HARDLY any reasonable person doesn’t now recognise that the ever-more widespread grinding poverty in Scotland and throughout the UK is in stark contrast to millions of folk and their families at the other end of the spectrum, who, let’s say, “have got a few bob”.

There must be millions of folk like me wondering why the hell governments find it oh so complicated to compulsorily take a reasonable amount of wealth from the latter to give a leg up to the former.

When Rishi Sunak decided that everybody, and I mean everybody, irrespective of wealth, would get £400 to help pay fuel bills, he suggested that those that didn’t need it could, like him, donate it to a relevant charity. So that’s what it’s come to in the UK in the 21st century. Those in need are going to have to hope that those that don’t need the £400 donate it to their local foodbank. This is Dickensian!

I was a teenager in the much-derided 1970s. We are constantly told by the media that these were extremely dark days indeed, with the plebs going out on strike at the drop of a hat. Yes, very dark times of almost full employment and no foodbanks because these pesky plebs insisted via their trade unions that they should receive decent wages.

During these times the richest felt downtrodden at having to pay so much tax and looked on longingly at other much more unequal countries where the few at the top amassed so much more compared to their very own pesky plebs.

Well, these folk in the UK got their own way and some! Many of them to this day are so inured to the plight of the lesser mortals (in their eyes), they expect Sunak to hand them even more in across-the-board tax cuts. I’m sorry, that is not only immoral, but plain evil, if you ask me. No one will ask me though. Those with views similar to mine have been airbrushed out of contemporary society, like those Russians that are against Putin’s “special operation” in Ukraine.

In my opinion, proper and drastic redistribution of the overall wealth in Scotland has to take place to benefit those that have lost out so badly since that dark day in May 1979 when Thatcher came to power. This will inevitably and quite rightly entail levelling down as well as levelling up, but it will be fair!

In the 21st century, everyone should have sufficient income to have a roof over their head in a warm home when it’s cold and be able to feed themselves and their families properly. This should be a right, such as the universal right to healthcare and education. In a proper moral society, foodbanks would be a thing of the past. A bit like those god-awful flares I used to wear in the 70s!
Ivor Telfer
Dalgety Bay, Fife

HELP ma boab. I thought there was a decimal point missing. It seems the recent Scottish census has cost £148 million. When I first read it, I thought it was £1.48 million. The actual figure works out to nearly £30 a head for every man, woman and wean resident in Scotland, or about £60 a household. Over seven times the amount put aside for a referendum.

Some 15% of households couldn’t even be bothered to fill it in. I received the letter in the post (cost maybe £2 to print and send I suspect) and I spent about 10 or 15 minutes filling in the questionnaire online. You have to wonder what and where the rest of my £28 has been spent. Presumably there will be further costs in analysing and collating the data.

The envelope said “Take part to help shape Scotland’s Future”. I really struggle to see how the answers I gave to a sometimes bizarre range of questions will shape my future. I do however fear how the recently announced “reset” will.

“Scotland must rethink how it delivers its public services in the wake of Covid and Brexit,” the Finance Secretary has said. Kate Forbes went on to say the public sector had grown for years but now needed to “reset” and become more efficient.

She was speaking as she outlined the Government’s spending plans for the next five years.

The spending review suggested there would be real-terms cuts in several areas of the public sector. These included local government, higher education, the courts service, culture and external affairs.

Ms Forbes admitted that the Government “cannot prioritise everything”, adding: “We do need to reshape and refocus the public sector post-Covid and the spending review calls upon all of the public sector to look creatively at ways to sustainably address that challenge.” She said that this should be achieved through “effective vacancy and recruitment management”.

Oddly, there seemed to be no obvious reference in this five-year plan as to the effect of a Yes vote in just over a year’s time.

Maybe I missed it, but I don’t remember any mention of this “reset” at the recent local government elections. Is it now too late to reset my vote?
Dr Iain Evans

SOME thoughts for those personages who label themselves Conservatives.

Your party is currently being led by someone who doesn’t care who suffers, or is hurt, by his actions because he is without conscience. His only concept of the difference between right and wrong is balancing what he thinks he’ll get away with against what he knows he will get caught doing. He is a pathological liar with a behaviour pattern, developed over a lifetime, who will shift blame to any subordinate and, happily, betray them to save his own skin. This, while employing the charm he exudes when delivering his well-rehearsed flim-flam!

He says “I take full responsibility”, while demonstrating he is taking no responsibility as he deflects blame away from himself.

How, then, do any of those who are referred to as “Tory” justify supporting this career sociopath? I can only conclude that it’s not because they don’t believe he is a liability to their constituents or the country, it’s for fear of losing their own – very lucrative – Commons seats as they cling to their 80-seat majority!

And so, Tories, be aware that more and more of the electorate, when viewing you, or any of your ilk, as you engage in any topic, whatsoever, only have the expectation of a deluge of rhetoric which has no vestige of credibility and is more closely likened to bovine excrement than to candour or honesty!

The National: Prime Minister Boris Johnson during the National Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral, London, on day two of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations for Queen Elizabeth II. Picture date: Friday June 3, 2022. PA Photo. The National Service marks

Your Prime Minister is a poltroon. He avoids journalists, hides in refrigerators and puts up juniors to answer for his actions while he cringes in shadows.

To perform, in the Commons, there is an etiquette required, which demands extensive use of the words “honour” and “honourable”.

For any follower of Commons activity, it’s quite clear that these words should have fallen out of use in that place during the last, or maybe even a previous, century! However, to witness the current performances of this Prime Minister and his cabal of sycophants is to see a portrayal of what the word “dishonourable” means.

“Someone who is not honest and does things which you consider to be morally unacceptable,” says the Collins Dictionary, and this aptly describes the behaviour of Johnson, and those who support him as they contrive excuses for him!

The Tory Party, under Johnson, are best portrayed as the party of obfuscation, mendacity and perfidy populated by ignorant, arrogant, mountebanks, buoyed up by assumed entitlement, who have sold their very soul in their quest to cling to power. You Tories have reduced the “Mother of Parliaments”, on the world stage, to the status of Whitehall Farce and have betrayed the country you purport to represent.

The United Kingdom has become a laughing stock thanks to you and your clown prince. “Partygate” won’t go away until you address the facts that your leader was the overseer of a gross hypocrisy and then, repeatedly, lied about it!
Ned Larkin

HAVING seen reports on social media that the “majority” favour keeping Trident on the Clyde, I was concerned to find the source of this story.

Eventually, I tracked it down to the Helensburgh Advertiser and I am advised that the story was lifted by The Times and the Daily Record from that source, although that was not made clear in the reports from those newspapers.

This led me to, what I believe to be, a logical conclusion as to the veracity of its content in relation to the rest of Scotland.

The Helensburgh Advertiser – the clue is in the name and the newspaper has its base in the town of Helensburgh, where a very high percentage of occupants (and their relations) are Royal Navy personnel or civilian workers in Coulport, or Faslane (Clyde submarine base). Add to that the number of retirees from both and you have a built-in majority, in one wee corner, of folk who have a personal interest in keeping nuclear submarines and nuclear weapons in the Clyde in the Gareloch on submarines and Coulport on Loch Long, where the weapons are stored.

I don’t doubt the accuracy of the Helensburgh Advertiser’s survey/poll, but can’t help concluding, its basis is very similar to conducting a survey in a pub to establish just how many occupants believe in being teetotal!

The survey certainly doesn’t represent the views of the people of Scotland!
Harry Bickerstaff
St Cyrus, Aberdeenshire

THE Scottish Government budget has been cut by 5% in real terms this year. This is austerity by the Westminster Tory colonial dictatorship. As a result, these cuts are reflected in the Holyrood budget.

As per usual, the Tory Unionist lie co-ordination bureau hate preachers are all over the media spinning that the cuts are not from Westminster. They get away with this by relying on the credulity of indoctrinated Unionist fanatics. These dullards are not aware of how devolution works – what is devolved and what is reserved.

These Unionists literally don’t know what a second-year Modern Studies pupil would be expected to know to pass their exam. Yet these zealots will attack Holyrood for the state of Scottish education. Westminster has control over fuel duty, oil and gas receipts, capital gains tax, National Insurance, corporation tax, VAT, alcohol and cigarette duty, inheritance tax and UK retained income tax. All of these are run by the imperialist Tory overlords. None of it for the benefit of Scotland.

The utter foolishness of Unionists is exposed by the fact they are apoplectic about £20 million in the budget for an independence referendum. Yet they were silent when the Tories spent £37 billion on a failed test and trace system.

Whether Unionists like it or not, there exists a mandate for an independence referendum in 2023. Unionist parties ran on opposing a referendum and lost.

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund from North Sea Oil is more than £1 trillion. The Scottish equivalent is zero. That is because Scotland is an exploited colony of Westminster. Not only are Unionists pleased with this, they actually contend that oil would be a burden for an independent Scotland.

To be a Scottish Unionist is to not only deny reality, but to be against reality.
Alan Hinnrichs