SHOCKED, but not surprised at the first contribution by the audience member at the beginning of Thursday evening’s Question Time. So much so that she has made the front page of Saturday’s National.

She has had her desired effect, 1 min 20 secs of shock and awe. I am sure she is delighted to have her Brexit and that of course is just the beginning of the purge that is about to come. The horrendous points system for entry and the refusal by this government to acknowledge that different parts of the UK have very different needs.

This woman – who certainly did not fall into the category of having a more gentle and kinder approach in her language about migrants from other countries whether they are refugees or those prepared to work in our care system, hospitals, farming or hospitality sectors – would be an ideal candidate for Dominic Cummings’s advert for posts in his advisory staff as only “weirdos and misfits” need apply.

Hector Maclean

HAVING ceased to watch Question Time on the BBC because of its fundamental political imbalance, I was however encouraged by an article on The National’s Facebook presence to dip into this week’s edition to witness for myself abject racism dressed up as political opinion.

The woman in question was champing at the bit to get her say, her hand held aloft as soon as the two audience members asked their questions.

What her tirade amounted to was little more than that we witnessed during the Brexit campaign – close the borders and keep Johnny Foreigner immigrants out. What she clearly forgets is that we are all immigrants in Britain. All of us, without exception.

Her views pay no heed to the need we have for immigrant labour in our care services, agriculture and fisheries, and hospitality industries. This woman would be happy for them to suffer, and for us to endure shortages and pay more.

Of course, this woman is foolish. But it was her opening statement that sickened me.

She started her tirade with: “Sixty-eight million people in England ...”

If anyone in Scotland has any doubt about our real value to the English and how we’re completely subsumed in the UK, how they dominate the UK and regard everyone as English, let this woman’s complete dismissal of we Scots’ existence and right to have our own national identity resonate in their ears when entering the booth to vote independence or not.

I will be voting for the only prospectus that respects my right to be a Scot in my country determining our own future.

Jim Taylor

AS reported in The National, the voices calling for indyref2 are getting louder, and broader. The Labour for Independence re-launch looks promising. Many of the Labour family recognise that to contribute more effectively in enhancing Scotland’s well-being. There are three steps they need to take. Step one: Breakaway from Head Office. Step two: Support indyref2. If either fail, step three: transfer your allegiance to SNP.

The Labour leadership battle highlights the confusion that still exists. Gordon Brown’s desperate antics don’t help – they just perpetuate the divisions. So is there a way out of the impasse and a chance of Labour surviving?

We need only look to history for the answer. We need the Scottish Labour Party to catch up with their potential voters. For example if you were to look at the Bridgeton district in Glasgow, where the late great Clydesider James Maxton was MP between 1922 to 1946, a safe Labour seat until it was abolished in 1974. But now it is represented by SNP.

It is true although Maxton argued in favour of Scottish Labour’s Home Rule Bill, it wasn’t for complete independence. However, that was then. I believe if he was time-warped to todays time, and recognising Labour and in particular Scottish Labour’s plight, he would undoubtedly be considering transferring his support to the SNP (as Jimmy Reid, Jim Sillars did).

The people of Bridgeton have recognised their socialistic preferences are best represented by the SNP. Gordon Brown, I believe, was awarded his PhD based on research of James Maxton’s political life. Yet sticks by the Union still!

Henry McLeish, one feels is almost there, in his transition to SNP – yet still hangs on but his rhetoric says otherwise. Many criticise Nicola for dithering but to be fair dithering in the Labour Party is far more reaching.

Major surgery is needed before they haemorrhage completely.

Robin MacLean
Fort Augustus

A REPORT published last week by ScotE3 highlights that North Sea energy companies have enjoyed a government subsidy bonanza for nearly 50 years.

If we are to move towards a sustainable zero-carbon economy then we really need to turn this around. We should be phasing out oil and gas and using the income from new tax powers and the ending of subsidies to fund a renewable energy sector and sustainable jobs for oil and gas workers. The Scottish Government continuing support for “business as usual” in the North Sea is incompatible with its zero-carbon targets.The report is available at:

Eileen Cook

MAY I take issue with what, in the context of Patrick Harvie’s excellent article, is a tangential issue (How the Scottish Tories have been trapped by Boris Johnson, February 21)? His mention of “learning a bit of Gaelic, Scots or Doric instead of English” makes as much sense as if he had written “Gaelic, Scots or Ayrshire Scots”.

Doric and Scots are not alternatives. Doric, as the name has recently come to be used (it was not always so), is Scots as spoken in the north-east: one of the several dialects in which Scots can be heard. It is, certainly, one of the most distinctive of the dialects, one of the richest in respect of its literary development and one of the most enthusiastically maintained by its local community; but it is nonetheless a form of Scots, and it is absurd to talk as if it were a distinct language like Gaelic.

Why does this elementary fact need to be repeated so often?

Derrick McClure

DOCTOR Doom, aka Gordon Brown, is performing his leading pantomime roll again spreading doom and gloom. His forecast of divisions enduring forever after independence is nonsense. Divisions are more likely to exist if Scotland remains a vassal of Westminster.

The Scottish Government has already demonstrated, with limited resources, it can soften the burden of 12 years of Westminster imposed austerity caused by banks making obscene bonus payments to people betting on losers. How much more would be achieved in Edinburgh with all the levers of power?

Within a few years of Scotland becoming independent, people who are Unionists now will be saying why didn’t we do this in 2014 when we had the chance.

Mike Underwood

LIKE some ageing singer who just doesn’t know when to retire, here comes Gordon Brown yet again with another doom-laden message of how the idea of independence is splitting Scotland in two!

Sorry Gordon, but you had your chance as both chancellor and briefly as prime minister to do something about this – only when you’ve relinquished power have you now come out with all these ideas to promote the Union and keep Scotland tied to a right-wing Tory government.

What happened to your promises in The Vow – Scotland (unfortunately) voted No in 2014 – you said that would ensure we remain in the EU, where’s your apology for lying to the public of Scotland? Trust in politicians has fallen specifically due to the actions of Gordon Brown and his Better Together colleagues, who promised that Scotland could lead the UK rather than leave it. Then within days of the indyref the Tories introduced EVEL, and just recently we’ve seen Scottish MPs excluded from voting on legislation which will have a direct impact on the funding we get for our health service.

Scotland is a rich country yet too many of our people rely on food banks to feed their families as benefit cuts drive them into despair (and in some cases death). The future as part of the UK is even bleaker, with the Tory immigration policy about to devastate most of our industries.

Yes the Tories should shoulder the blame for this, but so too should Gordon Brown and his allies who conned too many Scots voters into believing he knew what he was talking about. We’re in this position thanks to all the Better Together parties lying to the people of Scotland, and it was Gordon Brown who fronted the infamous Vow.

Your time is up Mr Brown. You have nothing useful to add to the future of Scotland, you only serve as a warning of what happens when voters fall for political shysters who are interested only in themselves.

Cllr Kenny MacLaren

SCOTT MacDonald and Steve Arnott write in favour of a Yes Alliance Party to fight a future Holyrood election on the list seats only (Letters, February 22).

I thoroughly agree. The million or so votes which the SNP gained on the list are almost all wasted due to the D’Hondt system, and a separate pro-independence party would go a long way to correcting the balance.

I believe the idea was first mooted by Stuart Campbell of Wings Over Scotland who did calculations showing that at least 10 seats could be won by such a party, thus ensuring a majority for independence in Holyrood, even without the Greens.

The idea would only work if a single party were set up. A broad church with independence as its single policy.

The new party, ideally called The Scottish Independence Party, would have no policy on socialism, capitalism, the monarchy or other controversial subjects. Those things can be left until we are independent.

James Duncan