I NOTE that our FM and the SNP could support a so-called people's vote on Brexit! But would this take place on the same deeply flawed electoral system as the 2016 vote, or a new fairer and more inclusive system?

Then, in 2016, there were many tens of thousands, some say hundreds of thousands of citizens who were not registered as electors. This was due to a variety of reasons, in the main due to having insecure accommodation and the associated frequent changes of address – something that in cities can mean crossing constituency boundaries, and the electoral register is sub-divided by parliamentary constituency.

Further, Westminster gerrymandered 16- and 17-year-olds out of a vote that would impact on their life for the next five or six or more decades.

The 2016 result was 52% Leave and 48% Remain of those who voted. This was not 52% of citizens – more like 25% to 30%. When you factor in 16 and 17 year olds it is less than 20% who voted to leave. So much for the oft-quoted “will of the people”.

I would be happy with a citizens’ vote, for all adults aged 16 and above.

The current Representation of the People Act introduced more stringent conditions for registering to vote under the guise of preventing/eliminating voter fraud. And it included a shameful pilot of requiring prospective voters to prove who they were by producing a passport or driving licence. Not everyone has a passport nor a driving licence. As far as I am aware there has been minimal voter fraud in Britain.

The policy of raising the bar for proving a citizen’s right to be on the register of voters has been used in many states in the US of A and the federal government in Canada. It is gerrymandering pure and simple.

We need a root-and-branch change to the whole process. The recently published Boundary Commission Report was based on the number of electors as at 2015, three years ago, not the number of citizens.

The system must be changed to register every eligible citizen to be representative of all of our society.

Willie Oswald

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon: People's vote would not set independence precedent​

NICOLA Sturgeon has said that her party would back a “people’s vote” and even a new referendum if Brexit remains the mess it has been since June 2016 (People’s vote on EU is no ‘salvation’ for Scotland, October 5).

Under the circumstances she has the absolute moral, social and political right to both of those positions.

Unfortunately she may not have the power to turn the tanker as it heads to the rocks and the weary, weary public may not have the appetite for the necessary fight.

If the last few months and even days have taught us anything it is that power is more embedded than ever in the hands of the venal and corrupt, the sexual predators, racists, homophobes, jingoists, xenophobes, liars, privileged, fraudulent, aggressively self-serving, deceitful and uncaring.

This is true in Westminster and even more so across the pond in the country that was supposed to be our best buddy and possibly partly fill our soon-to-come EU trade hole. Instead, in the White House, is the hideous manifestation of all those things mentioned above plus global tariffs and protectionism.

There could not have been a worse time to unhitch ourselves from Europe.

The deceit that Scotland could only stay in the EU by voting No in the 2014 referendum (The Scottish Lie) has never seemed dirtier.

Never mind The Scottish Play – The Scottish Lie is much darker and more politically bloody.

Amanda Baker

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon says Brexit makes Scottish independence 'inevitable'​

THANK you for Alan Riach’s excellent article on the poets George MacKay Brown and Ian Crichton Smith (Lords of the Isles, October 1).

But Ian Crichton Smith was not only a poet, he was also that rare person, a really funny man.

Years ago I was asked to chair a meeting of the Haddington Literary Society which he was to address. Having read his poetry and stories, I prepared a rather grave introduction, but within two minutes of his talk he had us all falling off our chairs with laughter.

Similarly, I later attended a writers’ workshop weekend at Kirkhill when he was the writer in residence, and what might have been a rather serious occasion became instead a riot!

For many years he taught English in Oban High School, and on the occasion of his retiral he was given a presentation which so touched him that he decided to stay on for a few more years.

Perhaps he was as much fun in the staff room as in the classroom, for the then headmaster, John McLean, Sorley’s brother, called Ian “The Blessed John”.

God rest his soul.

Lesley J Findlay
Fort Augustus

READ MORE: Alan Riach on George Mackay Brown and Iain Crichton Smith​