ALTHOUGH I would consider myself as being to the left of the political spectrum, I have not voted Labour for many years and the SNP is my default position. Labour have forgotten their roots and have long abandoned the principles of the party’s founding fathers in relation to home rule and self-determination, as championed by Keir Hardie and John MacLean.

They, including their Scottish branch, profess a belief in “internationalism” and give that as their reason for their opposition and hatred of the idea of an independent Scotland.

At the same time they are quite happy to disregard the majority wishes of the Scottish people and are prepared to aid and assist or at least be complicit in the UK’s headlong rush to withdraw from the EU. All with the goal of “taking control of our borders” and restoring the supremacy of UK law courts in what appears to be nostalgia for the days of Empire.

The only way to achieve the egalitarian society that I want is for Scotland to free itself from its reactionary southern neighbour and escape the democratic deficit which prevents us from the realisation of self-determination.

I take much encouragement from the measures contained in the SNP’s Programme for Government. The work being done on a new social security system, the proposed Frank’s Law, and the various measures on poverty and inequality all indicate a government serious about tackling unfairness.

The emphasis on developing a citizen’s basic income and tackling homelessness point to compassion in how we treat each other. The National Investment Bank proposal shows a Government committed to setting the groundwork for an independent Scotland ready to compete and take its part among the nations of the world.

My only bug-bear is land reform. I believe it is unacceptable that so much of our land is owned by so few, and that these privileged successors to the “robber barons” are holding back re-wilding and development to its full potential. I shall await and reserve judgment until the land commission’s first strategic plan proposals are approved and published. And I live in hope that the Barclay Review recommendations will include punitive business rates to discourage the excesses of the shooting estates and grouse moors.

JF Davidson


JOHN Edgar’s letter (The National, September 6) sets out a position in relation to world events to which a large number of us subscribe, although rarely give voice.

What needs to be remembered is that the US decided many years ago – at the end of the First World War – that the world would comply with its vision of what was good for the US, in terms of the oil and mineral resources of the world.

I spent half a century after the Second World War not giving much thought to the implications of all this. The US had come to our aid during the war with lend lease of arms, etc, and all was well. However, during those years all sorts of things happened around the globe which displeased the US – so governments came and went, sometimes quite openly, at other times by a blatant act of war (think Iraq). Through all of this Westminster maintained unquestioning support.

For years we – the UK and Scotland – have basked in the glow of our “special relationship” with the US with all its implications, such as Trident, without any power to influence the course of events.

Has the time now arrived when we – or our premier – should stand up and say we do not want a special relationship with a country with aggressive foreign policies like the US?

George M Mitchell