I TOO watched the Jeremy Vine Show when that ex-butler came out with his jaundiced and, not putting it too finely, ignorant views on the Scottish economy – “all there is, is oil and a lake monster”. That such a small statement could be so wrong in so many ways is really quite impressive.

I am pleased that the SNP has made a formal complaint. On hearing the fatuous comments aired on a “national” TV programme, I emailed the programme asking that views should be sought from people who actually knew something or even anything about the topic – Scottish independence and economy – rather than rely on the talents of an ex-butler.

For good measure, I also pointed out that the GDP per capita (a pretty good indicator of the wealth of a country) of Scotland is actually higher than that of the UK/England. I still await a response. I wonder why.

Iain Fleming

GREAT to see the SNP getting the gloves off. Wasn’t so long ago this Vile Vine-type rubbish would have been broadcast and not a word would have been said about the untrue drivel that was spouted to the masses. At last we’re fighting back.

If half the untruths were told about things we were buying in the shops, we could do them under the Trades Descriptions Act. Shame we can’t with some of the TV drivel.

Barrie S Gammie
via thenational.scot

THE High Court ruled that arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful but the government says it plans to keep fighting the rule in the courts – and, in the meantime, it is still working to secure more arms sales. In just two months’ time, the global arms trade will return to London to attend the world’s third-largest arms fair, selling the latest in war technology, from sniper rifles to missiles.

Government support makes it all happen, from inviting buyers like Saudi Arabia to attend, to paying the wages of military staff demonstrating arms company products. If government were to withdraw its support, it would be a crushing blow to the arms industry. The government has drastically cut support for vital public services, yet is always willing to support the arms trade through events like this, events that spark war, poverty and suffering for millions. Call on Liam Fox, the minister responsible for the Defence & Security Organisation that organises the arms fair, to look beyond arms trade profits to the devastating human impact of the equipment DSO promotes, and withdraw all UK support now.

While he’s feeling the heat from fellow MPs and the public after the verdict on Saudi arms sales, let’s remind him we should be stopping arms sales, not promoting more. Its time to cease this primitive and barbaric mindset and spend money on living human beings – not methods to kill and maim them.

B Mckenna

I LIVE happily in a Victorian tenement in the town of Rothesay. This style of architecture is not known south of the Tweed, although it is a common and established form of building in Scottish towns and cities. Visitors and new residents from south of Tweed and Solway are often puzzled by the block where we live. “What was it originally ?” they ask, clearly unable to grasp that we have our own styles of building and our own way of life.

Alas, the attitudes of those Southerners have rubbed off on some here in Scotland, and the tenement is looked down on as in some way an inferior form of housing. Those who feel that should visit the New Town of Edinburgh and look at the architecture there. Grandiose apartments in tenements.

Hamish Kirk

REALLY interesting piece on the internet giant Amazon in yesterday’s paper (Amazon turns 25 ... and it’s still growing, July 5). I used to be a big fan of Amazon until they switched from using Royal Mail to individual delivery drivers. Along with the amount of packaging they waste, they must now be one of the biggest polluters on the planet; not to mention their dubious working practices.

I don’t understand why individual nations like Scotland don’t have a public internet market place. All Scottish companies and producers could then utilise this to sell their goods online (just as they currently do on Amazon) whilst maintaining, if they want to, a high-street presence. Along with an integrated public postal and transport system, goods could then be dispatched, transported and delivered quickly around the country direct to the doorstep, and indeed farther afield.

One of the saddest things about the current geo-political situation is that at no time in history has the thought been so far removed from the reality, and the possibilities for positive meaningful change, such as the aforementioned idea of a public internet market place, seemed so remote.

Solomon Steinbett