CHARLIE Kerr, in his long letter in The National on Thursday, is spot on (“Talk of shutting down Holyrood might seem far-fetched, but it isn’t”, October 8).

The Tories are planning to bypass the Scottish Parliament by overruling everything it does with their new Internal Market Bill. They could even end up closing the Holyrood Parliament down altogether, substituting it with their new colonial HQ in Edinburgh staffed by 3000 Unionist supporters brought over the Border to shore up the No side.

The question is, why aren’t the SNP taking this very real threat to our democracy and sovereignty seriously?

When it comes to independence, they have been virtually comatose over the past six years. The only reason for Nicola’s recent lukewarm suggestion that she will make an announcement soon on a second referendum is because of the growing disquiet and alarm from independence supporters for action on the issue.

What are they playing at?

Those who express views like mine are often accused of being Unionist trolls, but we are not the problem here. We are fully committed to independence. Can the same thing really be said about the SNP right now?

The jury really is out on that one.

It is true that the SNP is the only realistic vehicle for Scotland to achieve her freedom, and for that reason, I will be voting SNP in May (if there is still a Scottish Parliament left by then to vote anyone into).

However, if the SNP only deliver a referendum that Boris Johnson and his boss Dominic Cummings go on to ignore, and we do not secure our independence, then it will be the very last time I and many others, I suspect, will vote for the SNP. They would, in those circumstances, be finished as a political force and we will simply remain a second class region of England with no say on anything affecting our daily lives, or any way of stopping Scotland being asset stripped of all her resources for the benefit of the ruling classes of a neighbouring country. Let’s hope that Chris McEleny and Angus Neil’s Plan B motion to conference in November is overwhelmingly supported by the membership. It’s time to wake up!

Peter Jeal


SCOTLAND needs local government similar to other European countries. Covid-19 has clearly demonstrated the commitment, flexibility and capability of our local communities to respond positively and competently when called upon.

In every other country in Europe and Scandinavia, local communities have more control over the administration of and fundraising for a wider range of local public services than is the case here in Scotland.

If you want a say in how local government should operate in a future Scotland, then join the public consultation at Constitution for Scotland:

Power – local area and community government ought to play a more important part in running the country and should be more independent of central government.

Local democracy – there should be elected local area and burgh councils genuinely in charge of the local situation, and answerable to local people for its handling of it.

Our local authorities are too big, too bureaucratic, too sluggish in their performance, whilst our community councils (where they exist) are solely consultative with no actual powers. Even England has parish councils with powers over a range of local assets.

In the Scandinavian countries such as Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, there is much commonality between them with regards to the basic administrative set-up: a task-related division between state, counties and municipalities. In all three countries, counties and municipalities raise a large share of their own revenue, which is then supplemented by government grants.

Have your say in the future governance of Scotland.

Robert Ingram

Constitution for Scotland

I NOTICE that chlorinated chicken is back in the news. Before the tousled and unkempt scarecrow in Downing Street foists this unwanted aberration on Scotland,

I should like to tax his chronically limited attention span with the following lesson from history.

In 1996, Britain was stricken by Mad Cow Disease, which has been variously described as “The Great British Beef Scandal”, “a devastating indictment of British government” and “probably one of the worst examples of British mis-government since the war”. What makes this epidemic staggeringly unusual is that it was man-made. It claimed nearly 200 lives.

Fast forward: chlorinated chicken is man-made. Can I suggest that the scarecrow consigns any thought of this Frankenstein chicken to his southern orifice, followed by a suppository, and that he then consumes a vindaloo. This should serve to convince him that this is the most appropriate disposal method available to him, and it would give his mouth a rest.

Joe Cowan