NOT even had we completed the the second 24-hour cycle of the New Year and already it was apparent that the once much vaunted, all-powerful Union was very much a lame duck. Now I would wager that there are none too many north of the Rio Tweed that think it will see the year out.

The pillars that once held the great hall of the empire steady have been found not to be embedded into the bedrock of eternity but more a quicksand of change and inconsistencies.

The monarchy has been exposed in a drip feed of scandals that have been most certainly against the teaching of their spiritual beliefs, indeed wrongful as far as morality goes, some allegedly unlawful as measured by the law of the land. A step down from them we find their elevated peers of the realm, and regardless of actual title all they do is mirror what they see being done above them.

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A huge elephant in the room of the conversation about the democratic process in the UK is the House of Lords. How can a system claim democracy yet retain that abomination?

The next pillar would be the Commons and the enactment of universal suffrage. Let’s be clear on something: Westminster only extended voting rights to ensure their corrupt system continued more or less unchecked there was no “road to Damascus moment” from the Commons! The fact is that huge changes were only enacted to stave off revolution. After all, it took until 1928 for them to allow woman to vote on the same rules as men.

Now the pillars previously mentioned have been allowed to get away with their smoke-and-mirror strategy because of the actions or inactions of the final pillar, and that is the press. To my mind the press on this archipelago may well be inclined to hound unmarried mothers on council estates but they will not pursue anyone from government or the upper class with the anything amounting to the same tenacity, and the royal family appears to be completely ring-fenced. Please do not try and say we have a free press in this country, because we here in Scotland know that not to be the case.

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Since the announcement of the holding of 2014 referendum and all through that campaign we did not have one daily paper and absolutely no TV news channel look upon the cause of independence favourably. This continues even unto now, with only one daily newspaper in support of independence yet opinion polls consistently showing more than 50% of the electorate in favour of independence. So whereas the press may well have free range to report as they wish on the plebs, in all other matters they are the servants of their masters.

The great estate of New Britanicus is nothing other than a hollowed-out facade of corrupt morals and greed beyond comparison.

Time now for Scotland to put this experiment of Union behind it and move forward into independence, self-control and a socially just democratic future.

Our future is bright, independence is right.

Cliff Purvis
Veterans for Scottish Independence 2.0

ALL of the right-wing newspapers published on New Year’s Day were keen to state that it was a slap in the face to the First Minister when hundreds (which of course they turned into thousands) of people travelled to London for Hogmanay.

It was not a slap in the face to the FM, it was an insult to the five million-plus who stayed in Scotland and did their best to protect themselves and others from the virus.

Mike Underwood

HAPPY New Year to all. Reading Paul Dobson’s article on Sunday (Plans for 29 new North Sea oil and gas projects in pipeline despite Cambo delay, Jan 2), the first thought that came to my mind was “where were these figures when in 2014 the anti- independence campaigners were telling all and sundry that our oil and gas wouldn’t last 30 years?”

These figures at the time would have been helpful in the argument that Scotland was “too poor.” I realise that times have changed in regard to climate change and emissions and the need to look for alternatives, but – and there’s always a but – these figures would undoubtedly would have made a difference.

Ken McCartney

DAVID Pratt writes about international issues and the flash points of serious problems (Democracy is on the backfoot – it’s time we woke up, Dec 30). Half a dozen dictators backed by mega wealth and unlimited corruption currently control the planet.

From climate change, religion, migration and the hidden race to develop new forms of lethal weaponry, many factors are increasing world tensions.

The dependence on democracy to shape major world events is under threat. Danger arises when an autocratic leader comes under pressure. To maintain a grip on power they may use diversionary tactics. Think Thatcher and the Falklands.

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Today, the possibility of such an action has much greater implications for global safety on a far wider scale. Europe’s gas supplies and Putin thumbing his nose at Nato, the possible return of a Republican White House under an ultra-right-wing leader facing China, the Syrian-Israel conflict if Iran secures nuclear weapons. Drawing up a list is easy.

Scotland must demonstrate to the many oppressed democracies under pressure that timing is now vital. As corruption rigs many existing voting systems, achieving an independent nation is fast becoming our last chance to achieve a clean vote.

Beware of dirty tricks to prevent it from happening.

Iain R Thomson