SINCE devolution the Scotland Office has become the voice of the UK Government in Scotland instead of it promoting Scottish interests – a propaganda tool to keep Scotland in line.

A long-standing Unionist argument is that being part of the UK enables Scotland to punch above its weight, which they say it could never do as an independent country. This is absolutely and demonstrably not true, as most people round the world see Britain or the United Kingdom as England; demonstrated recently by President Trump naming England as a synonym for the UK.

It was Theresa May who described Scotland as an equal partner in “a nation of equals”, yet it has no say on the deal or no deal Brexit which will suit only a British nationalist Tory party.

In stark contrast, tiny independent Estonia, an EU member state with a fraction of Scotland’s population, wealth of resources or talent, can shape its own destiny along with that of Europe. This small, prosperous democracy has more influence over the direction of Brexit than Scotland and yet Scotland will be directly affected by Brexit.

The fact is that the people of Scotland are very often ignored and dictated to by Conservative governments that fail to have the support of the Scottish people. Only the hundreds of thousands of people in the inclusive Yes movement can save Scotland from remaining no more than a county region of England.

Scotland should now take its lead from the redoubtable Maggie Thatcher, who famously declared in 1988: “Scotland will become an independent country when it can send a majority of SNP MPs to Westminster”. Well we certainly did just that in 2015! If this can be replicated there is no need for a second referendum as the stated will of the Scottish nation will be settled. In Winnie Ewing’s historic words of 50 years ago: “Stop the world. Scotland wants to get on.”

Grant Frazer

HISTORIC Environment Scotland (HES) are increasingly keen to issue statements proclaiming their “neutrality” on the question of Scottish independence. Yet the evidence is clearly building up against the heritage body, with the recent removal of independence supporters from Stirling Castle, and the ban at Holyrood Park.

In 2016 I discovered HES had removed the Category C listing from Bruce’s Stone at Loch Trool on the quiet, in 2007. The heritage body had no paperwork relating to the decision to do so and by its own admission failed to keep any. They advised I had to propose the monument for re-listing and they would reconsider the case. Eventually after six months it was relisted. Quite incredible, and perhaps a glimpse into how HES are actively working against anything that commemorates or highlights the Wars of Independence.

More recently in 2017, HES refused to even consider information relating to possible sites relating to Bruce’s time at Loch Trool in 1307, stating they couldn’t find the skirmish sites, nor would they be looking. Currently the site at Loch Trool is a mess, with trees felled over the fabric of the historic site. Surely creates the wrong impression to the countless visitors to the area?

Perhaps the question should be asked: neutral, or completely biased in relation to some aspects of our history that relate to the Wars of Independence?’

Barry Donnan
Address supplied

I AND others fully agree with David Mundell that we live in a Groundhog Day. Every day, every week and every month for nearly two years the news re: Brexit remains the same. The uncertainty and the self-indulgent bickering within the Westminster government goes round and round.

The difference between our situation and the film is that Bill Murray as Phil Connors learns something. As the time loop continues he gains an understanding of himself and takes action.

Barbara Addison

DAVID Mundell was reported to be telling the Conservative Party Conference that Scotland is trapped in a “Constitutional Groundhog Day”. He is perfectly correct in using the word “trapped”, as that is what Scotland is in this Union.

On the same day, his Cabinet colleague Jeremy Hunt tells the EU that, “if you turn the EU club into a prison, the desire to get out won’t diminish, it will grow, and we won’t be the only prisoner that will want to escape”. He is perfectly correct in using the word “prisoner”, as that is what Scotland is in this Union.

Dennis White

LIKE your correspondent Sandy Allan (Letters, October 3), I received a personally addressed communication from the Tory Party branch office.

I had great fun completing the questionnaire on the back of the letter, firstly because I was able to select Nicola Sturgeon for FM over Ruth Davidson. Then the questions were phrased in such a way that I was able to write “democratic deficit” in one box and “INDEPENDENCE!” in another. Not only that, but they supplied a postage-paid envelope for returning the questionnaire! Have others relished this opportunity to let the Tories know their views?

Shirley Robins

IT does not seem to be well known that Scotland was frequently referred to as North Britain in official circles since 1707. When this stopped I do not know but a noticeboard on the now sadly demolished Littlemill Distillery in Bowling referred to a licence being granted in 1937 to this distillery. The address was given as Bowling, North Britain. I believe that all official documents at that time at least had to use that description. I should have removed it when I had the chance but hindsight is a great thing.

Bruce Blackadder
Tobermory, Isle of Mull