I AM an octogenarian, have been following the country’s politics since the age of 18, and have over the years supported several parties.

The two main antagonists in Britain have of course been, at least since 1945, Labour and the Conservatives. The motivation of the leaders thereof is in many ways quite different.

Messrs Callaghan, Blair and Brown were of modest means on entering the arena but it is no secret that upon leaving it each was vastly better off financially than they could in probability have been if otherwise employed.

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Most Conservative leaders – again it is no secret – were pretty well-heeled before the opportunity to enhance that condition became available, but did manage to take any advantage passing. One recalls a particularly successful holder of at least five jobs gained post-politics. Those considerations raise a matter which should be of concern to ordinary people; the guiding principles of the present parties and of their leaders.

It has hitherto, with one or two exceptions, been respected that matters of serious social concern and consequence were kept clear of the inevitable infighting. The Scottish arena has been dominated actively for several generations by a desire for nationhood and independence, together with the resistance thereto from Westminster, while Britain has been embroiled in the struggle against Covid-19 since early 2020. It had been accepted that the latter for very obvious reasons would not be used to gain political advantage – to play politics with the lives of people being insupportable.

That has been respected by both Yes and No camps. Until now! Very recently that position has been abandoned by those resistant to Scotland’s aspirations.

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Recent polling suggests that the Yes group have gained and will enhance their support for Scotland to be once again an independent, free nation. It is now crystal clear that the No camp has decided to accuse the Scottish Government of being less effective in combatting Covid by interpretation of heavily skewed Covid statistics which are not borne out by objective scrutiny.

That is discernible by the lurid pro-Union press headlines and by the spoken media, particularly the BBC and now Sky, both of whose commentators use precisely the same script. Added is the very personal assault upon the First Minister of Scotland using again precisely the same language by both BBC and Sky. The trademark of the Westminster government is only too obvious.

Equally obvious is the collaboration of the Westminster parties in their joint opposition to the wishes of Scottish people.

The principles of most political leaders in Britain were once beyond reproach. We are today governed by those who have relinquished the claim of acting in the best interest of the people in favour of either their parties’ interests or their own. In contrast, the First Minister of Scotland has bent over backwards to keep Covid-19 out of her responses to the politically influenced attacks directed by the media and by the pro-Union lobby.

The unprincipled behaviour of the Westminster government and disappointingly of the party leaders opposed to Scottish intentions justifies entirely the aim of Scotland to relinquish the Westminster pattern and certainly its behaviour in favour of honest, sincere, all-party contribution to the administration of a reborn country.

That honourable goal is made desirable due to the unacceptable attitude and dishonesty of the present Westminster system, and that which exercises the ongoing antagonism to Scotland’s aim is the knowledge that it is now approaching achievement.

John Hamilton