AS an auld former national serviceman, who served in the Muddle East and is still suffering the effects of falling foul of the the Special Investigations Branch (SIB) in Cyprus, Jordan and Bahrain, may I comment on the prospects of the yoofs of today having to serve national service for our glorious masters?

The SIB consisted of military police sergeants in civilian clothing, spying on the troops and upholding the Great British values of imperialism and chauvinism. I served mainly in Aquaba, about a mile from the Israeli and Egyptian borders, with Saudi Arabia behind the hills at the back of us. It was also the time of the Suez “Crises”.

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I had not lived long enough to have developed informed, or mature, political opinions. The civilian staff were mainly Palestinian refugees and well-educated, and taught me more about Scottish history than I ever learned back home. They also lent me books on Culloden and the Highland Clearances etc, which many young Scots today will not have heard of. They also lent me the classical books on Marxism and explained it all to me.

We were all, at first, pro-Israeli and racist towards the Arabs, because of the Holocaust and mistreatment of the Jews, until we heard first-hand from the Palestinian refugees, who had nothing to do with all that and who suffered the same treatment themselves. Palestine was promised to both the Jews and Arabs. I also learned from the Turkish and Greek Cypriot civilian workers. It will be interesting to see how the anti-Zionist, pro-Palestinian, Jewish activist candidate in Sir Keir’s own constituency will fare on Independence Day, July 4.

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I had left school at 15 and was totally naive of such matters. It was not until I was in my 30s, married with two young children and made redundant, that I studied enough to enter Strathclyde University and Jordanhill teaching education college. I worked in various hard-working, exhausting, non-social shifts and low-paid jobs in factories, all closed and moved to England with government grants. I spent the last 15 years of my working life teaching and am now 87. I did not expect to see a socialist republic, but did expect to see independence in my lifetime. Not now, and thanks to the splitters, touts and entryists.

I do remember in the 60s the SNP, CND and all other parties saying that we needed more young blood. Now we are told that the majority of youngsters in Scotland are more radical and will vote SNP.

I am afraid the younger generation have lost the work ethic, due to unemployment, the drugs epidemic and the loss of social skills and will not attend meetings, or campaign, due to mass communication on social media and staying at home and playing with their apps. Just look at the average age of the marchers in all the rallies. Talk to any caring guidance teacher, or social worker, who have to deal with horrendous problems in working-class areas and they will tell you that many will be unsuitable for the armed forces etc due to lack of self-discipline. No army needs these problems, especially an imperialist one that has a long history of using their “Jocks” as cannon fodder.

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As Wolfe, Pitt etc said: “What better way to lose one’s enemy than in one’s services” and “little mischief, if they fall”. There was no flotilla to save the Highland Division at Saint Valery, a few miles from Dunkirk, nor any mention, or recognition, of their valorous and futile stand by Churchill or the war department. He also said it he wanted a blood bath he could rely on the Scottish, Canadian, Australian ad and Irish, in that order. Just look at Scotland having the worst casualties in both world wars. Our children and great, great, grandchildren deserve a better world than we are leaving them in “Great” Britain.

Donald Anderson