THERE are lies, damn lies and then statements from Tory Cabinet ministers.

Oh if only we had news-gatherers with investigative tendencies, instead we have complicit ones, meek ones and ones in the words of Burns that are nothing more than “Wee, sleekit, cowran, tim’rous beasties”.

Patel lied about the UK beating the curve, Hancock lied on track and trace, Raab lied about how the UK is viewed by the world and Johnson has lied at almost every turn. Still we should be grateful as we are getting the old passport back!

The oven-ready deal done over an afternoon cup of tea seems a lifetime ago. I did mention that the vote to leave the EU may well hasten the end of our Union with England and that trying to negotiate an exit whilst keeping Scotland on side might prove something out with the capabilities of the UK Government. But nowhere in my wildest dreams did I foresee the Johnson administration and the great calamity that is his government.

Yes I know his shortcomings have been magnified by the pandemic and I genuinely feel for all those that have had their lives affected by his administrations bungling attempts at containing the virus. It is incredibly difficult not to politicise the disaster of the response as attempted by Johnson, Cummings, Patel, Hancock et al and when the history of the pandemic gets written up that Cabinet sitting in the bunker complex of Downing Street will be dammed, both by their actions and by their inactions.

The Johnson administration is without doubt the single-worst government in anyone’s living memory. He so desperately wants to be remembered in the pantheon of great leaders.

The lie on the amount of wagons snarled up in Kent was just that, a lie, and was the mannerism of a petulant child that has been caught out and is desperately trying to make things seem less calamitous than they are. He, his Cabinet and their advisors obviously do not care what lies they tell, nor do they have a care who they tell them to. Which actually bodes well for our independence campaign as there can be very few voters here in Scotland that trust him or anyone of his ilk. As we gather ourselves for the propaganda storm that is heading our way we can rest assured that the London-based parties will attempt to undermine Scotland, her institutions and her leadership so as they do so let us meet fire with fire.

We are more than capable of defeating the establishment other countries have so let us take heart from that. I am thinking that by the time May comes around Johnson will be so distracted by everything else he will revert back to kind and be highly insulting trying to marginalise we that live north of the Rio Tweed and that he will pay for.

Cliff Purvis
Veterans For Scottish Independence 2.0

DURING Thatcher’s regime the oft spouted response to any mention of Scottish emancipation was “the Scottish people receive a greater, per capita, spend than the people south of the border”. When asked “How much, per capita do the people of Scotland contribute to the Exchequer?” the response was “Those figures are not available”. Not to worry, though, the Tories had a catchphrase to parrot!

The truth, of course, is summed up by these two sentences from the Business for Scotland website: “Where does Scotland’s wealth go?”. It says: “Put simply, when the UK runs a surplus Scotland contributes more to the surplus, and when the UK runs a deficit Scotland has to pay more of the debt back than it is responsible for. It’s a ‘lose/lose’ situation for Scottish taxpayers and especially for those in need of support from the state.”

Each and every Unionist politician knows the truth of this! Without the river of revenue from Scotland the Westminster Exchequer would, and will, be in far greater and more serious fiscal difficulty. They know this but they daren’t say it!

And so, we have yet another Westminster party leader telling us things like “And just as in 1997, we will make devolution a reality under the next Labour government” in his efforts to keep the river flowing, particularly because the cost of Covid will take many years to reconcile.

My only question is; how many more layers of bovine excrement do these Unionists think they can spread before Jock Tamson and his bairns tell them “enough”, because they can’t take the smell, any longer, and “independence” is their preferred perfume?

Ned Larkin

BRITISH Unionists look at Boris Johnson’s picture then say: it’s hard to think anything other than how can I not have love and trust for this man. Brexit for them will be a messianic deliverance.

Boris Johnson represents a capitalist system that wants to put all the money in the hands of the 1%. These are the people who in the 19th century opposed the 12-hour work day. Who opposed the 10-hour work day. While today still oppose the 8-hour work day.

The job of the capitalist boss is to pay their workers as little as possible. All to ensure profits for themselves. This is why capitalism produces not prosperity but poverty.

The Tory masters don’t just want to make a profit. They want the highest possible profit at the highest possible rate of return. Profit is the only aim. Tory donors make this clear. The sole purpose of the business owner is capital accumulation.

Their desire for profit is so pathological they choke the planet with plastic pollution and warm it up which could lead to the extinction of the human race.

The Tories latest wheeze to brainwash the masses is to weaponise fake news. This was revealed in an internal document to party members. It

proposes bombarding opponents with so many bogus points they can’t respond to each one.

It also recommends undermining the work of experts in a Trumpian fashion. As reality contradicts Tory propaganda so the Tories must wage war on reality.

Alan Hinnrichs

A THOUGHT has occurred to me concerning Scotland’s independence. There is one ingrained part of Scotland that Westminster cannot touch and these are Scotland’s laws which are definitely not devolved. They have

been around for centuries and maybe outdate the Magna Carta, which was a general appreciation of conduct for England alone.

Wikipedia says: “Scots law recognises four sources of law: legislation, legal precedent, specific academic writings and custom. Legislation affecting Scotland may be passed by the Scottish Parliament, the United Kingdom Parliament and the European Union. Some legislation passed by the pre-1707 Parliament of Scotland is still also valid.”

This being the case, is it not beyond the capability of Holyrood to pass some form of legislation that can give it some protection from Westminster’s union vandalism?

We must have legal precedents and certainly customs, some of which were attempted to destroy by the government of the second King George after Culloden. All that happened then was it was all driven underground.

I’m not an expert on Scottish law or its history except what I understand in general. But I do know there are some well-informed National contributors who could provide any relevant information and perhaps a reasoned debate.

Alan Magnus-Bennett

THE comparatively positive perception of the SNP and FM in comparison with the alternatives together with the 17 polls showing support for independence may lead us into a dangerous level of complacency if we are not careful.

While the Government has to lead the charge against Covid as their first priority, with only five months till the Holyrood election we need to get the campaign rolling very soon as there is still work to do to achieve the resounding victory required to show unequivocal support for indyref2 ... a simple majority of seats will not be enough.

We must remember that the polls most often quoted remove the “don’t knows” from the calculations and as we have found in numerous elections many of these voters are simply embarrassed to reveal their true intent.

Labour’s rediscovery of federalism whether real or as likely a spoiling tactic will attract soft Yes and soft No voters so we must take this probability seriously and address it.

The restrictions we face until after Easter will limit the scope for campaigning so we cannot afford to lose time. The sniping and internal conflict must be parked. Its time to realise whose side we are on and get to work.

Gus McSkimming

IN the middle of Michael Fry’s column on independence finances for some reason he diverts into an attack on the FM’s handling of the pandemic. He writes “She has not achieved a lower rate of infection and mortality than in England, but a rate that is almost the same, or even perhaps slightly worse, according to some ... our pandemic is not noticeably better than the one in England.”

These statements are factually incorrect. The relevant statistics are easily accessible. From the start of the pandemic to Monday, Scotland had recorded 20,693 infections and 784 deaths within 28 days of a positive test per million of the population. By the same measure England had recorded 31,493 infections and 1048 deaths per million. So, relative to England, Scotland has seen 34% fewer infections and 25% fewer deaths. I think an apology from Michael would be in order.

David Simpson

SO Keir Starmer announces a new Constitutional Commission that “will make the positive case for the UK”. He will look at its conclusions without preconceptions. He then goes on to list his preconceptions while stoking up Project Fear (Mk2).

Which currency will we use? Pensions? Jobs? Taxes? Social security? Defence? Pressing the same buttons used by Project Fear Mk1 during the run-up to the independence debate, 2014, shows just how far behind the debate he is. Does he not even realise that siding with the Tories in Scotland is never a good image?

The fact is he is a Westminster politician whose only interest in Scottish politics is to appeal to the former Labour voters in Scotland who now vote SNP/Yes to come back to the party because he knows there won’t ever be a Westminster Labour government without the votes of the Scottish Labour canon fodder.

Is he that cynical? As I said, he’s a Westminster politician.

Iain McClafferty

SIR Keir Starmer’s plan to deliver “boldest devolution project in a generation”, in an attempt to save the union! Establishing a UK-wide constitutional commission to be

advised by Gordon Brown, tasked to deliver a fresh and tangible offer to the Scottish people.

If this is the same Gordon Brown who offered the Scottish people the Vow in 2014, Sir Keir’s plan’s may not be getting off to a positive start!

Catriona C Clark