“I THINK the EU has behaved really badly today – arrogant, strutting, boastful, bossy” – thus spoke Iain Duncan Smith commenting on Theresa May’s Salzburg debacle.

It has been said more often than not that the UK is the supplicant here. In fact, it must behave like the penitent supplicant asking to get back on in some way after leaving and arrogantly boasting that a deal with the EU would be easy. It would be like having your cake and eating it and it would be likened to a red, white and blue Brexit, they boasted at Westminster. They forgot about the rebate, the opt-outs and other areas where they had entitlement. Quid pro quo is not in the Westminster psyche. As we say, “ye ken noo!”

One can have no feelings of sorrow for the May government at this juncture, or the Tory party. Two dithering clueless years since the referendum, it has produced a limp proposal to the EU on the basis that we jolly deserve from the 27 what we demand.

Well, the responses from the 27 are well-deserved. We Scots and ironically the Northern Irish voted to remain and in many ways one can relate to the EU response. It brings home to Westminster that its centuries-old sense of unbridled entitlement is finished.

It is in fact heartwarming to see at long last the UK-Anglo state being put in its place.

John Edgar

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I FOUND Alyn Smith’s article in Thursday’s National frustrating (Tory rhetoric mirrors that of hard right across the EU, September 20). He explained the process the EU has begun to address some of the questionable actions of Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban. I’m sure many National readers would agree that the EU may be justified in doing so.

Whilst Alyn does briefly mention that the EU has “not stepped up” by not promoting democratic discussions between Barcelona and Mardrid regarding the future of Catalonia, I am frustrated that he might have missed the point here somewhat. The Spanish Government has used violence against its own citizens to prevent them voting. They have interned politicians without trial on suspicion of crimes which other European states no longer recognise as they are incompatible with democracy.

I suspect if Mr Orban was to do something similar the EU would act against him and rightly so. Why then is this bastion of liberal democracy not acting against the Spanish Government?

I respect Alyn Smith despite some differences in our views regarding the state of European democracy. His articles and arguments are well constructed but he has failed to address the double standards at play within the EU on this issue. The hard-right rhetoric that is spreading across Europe is very worrying but unless the EU is prepared to defend its own democratic principles it will in fact exacerbate this situation.

Kenny Wright

READ MORE: Tory rhetoric mirrors that of the hard right across the EU

RECENT items in The National prompt me to raise two points regarding our attitude to our history.

Firstly, criticism of William Wallace as a bloodthirsty psychopath, and earlier views on Hector Archibald MacDonald leads me to remind readers of the futility of judging historical characters by today’s more civilised standards. The civilisations of classical times kept slaves, and it was normal to butcher prisoners of war if no value (slave labour or ransom) could be got from them. Indeed, I read in this very paper that similar views ruled the fate of Scottish captives after the battle of Dunbar in the mid 1600s! It is abhorrent to us – reminiscent of Daesh – but by the standards of their time these were the actions of decent, civilised people.

Secondly, the recent item about Glasgow University and the slave trade makes me wonder if there is a statute of limitations on what are now seen as past misdeeds?

Should we apologise for the fire bombing of Dresden? Arguably, yes. Should Macedonia apologise to India for the invasion by Alexander? That seems ridiculous. How far back do we go? Serious question. There must come a point where talk of guilt, apologies and reparations becomes merely an indulgence.

Jim Palmer

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SOME Christian evangelists used to say “Win an argument, lose a soul!”. Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp rightly says much the same about arguing for indy (This is how we convince people to support Scottish independence, September 20).

It is tempting to destroy the arguments of “No” folk but we should respond to them gently, courteously and accurately, seeking to persuade them of the benefits of Scottish independence to them, to Scotland and to the world as a whole.

England in particular can benefit from a good example and a friendly neighbour.

David Stevenson

READ MORE: This is how we convince people to support Scottish independence

WITH the fourth anniversary of the independence referendum just behind us, it’s important that the people of Scotland remember the lies and manipulation of the Better Together campaign in 2014.

Warned that voting Yes would jeopardise our place in the EU and with promises of “devo max” and “near federalism”, Scotland voted No. Four years on, the reality is a Conservative government hell-bent on stripping powers from the Scottish Parliament and dragging us out of the European Union despite Scotland overwhelmingly voting Remain.

I hope the people of Scotland are proud of the SNP MPs who have tirelessly fought against the UK Government’s power grab and the uncertainty of a hard, no-deal Brexit. But as long as we allow decisions about our future to be made in Westminster, it is a fight we will always lose.

Jack O’Neil
YSI North East Convenor