I WAS one of the many who attended the AUOB march in Edinburgh. What an impressive turnout! The Edinburgh Council official who was counting the numbers attending must have finished their shift and left the office at around 1.30pm at the latest. Their 20,000 figure, quoted by the Unionist press and Police Scotland, was no way anywhere near the total of those attending.

I had an interesting moment when I was making my way back up the Royal Mile to get something to eat when I was offered a “power grab” leaflet by a lady activist. Good on her! I said that I had been on the march and had arrived at Holyrood Park about 45 minutes earlier. The lady seemed rather gobsmacked because she thought she was near the head of the march! Well, I suppose she was: the march was still going strong, with no end in sight an hour later.

The usual small band of what the Wee Ginger Dug would describe as “fleg-waving British nationalists” had brought their sound system along. It was loudly playing Rule Britannia for all to hear. This contrasted with the marchers who had, in addition to thousands of Saltires, flags from England, Wales, Ireland, Denmark, Germany, USA, Sri Lanka, India, Catalonia, Malaysia and many more. What a vivid comparison between what Yannis Varoufakis calls “cuddly Scottish nationalism” and the Brit Nat exceptionalism.

Well done to all the pipers who took part and created a great atmosphere. What about some other musicians as well in future? Indeed, why not make lots of noise even if it means bringing along your old (Union Jack?) shortbread tins and banging on them.

Neil Myles

READ MORE: AUOB Edinburgh march biggest pro-independence event in Scotland's history​

IN view of the fact that the 500 milers were refused entry to Linlithgow Palace because they were carrying saltires, I wonder if I am also banned from Historic Environment Scotland (HES) car parks. You see, I have a saltire on the back of my car – does that mean I can’t park in any of their car parks either.? I wonder how many other Scots could be banned from their car parks for the same reason.

I would just remind the staff of HES that the Saltire is the national flag of the country that pays their wages. They should show it a bit more respect.

Charlie Kerr

READ MORE: GALLERY: The AUOB Edinburgh independence march in pictures​

I WAS struck by the language employed by Theresa May regarding the so-called end of austerity: “People need to know that the austerity it [the crash] led to is over”. Led to? Talk about not taking responsibility! As if austerity was some kind of inevitable, naturally occurring phenomenon, rather than a deliberate, ideologically driven choice taken by the Tories, aided and abetted by those cuddly “moderate” LibDems of course.

In addition, since 2010 “austerity” has simply been a fig leaf of a term that’s been used to lend noble connotations to deliberately brutal damaging policies such as the piecemeal dismantling of the social safety net, the slashing of public services, and the undermining of the post-war consensus in general: nasty right-wing ideology dressed up as fiscal responsibility.

The roll-out of misery will continue for years to come, while those responsible for it – the wealthy, well-connected Cameron, Osborne, IDS et al – will never have to face the consequences of the untold suffering they’ve caused. In a world better than the one we inhabit, every single one of them would be held accountable, dragged before a court of human rights and prosecuted for their violation of the rights of unemployed, sick and disabled people, among others.

Mo Maclean

A NEW book should cause an economic earthquake and stop the out-of-control, finance-extracting juggernaut with fresh-thinking fissures.

Nicholas Shaxson’s The Finance Curse: How Global Finance Is Making Us All Poorer explains why the siphoning of finance from the provinces to the City of London and then offshore to a few global players has to be stopped. However, the means of doing so don’t appear to be covered in this revelatory publication.

I expect the shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, who was already cognisant of the problem, is looking for answers as well.

We must understand that finance is only a metric and if there were to be a run on the pound with the advent of a Labour government and its much-needed radical agenda, the tangible wealth of the country and the skills of its people would still be here.

If, as the book suggests, we were to unilaterally “step out of the race” of “beggaring” to the bottom in this “billionaire-friendly hoax” of global competition, an intermediate solution to safeguard the people’s wealth and well-being, before the introduction of national controls, might be to create a virtuous circle of people-owned, county banks and exchange-proofed currencies.

Geoff Naylor

PEOPLE had a great laugh when Theresa May awkwardly attempted to dance along with her hosts to a global audience when visiting nations in Africa. May’s cynical PR team, who had her dance her way to the podium in a coyly whimsical fashion, merely insulted the many who have perished under years of brutal Tory austerity. Symbolically, this amounted to her dancing on their graves, all the while with a smile on her face, in a typically callous Tory fashion.

Olie Martin

AS the SFA have at last decided to use Murrayfield for one of the matches, perhaps they could consider trying to get Aberdeen to play at Murrayfield. After all, they are playing one half of the Old Firm and they would not have to play in Glasgow. They would then play in the east of Scotland.

JG Williamson