WE’RE not half way through 2022, but what a disastrous year it’s turning out to be. The war in mainland Europe with Russia the major player, Nato emasculated and the EU in hock to Russian energy supplies; the far right emboldened worldwide; the UK mired in the inevitable outcome of weak leadership and a royal family swinging from claims of sex crimes to pesky former colonies embarrassingly putting up objections to being a holiday venue, whilst demanding a voice and retribution for years of slavery, exploitation and abuse.

Russia is an invading force, but is it too weak to “win” the war it started, not least with a hostile population that would resort to guerrilla warfare backed up clandestinely by the West? Without an active intervention by Nato, what chance that Russia will take a stalemate at a time to suit itself, declare some “victory”, and then regroup to look around at, say, Moldavia?

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We have started, enabled and allowed wars to continue in the Middle East for years. We have ignored them, considered them “localised” whilst wilfully avoiding the consequences, not least refugees being sent to Rwanda and Afghans being left to take their chances with the Taliban after being ditched, even if they were working for the UK.

But no matter: we can always continue to sell arms and munitions to all and sundry. In the meantime, the failure of the so-far-unproductive Afghan Citizens’ Resettlement Scheme adds weight to the historical bias and racism that has pervaded the Tory party for years with regards its stance on migration and immigrants even before our legal obligations to refugees.

And in all of this, we portray Putin as some crazed despotic leader surrounded by sycophants, whilst at the same time we want to believe he is sufficiently rational not to press the nuclear button.

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We cannot afford to ignore the war on our doorstep and in this monumental crisis, we have the PM. With more fines due, Partygate continues to gape wide open. exposing the PM to further claims of lying, leading a corrupt government, both morally and financially, and now a far-from-adequate response to the worsening cost-of-living crisis, a stagnant economy and the worst of all scenarios: the queues potentially delaying that holy of holies, summer holiday departures.

Distractions and slogans are grist to the PM’s survival strategy. Sadly he wouldn’t be the first PM to take us into an illegal war, under some grandiose pretext, nor the first Tory to ask the wider population to make sacrifices, pay higher taxes, whilst attacking employment security and wage structures under the guise of freeing up job creation and “opportunities”, this time in pursuit of the Brexit promises.

What chance, in the remaining days and weeks before local elections, that the government will throw out some “goodies” in the hopes of mitigating a meltdown in their traditional shires? Is it too much then to ask our voters in the coming local elections to consider more than the immediate and the local? That could be a big ask, I know. If we again use this voting opportunity to demonstrate our future political and social aspirations, removed from the Union, will we see the timetabling of required action? I hope that such an innovation would not too big an ask of our government.

Selma Rahman

I WONDER if any person, anyone at all, has thought about contacting ALL the arms companies that have made millions, if not billions, from selling arms to the different parties fighting in the various conflicts that have been ongoing for the past 20 years and more. There must be someone within these organisations that has an ounce of compassion.

George McKnight
West Calder

YET again the Unionist hypocrisy of Jack McConnell and his Labour cronies is unbelievable – calling on the police to investigate the handling of the ferry contracts!

The “Lord” has no self-awareness, much like the whole sorry mess that is the Labour party (Jack McConnell calls for Ferguson Marine debacle to be probed by police, thenational.scot, Apr 24).

The biggest scandal dumped on Scottish tax payers was the Labour PFI scheme! The scheme was poorly negotiated with little or no scrutiny and has resulted in unprecedented levels of debt. It will cost future generations millions to service the debt. The legacy of the “Lord” and his Labour cronies is that their failure to appropriately negotiate and scrutinise on behalf of our citizens is a corrupt scandal that warrants investigation.

Jan Ferrie

I SEE from my election letter from so-called “Scottish” Labour signed by Sarwar and Baillie that they couldn’t even give work to a Scottish printer. The letter was printed by a Northumberland printer and even the return address given on the envelope is to the Labour Party in Cramlington, Newcastle. So, eight years after Johann Lamont in her resignation speech said that Scottish Labour was a branch office, nothing has changed!

Dr Duncan MacLaren

I REFER to the article by Jane Mcleod, “Slater urges women into construction” (Apr 22). Lorna Slater’s comments about the building industry shows that she does not understand the nature of the industry. She says that women should achieve equality in the industry via a degree. Has she ever been on a building site? If so, surely she has noticed that the vast majority are big strong men who are expert in trades such as bricklaying, joinery, plumbing etc rather than university graduates?

Perhaps she should encourage women to take up those trades and work in all weathers in order to receive equal wages.

Sandy Philip