DEAR British Unionists in Scotland

Although predictable, there is nothing – nothing – more dispiriting than you greeting about the cost of sending the First Minister of the country you pretend to represent to America to say something positive about us. Somebody has to, and God knows, you won’t. Your job is to talk us down at every opportunity.

We understand this.

Two things. Firstly, talking us up ought to be a good thing, and your continuing belittling of the person who is, after all, the elected leader of your country is just a supercharged version of the Scottish Cringe, on stilts. Unless of course Scotland isn’t your country, and actually your country is Britain. Which of course it is. Which makes me ask again: what is the point of you?

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And why are you undermining your own parliament by voting against the Holyrood Continuity Bill? Why are you dismissing the Scottish Agricultural Bill and insisting we follow Michael Gove? Is this not a devolved area? Have we not a parliament? Are we not a country? Is power devolved power retained? If you believe so, then why are you here?

The second thing is this. The leader of the country – Britain – that you actually identify with has just spent the last several months grandstanding in Brussels and Belfast and elsewhere trying to renegotiate things that have already been agreed and are not open to renegotiation. We’ll add the cost of this unicorn-chasing to the £4 billion of taxpayers’ money that has already been spent on preparing for the type of hardline, terrifying Brexit that wasn’t even spoken about in 2016.

I look forward to outrage similar to that afforded to a legitimate and timely ministerial visit to America, from the media and from yourselves. That is surely inevitable after this reckless and profligate squandering of taxpayers’ money.

It it time you stood up for Scotland, as you promised. As one of your more likeable leaders once said: put up or shut up.

Yours, the people of Scotland

PRE-Second World War the most famous, most iconic Scot was Logie Baird. He is still the one for me, and here’s why.

He was first to demonstrate a working television (centenary in just a few years) and for all his life he was the leader in the field, seeing and achieving the next step before anyone else. In the face of American big business pressure, his system had no real chance against Marconi’s, even if it was its technical equal and was cheaper and could be broadcast throughout the country more easily with far fewer transmitting masts.

READ MORE: Help us choose the most iconic Scot of the 20th century

As the war drew to an end Baird had already invented TV recording, fibre optics and a fax machine and had an undisclosed role in radar, which prevented Hitler using his superior aircraft to pave the way for invasion which our comparatively under-equipped land forces could never realistically have resisted.

In the mid-1940s he also had a superb colour television, essentially the system which came into use some 25 years after we were watching the coronation on monochrome sets. It was the system which gave us colour pictures from the moon.

Baird died early and kept his wartime service a secret, unlike so many others who blabbed and garnered the baubles. His memory and achievement urgently requires full reassessment and study.

Baird was an infuriatingly elusive genius, an intuitive man who was not particularly communicative (preferring demonstration to explanation) and often obscured his achievements behind badly worded patent applications which opened pathways for his competitors.

Quirky and fiercely independent from childhood to premature death, he was quintessentially a Scotsman, a lifelong socialist, an internationalist and a technical world leader. With proper research we would be far more aware and proud of him than we currently are.

He definitely deserves it. He’s the iconic Scot of the last century for me, and one of the greatest Scots of all time.

David Crines

I WOULD suggest Sir Robert Watson-Watt for inclusion as a candidate for your Scot of the 20th century. Brechin-born Watson-Watt was the leader of the team that developed the radar system that was able to track enemy aircraft during World War Two that helped the UK win the Battle of Britain.

Brian Mitchell

JAMES Goodfellow from Paisley is the man who first patented ATMs that used PIN numbers, but the only credit he got was a £10 bonus.

Fellow Scot John Shepherd-Barton is known as the “man who invented the cash machine” rather than Goodfellow, who patented the system we use today.

Gordon Walker

MY choice for the title of the most iconic Scot of the 20th century would have to be the late Sorley MacLean. His poems in Gaelic and English are outstanding and exceptionally highly creative pieces of work.

Andrew MacGowan
via email

FOR greatest Scot of the 20th century you would find it hard to overtake Eric Liddell.

Billy Kelly