I AM delighted that the First Minister has fired the starting pistol for indyref2. Bring it on, clear and concise policies and facts.

But of course the Scottish Tories – yes, the very ones of whom a majority do not support their Westminster leader – have issued a raging response.

“Now is not the time, as the country heads into a cost-of-living crisis.” Could they inform us when the right time is? As they have come up with various idiotic excuses.

Well it is the Tories that have caused the cost-of-living crisis. By wasting by my estimations £50 billion on fraudulent Covid loans, Track & Trace failure, and unusable PPE, also the money spent on their law-breaking parties.

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Can you imagine the rage and anger if Ivan McKee, Jeane Freeman and Katie Forbes had wasted this amount of money?

What Rishi Sunak and Boris Johnson should be doing is getting the taxpayers’ money back from whoever received it, and getting it back into the public purse.

Only last week Liz Smith MSP, the Scottish Tory spokeswoman on finance, questioned Finance Secretary Forbes: “Where is the £49 million black hole in the Scottish Government’s budget?”

Forbes was robust in her answer, and pointed out that every penny the Scottish Government receives has to be accounted for.

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The Scottish system of passing budgets needs to be implemented in Westminster. The Tories – red and blue – need to understand the public’s desire for accountability and transparency. You just can’t write off £50 billion and accept a cost-of-living crisis possibly leading to a recession, and no remedies.

So, First Minister, using the words the Tories do not understand – accountability and transparency – lead us to the broad sunlit uplands of independence.

Robert McCaw

NEARLY two weeks have passed since the Platinum Jubilee weekend. The Union flag bunting has been packed away for the next time, sadly possibly for a coronation.

The folk who lined the streets of London have returned to their homes to rediscover that they still cannot afford to heat them and that the price of fuel and food has increased in the short time they were away.

I tried my best to avoid the media coverage but I caught a glimpse of one of the appearances of the royal family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. In the front row was a wee boy dressed in a blue suit, white shirt and blue tie, as were his father and grandfather. A quick internet search confirmed he is Prince George Alexander Louis, or to give him his official title, His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge. He is eight years old and his life has already been mapped out for him. At some point in the future – after the demise of his great granny, his grandfather and his father – he is destined to rule over us all.

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You do have to wonder what the world will look like at that time. Will it still be acceptable that an accident of birth will bring with it inherited privilege and vast wealth? Will the climate change that has apparently concerned his grandfather (while still depending on private aircraft) make life even more unpleasant for his subjects? What percentage of these subjects will be living in poverty in cold homes dependent on food banks? Will he hand out knighthoods to former Prime Ministers for their involvement in illegal wars? What will be the price of food and fuel? Will his coronation echo that of his great grandmother in 1952, complete with gold coaches and adoring crowds?

Perhaps by then the majority of the population may have seen through the veneer of privilege which hides the reality of a feudal system best suited to medieval times.

Brian Lawson

A FRIEND who is approaching her 90th birthday has asked me to share this on your letters page.

Recently when shopping she suffered a nasty accidental injury to her left leg and she is very keen to describe what followed.

The shop staff were supportive and caring as they awaited the arrival within 20 minutes of ambulance and paramedics. She then received more exemplary attention, support, care and treatment from all of the NHS Scotland paramedics, nurses, student nurses and doctors who saw her and enabled her to subsequently leave safely for home.

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The point she would like to make is that while there is so much media criticism of our NHS, its waiting times and ambulance response times – as well as of those responsible for it at Scottish Governmental level – her experience was entirely one of professionalism, excellent treatment, respect and care – all delivered quickly and efficiently – for which she is extremely grateful and which she wishes to publicly share.

Additionally she wishes it known how compassionate, caring and supportive the shop staff were.

In short, an experience which began with a nasty injury turned into a very positive example of fine community care and spirit followed by timeous and exemplary service and treatment by all NHS staff encountered.

She would like these laudable and positive experiences acknowledged on your letters page.

Name and address supplied