THERE is nothing left for us now. Any pretence that Scotland and her MPs have any role in this great British democracy must be hard to sustain after the catastrophic debate on Johnson’s conduct on Tuesday.

Another inadequate performance from the Speaker, this time one of Hoyle’s deputies, allowed the debate to descend to a slagging match with SNP MPs drowned out by baying, brawling Johnson apologists.

The Deputy Speaker actually apologised at one point because she couldn’t hear the question directed at her over the noise! Was it not her purpose to control this rammy?

It was an absolute disgrace.

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Every one of the Johnson apologists thought they had their attack lines ready. Sadly their level of ignorance is so great that they don’t even know what is reserved and what is devolved. These are the people who claim the right to decide our future. They make decisions in “our” interest from a point of complete and utter ignorance.

The missing-in-action decision of Starmer, no doubt keeping his powder dry for PMQs and his star turn, looked like petulance.

Blackford’s list of Johnson’s unacceptable behaviours contained nothing that is not already in the public domain. Every MP in that chamber knew it. They knew his behaviour falls woefully short of the standards required in public life, and yet this brawl is what we got in response.

No accountability and self-serving sycophancy was all that was on offer from the Tory benches from the “honourable” ladies and gentlemen.

My spirits were low, I was mad angry, and then I took comfort in the fact that the “debate” will survive in Hansard’s written historical record and so will Johnson’s crimes against decency and morality and that he has now been identified, on record, as the liar he is.

I Easton

IT’S easy to understand the frustration and anger that members and supporters of the Alba Party are feeling right now. Their party failed to get any candidates elected at the May election, and their two Westminster MPs, who defected from the SNP, have effectively cut themselves off from mainline politics, reducing any influence they may have had to virtually zero.

It’s rather ironic that the party that filled its ranks with people who were unhappy with the SNP, and in some cases were openly hostile towards them, are now complaining that the SNP don’t seem to want to work with them.

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The recent SNP/Green alliance has shown that the SNP are willing to work with other pro-independence parties. Many SNP politicians, taking their lead from party president Mike Russell, are reaching out to Yes groups throughout the country, attending meetings and participating in events.

If Alba truly want to work with the SNP, then I believe they have to be much more open about what they can bring to the table. What contribution can they make over the next couple of years to assist the SNP and Greens increase support for Scottish independence?

Another issue Alba needs to address is how they interact with Yes groups – are they becoming a divisive force within these groups? There are a number of examples where Yes groups have become riven by pro-indy-party squabbles, causing unrest and blinding many to the ultimate goal of Scottish independence.

At a time when more than ever unity is required in the movement, maybe Alba could take a leaf out the SNP/Green book and show by words and deeds that they are committed to cooperation, rather than being a party continually girning and sniping from the sidelines. In short it’s time for Alba to “grow up” by showing the electorate that they can bring mature, positive contributions to the movement.

Iain MacEchern

I WONDER what happened to the optimism of the early days of The National?

I think the answer is simply “Alex Salmond” happened – a man gifted with considerable powers of oratory, who could instil self- belief in a nation and play his part in leading us to independence.

However, last spring we were made all too aware of his shortcomings and, though we must accept the jury’s verdict, Salmond and his supporters must also accept the verdict of the Scottish people, delivered on May 6.

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We should always be reminded of how difficult it is for a woman to report a sexual assault and considerably more challenging to stand in the witness box and have one’s morality and integrity questioned by the likes of Alex Salmond’s advocate.

I wholeheartedly embrace the wider independence movement but, as the Scottish electorate have made clear, that on no account should include Alex Salmond. Why, in my 70th year, am I still having to make these same points?

Rona Bird
Crichton Village

IT is striking but hardly surprising to note that official figures show Northern Ireland’s economy has performed better than all other UK nations and regions. Office for National Statistics data on the Covid pandemic bounce-back showed the region is thriving under the Northern Ireland protocol, with its economic output over recent months only 0.3% below the same period of 2019.

The statistics show Northern Ireland performed better than any other part of the UK, with Britain’s overall economic recovery falling 2.1% over the same period.

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The protocol, allowing Northern Ireland to be part of the EU single market, has clearly benefitted the economy, with trade between Northern Ireland and Ireland also going up since Brexit.

The benefits of being part of the EU’s single market are clear for all to see. It seems a marvellous invention and one the UK should maybe consider joining.

Alex Orr