MARK Smith (“Independence: Swinson: Clip of Nicola Sturgeon reveals the Trumpian way some independence supporters think”, November 16) raises an interesting point about Trump’s supporters, namely that supporting him is the same as supporting America is the same as being American. “It’s a troubling way to think”, he writes, “but that’s how it works”.

We should be grateful that the cause of independence has not quite stirred the same degree of fanatical loathing that we now have the misfortune to witness in America.

There is no doubt that Trump has been brilliant at addressing and exploiting the fears and the resentments of his base.

The more outspoken and bigoted he becomes, the more they love him. For them, Trump is America.

His supporters readily overlook his faults and are full of praise for his relentless assault on democratic norms, such as his cynical refusal to concede defeat to Joe Biden and his evidence-free allegations that the election was “stolen” from him.

But if a Democratic president had declined to admit defeat, would Trump’s base have taken the same view? I very much doubt it: they would be taking to the streets, armed to the teeth, to express their righteous outrage.

I am personally glad that Biden has won but I do not envy him the huge task ahead of him, with the US economy in trouble and the pandemic continuing to claim thousands of lives.

As for Trump, his presidency may be drawing to a close but his poisonous legacy will continue to divide America for years to come.

J. Crawford, Glasgow.

I THINK Mark Smith needs to get out a bit, if he considers Nicola Sturgeon’s reaction to a hubristic Jo Swinson losing her seat as abnormal.

What about the glee when Ed Balls lost his seat, or one newspaper headlined Michael Portillo losing his seat as a “nation rejoices”?

As for Trumpism, it is the British nationalist side which refuses to recognise electoral mandates, with Theresa May, Boris Johnson and now Gordon Brown asserting that Scots should not be allowed a vote on their own future.

Brown was arguing for a second EU referendum in 2018, only two years after the first, in the middle of a decade-long austerity program which for many people was no different from a recession.

By 2022 we should be over the worst of the virus, but facing the serious economic consequences of a Brexit we did not vote for, and don’t want.

Are we Scots to sit on our hands while our economy is trashed “just because” of the democratic double standards of British nationalism? We need to get this thing settled.

GR Weir,


AS the US stalls with a 77-year-old president-elect showing clear signs of mental deterioration, the UK combines a major recession with the self-inflicted insanity of Brexit, and polls tell us that the majority of Scots favour departing into the night with a grossly incompetent SNP government, China agrees to an historic trade agreement with 2.5 billion people in 14 Asian-Pacific nations.

There are Asean members such as Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand plus six countries with which they have free trade agreements: Australia, China, India, Japan, Korea, and New Zealand.

The deal slashes tariffs by 90 per cent and simplifies business with shared policies for market access.

This Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership represents one-third of global trade.

For all his faults, Donald Trump was one of the few residents in recent times to face up to China and call it to account for its nefarious trade practices and piratical attitude to western research.

Democrats, split between impractical leftists and effete, virtue-signalling metropolitans, will offer no more than impotent protests because the new deal protects President Xi’s back.

Dr John Cameron,

St Andrews.

SO Nicola Sturgeon continues her virtue signalling, telling Donald Trump he must respect democracy and stand down.

And this from the politician who, since the day after she lost the 2014 independence referendum when almost 85 per cent of us turned out, has ceaselessly campaigned to overthrow the result of that “once in a generation” vote.

Apparently Ms Sturgeon doesn’t do irony.

Martin Redfern,