WHO will be the real winners when Scotland finally gains – or is it regains – its independence? I tend to think it will be all on these islands awakened by a reality check.

We live our lives influenced now by predominantly biased media, readily accessed entertainment (otherwise known as distractions from what’s really going on), all intermixed with wall-to-wall advertising filling every gap in scheduling and maintaining newsprint a nose – perhaps just one nostril – above sink or swim.

Ivor Telfer got it right in his letter on Sunday quoting that the 26 richest billionaires in world own as many assets as the poorest 3.8 billion people.

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His following comments on this were as alarming, and concluded that tackling inequality “should be virtually the only show in town until the damned problem is fixed!”

The stark fact is that the other half watching, listening and reading from our media, and living their lives in response, are as much to blame as the 26 billionaires directing the show. We all make choices, but are they really our own choices?

Presumably it’s okay to talk now since we are past the twelfth night, whatever that means, but how many readers think Christmas has gone past its sell-by date, or rather has missed the point or been sent off the rails altogether?

Okay, I am not a fan and I sincerely thank my late father for that, but it is mind-boggling the commercialised tizzy this annual event has spun on our planet. Closer to home it seems our high street shops depend on a large Christmas spend. Spend on what, I ask? More, more, more it seems, but of what exactly? Essentials, consumables or clutter? Apparently one in four presents are returned to be exchanged, and you can be sure they are rarely from the essential or consumable sectors.

We can do better!

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Pertaining to our inherent character, Scots traditionally celebrated New Year rather than Christmas. Socialising with friends and neighbours, perhaps sharing food and drink rather than spending on stuff – yes, stuff that often sits in a pile until you forget how it got there. Meeting with people, getting to understand their likes, needs and perhaps problems rather than loading others with stuff through some unwritten compulsion thrust upon us by – well, yes – the media in all its forms, if not by Christmas aficionados, most likely suckers to the media in all its forms.

Park Christmas as it has become until Annual Ground Floor Roof Rent is up and running, wipe out homelessness, food banks, and tackle child poverty as if we mean it. In a small nation with a kind spirit and determination like no other, we shall one day influence all on these islands to understand there is a better way to celebrate the mid-winter blues toward a more sustainable future for everyone.

Tom Gray

I’M appalled at the opinions and sentiment expressed in William Ross’s letter headed “’Let’s scrap the green subsidies and start fracking.” It appears from his varied observations that his philosophy of life is “Why be a sincere, caring honest person when we’re obviously outnumbered by arseholes in the world?” We should just be greedy, selfish, short-sighted people as that (in his view) seems to represent the majority.

I’d be surprised if he doesn’t support the retention of nuclear weapons, as the “big” nations all have them. He chooses to ignore the massive subsidies provided to the nuclear industry, which, as most of us know, was set up so UK could have its own bomb. They just told lies about mega-cheap electricity that would be available. Fossil fuels are hopefully going to be dispensed with BEFORE they dispense with us humans; sadly the selfish, greedy oil companies are dragging their feet, as cigarette companies did when THEY were shown to be carcinogenic. Has he never heard of wave power?

Barry Stewart