AS poor as Richard Leonard’s stewardship of Scottish Labour has been, aren’t his detractors in the party seeking to oust him as leader missing the key point as to why its fortunes have dipped so far with Scots?

As Scottish leader, Leonard has shaped the message precisely as a branch party should. He has clearly articulated the message handed down by his British party managers: no referendum on Scottish independence, end of.

I got the message, the increasing majority of Scots have got the message, and we have roundly rejected that message and the Labour party sending it.

READ MORE: Richard Leonard could be 'ousted in days’ by Scottish Labour

Even Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford warns against opposing a referendum, because he surely recognises that Labour is styled as a democratic party upholding democracy. Yet here it is denying Scots the fundamental tenet of democracy – to decide for themselves how they wish to be governed and by whom.

Unless and until Scottish Labour get that simple premise into their gameplan, won’t their political journey in the wilderness make Moses’s sojourn look like a brief moment in time by comparison?

Jim Taylor

ALAN Riach says Karl Capek’s illustrations are wonderfully perceptive (The difference between travels and a journey..., September 7). The image of Edinburgh houses is all wrong. The buildings shown are not in the New Town. Furthermore if they were, they would not be tenements, which are not common in the Georgian area. The pattern shown is not easy to drain and is more normal in continental cities. It is difficult to have a narrow gable with four windows and five flues fitting in between them.

Like Alan I enjoy language and like to know the source of words such as “robot”, but accuracy in the the visual world is just as important.

Iain WD Forde

READ MORE: The virtues of travel writing and the work of Karel Capek​

ALAN Riach’s continued articles on travel and journeys comment on Karel Capek. In his book Anglicke Listy, translated as Letters from England, Capek is perceptive on many fronts. He made the visit in the early 1920s.

In his many comments on the English, he notes the “inability of the English to take stock of the outside world” and that the English were “romantic idealists with a chivalrous streak that rescued them from self-interest.”

One wonders what he would have made of the latest Brexit negotiations, where the PM is threatening to tear up the Withdrawal Agreement agreed only at the end of last year while negotiations are still in progress?

Of course, Czechs and Slovaks were betrayed in 1938 by Chamberlain, who at the Munich Agreement with Hitler renounced a treaty and delivered Czechoslovakia to the Nazis. Chamberlain, at the time, said of the issue that it was “a quarrel in a faraway country between people of whom we know nothing.” Capek wrote extensively on travels to many countries on the continent – Spain, Holland, The North, Switzerland and Southern France, for example.

John Edgar

ANENT the story on the BBC website revealing that locals cannot afford to buy a home on some islands, and that 40% of the houses are second homes, is it time for the authorities to take action?

When we lived on Jersey there was a two-tier housing system, with lower prices for locals and essential workers, and high prices for incomers. It worked there. As some of my ancestors were cleared in Skye, I feel for the people there.

Edith Davidson
via email

I COULDN’T agree more with Andy Anderson of Saltcoats (Long letter, September 7) on the subject of currency. This was without a doubt a major factor in Project Fear winning last time.

READ MORE: Our message on currency must be crystal clear if we are to win indyref2

I sincerely hope that our SNP government has this all tied up and ready to explain to us, preferably well before the Scottish elections never mind indyref2. Everyone knows that this will again be a burning issue.

Christopher Mackay

LOVELY article last week by Hamish MacPherson about the history of Italian migration to Scotland and the prominent names of the many who improved our society (Good and bad in Italy’s historic links to Scotland, September 1).

I’m not going back to Roman times, though to many younger readers it may seem like that. The name Henri Tomassio may be unfamiliar to many readers whereas Larry Marshall may be better known. Both are the same person – he was synonymous with the “One o’clock Gang” which went out every day (except weekends).

READ MORE: Back in the Day: Italy’s historic links to Scotland

It starred such people as Larry, Dorothy Paul, Jimmy Nairn, Charlie Sim etc and was part of the fabric in the late fifties and early sixties.

I feel it only proper that his name is mentioned and his undoubted influence is recognised.

David Gill