SCOTLAND is entering the biggest referendum the European Union has ever seen and we should be leading from the front. We are too sophisticated an electorate to back the EU unconditionally or see conspiracy in the words of every EU directive.

Scotland led the biggest grassroots movement in popular sovereignty Europe had seen in a generation and I think it scared the EU, big time. Campaigners on both sides deserve praise for challenging the status quo in the UK so why has the SNP not done the same with the EU during the current renegotiation? It even backs TTIP, discussed without democratic oversight.

I will vote to leave reluctantly, though not through fear. I made my decision on balance, not instinct. It will be for democracy that people will vote to leave; it won’t be past success or failure but the EU vision. The EU is autocratic when in crisis because it is an anti-democratic pantomime horse: 28 member states, an unelected and lobbied Commission and a Parliament without power to create law.

Imagine the House of Lords issued directives we had to follow? Holyrood or Westminster could amend the laws but couldn’t repeal them or make new ones. Imagine a constitution that centralised courts but didn’t decide right from wrong but only the level of compliance with demands. That’s the EU.

It expects members to exist by one set of inflexible rules. The euro did not cause the Greek economy to be unsound but it did create the crisis by not allowing Greece to adjust its economy as needed.

I find it sad that people will be swayed over migrant benefits or the euro, but these are small and selfish things and we’re bigger than that. If we stay it must be with a common spirit, a vision. That we demand opt-outs means our hearts aren’t in it.

The SNP, the Tories and others, did nothing to address Scottish problems in this renegotiation. We are short-changed on agricultural subsidies, and the Common Fisheries Policy caused havoc to coastal communities, yet we have heard nothing from Unionists or Nationalists.

Politicians blame the EU when things fail, and claim success as their own when they succeed, so the real losers from Brexit will be politicians who live in a dream world. We trusted them to change Europe and they failed. As Alasdair Gray wrote: “You suffer from the oldest delusion in politics. You think you can change the world by talking to a leader. Leaders are the effects, not the causes of changes”.

The cause is just because it’s our democracy, our choice to choose. Let’s take it back so we can be a nation true to ourselves again.

Jonathan Stanley

YOU reminded your readers of the commemoration of the 300th anniversary of the Battle of Sheriffmuir, where many gathered from across the British Isles. Not long afterwards a planning application was submitted for the further destruction of the site, which, until only a few years ago, had remained almost untouched.

The Scottish Government approved a plan to run the Beauly to Denny Power Line through the battlefield and this opened the way to further developments. The battlefield, unfortunately, is not under the care of the National Trust for Scotland, as is Culloden, and the application comes from the landowner who seeks to cover a substantial part of it in commercial forest.

We speak much of encouraging more visitors to come to Scotland and then destroy, or allow to be destroyed, the historic sites they have come to see. Many well-informed visitors to the battlefield are disappointed. They ask: “Why does your Government not do something to protect such an important site?” Why indeed?

Virginia Wills

Hawkish strategy in Syria takes the world to brink of war

THE neo-conservatives who control Western foreign policy and their Turkish and Saudi Arabian vassals might be preparing the end of the world.

Any person who relies on Western media has no accurate idea of what is happening in Syria.

The neo-conservative Obama regime set up the Syrian government headed by Assad for overthrow. A long propaganda campaign conducted on Washington’s behalf by the Western media portrayed Assad as a “brutal dictator who uses chemical weapons against his own people.”

Washington organised and supported a front group posing as democrats and involved them in conflict with the Syrian military.

Preparations for an invasion began, but hit two roadblocks. David Cameron, Washington’s puppet Prime Minister, was unable to deliver British support for the invasion as the Parliament voted it down. This left Washington uncovered and vulnerable to the charge of naked aggression – a war crime.

Russian diplomacy threw up the other road block by securing the removal of all chemical weapons from Syria.

Washington now pretends that it is fighting Daesh, but Washington is doing its best to frustrate the success of the Russian/Syrian alliance that is defeating Daesh.

The neo-conservative insistence that “Assad must go” comprises a threat to the security of Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah in Lebanon. Hezbollah is the Lebanese force that has twice defeated Israel’s attempt to annex southern Lebanon for its water resources.

The Daesh group who Washington is trying to create in Syria would provide Washington with a means of destabilising Iran and Russia by exporting jihadism into those countries.

Russian air power in support of the Syrian Army has turned the tide against Daesh.

The invaders are being driven out. The neo-conservatives cannot accept this defeat.Washington is preparing a Syrian invasion by Turkey and Saudi Arabia, the purpose of which is to split Syria in half with Washington controlling the eastern part which has the country’s oil fields.

Alan Hinnrichs

IT is reported that US Defence Secretary Ash Carter wants the UK to renew Trident because “that’s part of the special relationship”. Indeed it is. Our so-called “independent” weapon is launched on missiles loaned by America, and guided to its target by an American system. It’s inconceivable that Britain would ever use it without US consent. It is American in all but name.

Back in the days of the Cold War, this was a clever ruse enabling America to keep additional uncounted weaponry. America could play poker with an extra hidden hand of cards.

The British weapons, being independent, didn’t count in negotiations with the Soviet Union, and Britain was never part of those negotiations. Neat, or what?

This role flattered us. Being allowed to play Tonto to the US Loan Ranger indulged our delusions of global status; we could strut the world’s stage as one of the Big Boys and relive the glories of an Empire now gone.

But the reality is it would take only 200 atomic explosions to create a nuclear winter, and in effect sterilise the planet. Some people recognise madness when they see it – others mask it in duplicitous verbiage.

Global nuclear suicide is not a rational defence policy. We may want to go on playing Russian roulette with the future of the planet, but the rest of humanity wants to live free from the threat of instant Armageddon.

Either humanity has a future without nuclear weapons, or it has no future at all. The Pope, the Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu and 123 nations of the world have called for an International Treaty banning nuclear weapons, as articulated in the Vienna Initiative.

This matter is currently before the United Nations. The British Government opposes this, and acts as if we alone were entitled to deploy nuclear WMD. Our national fetish is sacrosanct.

All the British nationalist (Unionist) parties are hooked on the nuclear fix. Independence, and independence alone, will free us and our English friends from our abject enslavement to the GB nuclear idol.

Brian Quail

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