ASSUMING that Struan Stevenson ("The best cure for the fool’s gold of Scottish nationalism is the ballot box in May", The Herald, March 18) has a sense of irony, it had clearly deserted him when writing his article.

He states that the best cure for the fool’s gold of nationalism is the ballot box. If only this were true. We are facing declining living standards in the UK for years to come because of the ballot box. English nationalists voting to leave our biggest trading partner and become "Global Britain" under the command of an untrustworthy Little Englander will ensure this fate.

If he wishes to quote the evils of nationalism, he could start with the reduction in the UK’s aid budget to some of the poorest and war-torn nations, Yemen, Somalia and Syria. Our Prime Minister’s response to a question about Yemen at PMQs was to ask why the Leader of the Opposition didn’t have a question about Britain.

If Scotland does vote yes in a second independence referendum, it will be because we want to be a fair-minded and outward-looking country, even if that results in further reduction in living standards in the short term.

Sam Craig, Glasgow.

* I AGREE entirely with Grant McKechnie (Letters, March 17) but I am not sure if Boris Johnson is a despot or if he lives in a parallel universe. In the last year did he fail to grasp the fragility of our planet, the value of life in a pandemic, the Herculean labours of NHS nurses, the need for food banks, the lack of provision for elderly care? I could go on. Having debunked Europe, he plans to go east and take on China and Russia by stockpiling additional nuclear warheads but placing them on the Clyde. To be both a despot and a fantasist is doubly dangerous.

Isn't it time for us to rethink our values and for Scotland to act morally and ethically; to take responsibility for itself as a country, as a people and say to Boris Johnson, regarding nuclear weapons: "Not on our soil, not in our seas."

Flora Komori, Edinburgh.


STUART Waiton, the other day, spoke of "my truth" ("We must all question the idea of 'my truth'", The Herald, March 17). It seems that Struan Stevenson is an exponent of that idea.

He omits a good deal about the failure of the Darien Scheme, notably the refusal of the English crown and the East India Company to give any aid to the starving colonists. However, his most egregious errors are to say that "William Paterson had been wily enough not to join the expedition to Panama" and "Wily Willie Paterson went on to found the Bank of England" as though these were some sort of recommendation. In fact, the sources are agreed that William Paterson was on the expedition. His wife died in Panama.

Paterson had made a proposal to found the Bank of England in 1691 but it wasn't established by Royal Charter till 1694. That was fully four years prior to the first Darien Expedition of July 1698. If Mr Stevenson can play with established facts in this way, what should we make of the rest of his piece?

Dr David Syme, Killin, Perthshire.


THE division and hatred permeating Scotland over the past two decades with the rise of nationalism has made Scotland a very uncomfortable place in which to live and I don’t recognise my country compared to the days of my youth and middle age. The media daily is full of loathing and bile, parliamentarians who should know better reduce themselves to baying animals, people despise those of a differing opinion and despite the outcome of any Yes/No vote in the future, I believe this will take generations, if ever, to resolve.

Scottish nationalism and its xenophobic, all-controlling mantra is subversively infiltrating every aspect of Scottish life to spread its hateful, one-state, communist-like regime – the national police force, named person scheme, Hate Crime Bill, railway nationalisation, state control of some businesses, control of the civil service, control of the judiciary and more. Nationalists lap this up, can’t or refuse to see past this ideology because they are driven not by common sense and logic but by emotion – the misguided emotion of some kind of “freedom”. Followers want this “freedom” tomorrow without care or cause of the outcome and their leaders goad them on to try to achieve this Braveheart Brigadoon which is morally indefensible.

“The people of Scotland” have been abandoned by this so-called Government. Nicola Sturgeon stated in 2016 that nothing is more important than independence and she has been proved correct – everything else has less importance and we witness this on a weekly basis. Nationalists are not concerned about a successful independent Scotland, it’s separation at all costs, to hell with the consequences.

Voters need to think very carefully where the put the X in May.

Douglas Cowe, Newmachar.


NOW that a person David Davis referenced in the protected environment of the Commons over the Alex Salmond case has called his allegations “fundamentally untrue”, I would hope he would remove these smears from the public domain or be forced by the House authorities to do so ("Sturgeon ‘refutes’ claims made by Tory MP about Salmond saga", The Herald, March 18).

As it has become fairly obvious through the long dreary airing of this case, this is about a man, backed overwhelmingly in the main, by other men – politicians, journalists, commentators, conspiracy bloggers – all regurgitating the same tired memes about “woman conspirators”, one in particular, but also including others. They seem to lack actual evidence, but that hasn’t stopped these male pundits from lurid speculation, and there is an increasing stench of misogyny hanging over the reporting/commenting on the whole thing.

GR Weir, Ochiltree.


IT is a tragedy that the murder of a young white woman, Sarah Everard, in London has brought us to this debate on misogyny (Letters, March 16, 17 & 18) but this where we are and I offer my sincerest condolences to her family and friends.

To Hannah Bardell, who suggested curfews for men in areas where women have been murdered ("Let’s look at banning men from the streets after 6pm, says MP", The Herald, March15), I would suggest that the stats show that this is probably a large part of all the UK given the frequency with which it happens. But it is an idea that is divisive and unhelpful.

It is significant that in the last few years there have been many murders of young black men in London that have unfortunately not attracted the same widespread level of response. I am not attempting to diminish the need for action on misogyny but simply indicating the violent nature of our society and the need to look for solutions that bring a wider desire for rational behaviour, tolerance and empathy.

We need both boys and girls to grow up cherished and educated about equal rights, tolerance and courteous behaviour to everyone of all backgrounds and sexual orientation. It is not just for our over-burdened teachers to do this but also for parents, and all parts of society. There are many aspects of society which encourage misogyny to flourish, such as primogeniture – modernisation of such ancient practices is a must. Girls must be able to grow up in a society which treats them as equal, not second place.

It is difficult to promote equal rights in an environment with so much poverty and inequality. We know violence thrives where poverty and ignorance exist.This is why tackling child poverty is such an issue for the next decade.

The footballer Marcus Rashford provides a great role model for young people in society with his modesty, generosity and concern for others. He is a son that any mother would be proud of. And it is clear that his mother spent time in her hard-working life to teach him good values which will last a lifetime.

We must all in our families, friends and organisations try to promote ideas of fairness, kindness and equality whenever possible and call out misogyny when we see it.

Maggie Chetty, Glasgow.


SPT, which runs the Glasgow Underground, has advised staff that services this coming Sunday are to be increased to cater for the Old Firm game at Celtic Park, scheduled for the same day ("Subway plans extra trains amid fears of Old Firm match Covid breaches", The Herald, March 15).

Given that efforts are being made to discourage fans from travelling to the game or to Ibrox, surely SPT should be cancelling services rather than increasing them, thus adding to the message to stay home given the Covid threat.

What a farce.

James Martin, Bearsden.

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