I WAS appalled to learn from your article in Saturday’s edition (Dirty Tricks: How Tories bid for Tamil votes with indy pledge, December 7), that the Conservatives in England are wooing Tamil voters by promising to promote the two-nation theory for Sri Lanka.

The two-nation theory is a legacy of the British Empire, and has left us with some of the most intractable conflict zones in the world: Northern Ireland/Republic of Ireland, Israel/Palestine and India/Pakistan. When the two-nation theory is coupled with mono-religious statehood for one or both nations as it inevitably is, then nothing but conflict and strife can ensue.

If we consider that India was one nation for millennia (united under Ashoka), until being invaded and then partitioned by the British, and what was once a united nation is now two nations at nuclear loggerheads, threatening the whole of humanity, it is beyond belief that the two-nation theory was ever promulgated, let alone carried out. I just cannot understand that the consequences of the two-nation theory could not have been foreseen. The British have committed many crimes, but for the partition of India alone, they can never be forgiven in my eyes.

I would like to take issue with your headline, however, because it implies that the Conservatives are promoting the two-nation theory abroad while denying it at home. But this is simply not the case, because as I never tire of telling my friends in India, Scottish independence is the opposite of the two-nation theory. India and Pakistan were created from one nation (India), but historically Scotland and England are two separate nations.

I consider these points important, because as we seek independence our political philosophy must be acute. And whatever political philosophy we pursue, either individually or as a nation, it should always be a peaceful one.

Solomon Steinbett

Maryhill, Glasgow

IN answer to “Anonymous” in Thursday’s Long Letter, I would like to offer this quotation: “The predominantly English House of Commons thought in terms of their own country. Ignorant of the Law of Scotland, they regarded their own system as superior. They paid little attention to the Scots MPs in their midst. Often, they claimed they could not understand what they were saying let alone care. The Scots became tools of the two English political parties and were wooed with favours to keep them amenable but many were quickly disillusioned.”

That sounds quite up-to-date and topical. Just the sort of thing we expect from Westminster today. However, it is part of a report made in 1708 – not long after the Treaty was first forced upon the people of Scotland who did not want it, and who had rioted against it. The two political parties at that time were the Whigs and the Tories.

On 14th June 1708, the Earl of Mar, who had originally been in favour of the Union, went on to inform Queen Anne: “I think myself obliged in duty to let your majesty know that so far as I understand the inclinations and temper of the generality of this country, it is still as dissatisfied with the Union as ever, and seem mightily soured.”

As the French would say, “Plus ça change…” Meaning the more things change the more they stay just the same. And, indeed, they haven’t changed in more than 300 years. We are treated just the same today as we were then. They only way we can ever change it is with independence. The quicker the better.

Charlie Kerr


LAST week, Russian President Vladimir Putin offered to unconditionally extend the New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty). This 2010 treaty limits the number of deployed offensive nuclear weapons to 1550 on each side. It will expire in February 2021, unless it is extended.

Under the treaty, American inspectors gain access to Russian nuclear facilities to verify compliance, and Russia gets to do he same in America. The information gained from these inspections is irreplaceable, which is why it enjoys overwhelming political and military support.

Right now this treaty is the only thing keeping the American and Russian nuclear arsenals in check. Losing this would open the door to nuclear anarchy, and we would be back in the nuclear arms race to extinction. At the stroke of a pen, Trump could extend START, preserve critical verification tools, and strengthen restraints on

Russia’s nuclear ambitions. He would also send the message that the US does not want a disastrous nuclear arms race.

America, the UK, and the seven other rogue nuclear states could then follow the example set by the 122 countries that voted to support the TPNW (Treaty Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons) at the UN in July 2017.

Our media – of course – ignored Putin’s offer. But his present would not be for Christmas only, but for life. All of our lives, in fact. Because, either we have a future without nuclear weapons, or we have no future at all.

Can we stop asking our aspiring leaders if they’re man enough to press the button, and tell them to stop mouthing platitudes about multilateralism? We should instruct them to urge America to support Putin’s offer, and to sign the TPNW like all those other normal states

are doing.

After all, we are the people and we are in charge, aren’t we?

Brian Quail