WHAT are the political implications of the coronavirus so far as the movement for independence is concerned?

Well, for a start, there are sure to be a lot of deaths. Some politicians might try to play down the death rate, claiming many folk would have died of “old age” anyway, but the numbers dying are sure to be well above the normal rate. At this point, I have to declare a personal interest: I’m in my 79th year, with significant underlying health issues; and, although my wife is younger, she suffers from COPD. So, both of us come into “high-risk” categories.

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The Scottish Government has bought into the Boris approach to coronavirus, saying it’s essential to have all nations of the UK working together. Unfortunately, in practice, this has meant going along with UK Government incompetence.

With Westminster politicians waffling about “the Dunkirk spirit” it’s understandable some folk will buy into their “we’re all in this together” thinking. But the reality is that we are NOT, all, equally, “in this together”. The virus may be universal and doesn’t care who it hits, but responses and resources are not “universal”. Some folk stand a better chance than others.

The Johnson gang figure that they, and their families, and their pals, will probably be okay, so it doesn’t matter if a lot of plebs die.

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There will come a time, maybe in a few months, maybe in 2021, when things will be a bit clearer. I don’t know whether I’ll be around to see that or not. However, when that time comes, while some things will have changed, some other things will have been reinforced.

It will still be true that a helluva lot of crimes committed by the Tories over the last ten years or so were “not in Scotland’s name”.

They haven’t won an election in Scotland for more than 60 years.

It will still be a case of “doon wi’ this criminal regime” (whether Johnson stays PM or not, they’ll still be a gang of crooks).

And it will still be a case of “referendum now”. Obviously, “now” can’t mean “right now”. By the time these words are typed, and by the time you read them, “right now” will already be in the past.

But whether I’m alive, or whether I’ve become a victim of the virus, it will still be the case that there will be an urgent need for a new, non-party-political, referendum on independence, as early as physically possible, without hesitation or delay.

Dave Coull

WHILE we are all distracted by the coronavirus we have suddenly found ourselves at the centre of another financial crisis, and one which shows every sign of being larger and more devastating as the last one in 2008.

We are told that this is caused by coronavirus but that story is nonsense. Coronavirus, and its effects on the Chinese economy, may well have been the trigger for this financial crisis but it not the cause, the cause goes much deeper.

Some of us have been pointing out for some time that the basic cause of the 2008 crisis was never addressed and that we would be faced with the same thing again. Well it looks like we are, and it looks like it is bigger this time.

Now in 2008 the people who caused the crisis, ie the super rich and their banks, escaped responsibility for the crash and they got away with their hoards of wealth and indeed continued to build on it, while the community in general suffered from austerity for years afterwards.

This time we will need to wise up. The huge amounts of public founding now going in to rescue private business must remain public resources, and we the public must take control of the assets which we are being begged to rescue once again. So that this time the assets must be handed over to us in return for the financial support, and the super rich can pay the price in loss of assets rather than the people having to do this again.

We were conned last time, let’s make sure it does not happen again.

Andy Anderson

A UNIVERSAL basic income (UBI) is not just for coronovirus (Letters, March 17), as Stephen Tingle neglected to mention in his excellent letter.

I would add that it would more than pay for itself by freeing people to take risks, not only in business start-ups but also the arts and humanities considered by increasingly capitalist governments as worthless unless they are money-getting enterprises. Especially our current governments, and that includes the SNP government, who intend, it seems, to bail out the airlines that imported Covid-19 in the first place and make a major contribution to the climate change that will make our present difficulties look like an insignificant temporary inconvenience.

Universal Credit is merely a way to warehouse cheap labour until required as factory, kitchen-sink or cannon fodder. It ensures compliant wage-slaves maintain the ruling elites in the style to which they have made themselves accustomed by bloody exploitation of everyone and everything else, everywhere.

It is based on fear of failure, potentially landing the adventurous on the pavey outside a supermarket. UBI would be a real functioning safety net allowing everyone to fly (metaphor for excel; not aviation), even those considered “parasites” by the real parasites: our noble leaders.

Look where we’ve ended up following them. As Stephen suggested: now’s the day and now’s the hour.

Gwilym Barlow
via email

THANK goodness for the old bulldug community spirit in this time of crisis. I remember the good old day when I was young; we used to chap the doors of elderly and vulnerable people – after we had tied their dustbin to their door handles and lit a firework.

Donald Anderson