WILL the Scottish public ever be told how Westminster activity detrimental to the wellbeing of Scotland is camouflaged as policy “in the interests of the whole of the UK”?

The reality is that no legislation on reserved matters is adequately and carefully concerned with the issues raised by the people of Scotland at Holyrood and Westminster, before being “rolled out”. There are many examples supportive of that assertion, typical of which is the policy regarding the Universal Credit scheme. The criticisms referenced to the resultant distress being caused in Scotland by its implementation have been dismissed if not completely ignored.

Westminster’s view of Scotland, successfully exported to Holyrood, is conditioned by an irrational dislike, demonstrated by some members of both Tory and Labour parties, of any aspect of Scottish opinion regarding self-government, quite irrespective of the democratic wish of an increasing number of its advocates. Westminster’s perceived attitudes are inexplicable in its refusal to acknowledge the inevitable benefit even to itself of having in every respect, a friendly, cooperative, economically successful independent neighbour.

Factual recent democratic history does not in any way contradict the pragmatic aspiration of Scottish nationhood, anathema to the ideological Conservative and Unionist Party. It is no less than 62 years, some would say two generations, since that party has held the majority of Scottish Parliamentary seats and since the establishment of the Scottish Government the support of the Scottish National Party, the flag-bearer of independence, has far outstripped that of every other party in Scotland. This is despite the again irrational adverse and incessant propaganda which is regrettably a major feature of current, with a few exceptions, media outlets. The justification for recovery of Scottish nationhood is, on economic, sociological, and politically democratic grounds, compelling.

The condition of the nation of Scotland, in reality, will not be improved by working within the present Westminster system. The UK is constantly described as a family of nations. Westminster must be brought to realise and accept that “the family” is not a marionette show manipulated by its PM/puppet-master, which is how it must now be judged.

The recognition of the democratically expressed preference of the Scots is overdue, for which Westminster must bear complete responsibility. Scottish independence is the inevitable result of, at best, incompetence and of considerations appropriate exclusively to a long-gone past.

J Hamilton

IT is perfectly clear that England voted to leave the EU and there is little evidence that their opinion has changed. It is also perfectly clear that Scotland voted to remain and that opinion has strengthened. There is no evidence that Scotland’s democratic will would be honoured in any further referendum. The First Minister should cease interfering with the democratic will of a foreign country and concentrate on achieving her own. If England decides to hold another referendum I hope the majority of people will join me in abstaining.

Ian Richmond Dumfries and Galloway “THINGS fall apart, The centre cannot hold!”

Ironically for the Brexit debate, that quote comes from Irish poet WB Yeats at a time when Ireland as a whole was still part of the United Kingdom. “Things fall apart” was also used as the title of a book by African author Chinua Achebe which I read at the time of the Biafran war (late 1960s). The Nigerian side in that war was armed and encouraged by the UK at the cost of many child deaths. Scottish public sympathy was largely with Biafra. Given what has recently happened in Yemen, the supply of arms by the UK for wars of questionable morality seems to be part of a pattern – another reason for Scotland to exit this Union as soon as possible.

David Stevenson

LETTERS suggesting no dominant SNP presence in an independent Scotland, with the nation ruled by ConDemSlab representing the 20th century politics of division and self-interest, sounds both ghastly and a retrograde step.

Many Unionists simply do not understand why anyone would vote for the SNP or for independence, as they see it as a rival nationalism to being British, with one end goal – independence from the one true and divine Nation State of their United Kingdom. For those who primarily consider their home to be Scotland, Scotland is their country and their country is part of a 21st century European Union of countries.

In principle, independence provides a mechanism to move out of the 20th century United Kingdom syndrome into the first part of the 21st century, as a country within a European Union of countries. The SNP are an important and necessary component of this mechanism for the foreseeable future.

Stephen Tingle
Greater Glasgow

J KIRK (Letters, January 8), alleges that “…Virgin Trains alone gets more subsidy than the whole of British Rail received to run the trains and maintain stations, track and signalling”. The reverse is actually the case: over the last decade, Virgin Trains has paid £1.2 billion to the UK Government for operating the West Coast rail franchise after successfully turning around a loss-making business we inherited 21 years ago into one that now routinely generates significant and increasing surpluses for taxpayers. Last year these premia payments to Government increased by 18% to a record £250million.

Damien Henderson Scottish Affairs Manager, Virgin Trains