THERE have been a number of recent letters that suggest a Westminster Home Office “charm offensive” on voter identification is bearing fruit. Some readers and even the Electoral Reform Society seem to be accepting of the widening of types of document deemed to be acceptable to these “gate keepers”.

Let us be clear, there are people in Westminster who do not want an unfettered citizens’ franchise where every person is on the voters register. They want to impose controls on who can and cannot vote, just like in some of the individual states in the US of A.

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It is also important to remember the size of parliamentary constituencies are determined by the number of “voters”, not citizens. Another opportunity for gerrymandering.

I now see that The Boris has handed Gove more powers to control the Electoral Commission. These are just two issues that the charlatans in Westminster create their own rules on. Something that would not be possible in a free Scotland with a written constitution.

Willie Oswald

THE government’s proposed laws on voter ID are going through parliament right now. If they are not scrapped altogether because they are exclusionary, they must allow for as many forms of ID as possible to be accepted at polling stations.

Everyone should have an equal opportunity to vote. It seems unfair that only certain forms of the same ID will be accepted, with older people’s bus passes and railcards likely to be seen as an acceptable form of ID whilst student railcards are not. If they want to spend £120 million a decade on this, as reported, they should make it as fair as possible. I can’t help but agree with the Electoral Reform Society, which is calling on the government to pause and rethink this bill.

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The government should expand the forms of ID accepted – allowing only certain forms of ID to be accepted could indicate that the government is basing the list of acceptable ID cards on who they want to vote, not who should be able to.

Maddy Dhesi

LAST Tuesday The National reported that Wendy Chamberlain, LibDem MP for North East Fife, stood up in Parliament and stated, in relation to the Paterson corruption affair, “This is almost the kind of behaviour we would expect to see in the Duma in Moscow, National People’s Congress in Beijing, not in the House of Commons”. There are three points I would like to make.

Firstly, prior to Biden, Trump ripped up both environmental legislation and nuclear treaties, thus increasing the race to the cliff edge, so much so that the atomic scientists dropped minutes in favour of seconds to midnight on the metaphorical doomsday clock to reflect the gravity of the survival of the human species. The assault on Capitol Hill brought to the surface other toxic aspects of the presidency: division, misdirected anger and xenophobia. Was it not obvious for Wendy Chamberlain to use the US as an example of sub-standard behaviour? Or Saudi Arabia, a familiar story for National readers that doesn’t need retelling here!

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Secondly, I don’t recall Moscow or Beijing over the last 20 years invading and occupying Middle Eastern territory that has resulted in one million dead, destruction of infrastructure and widespread displacement, misery and destitution. Indeed, it was the LibDems in coalition with the Tories under the cover of Nato that bombed Libya, reducing one of the wealthiest countries in Africa to a failed state, a breeding ground for terrorism and desperate migrants fleeing to Europe; is this the House of Commons behaviour she is taking about?

Finally, her jingoistic reference has sinister implications; maintaining the narrative of “official enemies” has the effect of keeping the population on bended knee pleading to the Westminster elite to keep us safe from nasty Bears and Dragons. In other words, it’s a policy of keeping the population obedient, disciplined and distracted; we’re better together and stronger under the Union Jack to confront these dangerous foreigners. It’s a con trick. Crucially, Wendy Chamberlain’s statement, although appearing minor, when added to Western military exercises on the Russian border, the “pivot to Asia” and other incendiary references, adds to the confrontational and aggressive stance from the West towards Russia and China – not that dissimilar, in fact, to any other historical road to war!


I RECOMMEND and applaud Stuart Cosgrove’s thoughtful piece in the Sunday National on Remembrance Sunday (Remembrance is not about poppies but the simple act of reflection, Nov 14). I have been uncomfortable for some time with the commercialisation of the poppy and especially with its hijacking by political groups. I believe that “Lest We Forget” is not only a call to remember those military personnel killed and damaged physically and mentally by the experience of war, but also to learn and understand the causes of these wars.

The First and Second World Wars were the hinterland of my growing up. My grandfather was in France in World War One and my dad (wounded at Dunkirk) and my father-in-law were both captured by the Japanese at the fall of Singapore in World War Two. (My grandfather’s summing up of World War One in later life was “Fit a waste o gweed folk”).

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They didn’t talk about their experiences, but growing up we had an awareness of a darkness they didn’t want to bring into our lives. They wore their poppy and took part in Remembrance services at the local war memorials, but theirs was a personal remembering of a time and people they knew. We need to remember with a compassion for all those affected by war today, and with an awareness of the geo-political decisions that cause it.

Hazel Godfrey