LESLEY Riddoch and Ruth Wishart both think the Scottish Cringe is still with us (Sunday National, May 28) and I couldn’t agree more. What else but the cringe accounts for the fact that, despite the recent history of totally incompetent, heartless and corrupt Tory governments (the scandals of river pollution, Partygate etc etc) and despite the catastrophe of Brexit, support for independence has never managed to poll 60%?

The latest manifestation of the cringe, if polls are correct, is to see in Starmerism a viable political alternative for Scotland; something I cannot fathom, since the barren politics of “anyone but the Tories” Unionism is truly the road to nowhere.

READ MORE: Lesley Riddoch: Will Scotland choose to survive or thrive?

Of course, the cringe has been drummed into us for centuries. Martin Geissler provocatively acknowledged it in Sunday’s BBC interview with Lorna Slater, when he told us why the UK Government feels entitled, on occasion, to keep our democratically elected legislators “on a bit of leash”.

To counter this sort of discourse, we should aye remember and learn from how Hugh MacDiarmid scathingly satirised the cringe: “England, frae whom a’ blessings flow/What could we dae withoot ye?”

Alastair McLeish

PERHAPS it would have been better if the SNP had decided to forego its membership convention and agreed a national convention to include all independence parties and Yes movement groups.

The SNP having a party political convention to discuss a way forward for independence could inevitably finish up with a plan suitable for itself but not the voting population.

READ MORE: Ruth Wishart: The Yes movement needs to see some conviction from the SNP

To restrict itself to a continuous legal route has proved impossible thus far, after years of futile attempts by the last administration and now the current administration. One could almost suggest that the SNP is assuming the role of sovereignty because of its historical reason for its existence. However, history also tells us that it is the people of Scotland who are sovereign, hence my suggestion of a national convention as described above.

By now there must be a sizeable chunk of Yes supporters who are aware of “Salvo” and what it is in support of. Importantly, it is a non-political group and open to anyone in support of independence through its sister group Liberation.Scot.

The Salvo team has researched Scotland’s historical constitution and sovereignty – which, by the way, still holds a Scottish legal route to REGAIN its constitutional independence. I should add a huge thank you for the long and successful researched papers from Sarah Salyers. I for one would hope that the SNP government has also familiarised itself with all Salvo documentation.

READ MORE: UK Government ‘spending’ is really money creation. Here's why

Once the historical legal route has been given a modern parlance and with at least 100,000 “Liberation” membership, the whole “Claim of Right” is to be taken to the international community – the UN and European Courts – by a specially selected delegation and appointed legal representatives

All this is because of, rather in spite of, the SNP government’s failure to date to secure its own way forward after years of apparent non-deliberation with itself and especially with the nation.

Alan Magnus-Bennett

JEREMY Hunt’s eagerness to push the sinking UK economy even deeper into the muck by backing the Bank of England’s interest rate hikes is both incompetent and malevolent. Last month, only Argentina and South Sudan recorded bigger increases in underlying inflation.

Raising interest rates has spectacularly failed to quell inflation because consumer demand isn’t driving it – corporate profiteering and Bank of England policies are.

There’s no other explanation. Food and energy commodity prices are falling and wages are significantly lagging inflation. Corporations are raising prices because they can. That’s what profiteering is.

READ MORE: Jeremy Hunt backs interest rate hikes even if it leads to recession

Then throw in the BoE’s nonsensical interest rate increases that are sucker-punching people, forcing them to pay more for mortgages and rent on top of record food and energy prices.

Because larger companies have higher financing costs, to compensate for higher interest rates they raise prices further. Financing costs are 30% of the expenditure by England’s highly leveraged privatised water companies, because they’ve borrowed huge amounts in order to pay £2 billion a year to shareholders rather than invest in infrastructure. Meanwhile households are forced to pay more for shite water.

It beggars belief that the SNP leadership still doesn’t comprehend that Scotland needs its own central bank and currency to free itself from England’s iron grip. The alternative is to remain subservient to a UK Government that prioritises the rich over the welfare of the people.

Leah Gunn Barrett

THE weather system over the UK seems to have stalled. We are basking in an extended spell of heat I have not before experienced in May. It’s fine for the tourists and the cars racing round the North Coast 500, but here in Strathglass we need rain to give us grass for grazing and hay making. At the moment our strath is shrouded in dense smoke from a forest fire. Trees burning when every one counts. As my old folks would say, “You never miss the water till the well goes dry.” I think it’s getting shallow.

Iain R Thomson

NEVER did I think I would live to see the day when the likes of Turkey’s dictator Erdogan would look to the UK for a model of how to treat those seeking safety from war, torture and threat to life, by deporting them to an unsafe country!

L McGregor