IT grieves me that so many of my friends who have previously supported the cause of independence are now persuaded by the tinsel of Starmer’s Labour.

It is a lie that Scottish Labour votes are required to sweep this rotten Tory gang from power – like many more lies we Scottish voters will have to face. Of course we wish to rid ourselves of the most corrupt government in living memory, but would it not be better to think a little about what to bring in? ?

The influence of the Scottish electorate on the outcome of a UK General Election is negligible. During the dark years of Thatcher Scotland voted Labour and where did that get us? We got what England wanted.

In the EU referendum we chose to stay. What did England want? That’s what we got. For Scottish Labour to pretend they will have an influence against such a weight of English opinion is risible.

I look forward to the day when Scottish Labour can play their part in supporting the rights of workers in Scotland. It will never be achieved when we are in serfdom to the English electorate. It is up to them to make up their own minds. It is up to us to make up ours.

KM Campbell


JOHN Swinney always commands respect and is a decent person. However it takes something of a firebrand to battle successfully against the might of the media in this so-called democracy of the UK.

Lorna Slater was by far that firebrand on Tuesday night’s leaders debate ... which is commendable for her but so, so disappointing for the SNP supporters. Never once did JS confront Anas Sarwar about Jackie Baillie’s views of ending free prescriptions and free education up to and including university.

Maybe I’ve missed something but these benefits are looked upon by the vast majority of ordinary people in the UK as fantastic – why no attack on Labour who will abolish them?

We still seem to apologise for putting independence first. If the tree is dying and beyond salvation then pull it out by the roots. Likewise, we in Scotland must root out the real problem – Westminster.

D Gill

via email

YOU reported on John Swinney defending ditching the word “independence” from the ballot paper (Jun 12). Aren’t Swinney and his party foolish not to understand that without the imperative for independence then the SNP are relegated to just another party, subject to all the expectations and criticisms of managerial failures that befall all governing parties, particularly when they’ve held power for 17 years as they have?

Most people understand that managing Scotland’s Barnett formula budget is an impossibility. It’s a pocket money priority juggling exercise that exposes the Scottish Government to criticism while letting Westminster off the hook for inadequate financing.

Indy is the unique selling point that raises the SNP above the rest. Putting it on the back burner as this SNP leadership has done in the General Election betrays lack of conviction and political cowardice.

It lowers the party’s electoral prospects into the Unionist swamp along with the rest of those who deny Scotland’s rightful nationhood status and the democratic right to express its nation state ambitions. It’s either fight for indy or be just another political party in the cesspit of a flawed Unionist political diaspora.

Jim Taylor

via email

I JOINED the SNP in Argyll in 1966 at the age of 19. This General Election will be the first in which I cannot vote for the party. I have been appalled at the Scottish Government’s inability to govern and its betrayal of the people it seeks to represent by, for example:

1) Its acquiescence and encouragement of the desecration of irreplaceable farmland and the natural landscape by allowing SSEN to build hundreds of giant pylons and substations to transmit power, far in excess of Scotland’s needs.

2) The embarrassingly humiliating failure to build two replacement ferries in Scotland in time and on budget and having to ask Turkish yards to build and supply four others.

3) By being distracted by the policies of their power-sharing partnership with the Greens, for example in matters of gender recognition reform and the costly and delayed Deposit Return Scheme.

4) The long-standing lack of transparency of party finances culminating in the shocking disappearance of an estimated £600k of party members’ donations and now the party’s brass neck in asking members to dig deep in their pockets for more money.

5) The crippling of the Scottish tourist industry with the introduction of the Short Term Letting Licensing regulations, forcing many small B&B operators (myself included) to close rather than undergo licensing process.

6) Failure to complete the dualling of the A9 within the promised timescale. Sadly, the SNP have demonstrated the inability of the Scots to govern themselves effectively and democratically.

Donald R Morrison


THURSDAY’S Government debate in the Scottish Parliament “Investing in Scotland’s Public Services” could not have been timelier, smack in the middle of the General Election.

Opposition parties all rose to their feet criticising the Scottish Government’s investment in our public services – investment like public-sector workers being paid on average 6% more than anywhere else in the UK.

The introduction of the Scottish Child Payment is ultimately an investment in our public services by lifting 100,000 out of poverty. Investment is giving each child an equal start with the baby box.

Our public services here in Scotland will always be strained while Westminster has its hand on the purse strings and Scotland has no borrowing powers. The clock is ticking towards July 4 and voters should think of our public services here in Scotland, such as our NHS which has seen no strikes and more investment per head than anywhere else in the UK.

Catriona C Clark