I FEEL I must reply to Alyn Smith’s tirade against William Ross in The National (Letters, June 22). I did not find Mr Ross’s letters tiresome or borderline offensive at all.

Alyn states that the EU is not undemocratic on the grounds that the Parliament votes on measures. True, but they are proposed by the Commission, and to say that legislation in Holyrood or Westminster is proposed by civil servants is disingenuous. It is proposed first and foremost by the people voting for the measures outlined in a manifesto which a party then enacts on the people’s behalf.

Can you go in to Parliament, Alyn, and propose legislation? With the EU, we are simply not consulted as the people as to whether we want things or not.

It just goes ahead anyway and the Parliament gets to vote, but you do not set the agenda. You need look no further than CETA and TTIP to see how undemocratically the EU is run. The general consensus of critics of TTIP/CETA are that pages of proposed legislation are examined in secret one by one by our MEPs, then the page is withdrawn and another is considered. However, our elected representatives cannot take any copies of this or publicise it to their constituents. If TTIP and CETA are such great deals, why is this? It is because they are only great for big business.

Much is made of Scotland being at the complete mercy of the Tories if we vote to Leave. This may come as a newsflash, but we are already completely at the mercy of the Tories, and it is not the EU which did that, it was No voters. It is not the EU which is taking the British Government to task over withdrawal of benefits for desperately ill and disabled people, it is the UN who are considering whether the UK Government has breached their human rights. The EU is strangely silent.

I have heard a lot from Alyn Smith lately about the benefits of the EU. Funny, I did not hear anything before he was in danger of losing his job, as I also heard nothing from my local MEP, who only seems to want my vote every four years. I suppose I could go online and see how he has voted and on what, etc, but having a life and a family and job to run,

I do not have the time, plus it might have been better if our MEPs kept us up-to-date with what they are doing. Do not patronise us now as flat-headed knuckle-draggers because we want to take back control.

Another newsflash, Alyn: bland assertions that immigration has been great for Scotland are not enough. I am concerned, as are many others, about the prospect of unlimited immigration, and yet another newsflash: that does not make me a racist or a xenophobe, it just makes me someone who looks round my area, which is teetering economically, and is concerned about providing jobs and houses for the people who arrive. There have not been droves of immigrants, not as there have in Eastern Europe, but there have been enough to make an impact on our local economy. We have absorbed the incomers, but I seriously doubt if we can handle many more.

It is not absurd to view the EU as an empire or a country. It has its own foreign minister, its own currency, the wonderful euro, and I see it expanding in the same way that America expanded to take in the land from shore to shore as its “manifest destiny”. No-one has ever asked me whether I want the EU to expand, which new countries to include, or how many new poor countries we take on at once.

Maybe Alyn should read Demetrios Zubulis’s letter (Letters, June 21) on the disastrous effect the EU has had on his country, Greece, to get a more balanced view of things.

I have found the tone of the Remainers unfailingly patronising and simplistic, surfing over the wave of every objection without ever really answering them.

Julia Pannell
Friockheim, Angus

Scrapping The Big Debate is a big mistake by the BBC

I AM dismayed at the news that the BBC is to scrap Radio Scotland’s The Big Debate on Friday lunchtime (BBC staff sceptical over plans to beef up the news, The National, June 23). Scotland’s Question Time panel discussion is the only show where politicians are regularly held to account in a live setting, and it will be a big loss.

The programme travels around the country and its invited audience and those at home are able to hear the issues of the day debated, with lively participation from audience members. The show fulfils a much-needed purpose of putting the weeks’ political developments into perspective in a Scottish context.

When Scotland voted No, those who predicted that the BBC would quietly lose interest in our part of the UK were dismissed as doom-mongers. Sadly, with this latest round of BBC cuts it looks as if we were right.

Gavin Fleming

WE should aspire to a Scottish News of the calibre of C4’s news coverage, not what BBC Scotland are setting out in the article in today’s National with their “tough decisions” and limited resources.

It seems the establishment at BBC Scotland has learned nothing over the years. Do they think that giving us a Scottish Six will reverse their fall? “Massive overhaul” but only the “first step” towards something we should have had years ago, that might, just might, have reflected the Scotland we live in, and love.

We have had too many years of neglect by the BBC, too many years of very little actual Scottish content – where are our Scottish dramas, plays? Where has our licence fee gone? Certainly not in providing work for our Scottish actors and actresses. STV’s Taggart is still showing all round the world – where is the BBC equivalent?

Moira Cochrane

FRONT covers of newspapers on big days like yesterday are very important. As well as making a bold statement to readers, many others who aren’t regular readers will get a copy.

So I was disappointed but not surprised to see The Sun’s cover. Two lower torsos of women in their pants, one with the European flag and one with the Union flag. Are we STILL doing this, The Sun? Still on this page of denigrating the majority of the sentient public? While we’re reducing people to bits of meat, why not go the whole hog and have a black person in chains?

If they hadn’t hedged their bets and backed a Brexit instead, you could say that the Sun want to “take back control” and go back to the days before the equal rights enshrined in European treaties. Depressing, and yet another reason not to support that terrible excuse for a newspaper.

Jane Black

WE can always rely on The National to produce powerful front pages on days of national (and in this case international) significance.

I appreciate that not all of your readers will agree with the stance you took yesterday, but I hope they will continue to support the paper and to engage in constructive debate about Scotland’s place in (or out of) the EU. In contrast to much of the campaign, the lively debate on your letters pages was civilised, respectful and informative.

Mary Campbell

WHILE it is of course encouraging that John Swinney seeks to narrow the attainment gap, we have to be careful about interpreting statistics about the achievements of children in care (Children in care miss out on Highers, The National, June 23).

While of course we should strive to ensure looked-after youngsters are encouraged academically, it is important to recognise the challenges many face, including learning difficulties. Highers are not the only marker of success.

Linda Smith

DOMINIC Peacock isn’t just a disgrace to “British” politics,but to the human race as a whole (Tory councillor suspended for offensive post about Jo Cox tribute fund, The National, June 22). He’s everything I expect of a Unionist politician: arrogant, disrespectful and totally heartless, devoid of humanity. Not only should he hang his head in shame, he should lose his job.

Paul, Irvine via text

Letters I: Tabloids will find a way to find fault with Melissa Reid