MICHAEL Russell, as ever, hit the nail on the head when describing Alister Jack as the Secretary of State against Scotland.

Seldom, in modern times, have we witnessed such an obsequious and detached faux representative of the Scottish people in Westminster. He almost makes his spineless predecessor, David Mundell, look credible by comparison. Almost.

The MP for Dumfries and Galloway, though little known by the public and even by many at Westminster on his appointment, has demonstrated time and again that he, like his predecessor, will make the preservation of the Conservative party his overwhelming priority whilst in office at the expense of the wishes or aspirations of Scotland.

Mr Jack has the appearance of a 1930s laird in attitude and opinions. He could almost be a caricature of a wealthy Tory landowner in Scotland: strongly in favour of archaic and morally repugnant pursuits such as fox hunting and unquestioningly loyal to Westminster. In short, a Scottish viceroy who unquestioningly obeys policy decisions from London regardless of content or moral dubiety.

Mr Russell reminds us that “Union Jack” is a member of the Queen’s Royal Company of Archers, an organisation that reeks of entitlement, does not allow women to join and is an embodiment of the servile role Scotland is supposed to adopt in the Union.

I’m certain Mr Jack and his masters in London will be able to comfortably survive what he describes as the “bumps” of Brexit but the majority of the country, sadly, do not have vast amounts of capital to fall back on when the inevitable happens and the Scottish economy takes the mother of all hits.

The fact Northern Ireland can now enjoy remaining in the single market yet Scotland cannot will not feature anywhere on his politically limited and intellectually challenged radar.

Our Secretary of State is an apparatchik. His task is to carry out the bidding of Mr Johnson without question. In the months ahead, this will entail an attempt to browbeat those of us not of a Unionist mindset into swallowing the “precious Union” fantasy by altering titles, creating expensive Government hubs and lying a great deal to the Scottish public. I sincerely hope that Michael Russell is correct in believing that Alister Jack will enter the history books as the last ever Secretary of State for Scotland.

Owen Kelly


IN December 1921, the Anglo/Irish treaty was signed and the Irish Free State was created. But as with all dealings with the devious British government, it did not mean freedom. Many Irish people were not happy with the deal, especially the IRA, and sadly this led to the tragic civil war of 1922/23. Complete independence was not achieved until 28 years later, in April 1949.

This is a compelling history lesson for Scotland. When we democratically vote for independence by whatever route, our elected representatives must accept only complete independence during negotiations with Westminster.

No fudges, halfway houses or compromises. Too often we have witnessed wars for independence in former colonies; the atrocities committed by British troops against freedom fighters; the delays in granting independence to allow maximum asset stripping. None of this should be allowed to happen.

Please make 2021 Scotland’s year everyone. I have faith in you.

Richard Walthew


KINDNESS is not about how you treat yourself but how you treat others. Hopefully, most people would be pleased to be thought of as being kind characters, individuals who are kind not only to her or himself but to others.

Similarly, most would be delighted to live in a kind community where everyone looks out not only for others in their neighbourhood but support and co-operate with other communities in the nation.

But what about a kind country? British bombs have been killing people in Yemen for the past six years, all adding to British profits; the British Government happily co-operates with the most despotic regimes in our world; and when human rights are discussed the words frequently drip with insincerity. If an independent Scotland is not going to be a kind country, the attraction of independence surely diminishes. Let’s campaign for a kind country which will incorporate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights into its constitution so that we can live in the best wee country in the world!

Alex Hamilton


LEWIS Hamilton, a seven-time Formula 1 champion, was made a knight in the New Year Honours list. Many may consider this to be wrong since he has been living in tax havens for 13 years and paid next to nothing in British taxes.

Others may point out that he has contributed to various charities, but this was out of money he gained by not paying UK taxes. So in effect it was British taxpayers who funded these charities. I am certain the Scottish Government would not have made this mistake.

Clark Cross