A FEW comments on the letter by “name and address supplied” published on May 7 under the headline “Insulting readers will not help to achieve a Yes vote”.

The National commenced publishing on November 24 2014, two months after the referendum. Your correspondent states they started to subscribe but after a few months “instinctively felt it was wrong in its approach so gave it up”.

They takes exception to any criticism of “the royals” and says this will be taken as insulting to many “who support the royals, many of whom will be elderly or have some connection to our armed forces.” I think at the age of 83, having done my National Service with The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment), I fall into both categories, but I am not insulted. Also the comment that Ted Heath “had thrown UK fishing onto the table to overcome De Gaulle’s antipathy” is incorrect. De Gaulle died in 1970, the UK entered the Common Market in 1973. The monarchy issue and the European one can be dealt with after independence.

Your correspondent also does not seem to grasp how the Scottish Parliament works, as their comment about SNP list members shows. The current composition is: SNP, 59 constituency seats and four list seats; Tories, seven constituency seats and 24 list seats; Labour, three constituency seats and 21 list seats; Greens, six list seats; Liberals, four constituency seats and one list seat. This system was designed by the Labour and Liberal parties to stop the SNP ever winning a majority (Murdo Fraser of the Tories has been a list MSP since 2001 – one of the old rope brigade?)

Just this weekend we had a massive independence march in Glasgow. This was not the work of the SNP but of elements of the Yes campaign. Every day in The National there are reports of and details of the various Yes organisations. I maintain that this is a great help to Yes; it shows that the flame is burning. This latest march was not to do with Brexit, or the Irish border – it was for Scottish independence.

In 2014 we got 45% of the vote for independence, with the united opposition of the UK media. Come next time we will have redressed that advantage and The National will play its part.

Jim Lynch

I CAN understand the writer of the letter in Monday’s National “Insulting readers will not help to achieve a Yes vote”, in the general subject of the letter, though I would disagree with the specific points.

I was, however, bemused when the writer in their litany of groups they think are targeted, mentions Gaelic speakers! Far from it, The National’s support of Gaelic speakers and the Gaelic language is a breath of fresh air. The National’s inclusion of Gaelic issues and highlighting prejudices to the language informs not just Gaelic speakers but also non-Gaelic speakers. And waiting to read the Tuesday Gaelic article is always a weekly highlight for me.

Crìsdean Mac Fhearghais
Dùn Eideann

TODAY celebrations take place across Scotland and the rest of the European Union to mark Europe Day, an annual celebration of peace and unity across the continent.

Each year thousands of people take part in visits, debates, concerts and other events to mark the day and raise awareness about the EU.

For those pro-EU individuals like myself, it is a day tinged with some sadness as this is the last year we mark Europe Day prior to the UK leaving the EU in March 2019.

The day is also known as Schuman Day, commemorating the declaration 68 years ago, on May 9 1950, by the French foreign minister Robert Schuman, which marked the first move towards the creation of the EU.

Europe had just come out of the Second World War, which had nearly destroyed the continent and split it between two spheres of influence. In a desire not to repeat such destruction, there was a great deal of momentum towards European co-operation, which would make war between Europe’s nations unthinkable.

Schuman’s vision was to create a European institution that would pool and manage coal and steel production. Through the Schuman Declaration the French foreign minister proposed the creation of a supranational European institution.

This led firstly to the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) the following year. It was also the forerunner of several other European Communities and also what is now the EU. The ECSC was founded on the principle that tying former arch enemies economically together – originally through the weapons of war of coal and steel – would assist in ending the horrors of such conflicts and deliver much-needed reconciliation.

These institutions have proven to be highly successful in transforming a previously warring continent. The EU ensures that member states co-operate peacefully, and the creation of the single market has also made us richer than we would have been without it. It has also been an inspiration for those who are fighting for the values of freedom and democracy across the world.

As we look to exit the EU, it does no harm to be reminded of what we have enjoyed – the precious gift of more than 70 years of peace and stability. The role of the EU in delivering this achievement must be recognised and celebrated.

Alex Orr