READING the article by Struan Stevenson ("Declaration of Arbroath laid foundation for Treaty of Union", The Herald, April 4), I was astounded about halfway through by possibly the most glaring non sequitur I have ever come across.

He fully accepts that the Scottish Declaration of Arbroath enshrines the sovereignty of the people of that nation. He then blithely states, as if it were self-evident, that this right is now vested in a political construct made up of four separate nations, and even further, in a devolved situation created just over 10 years ago? Is it not also the case that in England it is not the people who are sovereign, but the Monarch through Parliament?

When was the Declaration thus altered to transfer this power? And when did this sovereign nation agree to sign it over? Even the American Declaration of Independence, wishing to legitimise these terms, felt it necessary to include the wording that “the people have the right to alter or abolish …and institute new government”. Where is the documentation that specifically transfers this right from the Scots to the “British nation state”?

If this is a logical sequence, then there was something far wrong with the teaching of Logic in my degree course.

P Davidson, Falkirk.

I HAD to check that we had moved on from April 1. Struan Stevenson rewrites history with a British nationalist slant in his article on the Declaration of Arbroath.

In its assertion of the right of Scotland to defend its right to rule itself, and for its people to choose their head of state, Mr Stevenson missed the part where the Declaration states “never will we on any conditions be brought under English rule”. Now Scotland finds itself under permanent “English rule”, because our aristocracy were bribed into surrendering national sovereignty, against the wishes of the vast majority of Scots. Because of the Declaration of Arbroath, the popular concept of “sovereignty of the people” exists in Scotland in a way it does not in England: where the present “Sovereign” is Queen Elizabeth (first/second) and where “sovereignty” lies, traditionally, in the body of the “1,000 year old” English parliament.

GR Weir, Ochiltree.

FOR reasons that absolutely escape me, I was a guest at the 650th anniversary service in Arbroath Abbey on April 6, 1970.

I was then 26 then, perched among the great and good of churchmen, judges, officers of state and MPs, an overwhelmingly Unionist audience.

When Willie Ross, Secretary of State for Scotland and a lifelong Nat-basher, arrived at the lectern to give the reading from Exodus Ch 20, vs 2-6, that doughty lady Wendy Wood rose to her feet and uttered the single word “Hypocrite”. It echoed round the ancient red sandstone walls, and – to quote the wondrous wit of Oliver Brown: “A shudder ran round ... looking for a spine to run up”.

The surprise in the day came right at the end – well, two surprises actually. The Countess of Erroll, our hereditary High Constable, came forward to light what was quite remarkably termed “The Flame of Independence”; and second, the band of the Royal Marines struck up Scots Wha Hae, the only time I have ever heard our real national anthem played on a formal occasion.

Gordon Casely, Crathes.