MALCOLM Chisholm says a Yes win may now be “inevitable”.

He added that that would be due to continuing Conservative governments at UK level. In other words, Malcolm Chisholm has foreseen the future that Scotland will still get governments in London it has not voted for.

Given Malcolm Chisholm’s Labour past, it is a welcome revelation, but in many ways it was in itself “inevitable”, in a manner of speaking.

He backed the SNP motion at Holyrood opposing the renewal of Trident nuclear submarines and resigned as minister in the then Labour executive at Holyrood! So even with a Labour Party in power (a distant past indeed) he resigned on an issue of principle over Scotland being forced to continue having nuclear weapons dumped near its Central Belt against its wishes.

Two days on from his revelations in The National (July 2), a poll put Labour in the UK at 18% – their worst poll rating since Gordon Brown (ominously, GB for short) was prime minister.

READ MORE: Ex-Labour minister Malcolm Chisholm might vote for Yes in indyref2

There is no chance for a “radical” government in London, Corbyn is a closet Leaver and Westminster-centrist, so one could not even expect from Labour any further enhanced devolution. That is a forlorn hope now. The LibDems are not likely to propose anything similar, as one of their leadership hopefuls, the hardly recognised Jo Swinson, has even indicated that the LibDems could go into coalition with the Tories – aka Johnson or Hunt!

Anyhow, the “Vow” was meant to bring devo-max, but the three Unionist parties made weak proposals and dismissed further enhanced proposals put forward by the SNP.

Given also the Unionists’ reaction to a Citizens’ Assembly in Scotland, it is simply obvious that they have no desire even to want to shape that proposal. They are simply shrivelled up Union Jackasses!

As Labour here in Scotland gradually see that their party in England is really fading fast in the same way as they are shrivelling up in Scotland, they might suddenly see hope in being part of an independent Scotland in the future.

The LibDems, once the party of devolution and the EU, are simply morphing into Tory sidekicks and Unionist centrists, having sold out before under Nick Clegg.

Sadly, one does not hear the “branches” standing up for the Scottish Yes vote in the EU referendum! That just makes you cringe!

Malcolm Chisholm and David Martin, and no doubt possibly Henry McLeish, along with many others in Labour For Indy, are beginning to read the runes and shift along with the growing numbers who voted to remain in the EU towards supporting indyref2.

Labour has no Scottish MEPs now, and that indicative slump must make Labour north of the Tweed rethink where they stand on Scotland and reorientate their future outwith the Union. Or is one being the eternal optimist? After all, Labour in Scotland were opposed to devolution and only saw it as a move to hit the SNP – and that did not happen. It’s time for a rethink for them north of the Tweed, now more than ever.
John Edgar

PERHAPS naively, it has been felt that both Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson had cornered the market in outright hypocrisy. Not so. Now we have Jo Swinson in the role of latter-day claimant.

During recent TV interviews with each Tory pretender, the issues of Irish, Scottish or Welsh opinions or aspirations did not at any time arise and were not alluded to. Now, we have both stoutly asserting their determination to preserve the Union, crudely disguised to hide their true purpose which is to undermine and avert Scotland’s equal determination to achieve a just separation from the malign control of the Westminster Establishment. Absolute substantiation of that will be provided by a dispassionate examination of Government behaviour supported by the now accepted politicised media, especially since 2014. Their public utterances are designed to ingratiate them with the Tory faithful, harbouring, as they do, tearful, pathetic reminiscences of a supposed glorious past era of “empiah”. Scotland at no time was part thereof!

The LibDem assault is being orchestrated by Jo Swinson, who if successful against Ed Davey will be the only leader of that party denied the right to vote on matters within the ambit of EVEL (English Votes for English Laws). Notwithstanding that impediment, she tries to convince the LibDem membership that she could in the near future cross the hallowed threshold of No 10. La-la land has a single occupant!

It could of course mean she would spend even less time pursuing the interests of her constituents. It should be recalled that her success in the last General Election was largely thought to be due to an apparent Tory migration to the LibDems, designed to keep the SNP out. Her often stated claim to be the champion of the complete absence of the right of her country, Scotland, to have any opportunity to decide its own future completes the characterisation of an opportunist, the hope being that by so doing her ingratiation with Unionists nationally will pay dividends. Games are being played with Scotland’s future for personal and party gain.

It is indeed probable that such gain is the only true goal of any of those described.
J Hamilton

INTELLECTUALLY, I know that there are numerous hurdles yet to clear before Scotland is independent again. Whereas, emotionally, it feels a certainty. So, I went where my emotions took me and imagined the night before. Here it is:

MY friends, my brothers and sisters, as we stand here, drink in hand, ready to toast the future, let us take a moment to consider our shared past.

For more than three hundred years, we faced the world by proxy, through the gates of the United Kingdom, yet through those gates we mingled, conversed, traded, loved and learned. One in five people born in Scotland still live in other countries.

It is our historic custom to travel and settle overseas, just as it is our time-honoured tradition to welcome faces from each and every corner of our shared Earth. One in 10 of the residents of our great nation was not born here, but chose to make their lives here, to make the Scottish people their family. We are, in our blood, an international people.

Tragically, the people of our former union chose to close those gates, and this has been a dark time for our country. Our economy has contracted, and we’ve felt it, with fewer coins in our wallets and less trade for our businesses. Some people gave up living in a closed-off union and went away, or back to their countries of birth, and we can hardly blame them, but the fire of Scottish hearts burned brightly in the darkness and, by the light of this fire, we found our way back to the world.

We told each other stories, just as the clan poets once did, of how our future might look, if only we could determine it for ourselves, and one by one, our hearts were warmed by the image of a future Scotland taking its place among the family of world nations.

Unfortunately, in our fervour, we spoke some unkind words about our neighbours, and we should make amends. We do not hate the English; we cannot hate the English. For many, this would mean hating their mother or father, friend or colleague, or even themselves. We love the English. Although we may be mystified by their choices, they are our neighbours, and they will be forever. Let us not take the path of spurning our neighbours, but welcome them as we welcome all, and try to help them, although their dark days may linger on for some time yet.

For we must face the future in true heart, without bitterness. We must choose the best and brightest future for our country and this will not be done by cleverness or prudent analysis alone, but by how we reach out, how we connect, the quality of the relationships we form.

That said, do not think that the struggle for liberty is won and that it will never be in peril again. We must think and argue and do business, using history as a kind of map. Our liberty only remains ours for the keeping if we are shrewd and understand that some will always seek to take it, or to sell it for a share of the profits. Our new Scotland is for millennia, God willing, and there will be challenges ahead.

Tonight, though, we can afford to put such thoughts aside. Tonight, we dance and sing the songs of freedom. We have done it! We have opened our hearts to the world, and we have opened the world’s heart to us. We have smashed the chains and broken the locks, and emerged blinking into the light of a new dawn.

Tomorrow, Scotland begins a glorious new chapter. Tomorrow, we open our doors to the world again.

Raises your glasses, my friends, my brothers and sisters, to Scotland!
Kester Robert Park
via email

THE planned deportation of Lizanne Zietsman is yet another cruel, illogical attack on an honest, hard-working citizen of value to Scotland and our economy.

Surely it is time we looked a bit more deeply into the reasons behind all these attacks on such people? These people have come here to create a new life that contributes to a country they admire and often love already through family connections. They bring their talents and whatever wealth and assets they have, set up homes and businesses, work and pay taxes that contribute to the economy, bring up families that help increase our diminishing population, and as soon as they seem to be settled and successful, they are deported.

Under human rights laws they have a right to family life, yet the Home Office believes that they can have that only if the partners, and often whole family, leave Scotland too – go somewhere else, you can’t have it here! So we lose not only a valued citizen, and often more than the one, but a successful business, the income they generate for us and the desired increase in population.

This time Arran will lose a huge asset to the community and tourism, and another local business they trade with will have its income damaged if the victims choose family life and are forced to give up their investment in Scotland. Think of the Zielsdorfs, Felbers and many others we have heard of. Loss for them, loss for the community, loss for Scottish tourism and economy and loss for HMRC.

Why this attack on those who come to contribute what Westminster tells us we need? Is there a hidden agenda here? If these deportations help to make Scotland lose income and assets, do they hope that we might indeed become too wee and too poor to afford independence? Why does someone not ask Theresa May on her final visit to the country she loves so much that she barely knows it exists? Anyway, is it not time for us somehow to make a stand?
P Davidson