IN response to the Long Letter from Andy Anderson in The National on Wednesday, I believe that devolution has now become a dead end in the route to independence.

Although it has failed in its primary objective of killing support for independence stone dead, it has parried every move in that direction for more than 20 years.

Labour gave us the rigged referendum and locked away the McCrone Report. The Thatcher government ignored all approaches regarding devolution. Labour then claimed to have listened and responded with devolution under the 1998 Scotland Act.

That effectively ended any progress towards independence until the impossible happened and the SNP won an overall majority that resulted in David Cameron agreeing to the 2014 referendum.

Since then, independence has been pursued through the courts.

The first setback was over the Sewel Convention when the Supreme Court ruled that as “not normally” was undefined, the UK Parliament could legislate at will on devolved matters without the consent of the Scottish Parliament.

The outcome of the next major appeal to the Supreme Court was even worse, as the unanimous judgment of the Supreme Court in November 2022 was that the Scottish Parliament does not have the power to legislate for a referendum on Scottish independence and its recognition of the supremacy of the Westminster Parliament limits future court action by the Scottish Government.

If that was not bad enough, only last month the High Court ruled that it was solely up to the Secretary of State to decide if there were reasonable grounds to believe that a bill passed by the Scottish Parliament would have an adverse effect on the operation of the law as it applies to reserved matters before making an order prohibiting the Presiding Officer from submitting the bill for Royal Assent.

Westminster’s version of devolution has effectively ring-fenced all power in the UK to the Westminster Parliament.

The Secretary of State for Scotland has received confirmation that his office has the power to delay, require amendments or stop all legislation produced by the Scottish Parliament, no matter how unlikely or obscure its possible effect might be on a reserved matter.

He has said that he is unlikely to use this power often, but how could he ignore potential instances referred to him by the public for investigation by the Scotland Office?

In my opinion no court action that can reach the Supreme Court can succeed as the UK Government has made it clear that if courts do not agree with the government’s position then the law will be changed.

John Jamieson

South Queensferry

PETER Macari’s Long Letter on Thursday ended by saying that Scotland is “operating on but a small proportion of the income generated from its resources and the labour of its people”.

One need only have read Lesley Riddoch’s article in the same day’s National to see how little of the truly “British” resources and services are shared amongst the peoples of these islands (Scotland must move beyond Britain’s fear of taxing wealth to become truly radical, Dec 21). However, there is an even greater danger in the loss of Scottish resources.

Onshore and offshore wind farms are being constructed throughout this land, along with the infrastructure to transmit the energy generated to England, so that our “UK” can claim to meet net zero targets.

This is done in a multitude of ways for example. A large diameter cable is being laid from the offshore wind farm to the east of Angus to Darlington to power two million households.

That is in addition to the pylons already taking power from the north of Scotland to England and the cable being laid from Dunbar to the north-east of England. All of this at no cost to England!

Only this week, like-minded friends, while walking in woods in Fife, came across a huge machine feeding branches into a mulching machine, which in turn put the resulting wooden chips into lorries.

On enquiring as to the purpose of the operation, they were told “it and peat-free compost was for a biomass plant near Newcastle”! Their response to me was “Scotland, the nation that keeps giving”.

And therein lies the problem. If we continue in this “UK” we will be treated worse than Wales, which was used to boost water supplies to the Midlands of England. Were the Welsh paid for this water? Dream on!

Similarly our energy resources will be treated as a “UK” asset and applied there with no return to the people of Scotland except the “benefit of the broad shoulders of the UK”!

This has already happened to our oil and gas supplies to be wasted on “Thatcherite entrepreneurialism” (to quote Sir Keir Starmer).

With the need for net zero, we shall see a similar fate happen to our energy resources, and with the fact approaching climate crisis, then a similar fate to that of Wales awaits Scotland and her remaining resources. Time we left this “union of equals” as it only benefits England at the expense of those other countries which form part of the so-called “UK”. As Dennis Canavan so rightly said, “power devolved is power retained”.

Paul Gillon


“IT’S just resting in our trust fund.” LOL – this is pure Father Ted! Graham Linehan should be suing Michelle Mone for stealing his scripts.

It’s mind-boggling that ANYONE could take this seriously. It certainly knocks the SNP alleged funding scandal into a cocked hat.

In the English-based so-called “Unionist” press, however, no doubt the “missing 600,000” will continue to be prioritised.

Barry Stewart