YOU report (August 5) that Tory Westminster candidate Ryan Henson has complained that Scotland is “fleecing” English taxpayers. He now claims that his remarks – in 2014 – were an attempt at satire, but they clearly represent his views and those of many other Tories.

READ MORE: Scotland ‘fleecing’ English Tory taxpayers, says aspiring Tory MP

What these blinkered, biased people conveniently ignore are all the examples of English taxpayers fleecing Scotland. Scottish taxpayers are helping to pay the enormous – and growing – cost of the delayed and grossly over-budget London crossrail project that will have no benefit for Scotland or Scots. Taxpayers in Scotland are also helping to pay the huge cost of HS2, which will benefit Scotland and Scots hardly at all. Despite most Scots being opposed to nuclear weapons in general and renewal of Trident in particular, Scottish taxpayers – without being asked – are helping to pay the huge cost.

All the time we have people in Scotland depending on food banks – what a disgrace.

Many people imagined that the myth of Scotland subsidising the rest of the UK had been put to rest some time ago, but with people like Ryan Henson around, it seems the myth is alive and well.

Peter Swain

RECENTLY, I read an article about white supremacists being energised and legitimised by Trump and his 2020 campaign rhetoric. The author asserted that the online troll culture allowed popular rants from such groups to circulate widely disguised as edgy “humour”. Humour! Sound familiar?

While not suggesting for one moment that the 2014 “satirical” online piece penned by Tory candidate Ryan Henson about Scots rises to the terrible level of white supremacist hate speak, it undoubtedly mirrors some of its characteristics. The demonisation of a people, the scrounger rhetoric, lazy, “marauding tribe”, the dismissive response to the offence caused. Add in the “verminous” Scots from Johnson’s former editorial career and there is a recognisable shared narrative.

The independence tide has turned against the Unionist camp. Having destroyed its own core arguments from the 2014 campaign and with no coherent, positive justification for continuing in this Union, it is likely that the No campaign will become increasingly personal.

Indyref2 has the potential to become a much more fraught and nastier campaign than 2014. We therefore cannot afford to legitimise and dismiss those who have express such anti-Scots views. We must continue to call out this rhetoric for what it is.

We must challenge if those who hold such opinions could ever be fit to hold sway over the Scottish people.

I Easton

IT is now six months since Juan Guaido announced his plan to oust the democratically elected President of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro. And it is clear his coup attempt, orchestrated by US President Donald Trump and backed by the EU, has failed.

It failed because the Venezuelan people did not accept that Washington, using brutal economic sanctions, should impose “leaders” upon them who would readily dismiss their right to self-determination.

Those Venezuelans who remained and defended the gains of their Bolivarian revolution are surely to be admired for their courage and steadfast determination in the face of such brutal economic and social privations as well as military threat.

Venezuela today poses a stark choice facing the world: do we support the rights of nations to self-determination or must imperial might and greed prevail?

Scottish Socialist Party International Secretary Bill Bonnar will travel to Caracas this month (August 18-23) to make clear our support for the first proposition.

He will see for himself the conditions ordinary Venezuelans endure in that threatened nation. And he will meet representatives of the Venezuelan Government, their United Socialist Party and other community leaders.

Upon his return the SSP will host meetings in Edinburgh, Glasgow and elsewhere to hear his first-hand account of the economic, social and political conditions prevailing in that proud Latin American country. Full details of those meetings will be announced in due course.

Colin Fox
SSP joint national spokesperson

GOT my mail shot for the upcoming council by-election in Aberdeen. Some no-mark Conservative prospective still perpetuating the myth that she’s not a nasty Tory but actually part of the even less effective Ruth Davidson party.

Why are they so embarrassed to go under the flag of something they so obviously believe in? The word deceitful comes to mind!

Steve Cunningham