THE successful exercise of power at any level depends on the freely-given "consent of the governed"; such consent is indivisible from trust and respect. Trust and respect are dearly earned. Once lost, they are very rarely retrieved intact.

History shows that the same rules apply to every situation where there are rules, rulers and authority. From international relationships to families they are fundamental: ask any parent or teacher; ask the EU; ask the UN; ask Afghanistan; ask Iraq; ask any of the 1.5 million Palestinians trapped just now in Rafah by murderous Israeli onslaught.

While Scotland remains in the so-called Union of parliamentary governments, our electorate and our elected representatives at Westminster must presume that it is safe to trust that system; that mutual respect exists between them and the electoral choices of the other nations; that those who direct procedure there regard it as a matter of honour.

Today that delusion is over. Notwithstanding the humiliating debacle in the House of Commons last week, when the Speaker, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, changed the rules to defend the Labour Party's indefensible position on Palestine, he has now broken his apology and word of "honour" by refusing a proper debate on a meaningful ceasefire on Gaza ("Flynn accuses Speaker of ‘breaking his word’ after SNP debate bid rejected", The Herald, February 27).

Trust? Respect? Honour? There is clearly none left in that dreadful place. It is long past time that Scotland's people withdrew their consent to any further misgovernment and international misrepresentation.

The world is watching.

Frances McKie, Evanton.

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SNP too cosy in London

AFTER the denial of a new debate on Gaza to the SNP, and the skulduggery by Labour and the Speaker on the original Gaza debate, can there be any doubt that the Westminster Parliament is irrelevant to Scottish needs? What’s more it’s clear that SNP MPs have for the last few years been too intent on “settling in" at Westminster” and not on "settling up" on behalf of Scotland. Indeed I recall my local SNP MP Tommy Sheppard assuring the House of Commons that he wasn’t going to be creating trouble but being a good MP. I nominated him for the seat when I was an SNP member in 2015 and campaigned for his election. I have to say he has been a sad disappointment since.

There was another choice of how to behave at Westminster and that has been demonstrated by Alba’s two MPs, Kenny MacAskill and Neale Hanvey, since they joined the party two years ago. Mr MacAskill has been consistently raising the question of how Scotland is being robbed of our energy whether oil or wind and then charged much more for it by the UK Government. Lately he has been leading the campaign to save the Grangemouth refinery and sadly the SNP boycotted his debate. Mr Hanvey has placed a bill on independence in the Commons. Also, the Alba MPs were thrown out by the Speaker when they protested about the neglect of Scottish issues.

So what should Scotland do about the coming General Election? Well people can vote for Labour, which clearly under Sir Keir Starmer has no interest in Scotland. They can vote for the SNP, whose MPs are clearly desperate to hold on to their £80k a year seats. Or they can vote for Alba candidates; I hope to be one in Edinburgh. We don’t expect to win but we will give discontented SNP voters, and there are a lot of them, a chance of voting for an independence platform that is clear: Westminster is not our Parliament and the real elections which matter are the Scottish Parliament elections. Then the issue should be clear: a vote for an independence-supporting MSP will lead as soon as possible towards a Declaration of Independence.

Hugh Kerr (former MEP 1994-99), prospective Scottish Parliament Alba candidate for Edinburgh.

The true triggers of anti-Semitism

SIR Lindsay Hoyle’s concern for the safety of MPs led to a situation where Labour MPs need not be tempted to support a dangerous SNP motion but could vote for their own motion which, in a welter of verbiage, contained a reference to a ceasefire, so qualified that it could not be taken seriously. The SNP motion, while applying to both sides, invited unequivocal support for an immediate ceasefire. Whichever motion was accepted would not bring a ceasefire, but the SNP motion would have made very clear the British Parliament’s unqualified opposition to the wilful and continuing slaughter.

A narrative is developing where the justified support of Palestinians and the outrage over Israeli actions is being interpreted as a cover for anti-Semitism, a threat to the safety of MPs, and the intimidation of Parliament by the mob. This is the narrative that the Speaker seems to accept, as also does Kevin McKenna with regard to pro-Palestinian activism in Glasgow ("No decent society can tolerate this", The Herald, February 20).

There are nasty and unbalanced people who are encouraged in their behaviour by international conflicts. However, we need to look at the policies and actions of the United States, Britain and Israel to find the true triggers of anti-Semitism, and Islamophobia. One thing is certain, the protest movements throughout Britain which I personally support are pro-Palestinian and call for a ceasefire in Gaza to end mass killing; they have nothing to do with anti-Semitism or violence towards MPs, or intimidation of Parliament. Though it may suit Lindsay Hoyle, Labour parliamentarians and, curiously, Kevin McKenna, to demonise them and grossly misrepresent their motivation, we should recognise their principled opposition to the inhuman and genocidal actions of Israel.

The demonisation of opposition to Israel may divert attention and help the continuing barbarism of Israel to drop largely out of British news, but if one turns to Channel 235 and Al Jazeera news bulletins, the ongoing disgusting reality is made clear.

Incidentally, many years ago, I read, and was also very much affected by, the account that Jim Sillars relates (Letters, February 26). It brought home to me the reality of the Holocaust and I have never forgotten it. But is it not unspeakably sad that the suffering of the Holocaust should have led to the sort of cruelties and barbarism practised by Israel, now and in the years since 1948?

Ronald MacLean, Beauly.

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Anderson should give his reasons

LEE Anderson was suspended from the Tory Party after refusing to apologise for claiming "Islamists" had achieved "control" over London ("Deputy PM: Anderson would have kept whip with apology for ‘Islamist’ claim", The Herald, February 26). If only he had provided his evidence for his claim it could have been discussed on its merits in public like any claim in a society that believes in freedom of speech.

Doug Clark, Currie.

The Herald: Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuIsrael's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Image: Getty)

This war won't end Hamas

CLAIMS of being close to a deal on another temporary Gaza ceasefire to release hostages are propaganda to pretend that Joe Biden and Benjaim Netanyahu tried but Hamas rejected a ceasefire, to justify attacking Rafah in a war whose stated aims are all either lies or impossibilities.

The Israeli government position continues to be that war will continue to “eliminate Hamas” even if every hostage is released. Benjamin Netanyahu says any new deal would only delay an attack on Rafah. This gives Hamas no motive to agree to more temporary deals. This is why its position since December 21 has been no more hostage negotiations without an end to the war and IDF withdrawal.

Even IDF intelligence reports to the Israeli cabinet say the war won’t end Hamas as a terrorist or guerilla group. And polls of Palestinians continue to show Hamas and Fatah as the two parties with most support. So “eliminating Hamas” is an impossibility, short of outright genocide. In the last Israeli elections 57% voted for parties opposed to any Palestinian state, all of them for annexing most or all of the West Bank, the only place left one could exist. Yet no one has ever said the Israeli government must be replaced for refusing to recognise Palestine’s right to exist.

The release of all surviving hostages is a certainty if the war is ended and hostage negotiations resumed, while the chances of each hostage being killed by the IDF, their captors, or hunger and disease under blockade, if the war continues are at least 50%.

Preventing another October 7 would only require not dismissing multiple detailed intelligence reports and warnings of imminent attack from Egyptian and Israeli intelligence and IDF border observers again. And negotiating with all the representatives Palestinians elected, Hamas and Fatah, instead of annexing more of the West Bank by force and ruling out a Palestinian state.

Duncan McFarlane, Carluke.