REGARDING dangerous nuclear convoys, since we Scots have devolved power over road transport, why don’t we utilise the powers we have by creating a certificate of safety, and safe conduct, which would be mandatory to cross the border? This document would need to be obtained by, and produced by, the nuclear convoys before they were allowed to proceed to Fastlane.

This would give all local authorities and police prior warning to close, for example, schools for the day if there was any possible risk to the public. There would be strict examination at the border by Scottish police, equipped with Geiger counters or similar equipment, and if any leakage – slight or otherwise – was found, then entry would be denied.

The alternative delivery of this dubious equipment would be more safely accomplished by the Royal Navy, by sea, as the unimpeded sea route ends at the sea loch (Loch Long) where this unwanted base is ensconced. If the Royal Navy have any difficulty in planning this sea route, they should apply and get a copy of maps from Moscow, who have details of the whole area, for retaliatory strike action.

It is worth a mention that this nuclear base was put in Scotland, well away from the so-called population area. It is placed in the Central Belt of Scotland, which is the heaviest populated part of our nation. Add to this that it lies within the path of our prevailing westerly winds, which would quickly convey any nuclear fallout, accidental or otherwise, right through the Clyde and Forth Valley, taking in Glasgow, and on to Edinburgh, with towns and villages in between. It is no surprise that this was all planned in London and is, to quote that great man of the independence cause Oliver Brown, simply a case of mind over matter: “They don’t mind, and we don’t matter”.

Iain Ramsay

BREAKING my resolve, I watched part of Andrew Marr’s programme on Sunday.

I was intrigued when Marr said to Gordon Brown: “Of course you famously increased income tax by 1p in the pound in 2002’’ and offered no background information.

Here it is. In 1999, the same Gordon Brown “famously” cut income tax by 1p. The SNP opposed this cut on the basis that the country could not afford it. This became the British nationalist media’s derogatory “SNP’s Penny for Scotland’’.

Brown did indeed “famously” raise the tax in 2002, back to what it had been before he reduced it. The greatest beneficiaries of this Labour Party cut were the wealthy. I wonder what was the cost to the UK economy of this three-year gift to the better off?

Robert Roddick
Address supplied

A LETTER in Monday's National referred to the recent identity survey conducted by Prof John Curtice for the BBC (from a poll of just over 1,000 people). The survey claimed 59% of people in Scotland say they feel “strongly British” while also claiming that 61% consider themselves to be “very strongly Scottish”.

The first figure is suspiciously high, and the two figures seem to be at variance.

I thought to check the results of the 2011 Census of Scotland, which of course is the definitive sample, given that it involves every household in the land. The results of census question 14 on national identity show a truer picture as of that year, namely that 62% of people considered themselves to be Scottish only, 18% considered themselves to be Scottish and British, and 8% considered themselves to be British only.

The moral – be wary of the findings of any poll based on a small sample. This is especially so if the poll is commissioned by an agency of the state and the framing of the questions is not made clear.

DB Williamson

IS there a logical reason why the London-based media gives a hoot about whether or not politicians, celebrities and sports personalities from Scotland support the England football team? It is quite bizarre.

It is difficult to imagine journalists from the United States demanding to know and obsessing over whether Canadian celebrities like Jim Carrey or Ryan Gosling are enthusiastic enough about the sporting chances of US teams. I can’t see the Australian media getting hot and bothered about which football team Peter Jackson supports.

Also, what’s with the focus on Scotland here? Does anyone dig Liam Neeson up, was George Best ever grilled about his affiliations? If not, how come?

It is amazing to think how rare it is that we Scots are asked our opinion on anything. When we are finally allowed to speak, it’s about England. I tell you what. I’ve got a good deal for you metropolitan types. Give us powers that we can actually use, to the benefit of Scots, and we will cheer on England, from the rafters. We will even watch and cheer England on at cricket.

James Kerr