ANNIE Wells’s recent gripe about the sale of branded face masks comes in the wake of Conservative complaints regarding daily health briefings and demonstrates just how petty, parochial and desperate the Scottish Tory party is becoming. 

Ms Wells attempts to adopt the moral high ground by arguing, erroneously, that the SNP, by selling branded face masks, is taking advantage of the onslaught of coronavirus and its dreadful effects on the people of this country. It is a supine and absurd argument born out of her party’s frustration and impotence. 

READ MORE: Scottish Tories in a fury over SNP branded face coverings

Face masks are a necessary evil for the foreseeable future and people are free to choose whatever type they wish. If Ms Wells chooses, she could pick up one emblazoned with the Conservative party logo on it through several reputable outlets. Like T- shirts and caps, the branded face mask may well be here to stay, and I’m surprised she hasn’t applauded a free-enterprise approach to their availability (I have acquired a natty Bob Dylan mask!). 

Perhaps Annie Wells should earnestly consider her own party’s moral compass at present rather than adopting faux outrage at the selling of branded masks. The Westminster government’s continued selling of arms and expertise to Saudi Arabia to bomb and murder countless of innocent civilians in the Yemen might be a starting point for her before she opens herself to public ridicule yet again. 

No individual or party will ever require a lesson in ethics from a Tory representative. Indeed, Bob may have put it this way: “don’t criticise what you don’t understand”. As Ms Wells and the Scottish Tories are well aware, the times they are a-changing.

Owen Kelly

WHAT a good letter from Paddy Farrington (Winning hearts and minds must be the Yes campaign’s focus, July 25). I am in total agreement with his views. He is correct, the is no shortcut or easy path to gaining a second referendum and it will not be gained by taking voters for granted. Hard work, honestly and patience in all its forms is what is required.

Part of the tactics of Johnson, Cummings and the renegade Scot Gove is to insult, denigrate and laugh at us, its purpose and object being to infuriate, exasperate, intimidate and generally cause frustrations and anger with the intention to generate unwise action and so undermine and create division in our movement. 

READ MORE: Winning hearts and minds must be the Yes campaign’s focus

Let us consider the intensity of the present political circumstances and be aware that the independence campaign has not really begun, yet we are gaining ground.

As to the present debate about indy-only parties and list voting, my view is that it is creating division. At the risk of being myself divisive, I offer my opinion.

Firstly, we have two already committed independence parties, the SNP and Greens, as well as some smaller ones. Secondly, the essential matter for our movement is the combined total of votes for the SNP and Greens, on which we will base our democratic right for a second referendum.

Bobby Brennan

IT was a good letter by my neighbour and equally good friend Paddy Farrington in Saturday’s National, but unfortunately spoiled by some injudicious remarks in the final two paragraphs.

Paddy criticises “often ... bitter old men ... [for] attacking our own side with unprecedented bile for not delivering independence sooner”.

READ MORE: I’ve no problem with being called a ‘bitter old man in a hurry’

Apart from the implied sexism and ageism, is it likely this sort of thing can help unite different factions across the Yes movement? Does Paddy expect those “bitter old men” (names please) suddenly to agree with him that, yes, they have been mistaken for attacking their own side with unprecedented bile (evidence please) and that they will forthwith desist? Or is it more likely trenches (all round) will get dug deeper?

Had the reference been to “bitter old women”, justified outrage would ensue. But I know such a remark could never come from Paddy.

All of us, myself included, can and do fall into the trap of negatively personalising our disagreement with others. But please, can we argue about the arguments, and leave it at that?

Tom Pate

PEOPLE in Hong Kong are being put in prison in mainland China for doing exactly what Bill Clark is moaning about in Tuesday’s National. The Hong Kong people have been overtaken by a different country with old-world communist laws. Thou shalt not say “I don’t like China” or you will suffer imprisonment for a very long time. And if you don’t desist then you will have your life ended. 

Scotland is a free country (to a greater extent) and one is free to say “I don’t like Boris Johnson” not only politely but vehemently, if one so wishes. And people do! 

If people did as Bill Clark wishes then no-one would know what anyone thinks, or likes and dislikes. Why should we have to keep our thoughts to ourselves? That is the beauty of living in a democratic society. Yes, people have died fighting for freedom of speech.

So just remember, Mr Clark, your letter was published because The National has the freedom to do so. And we have the freedom to respond to it without fear or favour. 

Alan Magnus-Bennett

“SOCIALISM is hopeless” says Michael Fry (Why Scotland should follow the (later) Irish path to economic success, July 28). I’d like to ask him if he thinks we would EVER have had a National Health Service as it was envisaged in the late 40s if capitalism (unbridled) had held sway.

READ MORE: Why Scotland should follow the Irish path to economic success

Would it not be the case that we would have had the capitalist model, as operates in USA, of health “insurance” which, if you’re not able to contribute enough, is LESS than useless in the event of a chronic illness or major surgery.

Barry Stewart