FOR a total distortion of the truth, the Theresa May’s statement that the SNP’s policy towards the Common Fisheries Policy represents a betrayal of Scotland takes some beating. Those of us with a longer memory and a better grasp on reality than the Prime Minister will remember that as far back 2004 the SNP were campaigning for changes to the policy and even said that if improvements for Scottish fishermen could not be agreed then the UK should exit it entirely. These suggestions were rebuffed by the UK Government.

However, for an act of betrayal which exhibited total contempt for Scotland, we need go back no further than 2014 in Brussels when the council of ministers was meeting to discuss quotas for deep sea stocks. For some reason, the responsible UK minister, Liz Truss, although in Brussels, could not make the time to attend. The logical alternative would have been to ask the Scottish minister responsible for fisheries, Richard Lochhead, who was also in Brussels, to represent the UK at the talks. However, in its infinite wisdom, this practical suggestion was rejected and the UK Government nominated the unelected lord Rupert Ponsonby, the seventh Baron de Mauley, to represent the UK at the talks. Richard Lochhead then had to sit down with the Baron to inform him that two-thirds of the UK fishing fleet was based in Scotland and 95% of the catch landed here.

With that kind of history, this country does not need to take lectures on betrayal from the leader of the Tory party.

Gill Turner

IN his letter of October 3, Alan Magnus-Bennet asks for evidence that an independent Scotland is an affordable fact. The fact is that an independent Scotland is affordable just like other smaller countries such as, for instance, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Austria; possibly more so.

I would challenge anyone who says that Scotland (with all its assets such as food and drink industry, financial services, much of Europe’s offshore wind and tidal energy and associated industries, gas and oil reserves for decades to come, strong tourism sector, well-educated workforce with five of the world’s top universities, positive export figures and proven capable government in Holyrood) cannot afford to be independent. And by the way, such economic strength answers the pension question – better pensions than the current UK pittance will be paid.

Ask why they think that the countries mentioned above are happily independent and Scotland could not be. Do they think so little of Scotland? Do they think that Scotland with all its assets fares better being governed by Westminster? Then they should explain why.

That an independent Scotland is affordable should be stated as a simple fact with no need to be pushed into the detail of justifying independence (I emphasise “detail” because that is what opponents wish us to get bogged down in). Opponents should be calmly asked to justify their reasons (if they have any) for why they think Scotland is better off not being independent. That is the bigger question.

Tom Crozier

ALAN Hinnrichs’ letter (May’s empathy-free speech sums up the UK’S political culture, October 5)) draws attention to the question of social manipulation and control. The Tory party conference suggests that beneath the veneer of a “civilised society” still remain the behavioural instincts that apply to most species, including the human; subjection of others by eyes, mouth and voice. Pay attention to a politician’s demeanour – it often reveals more than their words.

Iain R Thomson

GOOD heavens, Fluffy Mundell has come off the fence on something other than no second independence referendum. He has actually been critical of the crowd-puller Boris Johnson’s leadership bid. Does he not see he is putting his head on the block, and if Boris is successful he will be replaced by Ross Thomson? From a fluffy to a duffer!

Kenny Burnett
Dyce, Aberdeen

LABOUR Leader Richard Leonard was at it again at First Minister’s Questions on Thursday, shooting himself in the foot as he quoted from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s report on child poverty in Scotland then challenged the First Minister.

This report praised the new Scottish social security system being introduced through devolved welfare powers, saying it could see numerous families brought out of poverty, and went on to recognise the efforts of the Scottish Government in tackling the gender pay gap.

Richard Leonard went on to have the audacity to challenge the Scottish Government on their record on house-building, an issue that can aggravate child poverty. This beggars belief, considering the Scottish Government are currently undertaking the largest house-building programme in the history of the Scottish Parliament. If Labour are ever to become a force in Scottish politics again, they really must do better.

Catriona C Clark

CATHIE Lloyd appeals for more social history on “ordinary” men and women involved in events like the ‘45 (Letters, October 5). She might like to take a look at my Damn’ Rebel Bitches: The Women of the ‘45, first published 21 years ago and never out of print since, and Bare-Arsed Banditti: The Men of the ‘45, published a few years later. I’m just back from speaking to a very appreciative audience at the Ness Book Fest on my non-fiction and fiction set during the ‘45, and the second edition of the Biographical Dictionary of Scottish Women will be published very shortly. Many of us are doing our best to shine a light on the hidden corners of Scottish history.

Maggie Craig
Huntly, Aberdeenshire