CAROLYN Leckie quite rightly highlights the fallacy of the Labour party in Scotland being an autonomous body (Brexit beast is looming over Labour conference, The National, March 5). No decision they make as an organisation matters a jot without the approval and agreement of their masters in London.

What is the point to their party conferences? What is the point to their separate manifestos? The mainstream media perpetuate the myth and the illusion of them being an independent body as it serves their purpose to muddy the waters in our clear-cut choice between Scottish nationalism and British nationalism. Everyone in the independence movement should call out this deception by persistently referring to the “Scottish Labour Party” with the more accurate and honest title of “British Labour Party in Scotland”.

This is not a frivolous attempt at irritating a political opponent but simply a truthful assertion highlighting who indeed is at the helm of this organisation.

Similarly, the term “Unionist” would be better replaced with the term “British nationalist”. Unionists are proud to be called Unionists. They see it as a projection of power and strength. Being nationalist can mean different things to different people but the word has undoubtedly been hijacked by opponents of Scottish independence and distorted to project negative connotations.

So, let us attempt to level the playing field of bias by encouraging everyone, particularly our elected politicians, to alter their language accordingly.

Alan Black

ALMOST all the economists are predicting that any form of Brexit will lead to a reduction in GDP for all parts of the country, in some cases almost of catastrophic proportions.

We have Japanese car makers stating that if they are subject to tariffs between ourselves and the EU they will be forced to reconsider their future investment, or even their presence in this country. There will be many foreign companies who set up their businesses in this country because we had the expertise and also free access to the European markets, who will likely be considering their future options as well.

You can see the bloody-minded Little Englanders saying “So What? Who needs them?” The unfortunate truth is we do, as our traditional industries – steel, shipbuilding, car manufacture – are almost all run by foreign companies.

The continual reference to respecting the will of the people is beginning to wear a bit thin when the facts begin to outweigh the promises made, which are seen to be a complete fantasy. It seems Labour have now realised that staying in the single market and customs union is the best of a bad option and along with the LibDems, SNP, Plaid Cymru are now in favour of supporting this. Only the extreme right-wing Tories and Ukip are hell-bent on pursuing the most damaging course in the pursuit of being “Global Britain”, another meaningless slogan.

The latest speech by May was full of the usual vague ideas of what they want but no specifics of how to achieve them, and with the devolved administrations again ignored. Any elected government must govern to the benefit of all its people. Staying in the single market seems the least damaging of the options, and the sensible course, but has been ruled out by the hard-right Brexiteers. If Scotland is not to be dragged out against our wishes, decision day must come sooner rather than later.

Graham Smith

A GREAT deal has been spoken and written about a second independence referendum as a consequence of a hard Brexit, but little mention has been made of alternative scenarios leading to independence. The three European multinational states – the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia – that dissolved largely in the 1990s did so in a variety of ways for the member countries. Often driven by irreconcilable differences, these included parliamentary votes sometimes involving legislation contrary to the laws of the wider state.

In the UK, the unity of the state is now being pulled apart in different directions. In England, a resurgent nationalism intolerant of difference from English politics has opinion polls giving significant preference to a hard Brexit over maintaining the Union. In Scotland and Wales we now have EU continuity bills at Holyrood and Cardiff whose legality will almost certainly be challenged by the British Government in the UK Supreme Court.

There is also the threat of the devolution settlements for Scotland and Wales being undone by London by imposition and in negation of the various referenda that created and endorsed those settlements democratically. In Northern Ireland we have a peace agreement threatened by apparently irreconcilable differences. The only Unionist impulse seems to be a revanchist desire to either return the UK to pre-devolution days or hollow out the institutions of devolution to the same effect.

The United Kingdom is not united and faces a constitutional crisis that may make a second Scottish independence referendum superfluous.

Hamish Scott

HORRIFIED and saddened that Eric Liddell – a true Scottish hero (as an athlete, a rugby player and a man of deep integrity) – has been usurped by Roger Bannister (The legacy of Bannister lives on..., The National, March 5). I am in awe of Bannister’s historic run, and all that he went on to do to support British athletics, but it was not his endeavour that “was immortalised in the film Chariots of Fire”.

Jenny Pearson