If there is one thing you can depend on about the Liberal Democrats, it’s that you can’t depend on the Liberal Democrats (“Id NEVER support indyref2”, September 15).

Jaws dropped all round when Willie Rennie, their Scottish Leader at Holyrood, insisted that he wouldn’t support another independence referendum even if, as the opinion polls suggest, the pro-independence parties win a majority at the next Holyrood elections. It would appear that the concept of democracy has totally bypassed Mr Rennie.

However, the concept of austerity did not bypass their UK Leader, Jo Swinson, whose appalling voting record at Westminster saw her voting with her Tory colleagues in the Coalition government for the bedroom tax, and for cuts to disability benefits, cuts to the Education Maintenance Allowance and cuts to local authority funding.

Swinson, Rennie and their rag-bag of a party cannot be trusted in office.

More Tory than the Tories, there is nothing remotely Liberal or Democratic about them, and that’s without even mentioning university tuition fees.

Ruth Marr


The SNP has won overwhelming majorities in Holyrood, Westminster, local and EU elections. Surely when the UK Government recognises this we will get our referendum.

Then there should be a two-thirds majority against if you want to stop Scotland getting its wishes for independence.

Bill Kerr


Willie Rennie from the undemocratic Liberal Party is just another English dude disguised under the fake British identity. After all, no-one can be born British, he hopes the English change their minds over Brexit but if they don’t, tough luck Scotland – you’re leaving too.

Those are the types who have been in control of Scotland’s destiny for 300 years ... is it any wonder we are in a mess?

Rod Selbie


Alexander McKay suggested that after a classroom poll, parents were schooling their 12-year-olds to verbally harass contemporaries of other political persuasions (Letters, September 15).

Four points:

1. The teacher holds a secret vote next time and explains that no-one has to tell anyone how they voted.

2. If a child has been intimidated or bullied the incident should be reported to the school and its resolution awaited.

3. A child’s reporting of events can often, but not always, be exaggerated.

4. Mobile phones, tidiness and time-keeping are more usually discussed among parents and children than politics.

I am a former secondary headteacher.

Lastly, Mr McKay might sip a hot, calming drink to moderate the tone of his inevitable next epistle.

Colin Campbell


At last you’ve got the message!

I refer to Clark Cross’s letter dated September 15, in which he points out that people will not be able to fly, nor use polluting fuel for transport, cooking or heating. Mr Cross has at last got the message!

What the children are saying is the system has to change. We need to restore all the rail stations that the authorities closed, and build new rail lines.

As he rightly says, it requires personal sacrifice.

The reason the demonstrations have to be disruptive is so people will understand that the race for profit is destroying the planet. The young people are demanding the right to have a future. The longer it takes the populace to understand, the more demonstrations we need.

I speak as a campaigner of 35 years, when no-one listened.

Margaret Forbes


Rising numbers of children are being treated for eco-anxiety, experts have said, as they warn parents against “terrifying” their children with talk of a climate catastrophe.

This problem must be firmly laid at the door of the climate brigade, especially Extinction Rebellion, who are brainwashing children.

Those encouraging and allowing children to take part in climate demonstrations are guilty of abuse.

Children must be reassured and told of previous scary climate change predictions which never happened.

In 1970, there will be an Ice Age by 2000;1976, global cooling will cause a world war by 2000: 1989, global warming and rising sea levels will wipe entire nations off the map by 2000; 1990, the Himalayan glaciers will be gone in 10 years; 2000, snow will soon be a thing of the past; 2007, global warming will cause fewer hurricanes; 2008, the Arctic will be ice free by 2013.

The biggest porky must go to Al Gore who said in 2006 that sea levels would rise by 20 feet “in the very near future”.

Clark Cross


Tackling anti-Semitism

The rise in anti-Semitism reported by Ken Macintosh (The Herald on Sunday, September 15) is indeed “perplexing, disturbing and extremely worrying”. We in the West are heavily indebted to the Jewish people, but we still see criticism of Israel’s government twisted into anti-Semitism.

Indeed, the Jewish community is frequently used as a human shield for the Israeli rightist government’s betrayal of Biblical principles and common humanity.

And this is making it harder to tackle the real anti-Semitism we hoped had been shamed into insignificance.

Rev Bob Philip

Shieldhill, Falkirk

Independent, but only in name

Reading Paul Hutcheon’s latest analysis of where we are on the independence debate (A new vote is coming ... and this time the stakes will be even higher, The Herald on Sunday, September 15), I was struck how important the choice of words can be in portraying the same circumstances in very different ways.

The SNP undoubtedly want us all to accept their vision of how in the face of the unfolding Brexit drama, indyref2 will become “inevitable”. Yet the current justification for that second vote, and in turn independence itself, now very much seems to hinge on an independent Scotland seeking to rejoin the EU, which highlights a glaring contradiction at the heart of the SNP proposition.

Taken in isolation, self-determination is like apple pie, something it is hard not to like.

But at what cost is independence to be achieved, not least in terms of social discord and division, and also just how real will be the “independence dream” when it is delivered?

In this week’s widely reported comments from former president of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, he made it very clear that while the EU’s attitude towards the prospect of an independent Scotland might have warmed somewhat, there was no chance of any special terms of membership.

A core message of the SNP has been the importance of Scots having a free hand over our future, yet how does that sit with having to take the terms of the common fisheries and agriculture policies, as well as restructuring our public finances to suit the EU’s joining criteria and committing to ultimately joining the Euro?

It is fanciful to suggest, as SNP Constitutional Affairs Secretary Mike Russell did this week, that Scotland could simply negotiate these problems away.

Instead, Scotland would need to become fully paid-up members of the EU’s ever-closer union project. Brexit has taught us we need to know the practical realities before we commit to radical change, and in this regard the SNP’s case for independence in Europe has yet to be properly tested.

Keith Howell

West Linton

Good luck in a world without oil

I was very interested in the question you asked last week – North Sea Oil: is it time to turn off the taps? (The Herald on Sunday, September 15).

In a word, “No". At no point in the three pages of this special was the role of oil and gas as feedstocks for synthetic materials production mentioned.

Our clothes are mostly made from oil as are tyres and low-weight body panels, medical equipment and prosthetics, furniture, paints, lubricants, television, computer and radio carcasses, ink – including printing ink – carpeting, shoes, electrical insulation and hundreds of other uses.

If you want to dress in hand-woven hessian and go back to a horse-and-cart civilisation then by all means turn off the taps.

Good luck with the wooden hypodermic syringes.

B McKay