UNION Jack, Great British branding hasn’t just happened spontaneously. It is impossible to shop in any supermarket without seeing them displayed. For example, in Lidl every kind of lettuce carries a Jack.

The practice is now so widespread that it must be organised, but by whom? The CBI? The right-wing Institute of Directors? The various foundations and groups that don’t declare who funds them? Conservative Central Office?

A poll by a leading brand designer has discovered that the ubiquity of Union Jacks on everything is beginning to irritate people, even those south of the Border. Can it be an extraordinary rash of synchronised patriotism, or is it more sinister? PR firms have poured cold water on the idea that Jack branding works, it doesn’t make any difference to sales. People will always buy the cheapest.

Fifty percent of Scots may avoid Jack-packaged goods and the big supermarkets know all this, so what’s going on? Is it entirely political? Is this the one safe way the companies can prepare for Brexit and at the same time tell its customers that they are against Scottish independence?

From an international perspective are the Europeans/Americans or any other country going to be impressed by a flag-waving packaged chicken? I don’t think so.

Personally I would remove all flags including the saltire from packaging and state clearly the origin of the produce. We will never know if there was a meeting of minds in a darkened room somewhere or whether it was just another one of those unexplained coincidences. I for one will not be buying anything with British branding on it.

Mike Herd

SOMEWHERE during his recent wanderings in Iran, your correspondent Mr James Scott (Letters, July 2) lost his bearings and perspective. This is easy to do in a country as mesmerising, cultured and culturally and historically enriched as the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Mr Scott was likely not in Iran in 1979, when the revolution was subverted to the character of the present totalitarian and tyrannical theocracy which smashed the Iranian Green revolution of 2009.

Had Mr Scott been witness to the deployment of the apparatus of repression, principally the murderous brutality of the Basij militia of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, I am sure he would have informed us.

Evidently, also, he did not bear witness to one the hundreds of executions of “spies”, religious and political dissidents, homosexuals, youths and juveniles carried out annually in Iran. This is slightly curious, as some of these executions are carried out in public.

Mr Scott could not have witnessed the activities of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards unless he travelled in Lebanon, Gaza, Iraq or Syria, where this force complements the activities of the Iranian Shia militias.

Iran, in the cradle of civilisation, is a youthful entity, and it is the emerging generation who will forge the future of their country. The theocratic apparatus of repression and its systematised racism and Jew hatred and nihilist, obscurantist tyrannical cruelty will be history. The Green revolution will be fulfilled.

Keith Steiner
Cornhill, Aberdeenshire

HILARY Christie’s letter (July 2) advocating a change of the name of the SNP deserves support. Political use of the word “national” is too burdened with the horrors of nationalism, both past and present. We face this daily in the case of English nationalism; its high priest, J Rees-Mogg, happily offering the destruction of the UK and the EU on the altar of the Full English Brexit.

For the SNP, I too suggested that its name be changed to the Scottish Nation Party, the SNP. The reason for this is found in the meaning and discussion of the word “nation”. Of many comments, those by the 19th-century writer and French historian JE Renan, a native of Brittany, have special resonance. Wikipedia tells of Renan writing that a nation is a soul, a spiritual principle. Of this, the past dimension is a legacy of memories, and its present dimension a desire to live together. Spot on for Scotland. Renan provides us with the perfect expression of what the Scottish Nation Party might be all about.

Dirk Bolt

AM I missing something here? All this brouhaha about the word “scum”, which is a legitimate English word, defined in the OED as “a layer of dirt”.

I am no fan of Siol Nan Gaidheal (in fact, had never heard of them until last week). Also, I am no fan of foul, obscene language.

Is the word “scum” an obscene or foul word? Its connotation may evoke disgust and revulsion, and therefore it is an expressive word. Disgust is a common enough feeling within society as a result of the Tory government’s damaging and harmful policies over the past few years.

Grace Dunn