I AM much entertained by the coverage which you give to Stephen Kerr of whom we, here, rid ourselves at the last UK General Election. He was only elected to Westminster on the back of Colonel the Baronesses’s opposition to indyref2 and had no policies of his own. In Westminster he distinguished himself as a loudmouth abuser of SNP speakers and gained serial warnings from Speaker Bercow.

He had more sense than expose himself to the electorate here but went to Central Scotland, where the Tories there secured his list election into a parliament for which he exhibits contempt. He has continued his Westminster behaviour ever since his list election, earning a number of yellow-card warnings from the Presiding Officer.

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I gather from a political friend that he is a very charming man until you disagree with him. He is welcome to come here to charm me any time, but we will disagree. I can understand why wee Dougie has him as chief whip; he is a loud-mouthed political bully and you would not want to meet with him in the dark political corridors of the Conservative Party. Hell mend them; they sent him to Holyrood.

KM Campbell

I AGREE with Ruth Wishart when she says that the social media warfare between the SNP and Alba members should stop (Time to bring an end to this uncivil war and focus on independence, Dec 19). But the issues of debate are a little more complicated than Ruth would have us believe. “A plague on both your houses” does not serve the issues very well.

It was a pity that both of Scotland’s independent and pro-indy journalists (Ruth and Lesley Riddoch) threw their hats in the ring for Ms Sturgeon during the Holyrood election campaign without interrogating the narrative provided only by bloggers and other independence parties.

Deeply disappointing because the mainstream media served the SNP leadership well after the First Minister’s declaration of non-cooperation with Alba.

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Two further points I would wish to make. In the same edition of the Sunday National, John Milligan from Motherwell described Lanarkshire Forum for Independence’s letter to the120 Holyrood, Westminster SNP/Alba and Green MPs asking aboutroutes to independence. These letters received replies from just two. This lack of response from Scotland’s government representatives is fairly typical and hardly an example of transparency and democracy.

Secondly, in the same Sunday National, Jordan Buchanan writes about the lack of Scottish students in the humanities in Edinburgh and St Andrew’s Universities.

This is an issue thoughtfully addressed by Professor Alf Baird in his book Doun- Hauden, in his examination of how Scottish society has been subtly undermined by the colonial policies of the Westminster ruling class, ably supported by the neo-liberalism of current university policies.

Ruth would do well to have a look at Alf’s book with its careful evisceration of the policies spawned by shallow and inaccurate analyses of present-day Scotland.

These are difficult and dangerous times that cause frustration and anger. But we must come together and make a serious bid for independence.We can only do this with open debate and a range of routes to indy widely discussed.

Maggie Chetty

FASCINATING “Back in The Day” article in the Sunday National regarding George Mackenzie (Torturer, defender of witches and killer of Covenanters, Dec 19).

Nan Spowart describes how Mackenzie was given his Bluidy Mackenzie nickname by the Covenanters.

The Covenanters and their apologists were quick to use propaganda – claiming that their enemies were in league with the devil was a favourite piece of nonsense dreamed up to discredit their foes in the eyes of the gullible. Graham of Claverhouse being the most famous.

Welcoming in the usurper William of Orange, the covenanting faction became eager participants in the nascent British state – an entity which has used propaganda as a tool for centuries.

Ultimately, with the overthrow of the Stewart dynasty the Covenanters emerged on the winning side, and because the victors get to write history, they were free to peddle myths which have been accepted without question as truth.

An oft-quoted example is the claim that they fought for religious freedom. Yes, but only for themselves. No other faith was to be tolerated. Regarding their claim to have been a persecuted minority of Christians, it’s worth bearing in mind their treatment of prisoners after the battle of Philiphaugh, when men women and children were killed in cold blood. That fact is seldom mentioned.

As for Mackenzie being responsible for the deaths of “hundreds” of Covenanters ... do we have evidence, or is this just another retrospective figure put about by the winners to justify their own actions? I’m sure Nan can keep me right!

Jim Butchart