I WAS heartened to read yesterday’s letters on the subject of an independent Scotland in the EU because, as Pete Wishart correctly judged, it is an issue which must be tackled before we, who all support an independent Scotland, can be confident of success in the next indy referendum (We need a new case for indy..., The National, February 9).

I hope that Lorna Campbell (Long Letter, February 12) will regain her optimism once the debate produces a fair and clear position.

I accept that some small counties have benefited from membership of the EU, but I prefer the example of Iceland to that of Ireland. According to Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman, Iceland – a small country like us – suffered in 2008 what has been described as the worst financial crisis in history but also made one of the fastest recoveries on record. It took decisive action to deal with its debts. It held two referenda on whether or not it should follow the rest of the EU countries and impose austerity on its people.

They voted against austerity. Three banks were allowed to collapse, many senior executives were jailed and their ex-PM was put on trial for negligence although subsequently exonerated. Now their GDP has risen to two per cent, salaries are rising, the national debt is reducing and the government is repaying part of the loans it received from the International Monetary Fund.

Many of us, at the time, wished that the UK Government had had the nerve to do this, but it didn’t because it is in thrall to international bankers, as is the EU.

Mr Wishart, I hope very much that you will consider Iceland’s example. It is a member of EFTA but is free to run its own economy for the benefit of and with the backing of its people. I hope, too, that Yes Remainers will consider what I’ve said and not just condemn me out of hand.

Lovina Roe

I READ with interest the article by Vonny Leclerc in yesterday’s paper (Period taboo threatens both health and dignity, The National, February 12).

I am an outsider, I am male. Nevertheless I find this ignorance about the body’s natural cycle in women being misunderstood in today’s world amazing. Surely it is a bodily process to be respected, as it is about fertility.

I agree with Vonny that all women should have free access to sanitary products as a right. I know some work is under way to supply this in Scotland, but it should go further.

Perhaps education is also needed for those women that are economically stressed to get awareness of help in this area of health. Obviously I have never had a period but my wife has, and many women I have known are more than happy to talk about it. I have seen women suffer with PMT and with bad periods so I have a partial understanding. I agree with everything Vonny says.

Robert Anderson
Dunning, Perthshire

I READ Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh’s article (I’ve experienced racism and death threats – Scotland still has a long way to go, The National, February 7) with horror.

Are there still people like that in our country in the 21st century?

I read somewhere that some scientists believe that Neanderthal man/woman and Homo Sapiens existed for a time together in this world. They also believe that Neanderthal man/women eventually became extinct.

In the light of this behaviour by some of our countrymen/women, I think it is time that these scientists reviewed these beliefs.

George McKnight
West Calder

I NOTE the furore regarding the packaging used by Albert Bartlett showing the Union flag (Letters, February 10 and February 12). This is nothing new.

I wrote to Albert Bartlett in August of 2015 asking why the Saltire had recently been replaced with the Union flag and why a Scottish chef had been replaced by a southern chef on their promotional material.

Their response was that they were using up old packaging.

They must have had a huge stock, as I have been vigilant in looking for the reappearance of the Saltire.

It hasn’t happened yet and nor have I made any further purchases of their potatoes.

Mary Farrell

SCOTLAND trounce France 32-26 (The National, February 12)? Wales trounced Scotland in Cardiff last week: Greg Laidlaw scored more points with his boot than Maxime Machenaud!

Delighted as I am with the win, to call Sunday’s result a trouncing is an abuse of the word.

Les Hunter
Carstairs Junction