WITH or without Brexit, surely the case for independence has been made?

As reports hit the media from the Westminster Government’s leaked “Operation Yellowhammer” documents predicting reasonable worst-case scenarios” (RWCS) for Brexit, it made grim reading whatever your Brexit beliefs.

These official government papers confirmed a No-Deal Brexit would lead to “severe extended delays to medicine supplies and shortages of some fresh foods”. Price rises would be inevitable, and yet again the most vulnerable in our society would be at greatest risk.

In parallel with the Yellowhammer leaks were the reports of Labour, Tory rebels, the SNP and others agreeing on the need to stop No-Deal Brexit, but here too the reporting was grim. No common strategy has as yet been found.

It is difficult to read these reports and not feel a growing sense of alarm and apprehension. The feeling of helplessness is distressing, and nothing Johnson et al say about their desire for a deal, having set the impossible backstop red line from the off, brings comfort or reassurance.

If Johnson blinks – and given the RWCS leaks, how can he not? – the imminent, catastrophic failure of our economy might be averted, but Brexit in all it forms brings loss. Given the monies already plundered from the economy to fund this madness and the damage to the reputation of the UK, even revocation of Article 50 cannot restore the status quo.

But, what about the next time? What about the rise of the Tory right and their targets in the future? What deals will be cut behind closed doors with an aggressive America First regime? Do we just wait and see?

Surely people living in Scotland have learned something from this nightmare debacle. Surely it has become more than evident that leaving our fate in the hands of another country with different political aspirations is folly. Surely, Brexit or no Brexit, the case has been made.

Surely it must be time to go.

I Easton

CAN someone tell me what part of Operation Yellowhammer was on the ballot paper when I voted Remain in the EU referendum? Michael Gove said it’s an out-of-date document. It was drawn up this month.

David Ritchie
North Ayrshire

AS Boris Johnson’s Brexit No-Deal flounders, in his new post-imperial Britain, a glowing review of the factual play The Secret River at this year’s Edinburgh International Festival – “colonisation of Australia by Britain led to violent massacres and large-scale displacement of First Nation people from their land” – took me back to 1950, when many pink parts on my world atlas were highlighted!

At school I was taught that our benign empire was driven by exploration, science, commerce and good faith, exemplified by the heroic exploits of Christian explorers like David Livingstone, whose motto was “Christianity, commerce and civilisation”. At which time I became a proud and arrogant British empire loyalist!

Indeed the 19th century can rightly be called Britain’s imperial century, when a quarter of the Earth’s land surface and a fifth of the world’s population was subject to British rule – “an empire on which the sun never set”.

However, nothing was said of Indian massacres, the first ever concentration camps in South Africa, exploitation and enslavement of peoples in North America, Africa, Australia etc.

The fact is that the British empire was no better than any other empire where the illegal and immoral acquisition and rape of other people’s lands were made.

In the 21st century my vision of an independent Scotland is for an open, fair and tolerant society where the people who live and work here chart its destiny and build a land where the smiles of the young and of the old mark its progress and prosperity.

Grant Frazer

THE proposal from a so-called “independent” think tank Centre for Social Justice to raise the pension age to 70 and then 75 is appalling. It is only possible to find this idea acceptable if you are one of those for whom the state pension is a nice little extra on top of what you’ve got, and for whom work is not dependent on physical wellbeing.

The think tank was co-founded by Iain Duncan Smith, an independently wealthy Tory MP who stays in a 13-bedroom house on father-in-law’s estate. Responsible for the bedroom tax, trying to force ill and disabled people to work for benefits, breaches of UK and international law in terms of legislative proposals, including retrospective legislation on benefits.

Another co-founder, Tim Montgomerie, is a former editor of Conservative Home who has been described as the “most influential current Tory thinker”.

I think the proposal should be field tested. All members of the Centre for Social Justice should be given the opportunity presented by working hard at a job requiring physical good health, and rewarded by generally low wages. Examples could be nursing and personal care, the building trades, agricultural labour. They should not be able to access their other sources of income. They should do this from now to 2028 –the first date of their new proposed pension age. They should then be asked if they would like to carry on enjoying the benefits of continued employment of this nature for a further six years to 2034. They would be allowed to withdraw their proposal at any time.

Anyone of them who falls ill, suffers joint or muscle pains, heart failure, etc, should be referred for DWP assessment, which seems to miraculously return even those dying to employability. They would quickly be restored to full quality of life by the mentally and physically invigorating effects of returning and working on into your late sixties - and even seventies.

I provide this thought free of charge – the CSJ budget is £1.6 million annually with a staff of 14. Throwing money at something doesn’t always provide the best solution.

J David Robb