WEDNESDAY’S PMQ’s, and yet another Tory – this time the Deputy Prime Minister, no less – does not know the difference between what are reserved and what are devolved powers.

Kirsteen Oswald asked about the “cost of living tsunami” about to hit every worker and family and part of his response stated that “many of these areas are devolved”. They are not – every one of the things she listed is a reserved matter and the UK has sole responsibility for them, and therefore should be accountable.

But why let truth get in the way of a good excuse.

Yesterday Graham Simpson on Politics Scotland, still trying to whip up a crisis in the ambulance service, said it was “embarrassing” for the FM to have to call in the Army – but of course there is no “crisis” in England where London has had the Army helping for a year and a good number of health boards have the military working alongside. And yes, it is the British Army (reserved) but the last time I checked there were plenty of Scots in it and paying for it.

It is time the Tories in Scotland stopped criticising and belittling the work of the Scottish NHS and instead tried to support a workforce that is coping with the worst scenario since the war and is only getting criticism from the Tories and Labour.

When the Tories in England, or Labour in Wales, can point to their NHS with no waiting lists, no staff shortages, no delays at hospitals then I might listen to criticism from Scottish Tories who have get to discover a spine since they have voted with Boris to raise National Insurance and refused to consider stopping the cut in Universal Credit yet demand the Scottish Government increase the benefits to children.

Winifred McCartney


I REFER to your article about the National Trust for Scotland promoting British goods.

This has now become too prevalent to be just down to the individual choice of the shops and packaging companies. I am now of the very worried opinion that this is being instigated by the English government at Westminster.

If you couple this with the fact that they have just announced their intention of distributing funds direct to Scottish councils, and bypassing the Scottish Government, then I believe it points very clearly to the intention to make everything “British” after Brexit.

That includes Scotland! Not just Scottish produce but Scotland itself.

As all “Yessers” will already be aware they have already opened up central government offices in Edinburgh in place of the Scottish Office. I am becoming more and more certain within my own mind that the Scotland Act will be withdrawn by England and we will become nothing more than another English shire.

I would strongly urge Nicola Sturgeon and the Scottish Government to get their legislation concerning Scotland’s right to hold referendums through before the Brexit shambles is completed. I may well be wrong, but England has broken the terms of the Treaty of Union time after time and I feel sure they are getting ready to do the same with the Scotland Act.

We can’t rely on the Labour Party to stand up for Scotland’s interests, and the Brexit party certainly will not. We’ve already seen Mundell trying to sell “British” whisky so that gives you an insight into the Tories attitude to Scotland after Brexit.

Therefore, this legislation needs to be in place and ready to be acted upon before October 31 – the next deadline.

It is undoubtedly Scotland’s escape route. Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson have both said they will drag us out of the EU then, deal or no deal; and they have both stated they will not allow another Scottish independence referendum. So, we have to be ready to act immediately.

With this legislation in place we can hold a referendum and if we win it, as I’m sure we will, this time round, then we can, first of all, ask the Westminster government to recognise it, and if they don’t then put forward a universal declaration of independence.

We don’t need them, but they need us. Therefore, they will be unwilling to just let us go if they can avoid it. I don’t think they will “send in the troops”, as we have too much support from Europe.

No doubt the UN and Nato would also condemn such an action. So, while it may be a last resort, a universal declaration of independence might well be forced upon us. But first we need the legislation in place to allow the referendum to take place.

The Scottish people’s sovereign right has been recognised at Westminster so if we can show, by means of a genuine referendum, that we want independence then we should be able to force their hand.

I just hope we are not too late.

Charlie Kerr