WHAT the hell is happening with politics in England?

There is clearly now an extreme right-wing Trumpian Tory government as well as an even more extreme (if that’s possible) right-wing Trumpian Reform UK party! They both blatantly foment racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, transphobia, etc – and that apart, both parties are just full of obnoxious, hate-filled individuals that generally foment hate and division in society.

Of course – as with all degenerates like that lot – they would never admit that is their intention. They are also left cold by the apocalyptical scenes of death, destruction and starvation in Gaza and far more concerned with those who protest at such dehumanisation. What type of person thinks like that?

READ MORE: Frank Hester is a symptom of a racism endemic within the Tory Party

Lee Anderson – who has gone from being a Labour councillor to a Tory MP and now in Reform UK all in just six years – is most definitely, in my view, one of these individuals! (Well, Lee, I’m just indulging in a bit of straight-talking, “telling it like it is”, and using my common sense, just like you love to do, so you should be happy with that! Surely I’m your kinda man, man!)

Now we have the grotesque scenario of the major Tory Party donor Frank Hester, who has given the party £10 million in the past year, stating the following in a meeting with executives in 2019: “It’s like trying not to be racist but you see Diane Abbott on the TV, and you’re just like, ‘I hate, you just want to hate all black women because she’s there, and I don’t hate all black women at all, but I think she should be shot’.”

The National: Veteran Labour MP Diane Abbott suggested one way of eradicating the Met Police's institutional

Hester then had the audacity to acknowledge his comments were just “rude” towards Diane (above). Rude! “Rude” is doing a silent and violent one in a packed lift or doing a loud belch at the dinner table in front of the in-laws. Racism and misogyny certainly ain’t just “rude”!

Also, despite Hester’s comments being directed at the MP Diane Abbott, and the issue being discussed extensively at Prime Minister’s Questions in her presence, the Speaker, Lindsay Hoyle, didn’t ask her to speak, even though she had bobbed up and down for 40 minutes to attract his attention! Disgusting!

A contrast with degenerates like Anderson, Hester and Hoyle is surely the SNP’s very own John Nicolson. A thoroughly decent guy, a proper, serious, very intelligent and “big beast” of a politician, with morals and integrity. He participated in the Newsnight programme from Paisley last week. There was an audience of local folk and he was one of the politicians involved.

On the few occasions when he was allowed to speak, John, as usual, spoke very well. However, Kirsty Wark kept interjecting when he was in mid-flow and shamelessly talked over him at every opportunity, basically trying to shut him down at every turn. It was so obvious that John was, quite rightly, totally frustrated at this.

I’m sure Kirsty hopes folk in Scotland have long forgotten that the Labour first minister at the time, Jack McConnell, and his family, had twice holidayed with Kirsty and her family in her villa in Majorca around 20 years ago, yet Jack failed to declare this freebie in the MSPs’ register of interests. Not that such a cosy inter-family relationship ever affected Kirsty’s ability to be wholly impartial when interviewing SNP politicians. Aye, right! Actions speak for themselves, Kirsty!

So, given the foregoing, I’ve a plea to anybody that voted SNP previously and is considering switching to the Union-supporting Labour Party next time around and those who did vote Labour. Dae ye really want oor politicians tae keep gaun tae that monstrosity o’ a place (Westminster), fou o’ degenerates, ad infinitum? Vote SNP, full stop!
Ivor Telfer
Dalgety Bay

IT’S good to talk, as British Telecom used to say, and it’s good to talk and let light and ventilation into the SNP’s contribution to Westminster.

John Jamieson from South Queensferry (Letters, March 14) thinks it important to keep Scotland in the Commons’ spotlight or the world will forget about us, and believes: “They and their predecessors have been a thorn in the side of the Westminster establishment for decades.”

Maybe that says it all. Decades of time and effort with nothing more to show for it than an irritation.

The Commons Speaker substituted the Labour amendment to the SNP’s Opposition Day motion on Gaza two weeks ago – allegedly on the grounds of his concern for MPs’ safety – but chose to disregard Diane Abbott who might have had something to say as the recipient of racist comments and MPs’ safety. Maybe the “bobbing” Dianne was being nothing more than a thorn in the Speaker’s side? So much for the power of the Commons’ spotlight.

On the wider picture of what’s the point of the SNP, my MP Drew Hendry (below) is the party’s spokesperson for the economy, and before that, foreign affairs and previously trade, but the anodyne answers I’ve been given to my queries on the party’s position on Grangemouth would appear to draw on none of that experience to offer reassurance that the SNP have Scotland’s back so to speak. It’s more like Hendry answers for a compliant, devolved government in a well-controlled Westminster orbit, not the views of a spokesperson desperately seeking to do his bit to protect one of our country’s few remaining key elements of our economic infrastructure.

The National: SNP MP Drew Hendry. Photo: UK Parliament

Remember the good old days when talking was so rewarding? It’s been 10 years now since I retired and took part in one of the most stimulating and rewarding experiences of my adult life. Yep, it was the indy referendum campaign of 2014.

I was full of hope and confidence for the future and now approaching the 10-year anniversary, I’m full of despair and cynicism at the utter waste of opportunities we can lay squarely at the SNP’s feet. Feet that appear mired in clay if not in concrete.

There’s no chance of me voting for the original and blue Tories – although at least you know what they stand for.

There’s no chance of me voting for the red Tories – they stand for different things at different times of different weeks.

And I’ve got to ask myself, like so many friends and acquaintances, what’s the point of voting SNP?

Lesley Riddoch’s concluding remarks in her piece “PMQs exposes farce at Westminster – the SNP need a strategy if they’re to remain” perhaps says it all: “SNP elected members shouldn’t cushion themselves from the buzz on the streets – unless some common strategy is forthcoming soon, activists themselves will openly doubt that the SNP can hold anyone’s feet to the fire.” I can safely say, in the case of this activist, that’s already happened.

Yep, it’s good to talk – no, it’s IMPORTANT to talk – but I wonder how big a minority I’m in that wants action on independence rather than merely talking about irritating the Westminster establishment?
Iain Bruce

I WONDER if the fact that the new Hate Crime Legislation comes into force on April 1 is deliberate or simply an amusing coincidence.

I understand that there will be a large number of third-party reporting centres – in Paisley and Renfrewshire, it appears that the council’s libraries are the place to go. This is a welcome innovation, as the local Police Scotland office in Paisley town centre is one of those recently earmarked for closure. As far I am aware, Paisley – unlike Glasgow – does not have a local sex shop in which to report crime.

As a football supporter, I am looking forward to the next Old Firm visit to St Mirren Park, so that after the game, regardless of the result, I will be able to visit my local library and report some of the 1500 away supporters for the singing of various sectarian songs. My local MSP, who voted for this nonsensical legislation, is more than likely to be in attendance and will hopefully be willing and able to corroborate my complaint.

The stadium has a state-of-the-art CCTV system and I fully expect the police to examine the footage in great detail – all two hours of it – and identify each of the individual culprits and prosecute them under this new legislation. The fact that the courts and prisons are currently overwhelmed should not be considered relevant.

This may seem a wholly unrealistic demand – but surely I should have the right to expect legislation, however daft, to be enforced by the police now that they are to be freed from investigating many more “minor” offences.
Brian Lawson

WHEN I try to make the case for independence to undecided friends, I run through the benefits, quoting Scotland The Brief and other well-known facts making the case.

I try to keep away from “if only we had the levers” and “one hand tied behind our backs”. When it comes to the “we will be better off” part, some – not all – ask the very simple question of how much better off?

Not so much money in the pocket, more to do with taking everything into account. How much more money would the Scottish Government have if independent, in pounds?

Taking our oil, gas, wind and sea energy revenue, the whisky trade – all our assets added up – what will the benefit in pounds to Scotland be?

Remembering to take away a big chunk of the block grant.

Or, as I suspect, there isn’t a figure or is one too complicated to publish.

A simple question asked – can someone help me to answer that question? THAT’S what they want to know.
Ken McCartney

SURPRISE, surprise, Michael Matheson has been found to be in breach of the Code of Conduct. Was there ever any doubt that this would be the outcome and that a fair investigation involving SNP politicians is as likely as finding a needle in a haystack?

Serious questions must be asked of the IT department, given it knew about this in January 2023. Why was this not investigated then and EE challenged regarding the size of the bill?

The National: Douglas Ross speaking at the Scottish Conservatives party conference

The hypocrisy of opposition politicians, especially the Tories, is astounding. Douglas Ross (above) forgets to declare earnings from his third job while his Tory colleagues have appropriated billions down south. They received no punishment whatsoever, as opposed to this total witch hunt against Michael for £11,000.

There was no shock and horror when Liz Truss took her PM pension after a few weeks in post with no call for her to do the right thing and refuse it. However, there is plenty of shouting and double standards about whether or not Michael takes his Cabinet Secretary pension despite many years of service.

If there was ever any doubt the state is fearful of Scottish independence, the victimisation of Michael Matheson and Nicola Sturgeon – costing the public a small fortune – proves it.

They will do anything to try to discredit the SNP and our best politicians no matter the cost to the public. This is desperation, pure and simple, and just highlights the mass corruption at Westminster even more.

The majority do not see this as a critical issue and the only folk interested are those who see a grave injustice and those who aim to justify their hypocrisy.
Lorraine Alexander