I WATCHED the film I, Daniel Blake (okay, I’m probably the last to have see it). The film aroused so many emotions in me, not least anger and hatred. I do not have to tell readers to whom they were directed. Other feelings were compassion, solidarity and pathos.

The scene where the selfless and famished young mother breaks open the can of soup in the food bank was poignant and heart-breaking (I had to turn my face away from my wife to conceal my tears), as was also the reading of Dan’s letter at the funeral.

The basic humanity of Dan and the others around him confirmed a faith in humanity that was in stark contrast to the cruelty and brutality of the powers that be.

But what many of us in Scotland must have become aware of it that we are fortunate in one particular sense: that is, we have an alternative to what the film depicts.

We have a devolved Parliament with a government that, despite its limited powers, is mitigating some of the worst policies of Westminster, setting up a system that has dignity, humanity, compassion and respect as its basic aim. We have a choice of political parties.

And finally an alternative that many work for and desire: independence that will allow us to decide our own future and destiny with a government of our choice.

What do the traditional working-class areas in England have? The choice of Labour, LibDems and Tory, at which you have to look hard to determine the difference (if any exists).

What alternative does Labour offer those working people? A slogan, “For the many, not the few”, socialism (I’m a socialist myself) and nationalisation, but they may have to wait a long time for it.

Honest working people in England who have knowledge of Scotland must envy us, because we have a way out of the Westminster insanity.

Bobby Brennan

HAVING fatally undermined her argument against Scotland being a member of the EU by saying members have to cede 100% of their sovereignty, Lovina Roe (Letters, January 17) resorts to implying that people who disagree with her “believe Scotland lacks the ability to run itself”. That’s unbecoming of her and an insult to people who have supported Scottish independence for decades.

Ms Roe’s suggested strategy for sustaining and growing the Scottish economy is to leave the EU and then spend the next few years negotiating trade deals which already exist under the auspices of the EU, or other European trade alliances.

That’s a recipe for extreme economic hardship and will give our a opponents a very big stick to beat us with. It’s also high price to pay for a “blood and soil” approach to national identity.

The kind of sovereignty Ms Roe pines for no longer exists in an inter-connected global world and the desire for it is all too evident in other parts of the UK. We don’t need it here to be a proud and independent nation.

Douglas Turner

THE points raised by Bryan Auchterlonie (Letters, January 17) are well made. All the signs are that Westminster will have a less than charitable stance towards an independant Scotland’s economic success.

Unionists remind us that the majority of Scotland’s trade is with England. In addition, Scotland’s exports rely heavily on English ports.

On the face of it, Scotland would appear vulnerable to English intransigence. However, England’s main market is the EU. As part of the EU, Scotland could not be forced to face more stringent border regulations than any other member of the EU. The UK seeks frictionless trade with the EU, so crossing the border would not be more difficult at Gretna than it would at Dover or Newry.

Kerr Walker

STILL no retraction of the wording in the Mary Queen of Scots story by Jamie Brotherston which indicated that Elizabeth I ruled Scotland (FM attends premier fit for a Queen, January 15).

I refer you to the words from The Scottish Breakaway – “Nae Liz the Twa, Nae Lizabeth the one, Nae Liz will ever dae, And we’ll make our land republican in the Scottish breakaway”. As most of us are aware, Mary was the daughter of James V. Her mother acted as regent as Mary was only a baby.

Scottish history was hidden from us in the past. It is imperative that The National gets these facts right.

Edith Davidson

ON Thursday some old geezer in England crashed his car, but was not injured. Yesterday this story was repeated all morning on BBC TV news and was covered on the front pages of most other newspapers, but I couldn’t find a mention of it in The National. You seem to think that there are more important things going on in Scotland and the world!

Alan Jardine
Kintore, Aberdeenshire