THANKS, Alyn Smith for your piece in The National this week (If you make Scotland your home, you’re one of us, November 20). I have made Scotland my home since 1997, when my husband and I and our two children came to work and live here.

Since the 2016 referendum I have been living in limbo. I have nightmares, sleepless nights and periods of anxiety about my future. The anti-migrant rhetoric affects me deeply – receiving a letter from the Scottish Government in the week after the referendum saying that I was welcome here left me in tears.

In the beginning of this year I decided to apply for settled status in the hope that would help. The app worked fine but then I got the first email back: the Home Office didn’t have enough evidence that I had been in the country for five years.

READ MORE: Alyn Smith: If you make Scotland your home, you’re one of us

Five years? I have been here for more than 20 years, have had three jobs, did two degrees, set up a business and they can’t find me in their records? I sent various bits of evidence. No joy – standard email back that there was not enough evidence. I sent my business accounts. Not enough evidence.

By then – a few weeks in – I was tearing my hair out. The light bulb moment was when I contacted Perth and Kinross Council – I have been a community councillor for quite a few years. Within hours they sent me back a letter “to whom it may concern” stating I had been a community councillor for more than five years. 20 minutes later the Home Office gave me settled status. Which is good for me, but what about others who are possibly less well-connected or astute? The hostile environment is alive and well.

Friends often ask me why I don’t take British citizenship, since the Netherlands now allows dual nationality in these cases.

My standard reply is that when Scotland is independent, it will be an honour to have dual Dutch-Scottish nationality. I’ll wait for that, thank you!

Trudy Duffy
Crook of Devon

THE National’s Jouker asked for stories of recent election canvassers.

I opened my door to a Labour canvasser the other day in the Kelvindale ward of Glasgow North (known as “Little England”, because all the street names are named after English toons, and home to SNP Westminster Chief Whip, the very able Patrick Grady). The tall, middle-class, academic-looking canvasser politely told me he was canvassing on behalf of the Labour party. He beamed when I said that I was a Socialist. “So is ...” he said, as I slammed the door on him.

Perhaps if he had been a bit more observant he may have noticed an SNP poster in my top window, or Saltire wing mirrors and YES stickers and slogans on my parked car and large Saltire on my garage pole, or even the street sign on my porch, defiantly renaming Southampton Drive as “Independence Road”. Or, perhaps he actually believed Dopey Dick Leonard’s humorous rhetoric that they were the successors of The Red Clyde.

Donald Anderson

FOR the second week in a row I find myself in the position of wanting to comment on the words of wisdom from Michael Fry (It’s telling that the Greens have few candidates outside the Central Belt, November 19).

I feel that his tone has veered a bit too far towards what we now must look at as the “Westminster” confrontational variety. While I, as a SNP member, fully subscribe to the view that it would be better if other candidates didn’t split the anti-Tory vote, especially in marginal seats, whether or not to stand must remain a decision for those concerned. I could understand the loss of morale within its membership if a party just prevented its members from standing in a General Election.

READ MORE: Green policies are not going to work in Scotland's Highlands

While the Scottish Greens have, after all, worked with the Scottish Government to keep the wheels turning in Scotland, a spirit of co-operation between parties is what we have been crying out for to try and solve this Brexit mess.

A number of the aspirations of the Greens are, as Michael Fry states, not realistic in the short term. This applies, I fear, to some of the Scottish Government aims also. It doesn’t seem to me to be realistic to go for electric vehicles as an all-out solution for our nation’s transport problems for the foreseeable future. Perhaps the real solution will lie with hydrogen engine units when they are developed.

George M Mitchell

DOESN’T Lesley Riddoch (November 21) realise she lowers the tone of her article when she derides Corbyn for his squinty specs while she throws her ‘Fa kens?’ in to show she’s one of us? Let’s keep the debate civilised. School playground talk won’t persuade others to listen. It simply puts their back up.

Catriona Grigg

READ MORE: Jeremy Corbyn should have proved his anger on the TV debate

TORY Home Secretary Priti Patel says “you can’t blame the government for poverty”. Pandering to a monarchy enveloped in vast wealth and privilege, it is natural that many will seek to emulate such example.

If we worshipped and praised a head of state who went to work on a bike from a modest home, then perhaps many would follow such example. When all seek wealth, few find it while the vast majority become poorer.

To avoid poverty, wealth of resources must be shared considerably more equitably, an impossible aspiration under UK constitution.

Tom Gray

IN the week that the good Scottish word “dreich” was given its just recognition, might I suggest that after watching the likes of BoJo, Rabb and Gove these last few days, it won’t be long before sleekit is right up there in a close second behind it!

Steve Cunningham