HOW refreshing it was last Wednesday night to watch a civilised, respectful discussion on Debate Night! The contrast with the ITV one on Tuesday could not have been clearer. Three men – all except Patrick Harvie, who remained dignified and polite – shouting across every single answer that Nicola Sturgeon tried to give, with DRoss in particular never stopping talking over her, even before she could finish her first sentence. I puzzles me how they know what they are arguing AGAINST when they never listen to it being explained.

As for the “presenter”, “moderator”, or whatever one likes to call him, no attempt was made to ensure that an answer was respectfully heard without interruption. As this was being broadcast UK-wide, was it a deliberate attempt to create the impression that Scottish politics is as “divisive” as they like to claim? Debate Night could not have been more different, but of course it was not UK-wide.

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I do, however, have a problem with two points in that otherwise excellent programme. Why were only a very few of the audience allowed to speak? Whilst it is perfectly reasonable to ask questioners what they think of the answers, surely that should be the full extent of their participation? Others should be allowed comment, and a number of others did show a desire to do so, but the same few were the only ones chosen. The applause given at times to Kate Forbes showed that many did have an interest in being heard.

Secondly, much time was given to known independence opponents talking about the lack of detailed proposals for that ahead of the election, but Kate Forbes’s explanation was allowed only the briefest of mentions before moving on.

The point that she was trying to make is critically important. That is, that this election is NOT about whether voters support independence or not, but about whether they want a government that allows them to exercise their democratic right to vote Yes or No at a later date. Only when the decision to honour that right results in a referendum being arranged does the need for proposals arise. That is when BOTH sides will produce their case in detail, either for or against the proposition.

Let us be clear. This election is about choosing a government that will recognise our right at some point to vote Yes or No. Only then do we need the facts on which to make our decision. Such discussion right now is merely designed to confuse for political gain.

L McGregor

RECENTLY you kindly printed a letter from myself which was aimed at ensuring the Green Party was aware of the urgency of gaining independence for Scotland and subsequently solving the problems of climate chaos. Coincidentally a piece by Patrick Harvie and subsequent statements by the Green Party in the same edition of The National made it very clear that my concern was unfounded.

Alba have now implied that the Greens are not to be relied on as not all their members are in favour of independence. This is silly. All parties contain conflicts. Many Tories are Scottish patriots. Many SNP supporters are against joining the EU. Some Labour supporters send their children to private schools.

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The Green Party has supported the SNP in the broad sweep of its governance. Recently almost all parties have started to say they will support Green issues as part of their manifesto. This is because the Green Party is the only radical party with a clear philosophy of democracy, equality, subsidiarity and sustainability.

This harping and carping by Alba is exactly the style of politics which we must eschew if we are to work together to save the planet. The nonpareil of this is D Ross. I long for the day when in tranquillity and peace I can mark both votes Green.

Iain WD Forde

IT may have been slightly accusatory but it was nevertheless only a question: “Prime Minister, are you a liar?” The weird, slightly embarrassed silence in the House of Commons that followed Ian Blackford’s question was eventually filled by a “that’s unsavoury” comment from the Speaker.

It was a clever way of calling out the PM without making the claim. There is a medical term for BoJo’s condition: Compulsive Lying Disorder. It gives the afflicted a sense of empowerment and control over others. The Bullingdon Clubbers say he’s always been like that, only now he has a bigger audience.

Does it matter? Not according to the pesky polls. The sleaze party is still well ahead of the pretendy socialists – but what about in Scotland?

Douglas Ross is still desperately trying to make out that he has no idea who Boris Johnson is, and anyway Ross is the leader of an entirely fictional Scottish Tory Party with no connection to London other than campaign funding. Johnson has become so toxic, he has been banned from Scotland. Imagine that – a Prime Minister unable to visit a satellite colony. Maybe lying doesn’t matter to some, but the truth sure as hell does north of the Border.

Mike Herd

I SEE that Boris Johnson has described the row surrounding the refurbishment of his flat as “a farrago of nonsense.” His shameful public record shows that the more florid his language, the closer to home. When he was accused of having an extra-marital affair in 2004, he called the claims “an inverted pyramid of piffle.” The claims turned out to be true and Johnson was sacked from the Conservative front bench by the party leader Michael Howard for lying to him about it. We can but hope for a parallel outcome on this occasion.

Gavin Brown

ALL this news about Boris and Carrie’s redecoration, to say nothing of their opinion of John Lewis, reminds me of one of my late mother’s pithy aphorisms. “It’s impossible to define good breeding but, by heavens, you always know when it’s missing!”

Rachel Martin