THERE needs now to be a terminology reboot set up when referring to Westminster and government.

When Boris Johnson addresses “the nation” on Covid, he is actually referring to England and its devolved responsibilities there.

The same, too, when Sir Keir Starmer is termed “leader of the opposition”. Sir Keir has one MP from Scotland, so he is hardly placed to speak for Scotland, so we must downgrade him to an English MP who speaks in the Commons on behalf of the English. The true opposition at Westminster for

Scots is the SNP. In fact, perhaps we should downgrade Boris Johnson and rename him simply as an English MP. He is out of touch with matters in England – that is a problem to be solved by his voters there – and on Scotland he is clueless!

When Boris Johnson addresses “the nation” on Covid, it should be underscored as being for English viewers only. On the day that Nicola Sturgeon addressed Scotland in Holyrood on Covid – January 4 – English MP Johnson rushed to prepare to talk to the nation later on the same day in the evening.

He has nothing to say to us.

John Edgar


ONCE again DRoss is complaining about the First Minister, saying her focus should only be on Covid – conveniently forgetting his focus has too often been on his footballing activities, missing

recent important votes in parliament.

He says on radio, when asked about his assistant refereeing, that others have outside interests like hillwalking (obviously remembering the three amigos who went hillwalking during lockdown). He conveniently forgets hobbies, and even hillwalking, can be cancelled at very short notice – that is harder to do when an emergency arises and you are in Barcelona with your footballing activities.

And most conveniently of all, he forgets that Brexit has gone on through all of the Covid pandemic.

Winifred McCartney


WELL, we now know the “terms and conditions” of our enforced departure from the EU and already negative consequences are beginning to show themselves – and doubtless more will follow.

We will have the opportunity in May to give voice to our concerns and feelings through the ballot box and we must use that opportunity to elect the most pro-independence Scottish Parliament possible, leaving a Unionist rump of various descriptions with their tails firmly between their legs. Thereafter we must rise as an unstoppable tide to ensure that democracy prevails and that a referendum is held and won and that we move forwards towards independence as soon as is possible.

Opinion polls might presently suggest that at a UK General Election in 2024 the SNP might win 57 out of 59 Scottish seats, but that is not an election that I want to be taking part in. I prefer to look forwards instead to the next European Parliament elections that Scotland might participate in.

Once travel is again possible in Europe, I will take no pleasure in using a British passport, regardless of whether it is red or blue, and will hope to be soon travelling using a Scottish passport. And I really won’t be caring what colour it is!

Andrew Parrott


AGREEMENT given by various authorities two months ago no longer holds water in today’s circumstances. Only weeks before Christmas we had our freedom to move around restored for five days over the Christmas break – two weeks later it was rescinded and replaced with one day only. Lots of people were put out because of it.

I am sure that Celtic, after hearing about the new strain of Covid-19 and its danger, could have anticipated in mid-December that lockdown was imminent – everyone else did – and negotiated an out with their hosts in Dubai. It may have cost them a bob or two but, then again, they are not exactly poor.

This feeds on nicely to the interview with Stewart Gilmour (“Gilmour left furious by Dubai ‘jolly’”, The National, January 5). St Mirren have already suffered punishment under Covid regulations this season when they were forced to isolate all three of their goalkeepers in early September for home games against Hibs and Celtic, as well as the away game against Dundee United. This enforced order to play was in contravention of UEFA regulations that allowed matches to be postponed if the team had no recourse to a registered goalkeeper under Covid regulations. Hearts graciously, two hours before kickoff, offered St Mirren their third string goalkeeper who had not played nor been in training since February. St Mirren lost all three games 0-3, 1-2 and 1-2. The score in the first of these not only highlighted the stand-in’s rustiness but also a crass refereeing decision with score at 0-2 when a Hibs defender used both arms in the penalty area to block a ball and no penalty was awarded.

In the second game St Mirren unexpectedly took an early lead and held on to it like grim death until Celtic’s Dunn headed in the equaliser before Forrest completed the scoring. I mention this because, had the match been played when it was originally scheduled, Dunn and three other Celtic players would not have been eligible to play. Covid regulations had the whole Celtic squad in isolation at that time. No points deduction their or forcing their reserves onto the field.

Same for Aberdeen – eight of their players flouting the rules, yet, from a pool of over 25 first team players, no enforced fielding of a weakened team or points awarded to St Johnstone and others.

By all means, fine St Mirren and Kilmarnock as was done for the bigger teams and let them play their postponed matches, but do not award games to other teams. It’s not fair or sporting.

Ernie Wastell

Meigle, Blairgowrie