OH my lord, what a tizzy the Secretary of State for Scotland has got himself into. The Sunday school teacher attitude is certainly showing itself with his latest outburst concerning Scottish activity.

Thou shalt not transgress what is not allowed, he says, accusing the Scottish Government of “transgressions” at ministerial meetings with other foreign ministers.

How on earth is the Scottish Government supposed to conduct business overseas, or indeed on Scottish soil, when Alister Jack says such behaviour needs to stop?

READ MORE: Alister Jack: Scottish Government 'transgressions' led to diplomat row

So, if said foreign minister asks a question about Brexit and Scotland’s “position” on this, are our overseas representatives supposed to say, “oops, sorry but I’m not allowed to mention the ‘b’ word as ordered by the Foreign Secretary James Cleverly and his colleague Alister Jack”?

No, of course not. A perfectly reasonable question requires a perfectly reasonable answer which, quite reasonably, might develop into a reasoned discussion.

How on earth Scottish ministers undermine Westminster foreign policy in the process is anyone’s guess, when they are only concerned with Scottish foreign business in accordance with Scottish policies.

Alister Jack is a tad upset because Scotland and its government has chosen to ignore Westminster and its whimsical dictates. To accuse the Scottish Government of “transgressions” or stepping on the toes of James Cleverly et al, and then telling Scotland “it has to stop,” is definitely no better than a slap of the wrist from the Sunday school leader for tearing a page from the hymn book to wipe your runny nose with.

Get over yourself Alister, and find something meaningful to do that actually benefits Scotland, its people, and its government.

Alan Magnus-Bennett

I HAVE to agree in part with Isabel Cooney (Letters, May 22), in that we shouldn’t be seeking permission from England to hold an independence referendum.

As Isabel rightly points out, we are an ancient nation and we have a considerable number of things that identify us as being separate from the UK, such as our customs, language, dress and history. When I go into shops I see items that are marked as made in Scotland, or produce of Scotland. Then there are the athletes who have represented Scotland at international level. There are just too many specifics to list, and likewise there are lists of items marked as English or British – when English and British seem interchangeable at the whim of the English!

READ MORE: Lesley Riddoch to tour Scotland to promote new book Thrive

It has also been the practise in a democracy – going back millennia – that no administration will hold a future democracy to upholding their policies or treaties. This is something that Westminster likes to tell us! The same was true of the Scottish government prior to 1707. As such, there should be no argument on whether we have the right to independence or if we have the right without Westminster’s approval of holding a referendum on the issue.

I do, however, have to disagree with Isabel where she advocates disruption and walkouts in Westminster. I might be getting a bit long in the tooth now but I don’t see those tactics working for us. They are certainly not going to deliver us a referendum and could work against us getting one. I do, however, believe that high-profile action will bear fruit and in this respect the court action Salvo has proposed in the European Court of Human Rights will certainly work.

I do think though that Salvo need to broaden their outlook and not just look at ancient history, which is all I hear from them, and include modern situations as well, as we didn’t stop being a country 316 years ago. Also, as long as it is only talk of proposed court action then it is only rhetoric and not action, and I think the time for talk is fast fading and it is time for some positive action from those a bit younger than me.

Alexander Potts

AUOB certainly have a good conceit of themselves; their arrogance and attitude of self-importance are quite breathtaking, especially now that they seem to think they are a leading voice in the movement for Scottish independence.

Their demand in a public letter that the FM must attend their march in June or send an alternative high-ranking SNP politician smelt of bullying and threatening behaviour. Their reaction to the SNP having their own rearranged independence convention on the same day was, to say the least, petulant.

READ MORE: SNP convention clash with AUOB rally sends the wrong message

AUOB need to get over themselves, they are just a group that organise pro-independence marches, and I wish them every success in doing that. I have attended many of their marches and in the early days enjoyed the camaraderie and friendship I encountered. However, over time many of us witnessed a nastier, more divisive attitude creeping into the marches and rallies, with the final straw for me and many others being the vitriol aimed at the SNP and Mike Russell at the rally in Arbroath, making the acronym AUOB a misnomer.

AUOB should understand that they are not the sole voice of the independence movement. If they want to work cooperatively with the SNP or Greens and gain their trust and support, I suggest they need to take a much more conciliatory attitude to the table, stop the threatening letters and poor attitude and live up to their name All Under One Banner.

Iain MacEchern

PERHAPS Suella Braverman could have taken the heat out of her situation on Monday in parliament if, instead of repeatedly denying something of which she had not been accused, she had either denied the allegation that she sought to avoid attending a course in the company of other speeders or explained the reasoning behind her request.

John Jamieson
South Queensferry