TIM Farron’s comments about resigning the LibDem leadership so he can be true to his version of Christianity are crass and insulting (Farron quits as LibDem leader after being ‘torn between his faith and party position’, The National, June 15).

I am a practising Christian who abhors the increasing alignment in the public perception of Christianity with bigotry.

What Farron means is that he cannot be a party leader and openly hold bigoted or redundant views (unless he joins Ukip) – well yes – but that has nothing to do with real Christianity. My parting of the ways with formal politics and the Labour Party came when that other closet Christian fundamentalist and his Christian fundamentalist US pal Bush, perpetrated the illegal, immoral invasion of Iraq and lit the touch paper for a lot of current woes.

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These so-called Christians ignore one of the main teachings of real Christianity – “love they neighbour”. Just as many in the Conservative Government, who regard themselves as Christians, turned their backs on children fleeing the horrors of war. Your “neighbour” is anyone who needs your help.
Amanda Baker


Independence campaign must harness energy of radicalism

IN response to David McEwan Hill, independence for independence’s sake doesn’t inspire people to vote for it (Letters, June 15). There has to be a reason. It has been the case in the past that the independence cause has been rooted in left-wing politics and radical social change. And that has also been the case in recent years. The argument for independence has been that we want to do things differently – that we don’t want to dance to the Tories’ tune.

It was the ideals of radical change that inspired a lot of people to get involved with the indy campaign. Those same ideals are what inspired people to get support Corbyn. We need to recapture it.

I agree with your point that an independent Scotland would implement more left-wing policies. It is those policies, those ideals, that we need to harness to convince people. I completely disagree that these policies are only popular in the Red Clydeside area. People across Scotland want nationalised rail, nationalised energy, community empowerment, well-funded services etc. These are “socialist” policies.

What matters is how we convey these policies. Labels like “socialist” are useful as a shorthand, but they don’t do well at convincing people. Conveying the ideals of what our Scotland is with clearly outlined policies provides a detailed programme for people to vote on. That is how we move forward.

Constitutional policy also played a role, particularly in the north east. The party’s romance with the EU is damaging votes in those communities. Although the SNP want to scrap the Common Fisheries Policy, a return to the EU makes that less likely. The Tories promised to scrap it – even if we don’t think they’ll do it, it gave them more hope than we did. I don’t think a referendum should be off the table. We need to review our stance on many issues – domestic and constitutionally. That’s the only way we’ll have any chance of winning.
Rory Steel
SNP Socialists Convener and SNP Youth Vice-Convener

I’M still hearing Unionist politicians bleating that tired old mantra about the SNP “getting on with the day job”. I think I’d like to see SNP politicians stamping on that one hard. Point out that to ignore the “Yes” majority in both Holyrood and Westminster would be irresponsible: independence is one important part of the day job.
Derek Ball

I AM unaware of the long list of political pundits who were even close to predicting the result of the General Election. Perhaps there was a hermit in a cave in the wilds of Glencoe who in a vision saw Scottish Labour and the Tories rising triumphantly to their knees, but he kept this to himself. (I wondered where Jim Murphy had gone!) A plethora of commentators have emerged from the shattered debris of their “expert opinion” unashamedly predicting that indyref2 is “off the table”, “dead in the water”, “gone to meet its maker”, and, not to put too fine a point on it, resembles a certain Norwegian Blue from a Monty Python skit. Joining these modern-day Mystic Megs are assorted Scottish politicians who have made losing elections such an art form that they were short-listed for the Turner Prize. They have become so inured to losing that, after proclaiming this election as a proxy vote on independence, they declare themselves the “winners” because they won more seats than Ruth Davidson has positions on Brexit.

If you are the SNP, unless you win all the seats available, the Monte Carlo Rally, the Miss Universe contest and score the winning goal against England then you will be labelled losers by people who have proved themselves worthy of this accolade.
James Mills

SOME are apparently shocked that the Conservatives should seek a deal with a party as openly anti-Catholic as the DUP. But there should be no surprise. The UK was and remains, quite simply, a sectarian state. The Established Church and official religion of the state is Protestant, with permanent, unelected representation in Parliament. Our hereditary head of state is barred from being Catholic. The monarch could not even marry a Catholic until 2011.

The UK has never had a Catholic PM. Tony Blair only converted to Catholicism after leaving Downing Street, viewing the faith as so politically explosive he remained a “closet Catholic” until 2007.

The ridicule and contempt which greeted his conversion only proved his suspicions to be, sadly, correct. The stooshie which ensued in March this year after SNP MP Carol Monaghan attended House of Commons business with ashes on her forehead, a Catholic ritual on Ash Wednesday, suggests we have not progressed very far in the intervening decade.

A Tory-DUP deal is also widely being seen as compromising the UK’s status as an “honest broker” in Northern Ireland, but the British taking sides is hardly new. As Unionist leader David Trimble has said, Northern Ireland was a “cold house for Catholics” where systemic legal, political and economic discrimination was tolerated, or even welcomed, by London for decades.

During the Troubles, British military and security forces and the RUC colluded with Loyalist paramilitaries, not least on Bloody Sunday when 14 unarmed civilians were murdered on the streets of Derry. Alliances between the worst of Westminster and the worst of Ulster are certainly shameful, but they are hardly new or inexplicable.
David Kelly