IN 1707 the Scottish people were betrayed by a “parcel of rogues”. In the 21st century we are being betrayed by a parcel of fearties. We are being sold down the river by a series of mediocre Tory ministers for whom few have voted, and yet they can impose their will upon us with impunity. What makes it worse is that the fearties hide to avoid scrutiny.

I cannot be alone in my disgust at hearing daily on a variety of television and radio programmes “we asked a government spokesperson to be made available for comment but none was free to join us.” Channel 4, ITV’s Good Morning Britain and Good Morning Scotland are three sources which come to mind.

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Should a minion be pushed forward to a “tame” broadcaster to try justify UK Government actions, they inevitably end up waffling or repeating endlessly a mantra issued by a government press office. This week we had Alok Sharma, the UK Business Secretary, hiding from the Holyrood Finance and Constitution Committee. Perhaps he has not been briefed; given previous interviews I have seen of him, maybe he hasn’t fully grasped the information; or perhaps he is merely yet another feartie.

Of course the worst offender is the Chief Feartie himself. He seemed to make the mistake this week of thinking he’d get an easy ride in the absence of Keir Starmer, only to find himself excoriated by Ed Milliband, and thereafter he followed the Tory doctrine of “not being available for comment” by merely shaking his head and shrinking into his ill-fitting jacket. I have watched the Chief Feartie at several PMQs and he has his usual insults and “bon mots” to open, but as he sits down awaiting opposition comments there is an an obvious look of fear in his eyes.

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It is difficult to win against a corrupt establishment group with an inherent ability to lie, but I truly hope that the Scottish Government is presently laying the foundations for a full-frontal assault for independence before the Westminster cabal have emasculated our parliament.

The great advantage the Scottish Government has just now is that, despite a media not in its favour, the current lack of ministerial participation from Westminster means they have a relatively clear field to publicise their opinions and programmes. However, as the next Holyrood elections approach, perhaps it is time to be more vocal and adopt a more determined front to ensure we are seen as a country made up of people who can not only be independent, but be successful as a sovereign nation.

Colin Mowat

SOME time ago I had a letter published in The National regarding a book written by the right-wing neocon group the ERG.The book, titled Britania Unchained, lays bare the ambitions of this group to mould Britain into their unfettered-free-market image.

Although the book itself is tosh and drivel, full of stereotypical and absurd conclusions, it is terrifying to realise that five of the contributors now have key roles in the Cummings/Johnson government. A government of extreme right-wing Brexiteers, with an 80-seat majority gained in an election based on lies and deceit.

We now have evidence of the influence this group has on policy – the threat to renege on an agreed international treaty and openly flout international law. Their ultimate aim being to deregulate standards, abolish workers’ rights and neuter the devolved parliaments – as one commentator put it, create a money laundry on steroids.

The independence debate has moved from the emotional ideas of 2014 to the intellectual ideals of today, and more and more Scots are realising that the choice is stark: become an independent country or be dragged to the bottom by a Westminster cabal of opportunists.

Terry Keegans
Beith, North Ayrshire

YOU reported Mr Douglas Ross as saying he supported the Internal Market Bill “to ensure the unrestricted movement of goods across this country” (Prime Minister’s ‘poodles’ back illegal internal market powers, September 15).

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The man obviously has a degree in bullshit and/or unreality. From personal experience (a coach tour) I can assure him we travelled from Belgium through Netherlands to Germany thence to Austria, with day trips to Switzerland and Italy, with NO restrictions whatsoever. This is the situation I’d expect to exist post Scottish independence, let alone while we’re part of the DISunited Kingdom. The idea that the Tory MPs in Scotland are remotely interested in protecting ANYONE’S job (other than their own) is laughable.

Barry Stewart

HYPOTHETICAL question. Under a homogenous internal market would, if the situation arises, Westminster really consider action which would benefit Scotland if it had a zero or negative impact in England? The answer is clearly no. Of course, they would saddle Scotland with policies that have a negative impact if England (or should I say the south-east) was boosted.

It is the Westminster attitude writ large. Is it a new phenomenon? No. It is a simply a distillation of a mindset that can only signpost the way to independence.

Kevin Dyson

READING Ruth Wishart on Monday made me realise once again how fact follows fiction in today’s world (Keep the heid ... we now must decide who really has our back, September 14).

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She mentioned the film Network, which bought to mind a couple of films I dipped into on Saturday: The Net with Sandra Bullock, about a computer analyst who has her identity played with by a group wishing to install their leader to power, and Street Fighter, in which Raul Julia plays Bison, who considers himself indestructible in his quest to run the world, a real Donald Trump figure. Both these films were made in about 1994.

Robert Mitchell