THE embarrassing behaviour of the Prime Minister Boris Johnson continues. How many world leaders would take to the stage of the UN organised COP26 event, where the whole world is watching and try to convince a sceptical public that his country is not corrupt! Especially as the same Prime Minister is calling for those who break the rules to be investigated and punished when only a week ago he whipped his MPs into scrapping the UK Parliaments Standards procedure to protect a corrupt former Tory Minister!

It’s clear that Johnson doesn’t listen to anything that he says. He is in charge of the most corrupt government the UK has ever seen. Lives have been lost to Covid while Johnson and his cronies figured out a way of turning the pandemic into a scheme to line their own pockets. The tales of the underhand dealings of the Tories will continue yet no action has been taken – they are still collecting millions for faulty PPE equipment.

Johnson is a well known liar – he and his cabinet should be facing charges yet they still flaunt their ability to break the rules and line their own pockets.

Independence can’t come soon enough.

Cllr Kenny MacLaren


WHEN it comes to the Government’s voter ID plans, we must remember over 11 million people don’t own a passport or a driving licence. However, there are other forms of photo ID, which are easier and less costly for people to access. Many sixth forms, colleges and universities give out photo ID to all enrolled students. It seems unfair to not allow these young voters the opportunity to vote because they don’t have an expensive government-issued form of ID instead.

In doing this the government could be accused of trying to implement voter ID to prevent young people (not typically conservatives) from voting.

In the interest of keeping our democracy fair for all, the Electoral Reform Society has been calling for the list of acceptable forms of ID to be as broad as possible, giving individuals the opportunity to have their say. It seems a sensible call to me.

Norman Matheson


DOUGLAS Ross has now referred himself to the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner over forgetting to record a total of £28,000 of income on upwards of twenty separate occasions.

His plethora of excuses in the The National, Saturday 13th November article “I don’t know why I did that” are completely irrelevant.

His strong, detailed, sincerely held and oft repeated opinion on forgetting to record information, obviously leave him with no option but to resign as a Westminster MP.

John Jamieson

South Queensferry

IF the government are so keen on spending an extra £20 million per election in order to implement ID at polling station, they must allow for as many forms of voter ID as possible. It seems unfair that certain forms of voter ID will not be accepted as valid in order to vote, for example young persons railcards, when older persons railcards will.

I’m glad they are planning to extend the list to include veterans ID cards, but why can’t university ID cards also be accepted? It’s almost as if the government have worked out which ID their supporters will possess and based their policy on that!

As the Electoral Reform Society has pointed out, there is a significant risk that millions of voters will simply give up on trying to take part. Perhaps that’s the intention?

Allan MacKenzie

Brae of Kinkell

OUR indy advocate-in-chief Boris will soon be relieved of his duties, boosting our support with his appearances at COP26, as all the participants head home.

So let us keep reminding folk that the Tory MPs earning thousands from their moonlighting, over and above their salaries and expenses, are the same MPs who voted to take £20 a week from the poorest and most vulnerable.

Reminds me of a friend saying in Thatcher’s time, that the Tories liked folk to stay poor as that gave them more to worry about than what their representatives were up to.

Plus ca change!

L McGregor,


“IF there was to be another world war almost unlimited trillions of any currency you care to mention would be found to fight it. But somehow finding $100 billion a year to help save the planet is beyond the richest nations on earth...”

I’ve cribbed one of Richard Murphy’s recent tweets, because it highlights something I think needs major exposure as a fundamental issue, which appears to get very little exposure in any media.

Simply, do governments rely on taxes to pay for things? Or, do they first create money to spend? This is the main theme of the Deficit Myth, a book I’ve mentioned previously.

The Chancellor, the head of the Bank of England, most financial commentators, and, perhaps Scottish Ministers would answer Yes to the first question. But what if they are wrong? Well, the inconvenient consequence of admitting a Yes to the second question, is that austerity would be seen to be a purely political choice, rather than an economic necessity.

When you see a quote from the former head of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan that “There’s nothing to prevent the federal government from creating as much money as it wants and paying it to someone”, then perhaps it’s time to examine more closely what the financial elite are telling us.

So, to repeat a suggestion from earlier this year, could The National please give space for a fuller debate on the subject, perhaps featuring Mr Murphy with someone on the opposing side to express the conventional established view point (Andrew Wilson?).

This debate is fundamental to how we fund the response to the climate crisis, or any other major spending decisions by government. It is also relevant to the question of a future currency for an independent Scotland.

Roddie Macpherson


THE ex-captain of England’s football team, and up until last week the manager of Rangers, Steven Gerrard, moved to become manager of the English team from Birmingham, Aston Villa. I watched some coverage of the matter on the telly and heard bits on the radio.

What won’t surprise the vast majority of Scottish football fans was that most of the English pundits’ comments about Gerrard’s decision to leave Scottish football were either condescending about Scottish football at best, and at worst just totally contemptuous. No mention about the fact our population is only 8% of that for the UK, so given that, Scottish clubs in Europe have more than held their own over the years.

However, once we move over to boxing, and I know it’s a brutal business to be called “the noble art”, nevertheless Scotland currently has, in Josh Taylor, only the fifth man in history to clean up all four belts in a single weight division. He is also currently the 5th best “pound for pound” boxer in the world! To anyone not au fait with boxing this may well probably be meaningless. However, just ask any boxing aficionado and you will be told this is a totally mind-blowing achievement for any boxer in the world to accomplish, and that is playing it down!

Despite this none of the UK television channels, not even those satellite stations dedicated to sport and boxing, covered the fight when Josh achieved this feat. This is despite them providing wall to wall live coverage of non-Scottish UK fighters unfit to even help Josh lace up his gloves!

Returning to the start of my letter, my general point is the UK media that purports to cover all the UK, in reality acts as a cheerleader for English sportsmen and women, providing barely lip service for the rest of us. But we all know that! Old news!

However, given the magnitude of Josh Taylor’s achievement, I would go much further. In my opinion there is something almost sinister for UK satellite sports stations, with presenters and pundits with the utmost expertise in boxing, to effectively side-line such a monumental achievement by a Scottish boxer. That has never happened to any talented boxers, even from Wales or Northern Ireland. Ask anyone into boxing.

I sincerely hope Josh Taylor has not become a victim of an English backlash against around half of our country having the temerity not want to be governed by their precious Parliament. A backlash egged on by Johnson and his chums who don’t attempt to disguise their antipathy to us. They even give scant respect to their own Scottish Tory colleagues although clearly a certain Alister Jack is an exception. He is definitely “one of their own”.

Throughout my life I’ve always had to experience anything Scottish, sporting or otherwise, from a UK (ie English) media perspective, and it’s seriously done ma heid in! Just think, England could win the football World Cup again but in an independent Scotland the Scottish media could make this achievement so passe the following morning. As Martin Luther King famously said, “I have a dream...”

Ivor Telfer

Dalgety Bay

IT is pretty clear that the Scottish diaspora, like other diasporas, has made a great contribution everywhere.

The great sadness of that, has been that clever people have often had to leave Scotland to find the opportunities to develop their talents.

One such eminent example must be Dr Stuart Ballantyne, the Head of Sea Transport Corp based in Australia. Dr Ballantyne is also the inventor of the standard global ferry type known as the “medium speed ropax catamaran” – ropax is the industry term for a drive on/off vehicle and passenger ferry.

Dr Ballantyne studied at Strathclyde University and like many Scottish University graduates took his creativity and brilliance to other parts of the world.

His standard medium-speed 100-car capacity catamaran ferry design costs only £15 million to build. The Scottish Government, by contrast are spending £50 million for similar capacity and speed monohulled ferries. This is three times the cost and the design has been produced in house and presumably has never been tested in a working environment. It seems that Dr Ballantyne has been in touch with the Scottish Government but his offers to cooperate have not been heard.

I’m sure that I am not alone in feeling pain every time I drive past Ferguson Marine in Port Glasgow and see the unfinished ferries.

The issue does not only concern the islanders who are waiting desperately for new ferries but the future generations of young people who may wish to continue Clydeside shipbuilding traditions.

Of course all governments make mistakes and have projects which go haywire. Most practical people understand that. But the issue of shipbuilding is very close to most people’s hearts in the West of Scotland.Like many, my Clydeside shipbuilding connection goes back two generations. If this project is not resolved soon the SNP may pay dearly for this at the ballotbox!

Maggie Chetty