AS a committed Scottish nationalist, I would like to offer Allan Carmichael (Letters, July 20) some of the information for which he is looking when he asks for someone to put the case for the Union.

In the first place, his letter itself underlines the inherent strength and stability of the UK economy which, despite the recent adverse performance reasonably identified in that letter, remains as one of the strongest economies in the world. It was the UK, not the EU, which bailed out the Republic of Ireland when it teetered towards bankruptcy after the 2008 crash. It was the UK economy which immediately provided some of the money, arms and motivation which assisted the Ukraine’s astonishing repulsion of Russia’s attempt to invade Kiev with overwhelming force of arms. And so on.

There is more:

• The Union will not dismantle a key element in Nato’s nuclear defence profile which is now, more clearly than ever, seen as essential to protect the free world against the monstrous and corrupt but powerful totalitarian forces which rule much of the globe and would extend that rule.

• The Union will maintain the existing free movement of people, goods and services throughout Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the obstruction of which, for example, by the insertion of a border with the EU, would make the catastrophic consequences of Brexit look like a tea party.

• The Union will continue to provide Scotland with access to operational banking services and a real, not merely token, currency, neither of which would currently be available in a separated Scotland.

• The Union can combine resources to provide a greater National Health Service and more efficient and uniform benefit, taxation and motor vehicle registration systems than can be achieved in any separate part of the United Kingdom.

• The employers, employees and customers within the United Kingdom all stand to benefit from uniform commercial and financial regulation and practice throughout the existing United Kingdom.

• The Union will avoid Scotland’s exposure to any adverse consequences arising during the indefinite period identified in the Scottish Government’s own papers on independence, running from the commencement of Scottish separation until the non-guaranteed achievement of the advantages to follow from that separation.

• The extent to which separatist sentiment focuses upon an ancient, noble but long-defunct kingdom and a dead language while reflective of valuable and much to be cherished aspects of Scottish heritage, has no place in 21st century political reality.

• Finally, at least for the time being, there are drivers for the Union which are much stronger but rather more difficult to express than those set out above. There are the values and history which we have shared with England whom we have often hated on the football field but died with on the battlefield.

Michael Sheridan, Glasgow.


I USED to vote for the Conservatives, especially when Teddy Taylor was our MP in Cathcart, and was one of those rare people who actually tried to help the people of his constituency, whatever party they traditionally supported. I did not vote at the last General Election, for the first time in my life, because of the dire leader of the Tories in the shape of Boris Johnson, and Brexit of course, (having voted to remain). For the first time in my life at the last Scottish election, I voted for Labour. I have during my lifetime voted for Liberals (the "real" liberals), Independents, and occasionally local candidates standing in my constituency at the time for local issues.

I have never voted for the SNP, nor do I ever intend to; my main reason originally was because I wished this country of Scotland to remain as part of the United Kingdom. My Libran star sign, however, allows me to weigh up both sides of an argument, so I do read and listen and discuss and argue. The last 15 years of Scotland being governed by the SNP has just strengthened my will never to vote for that party, which has completely destroyed what the country of Scotland used to be, with education, health and the Scottish NHS, banking, universities, ferries, roads, green policies to keep the SNP in power and more dominating the SNP's record in power. I also think that the present leader of the Scottish Government, Nicola Sturgeon, in whose constituency I reside, is one of the most divisive, clever, dictatorial, and selfish leaders of a political party ever to be found in recent years.

Patricia Fort (Letters, July 22) writes: "The vitriol expressed by those who oppose the SNP ... is becoming more and more frantic" and she finishes her comments by stating that "keyboard warriors can get away from their laptops and the like and get out and converse with real people". Well I do that every day, not from a political point of view – just living my life – and I can tell her that even the most ardent SNP followers, and of course there are many of them in Govanhill, now quite regularly speak to me and say that the sooner their party gets rid of "that woman" the better; she is certainly not the respected leader which she was all those years ago, and probably the rat-infested and disgustingly filthy streets in her own constituency – remember too that the SNP-led Glasgow city is now the third dirtiest city in the world (after Rome and New York) – will help Glasgow to get rid of the selfish, authoritative party which is the SNP.

Walter Paul, Glasgow.


THE three-decade-old disruption of UK politics over separation from the European Union (first the Tories, now joined by Labour) is still playing out. The EU has been forced to launch legal action against the UK over enforcement of the “agreed” post-Brexit trade rules. The UK, ludicrously, asserts legal action is in no one’s interest – even as it passes laws at Westminster to bypass these very same trade rules.

This is similar to British unionists complaining that the Scottish Government spends too much effort on “taking back control”, even as these same British unionist parties spend all their internal feuding, and external politicking, over Brexit. Does it matter if it is Rishi Sunak or Liz Truss or Sir Keir Starmer who steers the Ship of State? They are all ignoring the iceberg up ahead.

GR Weir, Ochiltree.


THE daily news north of the Border is currently dominated by the debate about whether Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak will be chosen by a grossly unrepresentative few to be our next Prime Minister and by if and when we should have a second independence referendum.

I find it all so wearisome. Now, if we had a party the objective of which is the creation of a more compassionate society, involving a radical criticism of the western status quo, we would be provided with a focus for some hope in our future.

The Labour Party ought to be that party but under the current ultra-cautious leadership it looks as though we might have a bit longer to wait for Labour to recover its soul. However in the meantime we must have faith that it will eventually do so.

In closing I must acknowledge that I await your more zealous right-wing contributors shouting “virtue signalling” at me in response to this letter. The use of this term is no more than an attempt to resist the spread of progressive, humane, points of view in contrast to the spread of right-wing ideologies.

I suggest to these people that such opinions are not at all given voice with the intent of demonstrating moral superiority but are far more likely to be based on genuinely-held humanitarian concerns for others.

John Milne, Uddingston.


THE town of Paisley has had associations with some who have served as Prime Minister. Benjamin Disraeli, late in the 19th century, wrote that people should "keep an eye on Paisley". HH Asquith served as an MP in the 1920s. Now we read that Liz Truss spent her formative years in Paisley, attending West Primary School ("Last two standing", The Herald, July 21). Could it be that Paisley has helped to produce our next Prime Minister?

Mind you, she obviously learned some useful lessons there when she stood as Margaret Thatcher in a school election, realised that she was securing "nul points", and did not vote for herself.

Ian W Thomson, Lenzie.