ROBERT Shrimsley of the Financial Times could perhaps do well to look more closely at the situation surrounding the 2014 referendum, where he might be surprised to find his quote regarding colonialism even more true than he realised (UK Government approach to Scotland ‘has been colonial’, July 22).

First and foremost, as someone skilled in the use of words, he might like to ponder on the fact that Alex Salmond’s statement about “once in a generation” can in no way be construed as a promise. The phrase includes the words “this IS”, ie, the present tense, and therefore can only refer to the situation at the time the words were spoken, with no future inference. Indeed, it was true at that time, as many like myself can testify it was for relatives deceased since then. Why then do the media collude constantly in this fallacy?

Furthermore, if Scots are to be considered bound in perpetuity by this non-promise and the result of a one-off vote, why does Mr Shrimsley not ask why the promises – and these were promises – made in the Vow were substantially discarded as soon as the vote was won? Had Westminster been held to their promises as they want Scots to be to this non-promise, Scotland would still have that guaranteed place in the EU, 13 frigates would have been built on the Clyde in a new, improved facility, Holyrood would have control of immigration and other new powers, and Scottish input at Westminster would be regularly sought and factored into government thinking.

Instead, we are out of the EU against a large majority vote, the Clyde is still waiting for the frigates, our MPs are insulted and mocked in Parliament and our concerns ignored, and instead of more

powers some are being taken away under the pretext of introducing a common framework where a satisfactory one already exists. The Prime Minister even arranges a visit without telling our country’s leader or her ministers.

Yes, Mr Shrimsley, let Scots respect a non-promise while Westminster ignores the real ones. Colonial mindset?
L McGregor

I READ your article about Felipe the Spanish king coming to Catalonia (Catalan indy supporters protest against royal visit, July 21) . You call Catalonia a “region”. This is not the first time you have done this. Catalonia is not a region; it is a country. We were invaded by the Spanish in the 18th century. The final battle was the siege of Barcelona in 1713-14, where we fought to the end to keep our independence, This was six or seven years after Scotland was forced to join in a “union” with England. And we have been fighting for our independence since then.

Felipe is the head of a colonial power that occupies our country. To call us a “region” means you accept that colonialism and you accept Spanish occupation. But if you call us a country, this means you respect our right to be a free, independent country and you oppose that colonial occupation. It means also that you stand with us in our battle for independence from Spain, like we stand with Scotland in its battles for independence from Britain,

I would never call Scotland a “region”, but this is what you are doing with us. I have many friends in Scotland, have visited several times and it is a country I love, The National is a newspaper that supports independence for our countries; try to be more respectful of our identity and our fight for independence and don’t reduce us to just a “region”. We support Scottish independence and respect Scotland is a country and not a region. Please respect that we are a country and not just a “region of Spain”!
Francesc Columbrí i Sanabra
Barcelona, Catalonia

THE item by Hamish MacPherson in The National on Tuesday about the Potato Famine in Scotland elicits a number of worrying connections (How the potato famine hit Scotland hard, July 21).

Being a believer in the ideas of the late Angus Calder, that the treatment of the Irish and Scots was a training exercise for the UK in its worldwide imperial expansion, I look for repeat patterns of behaviour by that political system which it might use again given its present travails.

For instance the history of the Clearances and Scottish Famine remind me of Winston Churchill’s actions during World War Two when he followed a scorched-earth policy before the Japanese advances in Burma and did nothing to ameliorate the subsequent famine in Bengal that killed millions. My mother-in-law was there and told of giving the rice water from her own rations to the starving who were dying in the streets.

Boris Johnston’s childish belief that he is in the mould of Churchill makes me concerned that he is foolish enough to consider in the case of Scotland doing similar acts – though more in finance and infrastructure which of course he is doing already anyway. This of course in turn reminds me of the partition of India and earlier of Ireland. It is most important that the Scottish independence movement remains disciplined more in the mode of Bruce’s schiltrom than that of the Jacobite’s Highland charge.
Iain WD Forde