LABOUR MP Paul Sweeney’s suggestion that “Scotland has benefited and continues to benefit” and “has a net benefit of £10 billion of a fiscal transfer” from the UK is ludicrous and insulting (Labour MP claims Scotland propped up by London cash, May 9).

Looking at Scotland’s contribution in oil and gas alone, Scots decided to remain in the UK and share that huge resource with the rest of the UK. That doesn’t mean it isn’t Scotland’s resource and the revenue is not taken from Scotland to benefit the UK.

The potential which Scotland has given up in deciding to share these resources with the rest of the UK can be seen by the Norway example. It recovered slightly less oil than the UK and has accumulated a sovereign wealth fund of £700 billion as well as having a very strong general economy. Unfortunately the oil industry was dealt with incompetently by UK governments starting with it being privatised by a government Scotland didn’t even vote for. While the Norwegian Government recovered revenue of $29.9 per barrel of oil equivalent,

the UK recovered only $11. Despite this, according to the most recent 2017-18 GERS statistics the GDP per person for Scotland in 2018 (including a geographical share of North Sea revenues) is higher than the UK GDP per person.

Not content with taking our resources, Scotland is never given due recognition of this huge contribution to the UK. Instead our self-respect is repeatedly undermined. This relentless myth that Scotland is dependent on the rest of the UK has made many Scots lose confidence, instilling a belief that we are dependent, incompetent even. That an MP, who is meant to represent his Scottish constituents and do his best for them, is repeating this myth and effectively doing down his own constituents is shameful.

Jim Stamper

YOU do really wonder where Labour manage to find their candidates, especially when you hear the latest nonsense from Paul Sweeney MP. He really hasn’t got a clue about where the UK’s funding comes from.

Does he really believe that because all of the UK’s resources flow into the UK Treasury, this makes London the richest part of the UK? Doesn’t he realise that if Glasgow, Cardiff or even Springburn in his constituency was to host the UK Treasury then according to UK accounts these places would be classed as the richest “regions” in the UK? If London is so rich, why are we in Scotland paying for a new high-speed rail link which will never reach us? Why are we paying for London’s CrossRail and a multitude of other capital projects?

Scotland is an extremely wealthy country – not just oil and gas rigs (how many does rich London have?) but also our exports in everything from whisky to satellite technology. Scotland could easily survive on its own if we weren’t lumbered by the failed financial projects from London (PFI anyone?) never mind paying “our” share of capital projects which will never benefit Scotland.

It’s time we stopped giving away our oil wealth – and every other resource – to a broken and fractured United Kingdom hell bent on the economic and social suicide of Brexit. We could use our wealth to provide better jobs, better pensions and better benefits. We could live in a country where no-one would have to turn to a food bank to feed their family. Scotland deserves better than we could ever get from being part of the UK. Let’s ditch the tired and failed politics of talking down Scotland from inconsequential Labour MPs and their ilk. Let’s keep campaigning to win Scotland’s independence.

Cllr Kenny MacLaren

AS a mere mortal, I was sorry there was no celebratory photograph of Prince Archie and family in The National! Gladness should be celebrated where gladness is due.

It is true that our Queen is descended from Hanoverian George I: but she is also descended from Mary, Queen of Scots. Mary, who consistently refused to persecute her people, consistently maintained that people should worship “according to their conscience”. She was also, alas, consistently betrayed by many in Scotland who were in English pay, including her own brother and John Knox. She out-manoeuvred her enemies to save her unborn child’s life, and even to the end consistently forgave her enemies, that very difficult requirement asked of us by Christ. She is surely a brave and worthy ancestor to have had, and she is also the crucial Stewart reason that our Queen is on the throne.

Indignation is fine, but we cannot win our next independence referendum on resentment alone. However, there is good reason for hope. There is so much good to build upon and so much to be glad about in our culture, in our history, and not least in some of the achievements of our Parliament at Holyrood. The National does rightly bear witness to all this. Thank you.

Lesley J Findlay
Fort Augustus

CONGRATULATIONS to The National on your coverage of the arrival of another royal sprog. Your level of reportage was exactly equivalent to my interest level of this event.

Kenny Burnett
Dyce, Aberdeen