THERE is a great deal of frustration brewing within the independence movement that we are unable to effectively do any campaigning at the present time except on social media because of Covid-19. However, we oft hear independence politicians and commentators appeal to the grassroots Yes movement to get campaigning started. The question is: how?

May I suggest therefore that Yes Groups as a whole, with possible assistance from the Scottish Independence Foundation and crowdfunding, consider banding together to acquire mobile advertising trailers and ensure they are moved to high traffic areas at specific times, eg on busy routes to schools to catch parents picking up their children with messages about building a better future for their children with independence, or farmers’ markets with relevant messages to the farming sector about how independence is the only way to protect their future, and so on?

The trailers can also be towed around towns and cities at specific times and, if any Yes supporters have road-facing land (especially busy roads), the trailers can be parked up and remain working even when they are not being driven about.

It is the ONLY totally safe way to get our message out there in the absence of any apparent plan from the SNP to inform the people of Scotland with barely eight months to go until the Holyrood elections, a big disappointment especially as we’ve had since the 2016 Brexit vote to do so.

Maybe we could even get funding to buy space on bus shelter advertising boards in populated areas with similar messages.

Just a suggestion!

Peter Jeal

THERE has been increased levels of chat within our movement about the indy vote. Professor Curtice suggests the next planned UK General Election in 2024 would be ideal.

My view is the we need to make the 2021 Holyrood vote the indy vote.

Rumour has it that the the SNP manifesto will be clear about the indy vote link and that they wish the best ever vote so that Westminster will find it hard to say no indefinitely. My view is we do not have time.

The Westminster Government is, through the Internal Market Bill, going to overrule Holyrood. If you read the key clauses of the bill you will be left in no doubt that this is going to happen.

The EU had given Westminster until the end of September to withdraw this bill as it breaks the January Withdrawal Agreement with them. Westminster will not do this so it is No Deal. The EU is preparing legal action now should that bill become law.

A No Deal or a poor deal will damage the economy hugely if this does happen. The chaos that is likely to happen will make WM dig in against a vote for us as they will be in a full-on mode of coping with Covid and Brexit chaos.

Also possible is that Joe Biden could win over in the Land of the Free. With Biden saying no US deal if you muck up the Good Friday Agreement, as well as the EU support for Scotland, we will have international support.

We cannot wait. We cannot allow Westminster to get more nasty towards us. We need to go now.

Robert Anderson

ANGUS MacNeil’s follow-up question to Boris Johnson of whether he will ever agree to a Section 30 Order, to which the reply was that the 2014 referendum was very clearly fought on the understanding that it was a once-in-a-generation event, should be:

“Could the Prime Minister produce the evidence of his assertion that the 2014 referendum was to be a once-in-a-generation event and lay it before the House so that we can see the signatories to this agreement and the number of years a generation, in this agreement, sets out before another referendum can be run?”

Andy Pearson

I AM writing to describe the awful situation at present regarding NHS dental care in Scotland. I have also written to my local MSP Oliver Mundell, who is raising a parliamentary question regarding this matter.

I am not able to receive routine or non-urgent care from my local dental practice. However the dental practice is able to offer private patients routine and non-urgent care. I attended the dentist today after being offered an appointment following me raising concerns with them. I was informed that I have two current issues with my teeth requiring attention, one being a tooth needing either filled or deep root filled, the other being a crown that is loose. Both these treatments are unable able to be offered to NHS patients, but they can be offered to private patients. Therefore I am being discriminated as I cannot afford to pay. My dentist agreed that if this work is not undertaken, this will lead to further difficulties.

I find this situation appalling. I have worked in the NHS for 34 years as a nurse and never in this time have I come across such discrimination. This is awful and will cause great long-term problems for patients across Scotland who are effectively being prevented from accessing dental care to help avoid long-term poor oral health, potential cancer, losing teeth prematurely and other issues. I find it incompatible with public heath that such practices can be allowed within the NHS.

David Storm
via email

I HAD to take a double look, because surely it could not be the new Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross suggesting “free school meals for all school children”! Very welcome sentiments, but a double look was necessary because actions speak louder than words, Mr Ross, and I took a wee peek at your voting record on this topic in the past.

In the House of Commons in 2018, Labour’s shadow education secretary moved a motion opposing the heartless proposals of the Conservatives to take away one million free hot school meals from low-income families, families who have disproportionately suffered under a decade of austerity under the Conservatives.

So how did Mr Ross vote back in 2018? Mr Ross voted to take one million meals away from low-income families. He voted with the Government, as did other Scottish Conservative MPs of the day.

But while we are at it, let’s focus on Scotland for a moment. Conservative MSPs have consistently voted against the Scottish Government’s budget, a budget that includes provision for free school meals.

So why the sudden road to Damascus experience? Perhaps Mr Ross in his new-found leadership role sees the writing on the wall for the Scottish Conservatives in 2021 and has decided to offer some sweeteners to ease the pain.

Catriona C Clark

I HAVE been struck by the ongoing debate over the renaming of the David Hume Tower at Edinburgh University to 40 George Square.

The move is nonsensical because, as has been a well-rehearsed argument, if we judge individuals by the attitudes of the time in which they lived we will be left with very little when it comes to buildings and monuments dedicated to them.

Indeed, George Square itself is named after King George III, a monarch who supported the slave trade and suppressed a slave revolt on the island of Grenada in 1795. He issued loans of £1.5 million to slave traders to re-establish slavery on the island.

However, what is also deeply worrying in addition to this is the lack of originality in that this building could have at least been renamed after a black person who historically made a major contribution to Scottish society, particularly that impacting the university.

John Edmonstone, for example, learned taxidermy from naturalist Charles Waterton during his enslavement on a timber plantation in Demerara, Guyana.

Moving to Edinburgh in 1817 and becoming a free man, he sold exotic specimens to the university, teaching taxidermy to students, including a certain Charles Darwin, on whom he had a major influence.

And there was Thomas Jenkins, likely Scotland’s first black schoolteacher, who took classes at Edinburgh University in the early 19th century.

Scotland enjoys a rich black history and if universities are to look at naively obliterating the past, the least they could do is pay tribute to those in whose name this is supposedly being done.

Alex Orr

I WONDER how many of your readers will benefit from the introduction of the high-speed rail link between London and Leeds. Not a lot, I hear you cry!

Yet every one of them, and indeed every taxpayer in Scotland, is helping to pay for this project that will never be used by most of them.

The latest estimate of the cost is more than £100 billion. Just think what a difference Scotland’s population share of this (more than £10 billion) could make to the rail and road network in this country, if only we were independent and could control all our own finances.

Peter Swain

THE ultimate departure from the “precious Union” of bonnie Scotland is inevitable.

The damage being done to the UK system by Tory acrobatics via the Internal Market Bill could compromise our future position as a free, independent member of the international community. To distance ourselves from that should be a target now for Scotland.

Respect for international law must be stated, as a cornerstone of OUR political life. The unprincipled attempt by Westminster to use English national sovereignty as justification for repudiating an international agreement to which it signed up could “rub off” on us. That tactic, if adopted in the global community, would lead surely to anarchy and can be avoided. It would, however, be likely that the UK Government has neither the corporate nor individual moral or legal courage to do simply what is right.

The bill even domestically breaches agreements on devolved responsibilities and obligations between Holyrood and Westminster, further exposing the moribund, dishonest anachronism called the United Kingdom Goverment. The bill is ample proof, albeit unneeded, of the regard the latter has for devolution.

John Hamilton

WITH the news of Harry and Meghan’s bill of £246,000 picked up by UK taxpayers for their holiday to Africa before getting fed up with The Firm and fleeing to America, and Princess Eugenie expecting a baby early next year that we will also have to pay for, isn’t it about time that the royal family and its entitled and outmoded attitude finally be dissolved?

The people of the UK should absolutely not be expected to pay for these freeloaders, especially in the light of the devastating impact of Covid, with so many people facing the loss of livelihoods and an increasing number of people living in poverty, especially children. To many people, this disparity is completely and utterly wrong.

I am so looking forward to independence for Scotland and to get away from outdated English institutions.

Susan Rowberry