IN his column (“Unionists can learn lessons from independence marchers”, The Herald, October 7) Mark Smith described a “raggedy, messy independence march”. Perhaps we were not at the same march?

He is obviously immune to the wonderful sight of the blue river snaking its way up the Royal Mile, revealed by pictures taken from the air. Raggedy? I don’t think so.

The great pipe bands obviously do nothing to his heart. No flutter. No pride, then, in this creative, diverse and stubborn little country at the Western edge of Europe. A country I wasn’t born in but which has become mine. A country where people and their government keep telling me “you’re welcome, this is your home.”

Independence marches are not organised to recruit No voters but to energise those independence grassroots movements.

In the deep gloom and current folly in which Britain has thrown itself it is indeed uplifting to be with thousands of hopeful folks, who want a tolerant, open-to-the-world Scotland.

Compare and contrast to the Unionists’ vision of a fortress Britain making life a misery for anyone who is not “blood and soil” British.

Hope against hate and suspicion, this is our form of nationalism which he obviously is unable, or unwilling, to comprehend. Not a great trait in a journalist.

Just Saltire flags? Mr Smith must not have been looking carefully. In my part of the march, I saw English flags, even a Yorkshire one, Welsh, Norwegian, lots of Catalan and European flags.

No, Mr Smith, we’re not “a family of nations sharing burdens and responsibilities”.

Scotland can never realistically be an equal partner in a Westminster parliament where it is vastly outnumbered by English MPs; just like Wales, which is now waking up to the fact that years of believing in the union and the Labour Party has left it the poorest and most neglected part of the UK.

And no, federalism is really, really dead in the water.

It depends on English MPs voting for it and there’s as much chance of that as there is for The Herald becoming a progressive voice, impartially reporting on independence marches. But Mr Smith know this, or should, as a journalist.

By choosing its way out of this unequal union, Scotland will be able to play an equal part in a far greater partnership of 27 countries and 550 million other Europeans. It is a no-brainer.

Dr Mireille Pouget,



* Note: The Herald devoted two full pages, with photographs, to the march in its edition of Sunday, October 6.

SNP MP Joanna Cherry makes the bizarre claim that there were 250,000 at the nationalist rally in Edinburgh - that is, equivalent to more than half the city’s population.

Were Scotland ever to become independent, please keep her away from the economy.

Martin Redfern,


TWO hundred thousand marchers on a wet day in October in Edinburgh should act as a wake-up call to those who keep pretending there is no call for an independence referendum in Scotland.

Saying no to a Section 30 will only ensure a Yes win when the referendum inevitably happens. Therefore it would be better to agree to the referendum and then fight for a No vote, giving reasons why independence will not benefit Scots.

Alan Barbour,


ON Saturday, somewhere between one hundred and two hundred thousand (possibly more) people marched peacefully through Scotland’s capital demanding a second independence referendum.

This followed similar marches in towns and cities across Scotland this summer , including the similarly huge 100,000-plus multitude who passed through Glasgow city centre in May.

In the case of the Glasgow and Edinburgh marches there would not be a greater display of peaceful democratic protest across the continent of Europe on those particular days. So how did our mainstream media TV networks report this? In the case of the BBC and ITN the answer would be nil - zero - nothing to see here.

What other conclusion can we come to other than that this amounts to nothing less than a deliberate policy of suppressing positive news of pro-independence activities?

Its all very well for the BBC to include the march on the Scottish part of their online news website, but I would suggest that if these marches resulted in any public disorder, it would be reported not only in banner headlines, but in hourly bulletins.

To describe the BBC as an “impartial” news agency with regard to the movement for Scottish Independence is utterly risible. It is the state broadcaster of the UK: the first ‘B’ in BBC is is the clue.

Perhaps the only way for pro-Scottish independence marches to be reported fairly by the BBC will be when the demonstration takes place in London with Westminster the rally point. Even ‘Auntie’ couldn’t ignore that.

Eugene Cairns,