THANKS for your contribution of time, energy, money, plants, publicity, cakes and music to the Plants for Peace stall at the Meadows Festival last weekend. Around 30 of you helped out in one way or another. Most of the thousands who came to the festival could plainly see the peace movement is very much in business!

You made our joint stall with Edinburgh Stop The War a huge success, with around £650 raised after costs were deducted.

This means, for example, that we can pay the deposit on buses from Edinburgh to the Faslane international demo against Trident on Saturday September 22, and that tickets can be priced at an affordable £10 return (£5 conc.) with some free seats for the very hard up.

The few remaining plants of the estimated 1200 we took to the Meadows will be on sale at the Edinburgh CND stall at the Leith Festival tomorrow on Leith Links.

Could we have done it better? Yes we could! Please email me your suggestions and feedback to make future events more efficient and effective. I’m always interested in any fundraising ideas, so email me those as well please.

Thanks again for all that you have done.
Malcolm Bruce
Edinburgh CND

IF you pay attention there are no surprises.

A few weeks ago my partner and I were walking along Princes Street in Edinburgh (down from the hole-in-the-high-street which was British Home Stores). The sign over House of Fraser was broken. It had been that way for a while. My partner said: “So, they are in trouble as well.”

We’d been discussing the disastrous UK economy – despite what appears in the media and tumbles forth from Westminster. Simply adding together the disaster of decades of privatisation (asset stripping) and poor UK management, damage to Britain’s global reputation – with everything from a buffoon of a Foreign Secretary and a weak Defence Secretary, and contradictory foreign policies to the outsourcing of local and national government (more public money down the private sewer) – and now the unnecessary damage and chaos of Brexit, and you have a sum with no sensible equation.

Yesterday, iconic store House of Fraser announced the closure of half of its stores with 1000s of lost jobs.
Amanda Baker

CAROLYN Leckie in her column (Growth report is a good start for fuelling indy debate, The National, June 4) mentioned that the Baltic countries took from nine to 20 months to have their own currency after independence, and that the Czech Republic and Slovakia took seven months after their separation to do the same.

Now the Baltic countries are all much smaller than Scotland, Slovakia is about the same size and only the Czech Republic is bigger.

So what’s the problem? Has anyone studied how they did it? Has anybody researched on any problems they had? How successful were they initially and what, if anything, would they change if they had to do it all over again?

It could be that they could not use the rouble and had no choice but to change but they still did it. I would imagine that there will be other examples.

This was the main problem in the last referendum and it looks as if it is liable to be again with the next. Lets get this sorted and move on.
Watt Smillie

I FOUND the analysis by Lesley Riddoch an interesting read (What to make of the optimism of Scotland revealed in BBC poll? The National, June 7). There is much with which I am in agreement.

That a majority of Scots feel they are Scottish because they were born in Scotland, and that a majority identify strongly with the actual land of Scotland, does not at all surprise me. I share these sentiments (though in my case, I was a Scot of Scottish blood born abroad, who returned).

I too identify with Scotland, and with the people of Scotland, because of our shared ethnicity – and that, surely, is what many respondents to the poll meant by saying that they feel Scottish because they were born in Scotland?

And even more than with the people of Scotland, it is with the land that I feel the strongest personal identification. I live in the west Highlands, and this sublimely beautiful, dramatic, splendid landscape speaks to my innermost being. Only with one other region in the world have I experienced an almost similar sense of intensely personal identification, and that was the Cape Peninsula in South Africa.

One or two people have read my own views on civic nationalism versus ethno-cultural nationalism. I wrote about this in a blog entry of mine a couple of years ago. My views on this issue will not at all please the orthodox left-wing, or even the consciously liberal-progressives, but they may resonate with those Scots honest enough to examine what it is that makes them feel Scottish.
Robert Dewar