I’M sure I’m not the only fitba fan in Scotland that has picked up since the World Cup started how the BBC and ITV have generously celebrated our Celtic cousins’ feelings of patriotism and deep devotion to their country. The Dafydd Iwan song, entitled in the Welsh language, “Yma o Hyd”, meaning “we’re still here”, has been adopted as Wales’ World Cup anthem. Indeed, it’s very stirring to hear when thousands of Welsh fans sing it and it’s clear why it’s so popular with them. Both UK telly channels have regularly included it in their World Cup programmes.

I’ve checked YouGov opinion polls back to March 2015 to date. During March 2015, Plaid Cymru polled 21% of the voting intentions of the Welsh people, Labour 33% and Tories 22%. Fast forward to September 2022, it’s Plaid Cymru 21% yet again, Labour 37% and Tories 18%. During that seven-and-a-half years period, Plaid Cymru’s highest polling was 24% and lowest 18%. For Labour it’s 40% and 19%, and for the Tories it’s 37% and 12%.

Unfortunately, it definitely looks like the “settled will” (that awful term that’s been used a lot recently) of the Welsh people is to remain within the UK. This strong patriotism doesn’t therefore translate into a wish to be an independent country and unfortunately during the 20th century that was the case for us Scots too. Call me an auld cynic, but maybe that’s why the English media feel so comfortable celebrating the patriotism of the Welsh and warm to them accordingly. They are clearly not a political threat to them unlike around a half of us rebellious, ungrateful Jocks!

So I’ve a message for the English state, in the spirit of “Yma o Hyd”. Unfortunately I cannae dae the Gaelic but reverting to my Borders tongue (a mix of Jedburgh and Hawick but mainly Hawick), I will say: “Oor still here tae, oor no gaun onywhere but wherever oo do gaun it will no be shackled wi youse lot!”

Ivor Telfer

Dalgety Bay, Fife

THE only “good” thing about the UK Supreme Court decision was Reid’s finding that Scotland was not a “colony”.

I have never supported a Scottish “independence” policy for that very reason, and stated this almost two years ago in a letter to the First Minister.

While “independence” may make the blood flow strongly, it totally obscures the fact that Scotland, as a sovereign nation, was blackmailed into a parliamentary “Union” with England, by means of the English Alien Act, in order for England to obtain control of its foreign policy, especially with regard to the Hanoverian succession.

Scottish voters are not stupid. They can understand this and the fact that though the English parliament was legally dissolved by the Act of Union, it in fact operates, and has operated, under the guise of a “Union Parliament”.

English MPs in London alone can outvote all Scottish MPs ... some “Union”, some unity!

For a parliamentary union to work in Scotland’s interests, there would have to be an allocation of extra votes to Scottish MPs to equalize the current imbalance in numbers between Scottish and English MPs (readjusted after each election).

Otherwise, the so called “Union Parliament” is just an English Parliament in disguise and exposes the original and continuing dishonest intent of England in forcing Scotland to remain a party to the 1707 “Treaty”.

Scottish MPs should now take steps to correct this and demand additional votes, otherwise, the “Union” is just a farce.

There are different routes to the “Rubicon”.

And of course, the court was asked the wrong question.

The real question is whether the economic chaos and hardship created in Scotland by the English-controlled “Union” parliament, from Brexit and financial incompetence, entitles Scotland to forthwith withdraw from the 1707 Parliamentary Union Treaty under international customary law, as codified in the Vienna Convention on Treaties.

But, this begs the question of whether the “UK” Supreme Court can impartially consider any issues concerning Scotland’s departure from the Union due to its own conflict of interest.

Any “yes” decision in this regard, (including a second referendum) would herald its own demise.

“Go figure”! Apparently, the Lord Advocate didn’t.

Ian Anderson


THERE is an evident paradox at the heart of the London-centric criticism of the First Minister and the SNP that is perpetuated by the BBC and across the mainstream media, either directly or indirectly via predominantly slanted stories around the Scottish NHS and other so-called devolved public services.

Why, if the performance of Nicola Sturgeon and her government is so poor, and if the majority of the Scottish electorate do not actually want independence, do the SNP win election after election? Either those critics arrogantly think that the most highly educated population in Europe are essentially stupid or the critics themselves have got things wrong due to a lack of in-depth understanding of the range of constructive actions taken by the SNP over more than a decade in government, and also do not appreciate the fundamental desire of most of the people of Scotland for


Perhaps before expressing more subjective opinions on denying the Scottish Government its democratic mandate to conduct another referendum, those same critics should examine their own democratic principles and start questioning their current and past judgements.

The UK Government and its supporters were content for a referendum to be held when support for independence appeared to be around 25%, but as today it is at least around 50%, we are hypocritically bombarded with an array of spurious arguments aimed at attempting to justify why basic parliamentary democracy should now be shamefully thwarted or autocratically denied.

Stan Grodynski

Longniddry, East Lothian

IN the aftermath of the adverse recent Supreme Court decision and with the advent of time providing the opportunity to analyse the aftereffects of the expected disappointing decision, then the major plus is simply allowing reflective time on continuing the independence campaign. This “space” is now starting to show further avenues that widen the independence effort spectrum which allows more definitive thinking and so widens the analysis of a meaningful way forward. Some clever reasoning is required and hopefully is right now ongoing. Others might think independence is stymied. It is not.

To that end, the correspondence from Keith MacLeod in November 29’s National is an example of widening thinking and poses an interesting question of the Supreme Court’s legitimacy in even being involved in sitting and pronouncing on the recent decision involving Scotland, when perhaps it was not even incorporated in the Act of Union to give it legitimacy.

If so, should the decision have been along the lines that it was not theirs to make? If not, does it therefore carry any legitimacy on its decision? I, and many others, would no doubt welcome an answer. I think we should be told one way or another.

WD Mill Irving


THE Supreme Court in its judgment stated that Scotland was not a Nation as Scotland had been subsumed into the United Kingdom on May 1, 1707.

Therefore I contend England is no longer a Nation either.

I contacted Roddy Dunlop KC via Twitter. Roddy is the dean of the Faculty of Advocates and generally held to be the most accomplished advocate in Scotland.

I asked Roddy for his opinion on whether England is also no longer a Nation as it was also subsumed into the United Kingdom on May 1, 1707.

He responded by saying: “The legal view, expressed by the LA (Lord Advocate – Scotland’s senior law officer) in the submission to UKSC (UK Supreme Court), is that neither party to the union survived, as a legal entity, following the Act of 1707. Applies to England just as it applies to Scotland.”

Therefore, the legal ruling as per the UKSC is that England is not a Nation, and therefore the English, who are well known worldwide for their sense of fair play, should do the honourable thing and immediately withdraw their team from the soccer World Cup in Qatar as the soccer team is there under false pretences, furthermore the team should be disbanded forthwith.

JL Hartley

Isle of Arran

MY wife is very weary of the prominence given to the latest faux pas by the Mountbattens’ favoured lackeys but I think it is worth comment. Some 40 years ago in premises in Stirling, I asked a very attractive young Black lady where she came from. She answered “Stirling”. I have rarely felt so ashamed. Her father was one of Scotland’s great cricketers and she went on to become a highly respected member of our community and her children are now prominent in public service.

If she asked me the same question, my answer would be “Glasgow with the usual mix of Lowland, Highland and Irish”. There would be no need to mention Greek or German ancestry. It is vile that a family with such disparate origins can sit as our sovereigns while their lackeys question the origins of loyal British citizens.

This issue is only important because it is symptomatic of the purportedly English ruling caste which governs us. Bring on the Scottish Republic.

K M Campbell


AN interesting report about Police Scotland’s response in July to about 7500 marchers in Glasgow marking the anniversary of the 1690 Battle of the Boyne (“Orange march required 900 police officers”, The National, November 29). The costs were apparently met by the police.

In contrast, a few months later, a march proposed for Glasgow by supporters of a United Ireland was banned by Police Scotland under the terms of the Public Order Act 1986 “on the grounds of public safety and to minimise disruption to the local community”. It was reported at the time that there were concerns about the potential impact of counter-protest.

One can only surmise that Police Scotland must have judged that more than 900 officers would have been required to keep the peace in that case!

Roddie Macpherson