significantly with business confidence down

The Scottish Government, though far from perfect, has shown from the introduction of benefits like the Scottish Child Payment that there is a will to help people cope with the worst excesses of Westminster inaction and the unacceptable increase in widespread poverty. Our own government is compassionate and transparently believes in the distribution of wealth and social equality, unlike the “greed is good” credo of the inept Dickensian administration in London.

Long may Citizens Advice maintain their sterling work and assist those in real need in the dark economic months ahead. Their work should not only be recognised but celebrated by all those who value justice and fairness and an independent Scotland.

Owen Kelly

MICHAEL Fry’s article in Monday’s National (Why a 700-year-old letter to a pope is still such a key part of Scotland’ story) is a good reminder of what is happening now. The English elite in London are essentially still doing what Edward I and II did – ignoring the will of the Scots.

So, in a way, Roy Williamson was incorrect to say in his well-loved song, Flower of Scotland, “Those days are past now, and in the past they must remain” – because these days are not past. The Tories are waging a war against Scotland’s right of democracy and right to exist as a nation just the Edwards did way back then, and the only way to counter this today is by a majority Yes vote in indyref2.

If Nicola Sturgeon (today’s Bruce) has to “write a letter” to the UN urging them to put England in its place and back off, then she would do no better than to reiterate the spirit of the Declaration of Arbroath amply discussed in Michael Fry’s article.

Dennis White

A RECENT paleolontologica study has shed light on the Borison, a remarkable throwback from the Cretinacious Era – predated, of course, by the Browntosaur recently dug up by Labour workers.

While the Borison is widely believed to have survived almost exclusively on a diet of fermented grapes, the Brownosaur inclined towards indigestible grapes of a soured variety.

The emissions of both beasts appear to have been responsible for a particularly noxious form of air pollution, distressing to the majority of creatures in the vicinity.

READ MORE: Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak to be fined over partygate scandal

Little is known of a related species – the Reesian Moggaddon, thought to have existed in a state of suspended animation in the era roughly corresponding to that of the two aforementioned dinosaurs, apart from the fact that it preferred its own company to that of its contemporaries.

By way of contrast, the Pritinasti Patelipod – a singularly vicious, sharp-clawed brute – would not tolerate the presence of any alien species encroaching on its territory, resorting to violent attacks on the latter.

It is hoped that ongoing research might provide us with clues as to the relevance – if any – of these creatures to present-day life.

James Stevenson