IN 2014 Scots were promised all manner of good things if only we voted "Yes" for independence. The promises included keeping sterling, an oil rich economy, all done and dusted in just eighteen months and even Alex Salmond saying he had taken legal advice over relevant matters when he had not. We can all surmise just how badly we would be placed right now if this had all come to fruition.

Time passes and now Nicola Sturgeon is in charge with her new broom but has anything really changed? The answer is contained in Iain Macwhirter's excellent article ("Timid MSPs must stop getting the runaround in Salmond inquiry" September 27).

Nicola Sturgeon is using similar dubious tactics, Alex Salmond is still a towering figure in the background and independence, in its new all shiny impervious to any damage updated form is available with no downsides worthy of note. The question now is: have all of these SNP Holyrood inquiry shenanigans damaged the veracity of the independence message? The answer is "Yes."

Dr Gerald Edwards, Glasgow.


THE SNP regards winning the 2021 Scottish Parliament elections as a mandate for a second independence referendum. The election is in danger of becoming Indyref 1.5. It is surely time, therefore for the UK Parliament and its 650 MPs from "the four nations" to debate and pass a Clarity Act, as proposed by George Galloway’s Alliance for Unity.

This would summarise the UK's stance on who can vote (for example servicemen, all UK citizens, Scots living in rUK); the percentage required for a "leave" vote and how "remain" voting regions can stay in the UK. It should also cover currency, Scotland's repayment of its share of UK debt, post-Brexit cross border movement of people, goods and services and who qualifies for UK citizenship and passports.

It should be enacted before the Holyrood elections So we – voters, media, political parties – all know where we stand before we vote.

Allan Sutherland, Stonehaven.


SCOTTISH Labour has called on the Scottish Government to "stand up" for domestic jobs following the decision that the multi-billion-pound Seagreen offshore wind farm is to be manufactured abroad and built with foreign labour. A spokesman parroted the usual platitudes on how the Scottish Government was committed to supporting growth within the Scottish supply chain. The SNP has controlled Scotland's devolved legislature since 2007 so has had adequate time to ensure that Scotland's companies and workforce benefited from the wind turbine tsunami. Instead the turbines were manufactured in China, Denmark, Germany and Spain and erected with foreign labour.

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) database revealed that Scotland has 21,800 turbines either onshore or offshore so why was nothing secured by the SNP for Scottish companies and their workforce? Since 2010 wind turbine owners, mostly foreign, have been paid £726 million in constraint payments. Electricity is now four times more expensive than gas so no wonder fuel poverty is escalating. The wind industry sucks in grants, constraint payments and subsidies and spits out unreliable part-time expensive electricity.

Clark Cross, Linlithgow.


HAS the penny finally dropped with the Westminster Government that there should be no concerted campaign by any group to press home the transgenderisation policy?

A not-insignificant minority show tendencies as tomboys or sissies in their younger and earlier adolescent years and they should never be criticised for doing so, as most will grow through and out of this stage.

However, there has been in some areas attempts to put pressure on such youngsters to declare themselves a different gender from what their physical appearance shows them to be.

As teenagers go through those years, they try on different identities for size until they find the one they feel most at home in or their hormones settle that question for them.

It's only a pity our devolved government could not take a leaf out of Westminster's book in this matter and drop its enthusiasm for promoting gender identity without proper safeguards in place to protect vulnerable youngsters and the public.

How about the transgenderisation lobby taking a step back and allowing youngsters to come to their own decisions about their true gender without the brainwashing which goes on under the disingenuous excuse that this is an attempt to help those targeted to come to terms with their gender identity under the guidance of such a crusading group?

Denis Bruce, Bishopbriggs.


“MORALS are available in religion-free form,” writes Doug Clark (Letters, September 27).

He is, of course, correct and indeed we now seem to have a plethora of moral codes to choose from.

Parents in this country have the right to send their children to the school of their choice and, having been schooled in “Christian indoctrination”, I was taught that every individual`s free moral choices should be respected.

Hugh Phillips, Bothwell.


MORE than 130,000 people live with MS in the UK, and many rely on services like physiotherapy, speech and language therapy and exercise classes to stay active, manage their condition and do the everyday things many others take for granted.

But the MS Society’s new report “Too Much To Lose” shows that since lockdown began, seven in 10 people (69 per cent) with MS couldn’t speak to a rehabilitation professional when they needed to. Without this support, people with MS are losing their mobility, their confidence and their independence.

My wife lives with MS. She has had a noticeable change in her fatigue and pain over the pandemic and it is very much related to not being able to get the massage therapy she gets (which she pays for). There is a knock-on effect from having tighter muscle groups to balance, pain increase and ultimately fatigue. For her and many other people trying to live with MS a massage or physio is vital to help them stay as active as they can and live a full life by staying in employment and being able to get around safely.

Readers can help by asking local health leaders to pledge their support for better access to rehabilitation for people with neurological conditions like MS. For more information, visit

Duncan Crawford, Edinburgh.


COVID-19 is not a purely scientific problem – its a wicked, multi-discipline dilemma in which jobs, freedoms and health are traded against each other. The opinions of scientists and medical researchers like Chris Witty and Sir Patrick Vallance are of no special value when acceptable solutions are so ill-defined. Economists, ethicists and the wider public need a greater say.

Both the virus and our attempts to tackle it cause harm and must be balanced. Whether New Zealand's approach is “better” than that of Sweden is as much a cultural and social debate as scientific. But the key question is: should our economy, education and treatment of diseases like cancer be wrecked to keep the elderly like me alive a little longer?

Rev Dr John Cameron, St Andrews.


I AM in general agreement with Iain Macwhirter’s recent article on “daft campaigns” September 20). However, I don’t think Henry Dundas’s reputation can be completely rehabilitated just because he represented a former slave in the Scottish courts; this was simply his job and to his personal advantage, as an advocate.

As a politician, by contrast, he undoubtedly delayed the abolition of colonial slavery, in the supposed interests of private property holders and Tory supporters,

Glad to see the demise of that monstrous piece of landowners’ hubris, the huge pillar above Dornoch with the statue of the evicting Duke of Sutherland.

Graeme Allan, Rothesay.


AS someone who was brought up in Coatdyke, the area between Airdrie and Coatbridge, I recall that there were nine pubs withing less than half a mile. The Coatbridge pubs closed at 9pm and Airdrie’s at 9.30pm. Another unusual fact for this area was that they has a five-day week: pubs had to close on a Sunday and either a Tuesday or a Wednesday by arrangement.

Alex Stark, Airdrie.