IT made me feel slightly old to hear that this week marks the 20th anniversary of the community on Eigg buying the island. The news that they had finally achieved their goal and thrown aside the rule of oppressive landlords is still crystal clear in my memory.

It seemed then that it could be the start of something massive, with residents, donors, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Highland Council all coming together to make something magical happen, and it’s good to see that land reform is still happening here in Scotland.

The buyout still acts as a beacon to hundreds of other communities who are trying to buy land and buildings from those who cling on to them when it is clear they could be better used by the communities who live on or around them.

Around 75 per cent of the population of the Western Isles now lives on community-owned land, and the Scottish Government has set aside £10 million a year until 2020 to help fund buyouts.

But communities can also crowd-fund cash and strike canny bargains, as the crofters of the North Assynt estate did, before Eigg was bought, and like Eigg, without state aid. The power is in our hands.
John Macanenay


God help us with this match made in Hell in charge

ONLY a week after being humiliated by the British electorate, and after a bout of fake contrition, Theresa Maybe is back to her old ways with a secret visit to the horror of the Grenfell flats tragedy, where she pointedly avoided any member of the public either caught in the fire or members of the local community.

She further avoided answering the question as to why she didn’t speak to any member of the public. It isn’t rocket science ... she is afraid to talk to or interact with Joe Public as they would probably send her packing!

This is a woman who has visibly lost her arrogant, self-assured and smug attitude, who still retains that patronising drone when speaking on camera. Her mojo has well and truly gone.

Compare that to Jez who went into the community halls and spoke to community leaders, who spoke to anyone in the crowds around the area, and quite frankly made Saint Theresa look inept and anything but the strong and stable leader she proclaimed herself to be.

It is obvious to anyone other than a Unionist that she should resign immediately and make way for a progressive alliance to run the country.

The chances of that happening are slim however, as is confirmed by the grubby deal making that is currently ongoing between her and those regressive religious zealots that are the DUP.

That is a match made in hell for this country, as they will exact a heavy price from May for their support, and anyone who thinks that the DUP will not be calling the shots is very distant from reality – or they are Boris Johnson?

Finally, she is due to start negotiating with the EU next week still without a strategy that is coherent, with a stubborn blinkered attitude towards a cross-party and devolved administration input, stating that her position has not changed in this regard. That again is the May of pre-election.

The next few weeks will determine just how badly this country will suffer, and with certain parts of the Scottish electorate succumbing to electoral suicidal tendencies, we seem to have no hope on the horizon of Scotia getting out of this race to the bottom.

God help us all, and let’s hope that in the months to come, those in Scotland who kept the Tories in power see just what they have done, and if another election is called soon, do not make the same mistake again.
Ade Hegney

IN all the articles and letters re the Tory attempts to get a majority, I have not read any mention of “English votes for English laws” or Evel as it is commonly known.

This was brought in by Cameron’s coalition to negate the voting rights of the SNP’s 56 MPs in the last Parliament.

Does this not apply to the 13 new Scottish Tory MPs, and also to the DUP’s 10 MPs?

If it does, then Mrs May is a further 23 members short of a majority on English-only matters, such as grammar schools. Or is this law to be binned along with the fixed-term parliament law?
J Inglis
Address supplied

IRONY of ironies! After complaining for the entire General Election campaign about the SNP’s “obsession” with independence, the very first utterance from Ruth Davidson at FM’s Questions was about, you’ve guessed it – independence!

Plus ca change ....
James Mills

WHY, when the SNP have been campaigning for Scottish independence for over 80 years, do the likes of Ruth Davidson, Kezia Dugdale and Willie Rennie think that they are going to just stop now? The leaders of the other parties should stop going on and on about independence and get on with their day jobs of holding the Scottish Government to account.
Peter Swain
Honorary Secretary
Pensioners for Independence

AT the risk of attracting condemnation from the PC police, I would like to offer some comment on the Tim Farron issue. I disagree with him and his party on many matters, in particular his opposition to self-determination for Scotland.

I have to admit, however, admiration and sympathy for him in his principled decision to stand down from the leadership of the LibDems and perhaps from politics in total.

His integrity is in marked contrast to those who wanted to oust him.

These individuals and organisations are vehement in demanding the right to believe and act according to their own lights, but would deny him and all others who might have a different viewpoint that same right.

Is their anger directed at him for his views on matters such as LGBT rights and gay marriage or is it because he professes his Christianity?

As far as I know he does not wish to roll the clock back on such moral issues, unlike, dare I say it, some other religions. Nor does he seek to impose his values on others, unlike those who disagree with him.

In contrast he practices the instruction of his religion viz, “Redde Caesari Quae Sunt Caesaris” – or “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s.”

I’m just saying that it is regrettable that his opponents are not equally tolerant in their actions. It is possible to separate Church and State: most nations manage to do this as do most individuals.
J F Davidson
Bonnyrigg, Midlothian