THE changing position of the Labour Party in Wales on independence as demonstrated in yesterday’s National illustrates a political reality that is Scotland’s position (Plaid Cymru leader holds up National front page during Assembly debate, July10). The final barrier to Scottish independence (and Wales’s) is not the Tories. In both countries it is the Labour party that holds the key. While we happily accommodate in our journey Scottish Tories who support Scottish independence, the actual Tory party is the Conservative and Unionist Party and will never be anything else.

READ MORE: Plaid Cymru leader holds up National front page in Welsh FMQs​

Unionism, however, is not an essential tenet of the Labour party. Social change, people’s rights, community progress, equality and other demands formed the Scottish Socialist Federation, the Labour party in Scotland and then the Independent Labour Party and those ambitions inexorably led to a desire for Home Rule and, in 1934, the foundation with other progressive elements of the Scottish National Party.

WATCH: Plaid Cymru leader quizzes Welsh FM over National front page

It is worth remembering the words of James Maxton ILP MP, who passed through Glasgow University as a contemporary of John Maclean.

“Give us our parliament in Scotland. We will start with no traditions. We will start with ideals. We will start with purpose, with courage. We will start with the aim and the object that there will be 134 men and women pledged to 134 Scottish constituencies, to spend their whole brain power, their whole courage and their whole soul in making Scotland into a country in which we can take people from all the nations of the earth and say: this is our land, this is our Scotland, these are our men, our works, our women and children: can you beat it?

Scotland will be independent when the Labour party (like the LibDems) ceases to exist as a significant political force in Scotland – which is probably the state it is actually in now, disguised by media distortion – or it understands and adopts the position it should be in on Scotland’s behalf. Our final battle will be Scotland v the Tories.

David McEwan Hill
Sandbank, Argyll

WHAT a change to see an article in the National which deals clearly and logically with the subject of currency. I do not agree with every aspect of Tim Rideout’s article (These are the ‘Seven Sensible Tests’ we should use to decide when to launch Scotland’s new currency, July 9), but I am delighted to see the debate on this important issue being addressed in this sensible way.

As the need for Scotland is becoming more evident with every day that passes, we must have a real sensible debate about currency, rather than the nonsense we have been getting, and Tim has helped to open up that rational debate.

Andy Anderson

REMEMBER that infamous “trailblazing experiment” when Mrs Thatcher used Scotland as a poll tax guinea pig? Which then turned out as the most hated levy of all! On Tuesday Scotland’s public health minister Joe FitzPatrick, speaking at Westminster’s Scottish Affairs Committee Affairs Committee, very eloquently argued that Holyrood should have control over drugs legislation in order to tackle Scotland’s drugs crisis. As indicated in Wednesday’s National (Urgent action demanded from Westminster on drugs, July 10) he would like to create a safe drugs consumption facility in Glasgow. He thinks the problem should be seen as a health issue and not a criminal one.

So how about it, Westminster? If you won’t devolve responsibility to Holyrood could you at least allow a trial experiment in Scotland?

And if successful, who knows, it could benefit the whole of the UK!

An experiment for potential good ... now there’s a novelty!

Robin MacLean
Fort Augustus

I HAVE been conscious of the world of politics for over 40 years, from those starry-eyed days when I looked up to those in the lofty world of prime ministers and presidents to a now more jaundiced view, that those who seek such power rarely deserve it.

For 40 years I have listened to the boasts of the wealth that we had and how we could solve all our problems if we just made some more. But now I look and see the problems that were there in the 1970s are still with us, in fact I think there is a very strong argument to be had that we are in a worse place now than we were in the 1970s.

So after these many years of giving capitalism its head, after Thatcher ran rife, then passed the baton to Major, that led to the lie of Blair and Brown, now that all the family silver and gold has been sold off for momentary monetary gratification, how do we find ourselves in the world that we do? Our housing stock is lacking and poorly built, so much so that much of it should be condemned as dangerous. Our health service is struggling as it must spend more and more providing profits for companies that charge us £80 to change a light bulb and £100 for a single pill. Our social security system regime starves and literally scares people to death. Even slavery is rising in this the 21st century!

So when you ask me why I want my country to be free, to be independent, to have the right of self-determination? All I can say is that I want to live in a country that the poorest and richest are held in the same regard, where the depth of your pockets does not alter the health care that you get, where when times are hard you will be safe and looked after, where we can all count on having a warm dry home, with some food on the table. I want to live in a country that rewards those who work hard and we all have that opportunity. Is this to much to hope for, is this not a country that will be a better place for our children and grandchildren? Does anybody really believe that another 40 years of Thatcherite living will make this country a better place?

Please have faith in Scotland, share in a dream, lets work together to make our beautiful country our land of dreams.

Neil Morison