I AM beginning to feel that no day can start without some news to anger me or drive me to despair. Sunday was one of them, when I read of the plight of the Umeed Bakhsh family (Race against time for family faced with £8000 bill to live in safety in Scotland, September 29).

How can anyone, let alone a government – committed internationally to give protection to those in need of it – expect any asylum seeker or refugee to find thousands of pounds to be allowed that protection? They leave home in a hurry, in fear and without any of their assets, arrive here – often with skills we desperately need – and are forbidden to work to support themselves. Thus they are forced by government to be dependent on benefits, which can later be used as the “drain on the public purse” argument to throw them out. Consider also an analysis of other Westminster diktats.

READ MORE: Race against time for Umeed Bakhsh to pay £8000 Home Office fee

Scotland’s working population is declining while the elderly one is rising rapidly, and therefore we must work to increase the former. So to throw out those who help with this increase is in line with this diktat? Really?

How else, then, to increase our working-age population? The Westminster two-child cap means even those of currently stable means are discouraged from having more than two, in case their circumstances change unexpectedly. But if each couple only produces two, they merely replace their own number, while others have one or none and reduce the population.

Those who have married a non-Scot and then have a child, if their income is not above a level set by Westminster – which is much higher than many of our natural Scots families earn – find that the foreign spouse and child are likely to be deported. Again a decrease for our population.

READ MORE: Teenage asylum seeker brothers granted 'limited leave to remain'

With the post-study visa withdrawn for students, who might – and often used to – settle here permanently, marry and bring up a family, every possible route to population increase is blocked by Westminster’s own diktat and action. Where is the logic? Is this just hypocrisy, an inability to exercise joined-up thinking or even sheer incompetence?

Does it take a suspicious mind to smell a conspiracy to ensure that we fear independence as too big a risk for a falling population and therefore realise that we are indeed too wee, which will in turn make us too poor to vote for it? Why can we not start to show what kind of society we want an independent Scotland to be by setting up, hopefully even with Holyrood backing and support, a fund that people can contribute to, to help to fund all these people to stay and help us as a nation?

L McGregor

THE Sunday National featured the unbelievable anguish of the Umeed Bakhsh family and their fight to stay in their new home. It is now turning into a question not of rights, or need, or legitimacy, but of cash. Their cash to find, their cash to hand over, not to Scotland, their new home, but to the Home Office.

With Brexit days away, this is just another example of how continuing to be locked in an unequal union stifles our nation’s future. The reality of our future being decided outwith Scotland, by a government and its leaders unelected and unrepresentative of Scotland, continues to weaken us economically here at home, on the world stage where rUK’s reputations is in tatters, and now morally as well. Post-Brexit, imagine, rUk morally and economically bankrupt!

Even now, morals would appear to have little place in rUK politics.

Will all the opposition parties join together this coming week to call for a vote of no confidence in the current PM? Or will some, such as the Lib Dems, hold back unless they get their favoured candidate to head up an interim government? ABC: Anyone But Corbyn. Isn’t it enough to see the PM and his entourage manipulate public opinion to their own ends? Every time someone mentions their anger or despair at the deliberately antagonist, inflammatory language used by the Tory hierarchy (and I won’t repeat them), there must be whoops of joy coming from Downing Street. Those words and phrases are now fixed and acceptable in daily usage, and to add insult to injury the Tory party conference has one major message: “Get Brexit Done’.

This is the (so-called) positive message vs the negative language now associated with the opposition that will continue to be used, tweaked when required, and to head up Tory party General Electioneering. Can we endure another term of Tory ideology? rUK parliament in running down. The two-party system is in default mode, so what will change, when and how? The choice for rUK is stark. But what of us here? rUK will languish in the doldrums for many years to come, post Brexit – will we? Will we still be straining at the leash? Or will we have slipped it?

For all our sakes, it has to be the latter.

Let’s hope with support, help and a review from the Home Office there will be temporary respite for the Umeed Bakhsh family. But at what cost to them? Stress, health, the stability and future of their family life? This

will not be the last case. Only independence will ensure we make our own futures, and those of Umeed Bakhsh and their ilk.

Selma Rahman