AS ordinary working-class people struggle to survive through the cost-of-living crisis, we see the big corporations making super profits and the rich elite dodge their taxes. But workers are fighting back. Industrial militancy has the Tories, the SNP, and right-wing Labour worried as workers strike, with their picket lines and trade union rallies receiving mass public support.

We need political as well as industrial resistance, though there is little sign of that from the politicians in West Dunbartonshire Council as they take the easy options of cutting services rather than fighting back alongside the trade unions and their communities.

The local trade union movement have organised two meetings in Dumbarton and Clydebank with local and national speakers who have been in the vanguard of the fight to protect jobs, services, and the right to strike. Representatives of workers currently in struggle will be present at both meetings telling their story and offering solidarity.

The Dumbarton meeting is on February 15 at 7pm in the Concorde Centre with speakers including Alex Gordon, the national president of the RMT . The Clydebank meeting is the following night, February 16 at 7pm in the Town Hall with the STUC general secretary Roz Foyer among the speakers.

As Mick Lynch of the RMT, who has caught the imagination of the public, has said: Enough is Enough, we refuse to be poor any more and we will take you on. If you are fed up with mealy-mouthed politicians, come along and hear class politics and organise for the fight.

To the local politicians we say: whose side are you on – that of the Tories and big business, or the workers and their communities?

Tom Morrison
Secretary, Clydebank TUC

WHY are consecutive Westminster governments so reluctant to close tax-avoidance loopholes? Accountancy tax-avoidance specialists are thriving in this market with new routes for avoidance being tested every day, soaking up HMRC’s time which could be better used to trace illegal tax evasions.

However, the real sting is on ordinary people who pay their tax through the PAYE system. These people are burdened with paying higher taxes than they should both through PAYE and purchase tax (ironically named Value Added Tax) to allow the UK Government to balance the UK’s current account books. Avoidance is like a reverse “Robin Hood” where the poor have to pay the rich.

Mike Underwood

GERRY Hassan in the features pages and Brian Lawson in the letters pages – both men of caution, judging by their copious writing over many years – represent the only ray of sense amongst The National’s succumbing to EU mania in Tuesday’s edition. It is almost as if the beggaring of the Greek economy and the stonewalling of the Catalonian independence movement had never happened, and the critical faculties of Scots were suspended by a legitimate dislike of Westminster that wrongly concludes that everything that comes out of Brussels is acceptable. Reading the Irish Times following recent EU budgets tells a different tale.

At the first national parliamentary election when the Yes movement feels it is opportune to brand it as a de facto referendum, it is crucially vital that the case which is made for independence is an open case and not a closed case. That is, the broadest spectrum possible is gathered into the pro-independence boxes and we give as few people as possible reasons to vote against independence. As a democrat and life-long nationalist that means that I will avoid making the monarchy, the EU or Nato red-line issues during the referendum as they are decisions for the newly independent Scotland to take following the settlement of the new constitution.

I have strong views on all these topics and urge the SNP not to listen to the diktat of Angus Robertson MSP – because this is not official SNP policy but only his own utterances. Remember the electoral fate of the UK LibDems at the 2019 Westminster elections when they said they would take the UK back into the EU without a referendum? They sank without trace. Mr Robertson came to electoral grief at the 2017 Westminster elections because he no doubt imposed his pro-EU views on the people of Moray, without considering the long-term advantages for Scotland of EFTA as a final destination. It is not in the interests of the wider Yes movement to see that sad scenario played out in a de facto referendum on a national scale.

Cllr Andy Doig (Independent)
Renfrewshire Council

IAIN Evans’s letter complaining about the Scottish Government’s plans for banning single-use vapes (Letters, Jan 30) misses the point. It’s true that the Scottish NHS is in trouble, thanks to terrible economic management by the Westminster government, and I’m sure that as much is being done as possible under the restrictions imposed by Tory austerity.

But governments can do more than one thing at a time, and who can claim that we should neglect to safeguard the health of the population by curbing the vape industry’s scandalous attempts to addict further generations with their damaging products, at the same time as safeguarding our environment by reducing plastic pollution?

Derek Ball

ONCE again it took the SNP, through Anne McLaughlin MP, to highlight the plight of those on pre-payment meters at PMQs. Their situation is often eye-watering: on low incomes, struggling daily and sitting at home cold and unable to give themselves a hot meal. It is an outrage in the energy capital of Europe; we can do better and we must do better. To our MPs: please continue to speak up for those who are so often denied a voice, who often suffer in silence.

Catriona C Clark