WESTMINSTER is an irrelevance for Scotland because no matter how good our MPs are, they are hamstrung because it is an English-dominated political establishment where only English MPs know what is good for us Scots!

Remember the poll tax was thrust upon us a whole year before the rest of the UK.

The economic argument has always been the independence Achilles’ heel but the Scottish public should realise that if you take the pound vs the dollar exchange rate since 1945 as a measure of economic competence – or in this case, incompetence as both the Tories and Labour have made us considerably poorer, it has dropped from $4 to $1.25.

They have frittered away oil and gas revenues, now Labour wants our vast renewable resources to subsidise council taxes in England. I can’t see how things will get better under a Labour government – probably a lot worse.

Alex Salmond wants a single independence candidate in each constituency at the next General Election. I ask myself ‘why bother’ as they have no political power when they get there. Ruling parties will only invest in Scotland where they have a sitting MP.

In Scotland, we get a huge amount of English political propaganda on our TVs and in our newspapers – but the reverse doesn’t happen if you live in England. They don’t hear or see anything about Scottish politics unless it is a failing of the SNP.

The next General Election is likely to produce a hung parliament. Independence MPs who think they will be the power brokers should look back to recent times. LibDems have been in the wilderness for more than a decade since their power-sharing deal with the Tories. It didn’t work out well for the Northern Irish Unionist parties that propped up Theresa May’s Tory government on Brexit either.

Getting into bed with Keir Starmer’s blue Labour Party will not get us a referendum mandate and could pitch the SNP’s political credibility further into the mire.

The Tory vote will likely split between the LibDems and Labour in England, which means a Lib-Lab pack and another independence shut out.

Ideally, if all independence MPs were to walk out of Westminster tomorrow it would remove the consent of Scots to be governed by Westminster. Unfortunately, with a cost of living crisis and the livelihoods of Scots MPs and their staff at stake this is unlikely to happen.

Strategically, it makes sense to downgrade the importance of the General Election in Scotland by not taking part as by taking part we are giving England our consent to be governed by them.

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It hasn’t held back the Irish nationalist cause in Northern Ireland by not participating at Westminster and we have the advantage of a functioning Scottish Parliament.

If independence voters don’t vote in the General Election, where is the legitimacy of a party attracting approximately 35% (68% average turnout x 52% stay in the Union) of the electorate in Scotland?

English MPs are always telling us how we have one of the most powerful devolved governments in the world why not turn that to our advantage by ignoring Westminster and only concentrating on Holyrood?

A Wilson


I’VE just read the following statements: “People breaking into the country”, “an invasion” (Suella Braverman) and “undermining cultural cohesiveness” (Robert Jenrick).

Both are currently UK ministers. This was followed by and encapsulated by Bridget Chapman, a refugee rights campaigner with, “performative cruelty”.

An excellent summary.

Not only is Braverman from a refugee family, originating from Kenya and Mauritius, but as a student, she herself took advantage of the Erasmus student exchange scheme which the Tories, under Johnson’s mad Brexit scheme, destroyed with a stroke of his pen nib.

I have also read that, at the beginning of this millennium, there were 15 UK billionaires. Today, there are 177. How did that happen, you might ask? The pandemic manufacturing of useless protective materials is a starter, the Tories allowing their pals to make instant fortunes at the expense of the NHS.

We are well familiar with the bottom-drawer arrogance of the UK Tory government, especially since Boris Johnson’s regime.

The latest addition to the nasty club is Olukemi Olufunto Badenoch, or Kemi for short, now infamous for ignoring the House of Commons Speaker’s ruling on how to behave when making live statements.

The state of the nation, particularly of England, has had an effect on Scotland’s MSPs. The opposition, particularly the Tories and to a lesser degree the Labour Party, have decided to behave similarly.

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Sadly, the Holyrood Parliament’s Presiding Officer has yet to show her mettle where order is necessary but ignored. Sometime soon, Scotland will achieve its independence, perhaps giving the current opposition more chance of becoming a government.

I sincerely hope their behaviour will be more reasoned than that shown currently.

Alan Magnus-Bennett Fife HOW lucky we National readers are to have a columnist of the standing of George Kerevan whose weekly contribution is in the “must -read” category.

His analysis and explanation of events is always so coherently put and informative.

It is a great pity that this man is not still an SNP MP as he is head and shoulders above the standard of the majority of people in the Commons.

Kenny Burnett