MURPHY’S Law tells us that “if something can go wrong, it WILL!” I was reminded of this over the past few days when I read the superb pieces on political corruption in The National by Michael Fry and Kevin McKenna. I think I would now like to paraphrase Mr Murphy to say: “If it is possible within our culture and legal system for political funds to be boosted by those who seek special favours from a political party or parties, then those favours WILL be sought and granted”.

Does anyone really think that political “donations” are given to one or other political parties by those who wish to enhance the democratic process? I would suggest they are almost always given because some (or a lot of) payback is expected if/when that party is electorally successful. Blatant examples abound in the recent shenanigans of the Westminster government (think for example of PPE and “world-beating” Test & Trace systems) when lucrative contracts are given out freely to mates and party donors.

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Also – and I speak here as one who throughout his working life was an enthusiastic trade union member – trade union political donations are given by those who expect supportive policies to be put in place if their party gains power.

My solution is notionally simple – stop all significant political donations and fund parties from the public purse.

I can almost hear howls of derision when I say this: “why should political parties get a share of my taxes when they can seek funding from private individuals and companies, and therefore cost me nothing?”

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My point, however, is that these groups fund political parties because they want to create conditions where they can have us buy more of their goods or services. A relatively small proportion of the enhanced profits or income is given as “donation”, and although we as individuals might see few benefits, WE are the source of these donations just as we would be if our taxes paid for the political process. If, however, this latter strategy was employed, the temptation for corrupt decision-making would be much reduced and politicians would be freed to work according to their principles rather than the wishes of the moneyed and powerful.

Alex Leggatt

I HAE juist gotten ae Tory leaflet wi ma post wi pikturs o Ross an Baroness Britania an aa it says is “Stop independence, rebuild Scotland”. Noo thare’s ae contradiction gin iver I seen ane.

Twa craturs faa wuid craa throu sewars tae lick pairts o Boris’s anatomy gaein tae rebigg ae Scotland! Foo thay wull dae this, weel thay dinnae say, foo can thay gin thay haenae been telt, fur it’s nae pairt o Tory heich command policy. Syne thay hae trei wee public skule bairns echoin thair peers sayin, weel the sem thing.

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But I wunner gin we’re gaein fur independence the rang wey. Shuid we no play on England’s fears an mischauncie notions o thirsels?

First wunner fit wey thay dinnae ditch us, syne thay cuid hae £300 million extra fur thair NHS. That haes a certain ring til it.

Seicont, speir fit wey are thay feart tae staun on thair ain twa fit? Are thay feart thay cuidnae manage waeoot eiducated Scots tae run thair businesses, that waeoot Scottish diplomats thay wuid be lost in the wurld, an waeoot the likes Gove, Broun, Blair an siclike billies, thay cuidnae run thair ain kintra?

We shuid turn ilka little Englander tae want tae get rid o Scotland an the Forages wull surely follae.

George T Watt