I COMMEND Lesley Riddoch’s latest article on the Section 35 challenge mounted by the Scottish Government (This is the truth about Section 35: if we don’t challenge it, it becomes the norm, Apr 13). As someone who has previously struggled with the political ramifications of the Gender Recognition Reform Bill I was delighted to read Lesley’s analysis.

Already, as she states, the critics are writing in and posting/tweeting. However, here is the key point, I believe. What is to stop any Westminster government from vetoing any legislation passed by the Scottish Government? The Tories could block anything they so desire from a Labour/LibDem administration. Westminster Labour could veto any legislation not to their liking in the unlikely event of the Tories forming an administration in Scotland.

READ MORE: Section 35 block on Scottish gender reform to be challenged in court

In fact, the Tories will feel emboldened to strike down pretty well anything not to their liking by any administration formed by the SNP, Labour, LibDems, Greens or Alba. This is rule of the Tory minority in Scotland over the majority. We all know the Tories’ disdain for devolution, and they would love to end it completely and take all powers back down to Westminster.

So the reality is that it’s not about this or that bill, it’s about the Scottish people passing legislation for Scottish interests. Don’t like the GRR Bill? Then vote in an alternative Scottish Government at the next Scottish general election.

If we, in the broader independence community, side with Westminster on this matter – which is already happening – then we are complicit in maintaining and indeed strengthening Westminster rule over Scotland. This is not about GRR … this is about Westminster drawing power back to itself. If you are supporting Westminster in this challenge, or criticising the Scottish Government on this legal challenge, be careful what you wish for and the law of unintended consequences. Think carefully.

We must support the right of a democratically elected Scottish Government to pass legislation without having to ask Westminster’s “permission” each and every time. We know where that will end.

Robert Fletcher
via email

THE legal action recently started regarding the legality of the UK Government overturning the Holyrood GRR Bill is likely to fail. Whatever the outcome actually is from this case, there is a risk that there may be legal consequences to this which further restricts under law the ability of Holyrood to legislate in the future.

As an example, prior to the Scottish Government taking the draft referendum bill to the UK Supreme Court in 2022, it was unclear in law whether Holyrood could run a referendum without UK approval. That case closed that door legally. That horse has bolted. We should have just run the referendum and let the UK Government openly stop it. Same result, but better to show Westminster are the baddies.

READ MORE: Alba Party launch petition to 'axe' gender reform bill

It is a mistake in my opinion to challenge law defined in the 1999 and 2016 Scotland Acts, as the Supreme Court’s duty is to protect the Union. You get less, not more. Best to use Scots law.

In 2018 the Supreme Court deliberately held back a decision on the Holyrood EU Continuity Bill in order to allow Westminster to approve blocking legislation.

Whilst I understand the reasons given for this latest action, I personally feel that this will not build support for the SNP nor for the independence cause as the majority of us do not agree with the GRR Bill. It has little support in the population. Two opinion polls indicated that 70% of the population oppose it as it is seen as anti-female. Last year, during canvassing for a Perth council seat, the message on the doorstep backed up the opinion poll data.

I think the Scottish Government could find more suitable places to spend the legal fees: independence, for example.

Robert Anderson

SO our Scottish Government is heading to the UK Supreme Court in an expensive and futile attempt to implement their gender legislation. They presumably hope that the justices have not read the terms of the Scotland Act and will depart from all and every current legal opinion to give the green light to legislation which is not supported by anything like a majority of the Scottish public.

When you are stopped by the police for speeding and they find you have no insurance, a defence of “I am challenging the UK traffic laws” will not save you. I thought perhaps the new First Minister would have learned something from the mistakes of his predecessor but it seems not.

READ MORE: Richard Leonard calls out 'sickening insults' sent to trans people

Politics is about priorities. The Scottish public are far more interested in the cost of living, energy bills, hospital and A&E waiting lists – even, dare I say it, independence – and a dozen or

more other things. Allowing 16-year-olds and sex offenders to change their sex is very far down their list of priorities.

John Baird

A WORRIED Scotland breathes a sigh of relief, or is it a groan? Coronation details were revealed in Monday’s National.

In these uncertain times we need a taste of old-fashioned comedy. What funnier than using a plastic crown and sitting a Rule Brittania toff in the back of a rusty old banger which gets a puncture as he waves to his grovelling subjects? Standing to attention, loyal troopers are ready to clean up if the frightened horses forget themselves.

Read Mike Small’s article in last weekend’s Sunday National – “The elites are fighting to ensure it’s business as usual while the world burns” – and you might conclude this whole royal parade is a waste of taxpayers’ money, if not an insidious con.

Iain R Thomson