ON Saturday Scotland beat England in the Calcutta Cup. Now, being a rugby fan and a Scot, that’s something that pleases me no end. What intrigues me, however, is how much we were astonished at the result! It’s like we had expected to be beaten.

We had so little confidence in our national team and its capabilities that when they won we were delighted but really surprised. Now why is that? Can it be that we have so little confidence in ourselves as a nation that we automatically assume that we are less able than our larger neighbours to be successful, whether that be in the sporting arena or just in general?

I remember when growing up there was always an instruction to not get above yourself: “you don’t praise your own” was a rule of thumb and anyone who had the audacity to display self-confidence was looked upon disdainfully. Why do we do that?

Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to spend some time in other countries. Guess what? Confidence is actually actively encouraged. We as a nation have contributed immensely to society worldwide – just look at Scottish inventions and innovations. This country with its small population has resources that larger countries can only dream of. We have skills and ingenuity that have advanced modern technologies. In terms of renewable energy (which is where the future is) we are geographically ideally located to lead Europe, if not the world.

The only thing holding us back is being tied to Westminster.

Now, as a socialist I would love to see the UK take a different path from the one that it’s on. Realistically it’s time we accept that we have absolutely no influence on what is happening now or is likely to happen in the future, south of the Border.

England makes different choices from Scotland and we need to accept and respect that. What we also have to realise is that whatever England decides, for the moment at least, we are stuck with, whether we agree or not. Why do we accept this?

History shows that Scots emigrants have left this country with nothing and not only have they created successful lives for themselves but they have also contributed vastly to the countries that they moved to.

Now my question is this: knowing the resources we have as a nation, why do we lack the confidence to recognise that we can be incredibly successful as an independent nation?

Irene McLeod
Wemyss Bay

ALL the signs indicate that Brexit may well be a poor-compromise deal of some kind – likely World Trade Organisation rules and a hard Brexit. English voters want immigration to be tightly controlled and therefore this will mean trade, business, jobs and people’s incomes will suffer.

The Tories are negotiating a two-year transition deal from March 2019 – which means it will be March 2021 before Brexit really starts to hit people’s pockets. Scotland will be harder hit by a hard Brexit. In Scotland we have mostly hill farms rather than arable, (opposite to England); we depend on immigration to keep our population from declining; and we have no control of our resources, such as oil and gas (the profits go to big oil companies’ shareholders instead).

Funded by some billionaires, this meaningless, deluded Brexit has effectively taken over the conversation. I believe we sadly have to ride out these coming storms and keep things fluid with regard to a second indy vote. We need to wait until Brexit starts to hit people’s back pockets. I particularly dislike the smug calmness with which the Tories tell us how much they are doing and supposedly care about supporting refugees, those in poverty, small businesses or young people!

I firmly believe the EU has brought the UK prosperity. Young people have not voted for this Brexit and it’s all about past delusions. I feel angry and I don’t understand why we all have to suffer because of Tory divisions. This year or 2019 is too soon for any vote. I know its extremely hard and I wanted Scottish independence years back, but I don’t want another lost vote.

P Keightley

THE exclusion of David Mundell from Theresa May’s new-age Brexit bonding session at Chequers shows his utter irrelevance and the contempt the Tories have for Scotland.

Mundell is the political equivalent of Baldrick. It’s easy to imagine him standing in the corridor ready to make the tea or sitting under the table to be a footstool or shine shoes. Mundell is allegedly in the Cabinet to fight Scotland’s corner. He seems intellectually incapable of understanding that Brexit will be the biggest disaster for Scotland since Darien.

The purpose of May’s Chequers love-in was to give the illusion that her government isn’t racked by crisis factionalism and paralysis. May is trapped between the demands of finance capital for continued unimpeded passporting rights, and the hard-Brexit headbangers lead by Jacob Rees-Mogg demanding an end to all negotiations. These two positions are irreconcilable.

The Tories were spinning that the Cabinet were close to agreeing a position. Then up pops Donald Tusk to show the weakness and absurdity of Theresa May’s Brexit position. He has again stated there will be no cherry-picked a la carte special post-Brexit deal.

The Brexit process will end with the UK Government acceding to all EU demands. There will be an infinite transition period, with the UK having to follow EU laws with no say in their drafting.

Alan Hinnrichs