IN the wake last week’s embarrassing and cringe-worthy comments from Unionist cheeky chappie Ally McCoist, it is interesting to read the criticism from the former head of Sky News, John Ryley, of Buckingham Palace’s role during King Charles’s coronation.

Mr Ryley claims that the monarchy imposed “extraordinary restrictions” on media coverage of the coronation and demanded the “Orwellian” right to ban footage post-broadcast, presumably to omit any vocal opposition to the monarchy by pesky republicans. Once again, the tax-funded, unaccountable gang of vacuous exceptionalists that comprise the UK royal family exercise draconian powers to transparently protect their ridiculously privileged position in the pseudo-democratic United Kingdom.

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Their archaic and morally repugnant role in British politics is steadfastly supported by the Westminster elite, the xenophobic right-wing press and by those like Mr McCoist in this country – subservient, fawning and blessed with the political and economic understanding of Liz Truss. He is our very own Lord McHawHaw.

At the start of this month campaigners called for an end to the royal family’s exemption from Freedom of Information requests after a historian, Andrew Lonnie, was denied access to official documents relating to the hapless and conceited Prince Andrew. Apparently these papers are to be kept secret until 2065, permitting the Prince and his fellow royals complete immunity from public scrutiny, ostensibly a gift that Boris Johnson and his chums could only dream about.

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The royal family are at the apex of the pernicious British class system that riddles Westminster and the City like an execrable political cancer. The glaring disparity of the public school system and the hollow empirical facade that still pervades British political life and its political parties are aptly represented by the institutionalised inequality of the royal family and their sycophantic camp followers. They are a monumental waste of taxpayers’ money and an arcane and unanswerable Ruritanian farce. Retaining this futile and ethically deplorable institution in a future independent Scotland would be beyond satire. If he deigned to reflect on the facts, perhaps even the obsequious Mr McCoist would agree.

Owen Kelly

I SEE a link between the letters of Ni Holmes and Robert Doig in Thursday’s paper. The first promotes the preservation and use of our Scots languages while the other references the need for a truly Scottish anthem.

Personally, I cannot think of a more suitable anthem than Robert Burns’s A Man’s A Man for A’ That. This surely encapsulates our past, present and future, even if only the first and last verses were used. By the use of this we would be honouring our history and culture through our internationally known bard and his use of our native Scots language; the sentiments reveal our instinctive disdain of wealth, power and ostentation; and finally, it is also the finest example one could find of hope for future equality and peace. Even better, there is nothing jingoistic about it and it is a tune that I imagine most children learn at school – I certainly did – and is relatively easy to sing.

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Rather than thinking of Scots as a new nation, do we not want to return to being one of the oldest independent nations in Europe, proud of our long history, culture and character and with a positive contribution to make to the family of nations? No-one could better define who we have always been, still are and wish to be in the future than Burns does here.

We would not be the first country to adopt an existing composition for our anthem. Finlandia was composed before Finland became free of Russia. Flower of Scotland could still be sung on competitive occasions as an expression of rivalry and passion for the event.

P Davidson

SCOTS have an excellent record of respecting the anthems of other nations. However there are three reasons why it was correct to boo the British national anthem at Hampden Park last week. These are:

1) As non-English Brits we object to England assuming that they can use the British anthem as theirs, especially as the match was against another British nation. This demonstrated arrogance and domination in their psyche, assuming England and Britain are one and the same.

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2) As Scots we rightly object to an anthem which contains a verse urging the crushing of rebellious Scots. This verse is not sung but is part of the song we Scots are supposed to respect.

3) For me most importantly, this song urges God to save “our” King to reign over us. As the King is the defender of the Protestant faith, presumably it’s the Protestant God who is to save the King. As a Republican atheist I object to this anthem on two grounds. These objections, or even one, are valid for all who do not follow these twin beliefs. These objections are not confined to Scots, as those from Liverpool demonstrate.

Hopefully Scots can once again lead those south of the Border to join us in objecting to this dirge. Maybe it’s time for a campaign of objection in England. Gone are the days of empire and doffing caps to our “superiors”, except within the minds of the keepers of the establishment. When will non-conforming players have the courage and conviction to break ranks and protest, as the Black Panthers did in the USA, when the cameras are on the line-up? When will the non-conforming public across England join in the booing?

The sooner the better.

Campbell Anderson