I WAS appalled to see that Penny Mordaunt MP had made an attack on the Scottish people in the Commons without an intervention by the Speaker or Deputy Speaker, whoever was in the chair.

She should be made to apologise for her derogatory remarks about Scottish young people, saying that the SNP’s legacy was giving people a “warm and safe place to take heroin”.

I don’t know how SNP members could listen to her diatribe against the Scottish Government and people. She should have, at the very least, been shouted down.

Those SNP members present (and there didn’t seem to be many) should have made an immediate departure from that debate at “the mother of parliaments”.

Paul Gillon Leven SO countries around the world that have implemented safe drug consumption facilities are wrong but the Tory government and the toxic Penny Mordaunt are right.

They obviously have done no research on the success of these facilities in reducing drug deaths. Or is it that they oppose them just because it is the Scottish Government introducing the first one?

Sheila Le Mottee

via thenational.scot

READING Neale Hanvey’s column (Nov) 20 regarding independence, I see myself as very much in tune with him (Truth and unity remain vital to indy movement). If we want Scotland’s independence, then we must all be together.

It’s clear enough the SNP have lost themselves for whatever multitude of reasons and none of the recent contortions will bring them back.

Call it survival mode if you like, but the SNP are not rising and likely will not rise for a good long while, and in the way of politics when we all think only about next week that’s an independence disaster.

I despair that Scotland is presently so deficient in firebrands when that has not been our history.

Our country’s persona is suffering from a much-amplified series of management fudge-ups and those can be spears used to poke our hearts into arrest. Stand strong and think clearly.

Hanvey talking about all independence camps banding together with hearts, minds and purpose – that surely is the only road forward. Common sense, right? Can this happen? Let us hope, because all that remains is hope.

Again, the SNP created the greatest part of the independence movement but the party of today is clearly flawed. Our once strong and so very honourable party of independence needs help, and only with help from all can we get independence going again.

A cantankerous grandad lying on the carpet telling his family to get lost and leave him alone, not needing anyone, only results in him being sent to the care home of isolation.

Independence is not a secret held close to the breast of special wizards. The SNP need to get the independence finger out and look out of the window to the crowds below. Stopping the management fudge-ups would be nice, too, but not specially critical. Independence does not need “proof”, it just needs to be done.

Nick Durant


NEALE Hanvey wrote: “The Alba Party – and our Scotland United colleague Angus MacNeil – believe every Scottish and UK election should be used to secure majority support for independence negotiations to commence. This re-instates the position of the national movement before devolution. As with all democratic expressions, the threshold would be a simple majority of votes cast for all pro-independence parties.”

This sounds very straightforward, and it might be for UK elections where only one vote is cast for each party. But how will that work in Scottish elections where there are separate constituency and list votes?

For such a vote to be accurate, all parties and/or individuals would have to declare in advance their position on independence. How are those who don’t counted?

However, it is good to know that the Alba Party (with its currently projected 2% vote share) has declared that this is the only route to independence!

Presumably, it thinks all independence supporters should fall in behind their proposal. Aye right!

David Howie


ONCE upon a time we had big hitters in the SNP. People who had vision and ambition for their nation, were not afraid to put their heads above the parapet and didn’t give a toss for the biased media.

Fast forward to today. We have a Scottish Government full of fence-sitters. Won’t look at land tax, won’t look at council tax reform. Won’t listen to Andy Wightman on land reform, won’t listen to Tim Rideout on currency, in fact won’t commit to anyone who comes up with anything that is the least bit radical.

In fairness, it has done well on social reform. In fact, for years it has been almost a social security department, little else. Under Nicola Sturgeon the raison d’etre for the SNP, the creation of a sovereign Scottish nation, almost vanished. I get no joy in writing this letter. I was a long-time committed activist in the SNP and was one of the 30,000 who left the party. I left before the big fallout in the late 2010s. Saw what was coming.

I still vote for them. My greatest hope for the little nation I was lucky enough to be born into, is for it to take its place in the United Nations along with 200 other sovereign nations and in the process in our small way help to create a better world not only for ourselves but also the following generations.

The present SNP are letting down the many people like myself who put nationhood first and foremost. The SNP must get back to putting independence before party. If it doesn’t, our cause is getting nowhere.

D Smart


I have considerable respect for Stephen Sackaur and for his style of interviewing which probes the belief system of each of his interviewees in some depth. I suspect therefore that he will not object if I subject him to a similar probing.

Early this morning I watched (for the third time) his interview with Mervyn King (the former head of the Bank of England), as the two men discussed why it was that the current leadership of that formidible institution, seemed to be getting their financial strategies a bit wrong. Sackaur listed several present day factors, which might be responsible for these errors of judgement - among which he included (and I quote) “Long-term Climate Change”. Why I wondered, did he include that expression “Long-term”? Is it because he has, in his mind, relegated that issue to be among considerations about which we need not concern ourselves very urgently?

If so, I think he is profoundly mistaken. A point that I have raised in a previous Letter is that climate change is not a single system with simple properties. It is a highly complex affair with an enormous number of subsystems, each of which could have its own point of no-return.

An example which I have raised in a previous letter is that the stored quantity of very cold methane gas of which there are deposits in both polar seas and frozen permfrost soil - and that when these have been released, we would not be able to reverse that process (which has already started).

Climate change is therefore not a “Long-term” problem. It is current, urgent and very dangerous. The methane issue is merely one of a great many similar problems. These we may be able to mitigate but not reverse.

The actions proposed by many who are unaware of that, are offering us what has worked successfully in the past, but are now, in present circumstances, making things a very great deal worse.

Hugh Noble