I WAS thoroughly unconvinced by Daniel Harris’s opinions regarding Scotland’s likelihood of being turned down for membership of the EU due to Spain’s worries about Catalonia (Letters, February 18). Can’t the Unionists think of anything new? Opinions supported by such flaccid arguments like: “As someone who lives in the real world, I can tell him that neither Scotland nor Catalonia will be granted membership of the EU, if they gain independence.” Or the blockbuster sweeps all arguments aside: “Trust me.”

First, Catalonia and Scotland are in two very different places.

The number one difference is that Scotland is recognised as a country within a voluntary UK Union. The centralised UK state has already acknowledged that Scotland has the right to choose whether to remain in the Union or not (2014 indyref vote). Currently, the party in power at Westminster is resisting the Scots’ right to exercise this choice again by claiming the Scots have “volunteered” to defer another vote for a generation. (Yes, that is the Tories’ cunning ploy!)

This “generation” excuse is schoolboy logic nonsense, which only survives because of a compliant media and “collusion” within a primitive Westminster structure that still operates on colonial principles.

A robust media would have immediately rubbished the idea that a figure of speech, extracted from campaign materials, is a binding commitment. It’s simply another example of the colonial “except Scotland” rule. Every UK politician can use the “once in generation” rallying call with no contractual commitment attached to it, except those in Scotland. Yeah, right!

Most importantly, the Spanish Government has not conceded that Catalonia has a means or the right to test whether it wants to stay a part of Spain, or part of a Spanish federal structure. Catalonia is on a different journey, one that begins with a very different set of pre-conditions. The territory already enjoys almost full self-government, and the most recent talks are exploring a firmed-up federal option. (Not just vows – actual talks!)

READ MORE: Michael Fry: Why Catalonia might be more welcome in the EU than Scotland

But here’s a thought. None of this matters because Daniel presupposes that both Catalonia and [Spain] Scotland have become independent before they apply to join the EU. If Spain has reached the point where, even if they don’t like it, Catalonia is independent and is recognised as such by the UN, why would Spain want to make it hard to maintain its historic links with the territory or seek to have Catalonia outside of the EU? Can I suggest the option to maintain open borders, through supporting Catalonia’s re-joining of the EU, would outweigh any “huff” factor. In these circumstances, I think Spain would opt for the pragmatic and diplomatic solution. (Not everyone operates like the UK, resorting to threats, lies and bullying!)

Alistair Potter

via email

ON Wednesday evening I was watching Debate Night on the BBC Scotland channel. It is not often that I find myself agreeing with Willie Rennie but on this occasion he brought up a subject which I feel needs addressing urgently.

I am referring to the fact that the Scottish police are not being given priority for the Covid vaccination. I believe that a petition was organised and signed by serving members of the police force requesting that they be given the same consideration as other key workers who are getting the vaccination. It is my understanding that social workers have been told to work from home via telephone, etc, but they are entitled to have the vaccine even though they are not meeting face-to-face with their clientele. The police have been told by the SNP Government that, despite their petition, they are not entitled to receive the vaccine.

The police are going into situations where they have to break up parties, go into houses where it is not clear if there are people who have been infected with Covid. They are being spat on and told by the offender “I have Covid”. Sometimes during an arrest it may take several officers to overpower an offender (especially if they are on drugs), which all leads to close contact. Try social distancing in an instance like that.

READ MORE: Covid update Scotland: Nearly 60 people caught at party in Glasgow venue

I understand that morale is quite low in the organisation just now and many of the officers feel unappreciated in that they are asked to be on the frontline but yet the Scottish Government is not acknowledging their commitment and dedication to their jobs. I should point out that this will lead to a great deal of dissatisfaction, indeed it probably already does, with the present SNP administration and also the feeling that they are not valued.

As we come closer to the May elections we need every vote for the SNP and to show how serious we are about independence. It seems stupid to me to alienate a large proportion of our very hard-working police.

Trudi Gordon


ANENT alert readers noting the obligatory, ney, mandaTory background Union flag on a pole in the hoose. The BNP had a slogan: “There ain’t no black in the Union Jack.” We can all take comfort in new slogan: “There ain’t no blue on the Union noo.”

Donald Anderson