ANENT the broad shooders of the UK that the Tories et al are always banging on about in order to demonstrate how poor, wee Scotland wouldnae be able to manage on its own. Unionists of various shades are now of course using the example of the money given to Scotland to help pay for furlough schemes etc as a further example of how much we depend on and benefit from our great benefactors at Westminster.

Others have rightly responded that an independent Scotland would have had the borrowing powers to manage the financial impact of the crisis in Scotland without having to rely on the UK in the first place. But it’s also worth making another salient point: sooner or later this debt is going to have to be paid back, and those of us in Scotland will have to repay it as the UK Government sees fit, rather than how the government in an independent Scotland might have chosen to repay its loans. A case of “he who pays the piper”.

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The Tories already have their sights on the triple lock on the state pension. The abolition of the triple lock was an idea floated by Iain Duncan Smith et al prior to Covid-19, but it now seems to be gaining more traction following the massive borrowing and debt taken on by the UK Government in response to the pandemic. Having targeted those of working age, including unemployed, chronically sick and disabled people and their children for the past ten years with their selective brand of “austerity”, and indeed continuing to take from those people, the Tories are now turning their attention to pensioners, in particular poorer pensioners. No surprise there.

The broad shooders of the UK come with turbo-charged arms attached that have been programmed for some time to bring policy hammers down on poor people. That’s how the Tories roll. I like to think that any government of an independent Scotland with its own borrowing powers would find fairer, socially just and environmentally responsible ways to repay borrowing of that scale (the fact that we wouldn’t be paying for nuclear weapons, the mitigation of cruel Tory policies, etc might help). If they didn’t – and here’s the key difference – we’d be able to vote them oot!

Mo Maclean

SO the Great Liar in Chief aka Boris Johnson is doing a whistlestop tour of Scotland to promote the so-called benefits of the Union. With his usual self-delusion, Johnson thinks he can tour a few sites in Scotland, spout his usual lies and then return to Downing Street safe in the knowledge that he’s put down growing demands for Scotland’s independence.

The main flaw in his plan is that most people in Scotland see him not only as a liar but as probably the worst Prime Minister in the history of the UK. His failure with Covid-19 has resulted in thousands of deaths that could have been averted if only he was paying attention to what the World Health Organisation was saying.

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Instead he listened to his special adviser, and even changed the rules of his feeble lockdown to protect him when he blatantly ignored them. Johnson’s government is full of failures who are now busy trying to rewrite history to pretend they didn’t make a complete mess of Covid. It is quite telling that Johnson is avoiding all the major cities in Scotland. I’m sure he’s aware of how unpopular he is but is relying on the BBC to edit any coverage to downplay any protests against this visit.

Cllr Kenny MacLaren

LET us be clear, the actions of government cited by the Prime Minister as representing the “sheer might of the Union” in dealing with the current pandemic are nothing of the sort, they are simply proper actions of government that in Scotland’s case lie in the area reserved to the Union rather than the devolved area.

What is crystal clear is that these actions have been taken for us in Scotland in accordance with Westminster’s perception of need, rather than by us in Scotland in accordance with the Scottish Government’s perception of Scottish need.

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It is quite simply ludicrous for Westminster to expect Scotland to be grateful for things that, were Scotland independent, we would certainly have done ourselves, like Denmark, or Ireland or Lithuania. We would have made our own decisions and would have owned any mistakes we made. The Prime Minister highlighting these things serves simply to more starkly highlight Scotland’s subservient position in the so-called Union and the shortcomings of our position compared with our sovereign neighbours.

Andrew Parrott

IS it his affinity with veracity that has taken Boris Johnson to the constituency of convicted liar Alistair Carmichael? The latter is at least welcome in the Northern Isles, but it is difficult to imagine why Jackson Carlaw would send his boss to Scapa on an exercise to win over the hearts and minds of Scotland. I gather that his welcome was as warm as he might expect in any part of this precious Union north of a non-existent border.

KM Campbell

SO we in Scotland owe all our First Minister’s superb management of Covid-19 to “the broad shoulders of the Union”?

Those will, I suppose, be the same shoulders which habitually shrug with audible expressions of dislike at every proposal or request for consideration made in the House by our SNP members.

When will Boris realise that neither he nor his parliamentary acolytes have any value in our country, and call only when invited? Perhaps when he departs he can find room in his baggage for Carlaw, whose presence in particular has no value for Scotland.

John Hamilton