ON a weekend where thousands called for peace in the Middle East and far more sombrely remembered our fallen, I became astounded at the lack of outrage against a certain warmongering aggressor.

A nuclear-armed aggressor, indiscriminately firing missiles at densely populated areas of a helpless neighbour. An aggressor that has killed an unfathomable number of innocent civilians, whose only crime was to have been born in the wrong nation. An aggressor guilty of an endless list of human rights abuses, that is completely tone-deaf to the condemnation of the international community. Surely the anti-war activists should furiously demonstrating their opposition to this aggressor.

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Oh, I am not talking about a Middle-Eastern aggressor. I am of course talking about Russia’s abhorrent actions in Ukraine.

We all seem to have forgotten about that, the single biggest geopolitical event of the decade and one with greater implications for Scotland, Europe and Nato. It is about time we dropped our complacency. Anti-war activists, human rights campaigners, Ukraine needs your shows of solidarity. It is time we turned our focus back towards what is happening on our own continent.

Tim Jones
Wrexham, Wales

ROZ Foyer’s article “King’s Speech proved how badly we need an election” (Nov 11) makes sense until she says: “It’s utterly irrelevant whether you’re a supporter of the current Scottish Government or not. What is important is the ability for it to make decisions that benefit the people of Scotland within the devolved legislative framework.”

She does not seem to understand that “whether you’re a supporter of the current Scottish Government or not” really is irrelevant because whether or not you are a supporter of any of the three London-based parties that sit in opposition to the Scottish Government in Holyrood, they decide what powers are devolved by Westminster to Holyrood.

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My understanding is that all of the Westminster-based parties in Holyrood are satisfied with the outcome of the Smith Commission – that it is in the best interests of the Scottish people for employment law to remain a matter reserved to Westminster.

Consequently, decisions on minimum service levels in Scotland will be made by a UK Government minister completely within the power of the UK Government in accordance with the Westminster Parliament’s devolved legislative framework that was revised to reflect the outcome of the inter-party and government negotiations of the Smith Commission.

Devolution is a dead end – only independence can deliver the power to Holyrood to decide what is best for the people of Scotland.

John Jamieson
South Queensferry

IN his excellent piece about Tom Nairn, Fintan O’Toole describes how the great man challenged “what had appeared to be a natural binary – nationalism versus internationalism” (Qualities that made Nairn one of our greatest thinkers, Nov 11).

He may not know (many do not, though all should) that my great-great-uncle, RB Cunninghame Graham, pioneer of British socialism and Scottish nationalism, took an entirely non-binary approach to the question of self-determination. This was true in the cases both of Ireland at the turn of the 20th century, when he sat as a Liberal MP, and of Scotland in the late 1920s, when he presided over the formation of the National Party of Scotland and later, in 1934, as honorary president of the newly fledged Scottish National Party.

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Graham had travelled extensively in South America as a young man. His experiences there, and later in many other parts of the world, left him convinced that nationalism and internationalism went hand-in-hand, the one a necessary step towards the other. It was present in his thinking when he co-founded the Scottish Labour Party with Keir Hardie in 1888, and remained present throughout his life.

“Nationalism,” he wrote in the 1920s, “is the first step to the international goal which every thinking man and woman must place before their eyes. But without nationalism we cannot have true internationalism.”

As a nationalist, Graham was forward- and outward-looking – in modern parlance, a “civic nationalist”. Self-government was the only way for Scotland to achieve her full potential, he maintained. As an internationalist he recoiled from what he saw as pointless and unnecessary conflicts, and believed in the human need to inter-depend, to connect across boundaries and barriers. Brexit, to Graham, would have been incomprehensible.

It would be interesting to know to what extent Tom Nairn was aware of my great-great-uncle and his political vision. They would have had much to say to one another.

James Jauncey
Author of Don Roberto: the Adventure of Being Cunninghame Graham