WHAT a fascinating article on Barcelona FC. Well done, Lee Roden (‘Homage to Josep Sunyol – the Catalan who made Barca more than a club’, The National, February 17).

I must admit that I had never heard of Josep Sunyol, but it is never too late to learn, and his name is now stamped firmly in my memory.

[Sunyol, the President of Barcelona FC and a well-known Catalonia separatist, was arrested by Francoist troops during the Spanish Civil War in 1935 and murdered.]

Barcelona have long been my favourite team on the continent of Europe, and not just for their excellent football achievements – just as Liverpool FC are the team that I follow down south, due to the Shankly connection.

Busby, Stein and Shankly are the football men that I have most admired in the British game, closely followed by Brian Clough – a splendid rebel and committed socialist.

The conclusion of Lee Roden’s article greatly appealed to me.

“Barca remains more than just a football club for Catalonia,” he wrote. “Whether UEFA like it or not.”

Norrie Paton

UK Government acts in bad faith in negotiations

THIS is beyond a joke. Back in 2013 when the opinion polls were all showing that the No campaign was well ahead in the Scottish independence referendum, Cameron and his government, backed up by the other Unionist parties and the media, made it clear that there should no further devolution on offer.

Alex Salmond’s acknowledgement that this was an issue which should be considered was treated with contempt, and it was claimed he only wanted to use “Devo Max” because he was going to lose the vote.

The Unionists were not having it, and Cameron made it clear that the ballot was to deal with a straight Yes or No for independence and no devolution option was to be used to influence this.

Later, he signed the Edinburgh Agreement and got it processed into law, which made it contrary to the referendum law to put other devolution proposals into the referendum.

Just before the vote, after the first opinion poll showed a small two per cent lead for the Yes vote, a Government poll, never released to the public, showed a 10 per cent lead for the Yes vote. Cameron got into a panic and supported a newspaper “Vow” on devolution. This was in breach of “purdah”, since the ballot was under way when this happened.

Now we have the Scotland Bill which has gone through Westminster with all amendments put forward by Scottish MPs other than the one Tory being ignored. We have no adequate financial provisions for this bill in line with “The Vow” and the Smith Commission “no detriment” commitment, we have limited time for consideration and the Tories shut up shop and go on holiday.

The Scottish Government should withdraw from this mess now it is clear that the Tories are attempting to sabotage the so-called “Vow” and to blame the SNP for it.

The SNP Government should walk away now and insist that the UK Government get in touch with them once they have a genuine “no detriment” offer.

This would expose the Tories to the Scottish people for what they are.

Andy Anderson

WOULD it be too much to suggest that the UK Treasury, rather than seeking to cheat Scotland, should instead be asking very pointed questions to clarify the administrative costs of the DWP?

It would appear that in addition to Iain Duncan Smith’s inhumane, foolish and ignorant policy choices, we should add inefficient administration.

The Treasury’s casual acceptance of the figures (including £40million written off for software errors better spent on the needy) indicates that such inefficient running is merely par for the course.

The sooner Scotland gets clear the better.

Dot Jessiman

IN the midst of this week’s negotiations on Westminster’s fiscal deal and the increasingly severe welfare cut, I seem to recall in the mists of time that the Chancellor, George Osborne, proclaimed that in the UK’s severe financial deficit that “we are all in this together.”

Whilst he and his government are continuing to make the poorest and most vulnerable pay for the mess that the bankers got us into, I read a newspaper report a day or two ago that the Osborne family firm had paid no Corporation Tax since 2008.

Would even our dear leaders behave with such blatant hypocrisy in continuing to enrich their family in such a way whilst inflicting suffering on the weakest?

I don’t know whether the Chancellor reads the Bible, but he might tak tent of the word delivered by the prophet Amos to the rulers of Israel.

To quote: “They sell honest folk for silver and the poor for a pair of sandals. They grind the heads of the helpless into the dust and push the humble out of the way.”

An earthquake followed these words, after Amos had been mocked and sidelined for daring to expose the King of Israel’s hypocrisy.

Let us hope that a similar electoral earthquake will follow the term of this government and sweep away its blatantly unjust double dealings.

Rev Iain Whyte
North Queensferry

PETER McAllister (The National Conversation, February 18) seems to be suggesting we should all believe in the theory of evolution and never question it. However, there is a very obvious reason why the word “theory” precedes the word “evolution”.

Evolution is not proven (as one might say in a Scottish Court) as there is a complete lack of evidence to support its case. If there was enough evidence it would be called “the fact of evolution”.

The fossil record works against “The Theory” due to a complete lack of transitional fossils and all fossils were fully formed creatures. They don’t call it the “Cambrian Explosion” for nothing!

Darwin himself lamented this fact and it remains completely unchanged, bar the occasional hoax. The Theory of Evolution has continually been supported by numerous hoaxes and downright fabrications.

It might be better to be properly informed of the facts before saying people who disagree with an unproven theory are “scientifically illiterate”, and consider that they themselves might be the false messengers of an unproven and poor theory, which, despite the millions of pounds/dollars thrown at it, still remains as fanciful as a fairy story.

Its also worth pointing out many scientists disagree with it too.

Rev S Stevenson

Letters II: Leaders aren’t the cause but the effect of change