THE article by Richard Walker in The National describing the criticism that the paper received online for publishing Scots is very significant for the future of our languages and thus our identity and culture (The cringe is real, and it’s keeping us from seizing our independence, October 14). It details the objections which enables them to be refuted. As they are based on wilful ignorance this is very easy.

The first he lists is that “it is not a language”. Scots is more different from English than many central European national tongues are from each other, and as different as the Scandinavian languages are each from the other. All of these are accepted by linguists as languages. Every major Scots dictionary from 1808 describes it as a language. The critic’s fear is that Scots reinforces the concept of the nation, Scotland.

Richard Walker states, “that it is dreadful that a language could be used less often in order to avoid an unacceptable backlash.” Well said. We support the return of Scots to The National thus resisting this pressure.

He also deplores the abuse of young women writers. This is a matter close to our hearts. Our youngest grandchild has recently gained a Masters in Literature and without prompting from us, started to use Scots in poetry. The idea that she would be stopped doing this appals us.

The anerlie awnser is ti hae a fouth o braw braid Scots cryed frae the Corss sae the trowes hae hit pit wi virr afoir thair ein an lugs. Mibbies thai suid consither leirin Scots at is the oreiginall langage o flytin. (The only answer is to have plenty clear strong Scots published so that the trolls have it put vigorously before their eyes and ears. Perhaps they should consider learning Scots that is the original language of literary jousting.)
Iain and Susan Forde

WHEN Peter Thomson (Letters, October 15) says “it’s time for the (metaphorical) claymores to come out the thatch ... but not quite yet”, isn’t the problem that not only are those claymores not strapped to the body, the SNP haven’t even taken them down from their mounts above the fireplace?

Even if we are persuaded that the timetable for a referendum is in 2023, how can we have any confidence in it when there’s never been any logic or reason given for that timescale, nor the journey described as needed to get there, or what’s being done now to achieve it?

It’s not like it needs to be a big secret. Westminster will know full well everything we can and need to do and are no doubt well prepared already to counter each step, which may well include it taking formal legal action to obfuscate and delay the process.

You can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs. It’s not possible to regain our independence without some degree of confrontation, the level of which is entirely at the behest of Westminster.

If we truly lived in a democracy, no confrontation would be needed. But a British government defending “its” assets and denying the very existence of a Scottish nation alleged to be in a partnership when it clearly is not, is not redolent of democracy.

Even now we have direct conflicts between the British and Scottish parliaments. We should not have allowed Holyrood to be ignored over Brexit, we should have publicly protested to the point of court action over the repatriation of devolved powers from the EU to Westminster, and our MPs should be demanding that all funds should be disbursed through our devolved Parliament, even by walking out in protest.

Sorry, Mr Thomson. The time to wield those metaphorical claymores was at the Scottish elections when the umpteenth mandate was delivered that amply demonstrated Scotland’s desire for independence from a shambolic, generic Tory-driven British fiasco.
Jim Taylor
via email

IT appears Oliver Mundell made claims on a BBC show that implied he was speaking up for the one million Scots who, he says, “voted for Brexit”. In claiming that others could not represent them, the implication was that he could.

The National: Oliver Mundell during the debate on the final Children (Equal Protection from Assault) Scotland Bill at Holyrood thursday. STY.Pic Gordon Terris/The Herald.3/10/19.

I treat this claim by Mundell with utter contempt. No-one in Scotland voted for Brexit; this was an opportunity which was not given to us. A million of us, myself included, voted to leave the EU. That is all that was on offer in the referendum.

I did this because I was opposed to the political aspects of the EU which was highly involved in the undemocratic activity in the Ukraine, which refused to respect the rights of the people in Catalonia, and supported the big banks, not the Greek people. I therefore voted to leave the EU, as did many other Scots, for the same or similar reasons.

I did not have a choice in voting for “Brexit”. Indeed I do not know what “Brexit” is. All we got from the Tory leadership on this was a meaningless statement that “Brexit means Brexit”. We never got the opportunity to vote for that, whatever it was. We did not get a vote on staying in the single market, which I and many of us would have supported. So the Tory leadership and people like Mundell can’t claim to speak for those of us in Scotland who voted to leave the EU. We have no responsibility for the Tory Brexit mess that is entirely their own creation and has nothing to do with us.
Andy Anderson

INSTEAD of worrying about the difficulties arising from Brexit, now would be a good time to make the most of our own Scottish produce.

Hotels, restaurants and coffee shops provide individual portions of sugar, butter, jam, etc. They are rarely sourced in Scotland. I was even served with imported marmalade in Dundee.

Buying local, especially in supermarkets etc, cuts emissions and leads to more local employment.
Margaret Pennycook