IT’S the annual “let’s see if anyone up in Scotland is stupid enough to believe a word of this manufactured, anti-indy poo” time again with the publication of GERS (Greedy Etonian Rigged Statistics) figures.

It defies belief that our government does not compile its own version, as we all know that despite GERS being absolute baloney, some people actually believe them. Why do nothing to combat this annual anti-indy document which the whole world knows was invented by John Major to quell support for indy, by an increasingly terrified Westminster government?

Even more fun would be to publish figures taking back from London all the Scottish exports that are filed under English exports due to the disgraceful rule that deems the port the goods leave from to be the country where they were produced – including the huge income from whisky exports which runs to tens of millions of pounds per day.

READ MORE: GERS shows 'stark evidence of UK mismanagement of Scottish economy', says report

Maybe add in the costs we have to pay London to sell our electricity/renewables and the actual enormous revenue from oil and gas from Scotland’s waters?

The list is endless, but one thing is for sure – we are being royally shafted and if England was to have to publish its own version of GERS, it would be an absolutely catastrophic set of figures, worsening by the year.

I doubt there’s another country in the world whose media would even publish or air these blatant jackanories from a neighbouring country designed to damage their own country.

How London can claim that the fabled UK is the sixth-largest economy in the world beggars belief when poverty is rife, suicide numbers are going through the roof and people can’t afford to pay their mortgages or feed their children in a warm home while the rich crooks get richer.

It can only get worse and with the Tories and Labour morphing into one, there has never been a time when we needed a proper leader more. Every day without one means tens of millions more lost to our neighbour’s coffers, when we badly need the money spent here to start to right the wrongs of decades of complete and utter mismanagement and betrayal.

That the Unionist press fixate on “the ferries, the ferries” and let Sunak away with giving out hundreds of oil exploration licences while pretending Westminster is leading the world in climate targets is an absolute disgrace.

The National: Prime Minister Rishi Sunak speaks to staff and patients in the same day emergency care unit during a visit to Milton Keynes University Hospital, Milton Keynes (Leon Neal/PA)

Why oh why can’t we just be good friends and neighbours as I am sure we can come to an arrangement to give our ever-avaricious former empire builders a good deal on our huge natural resources?

Alas, we all know they would find this incredibly difficult to accept as they have been helping themselves to our huge resources for so long, they actually think they are theirs. Yet still the good folk of England are told that Scotland is a drain on the English exchequer.

Here’s to happier times and the last Scots who believe absolute tripe like the GERS figures waking up and smelling the roses.

Iain K


I FOUND Ross Hunter’s story about Humza Yousaf calling for Scotland to lead the way in tackling toxic masculinity (Aug 15) very refreshing.

As a former SNP member who became thoroughly disillusioned with the party, I know that Yousaf will undoubtedly do things that I dislike or disagree with. In the midst of a global backlash against reproductive rights, I felt a lot of anxiety when Nicola Sturgeon resigned.

But when Yousaf was elected, I breathed a sigh of relief. He has always been an outspoken advocate for harassment-free buffer zones outside our hospitals and supports full decriminalisation of abortion. It is equally encouraging to see him discussing toxic masculinity.

It is important for people to understand what is meant by the term. It does not mean that masculinity is toxic – it means that the pressure on young men to live up to unhealthy male stereotypes, such as being dominating, aggressive and not expressing any emotion other than anger, is toxic.

A culture of toxic masculinity not only endangers women’s lives but also harms young men (the demographic at highest risk of suicide). Yousaf is correct in saying that we need to examine how boys are being groomed into misogynistic extremism by influencers such as Andrew Tate.

It is vital to understand toxic masculinity in order to tackle it, and it is essential for influential men to engage in this discourse. Kudos to Humza Yousaf for speaking up on an issue that so many don’t want to hear about.

Unfortunately, too many people immediately react as if discussing toxic masculinity is an attack on men, failing to understand that it is a societal issue that harms everyone, including men.

This is another important step towards making Scotland a safer country for everyone, especially women and girls.

Gemma Clark


I’M in despair. It seems the First Minister is due to attend New York City’s Climate Week alongside Hollywood “royalty” and activist Jane Fonda. Like his predecessor, the so-called world stage beckons or at least it beckons a lot more than the streets of Rutherglen and Hamilton West.

The event, arranged in partnership with the General Assembly of the United Nations and the city authorities, is apparently a chance for politicians and business leaders to work out solutions on “how to accelerate climate action, fast”.

Considering that Scotland contributes only about 0.1% of global CO2 emissions I would be happy to answer this burning question (pun intended) for him and save him and his entourage the hotel bills, the air fares and the CO2 emissions they will produce.

The answer is dead simple – get the likes of China and India and the United States to cut back their massive and increasing CO2 emissions.

Brian Lawson