WHEN faced with division in the ranks, the Conservatives have always had the ability to disappear into a darkened room and reappear with a seemingly united front – usually led by a group of right-wing, wealthy public schoolboys and, now, schoolgirls. But we have always known this.

What is new in the Brexit debate is the swift rise in some parts of England of an aggressive, isolationist form of nationalism which seems to encourage an attitude of antagonism and superiority towards other countries. Unfortunately, in many cases this attitude seems to extend to its neighbours in the United Kingdom. It seems that the UK was initially made up of England and a rag-tag job lot of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. This attitude is exemplified by the lack of respect shown by the Tories to SNP politicians in the House of Commons. Given the abysmal failure of the one-party Conservative Brexit negotiations at Westminster, I was about to suggest that Scotland must rise above party politics and engage in a wide-ranging debate on our political, economic and cultural future.

However, having just read the letters (February 6 & 7) regarding the differing party political views on the SNP’s Progress Scotland launch and watched Question Time from Motherwell (February 8), I realise that rising above party politics on this issue will not be easy.

As regards party political and ideological issues it seems that we are just as divided as England.

We keep reminding ourselves that we are a progressive, inclusive and forward-looking country.

Now is the time to prove it. Let’s listen to each other in an open and honest debate about our future. Our children and future generations deserve nothing less.

Hugh Phillips,

16 Old Bothwell Road, Bothwell.

THE Following is a four-part play on Brexit:

Act One: The Brexit referendum choice, unlike other voting decisions such as democratic elections, which are reversible every few years, concerns a massive and irreversible constitutional change to our country and way of life. As such, it seems sensible to ensure that, before voting, voters are very clear about the meaning and consequences of their choice, and, furthermore, that the preferred choice is made by a significant majority of the population.

Act Two: The referendum campaign was emotional, misleading, confusing, confrontational, divisive, appealing to prejudices, insecurities and vulnerabilities, but in the end we knew that Brexit meant…..erm….Brexit.

Act Three: As it subsequently turned out, 37 per cent of the voting population voted to leave the EU. So, for whatever reason, 63 per cent did not. Amongst older voters, a majority voted to leave, whereas amongst younger voters, a majority voted to remain. As the younger generation will conceivably be more affected by the future than will their elders, their views are arguably more important than the views of those who will not live to see the consequences of the decision.

Act Four: And here we are, planning to crash. Whither, one wonders, flew common sense?

David Warden,

24 Kilmardinny Avenue, Glasgow.

WORDS of wisdom in Luke 14:28-30: “For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it.

“Lest after he has laid the foundation and is not able to finish it, all who see it begin to mock him, saying this man began to build and was not able to finish.”

I think this sums up the current situation. Did anyone count the cost?

John Muir,

2 Braidwood Road, Kilwinning.

RARELY, if ever, do I agree with anything Jeremy Corbyn or his Momentum group have to say, much the contrary. Yet, I sympathise with his declaration that we cannot simply ignore the 2016 EU referendum result because many of the losers do not like it and wish to hold another. This has not made him popular with huge swathes of his own party.

Of course his reasons differ from mine. He has always been virulently anti-EU, like most on the hard left of politics. Whereas, I voted, admittedly with some hesitancy, Remain, and would have preferred the UK to stay in a perhaps reformed EU.

In the end, if it leads for example to a two-thirds majority being required in any future constitutional referendums, some good may come from the agony the country is going through at present.

Alexander McKay,

8/7 New Cut Rigg, Edinburgh.