AN open letter to Nicola Sturgeon.

I am one of “your ordinary people” (see Stuart Robinson, Letters, January 29). I have never, ever, written to a newspaper in my 75 years living in our wonderful country of Scotland. During the 2014 indy referendum campaign, I was galvanised out of my political turpitude (aye, really), I am sure like many others, into finding out more about this independence referendum which eventually gripped my imagination as a Scot. We lost that one, unfortunately. English lies, their desperation and maximum media bias (BBC, STV, et al.) turned our fine hopes into dust.

Scotland has been my roots, my mainstay, my raison d’être. As a young man, I could have emigrated to Florida, but Scottish hills and Falkirk friendships were way too strong. Another story.

This Brexit travesty enacted in Westminster over “recent” days/weeks/month has put the nail in the coffin of the “United Kingdom”. Our SNP MPs have been absolutely stalwart in their attention to duty (to us) against overwhelming insults and derision from not only the Tories, but across the House of Commons. Some of the finest orations in modern times have been produced by them as they fought for our interests (completely unappreciated by Tories and untelevised). To no avail! Castigated at every turn, diminished with every speech, they have been exemplary in their efforts to bring sense to a parliament out of control under the “leadership” of an unelected Prime Minister intent on retaining power to further her (and her husband’s) own ends, no matter what the costs, heading into the oblivion of Brexit.

From a very interested “bystander’s” point of view, Nicola Sturgeon, where are your information packs to the Scottish populace? Telling us how our future country will look after independence. Reassure us pensioners that our pensions will not disappear after independence, reassure Scottish students that their fees will still be paid, reassure doubters that Scotland has enough resources to fund an emerging nation (and then some, hopefully)! Let the farmers, fisherfolk (although I appreciate that the latter are controlled by a few families/corporations), industrialists and businessmen know that our future government has their interests at heart. Which is best? Pound Sterling/Scottish currency? These points answered are votes gained. Keep it simple! Keep it to the point! Also, do not bullshit us (I don’t think that you would anyway). Scots are too grounded for that!

We know that your day job is engrossing/diverting enough; what with local tribulations, one thousand and one needy diversions, trips to London to bolster our MPs and Euro visits (which we are sure enhance Scottish interests), so delegate, but please work at those “grey” votes (in spite of that other “Scotland Office” down the road).
Alan Aitchison
via email

IAN Stewart (Letters, January 30) wants Nicola Sturgeon to provide an inspirational “vision” of a future, independent Scotland. I am not sure we need such a vision. To paint a rosy picture of an independent Scotland is, to my mind, quite easy if we just stick to the facts about what leaving the Union would mean.

It would mean, for example, no stone-age institutions like the House of Commons or House of Lords laying down the law to us. It would mean no English Tory Party doing the same; a party which has become, to apply David Cameron’s words on Ukip, a collection of “swivel-eyed loons and fruitcakes”. Lately, its narrow-minded simplifications and barely concealed xenophobia have been nasty to behold. How wonderful it would be to banish that nasty party, with its male political products of the English public school system.

A Trident-free Scotland would also be wonderful, and enough reason to be inspired by the thought of independence. Getting rid of Trident would be of great service to the UK as a whole, for I think it would be politically impossible to relocate it to England, or even to some remote part of Wales or Northern Ireland. Scotland has been the Union’s fall guy when it comes to basing weapons of mass destruction; possibly the main reason the British state is determined to maintain the status quo.

Finally, a little farther down the independence road, I see a republic. Surely, the Windsors have had their day in Scotland..

It may not be very original to keep pointing to what I take to be a few of the facts of Scottish independence, but the vision they provide is inspirational enough for me.
Alastair Mcleish