IT always annoys me when British Unionists talk of this country when they mean Britain. Britain isn’t a country, it’s a state made of three and a bit countries, and when one analyses the British state in detail we can see that in every aspect it only reflects the largest country within it.

The name itself “Britain” comes from Britannia, the Roman term for England (and Wales) and not Scotland, which was then known as Caledonia.

If the current state was known as Greater Caledonia then only a fool would imagine that it represented England, so why should Scots believe “Great Britain” represents us?

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If one considers the flag of Britain, the Union flag, the symbolism is obvious. The St George’s Cross flag of England dominates in the centre, its cross is the thickest and both the flags for Ireland and Scotland are hidden behind it.

The “national anthem” God Save the Queen contains the lines: “and like a torrent rush, rebellious Scots to crush” while the Queen herself has taken the English name Elizabeth II. There was never an Elizabeth I of Britain, only of England.

Scots MPs are outvoted by a factor of 10:1 in the British parliament and for Wales it is even worse as they are outvoted by a factor of 20:1!

No wonder we almost never get the government we Scots vote for and are instead forced to put up with England electing Conservative governments.

Despite Scotland voting 62% Remain in the 2016 referendum, our views on this are completely ignored and instead we are going to be forced to leave the EU despite being told in the 2014 referendum that the only way to guarantee our EU membership was by voting No to independence.

Given all the above facts, it is no wonder that most Scots according to recent opinion polls now prefer the normal national powers of independence. I believe this option will win in any future referendum. The British Unionists in Scotland also worry that this is the case, which is why they are all desperately trying to avoid giving Scots voters that democratic opportunity.

The sensible option for Scots at this General Election is to vote for the Scottish National Party. If the SNP win another thumping majority and the Unionists are again reduced to single figures, perhaps they will eventually wake up to the fact that saying “you Scots can’t have another vote on independence no matter what you vote” isn’t a valid option within a supposed democracy.

Joe Middleton

THE future is in our hands. There is only one thing to be scared of on Friday the 13th. Forget horror films and superstition – the one thing that readers of this paper should really be afraid of is waking up and finding that our future has been decided by those of us who didn’t vote in the forthcoming General Election.

This is a real risk.

In order to vote, we need to register and we need to do so now. I understand we have until the November 25, but we should do it now unless we want others to decide our future.

I would ask everyone, irrespective of your political views, to register and to vote. Teachers and lecturers, ask your students; grannies, ask your families; neighbours and work colleagues, ask each other just one question: are you registered to vote?

Registration is straightforward. Just search or if you prefer simply phone your local council.

I remember that feeling of empowerment when I first voted.

We all have the right to decide our future from 18 to 80 and beyond. Let’s do it.

As a final thought for future elections, it’s worth noting for students, teachers and parents that voter registration is open to anyone aged 14 or over.

Bill Wilson

SOME time ago, writing in this paper, Lesley Riddoch warned of the dangers of effectively shutting off all options for Scottish voters to have their voice and votes acted on.

After repeated refusals by both Johnson and Corbyn to acknowledge that Scottish votes make mandates that matter, it’s time for a #MakeMultipleMandatesMatter campaign for democracy for Scotland.

110 years after the first suffragette went on hunger strike for democracy for women, do Scottish voters have to follow their example to demand parties adhere to the most basic tenet of democracy for Scotland?

English voters are being assured by parties their votes will be acted on in this election, but not Scottish voters. This is a fundamental inequality that should not be allowed to pass, and the longer it is by both politicians and media, the numbers asking “Well what the hell is left for us to do?” is only likely to grow.

You can read more and view the suffragette-themed headband I’ve already made as I ponder my path on Twitter @IndStateHapp.

Ariel Killick
via email