I DO not really know what to make of the article in Monday’s edition headed “Crowdfunder to hire top lawyer for secret Union polling case”. Independence supporters are being asked to contribute to a legal case, which has going on for some time, with a view to obtaining some polling data from the UK Government. SNP MP Tommy Sheppard has been fighting this battle for many months.

Mr Sheppard himself admits the data will be well out of date, but justifies his continuing legal action on the basis that it will restrict the UK Government’s ability to withhold information under the exemption of “policy development”.

I think I will resist the temptation to contribute to this cause. If it is of such vital importance to the SNP then perhaps it should use some of the “ring-fenced” £600,000 it accepted in donations some time ago from independence supporters, including some who were not even SNP members.

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I will save my financial contributions for the various legal actions which will no doubt result from the UK Government’s refusal to grant us a Section 30 order, and for any subsequent campaigning in the lead-up to a real referendum next year. I imagine the usual legal experts on this subject will already be pre-ordering their next new Mercedes in anticipation of the massive fees soon to be earned.

However, I do not think I could be persuaded to contribute very much if our long-awaited referendum is to be downgraded to a consultative exercise in a attempt by the SNP leadership to find an easy option to fulfil their promise of a referendum in October 2023. I hope the First Minister can clarify the position on this matter before the Scottish Parliament adjourns for the summer.

Dr Iain Evans

I GET Pete Milory’s condemnation of Boris Johnson, clearly the most despicable individual to hold high office in living memory (Letters, Jun 18), but aren’t we making a mistake to think of him as the cause rather than merely the symptom of a wider malaise?

Aren’t each and everyone of those who still support him, and acquiesce to his wrong-doing and incompetence, equally part of the problem? And isn’t it also true that the Johnson can only get away with his nefarious antics because of the woefully weak, ineffective and politically corrupted parliamentary structure that has failed to rein in his wild excesses and hold him to account?

Westminster has gone full circle. From the historic rotten boroughs it’s now entirely rotten to the core, incapable of maintaining decent standards, allowing itself, its procedures and traditions to be traduced and corrupted at the whim of our fascist, dictating PM and his Tory cohorts.

Johnson’s misdemeanours belong to the Tory party, who fail to apply standards of behaviour. They are equally responsible, culpable and need to be held accountable.

The opposition shares responsibility for its weakness in not holding him to account.

Westminster is responsible for its failure to keep this “maverick” under control.

The BBC and much of the media are responsible for their failure to criticise appalling behaviour, even to the point of promoting his and Tory lies.

At least Scotland sees through the Johnson crew and their appalling behaviour. However, we can’t afford to wait for these agencies to get their acts together.

Now is the hour, when we must say goodbye ...

Jim Taylor

GOOD article by Michael Fry on Adam Ferguson, a man well worth researching (Army chaplain who became a leading figure in Englightenment, Jun 20). Michael’s use of language is interesting – when he describes Ferguson as a “loyal subject of an enlightened Scotland” it does suggest that he was in fact loyal to the Hanoverian dynasty first and foremost, then possibly to a strangely subservient and rabidly bigoted Scotland somewhere down the line.

Ferguson’s “vigorous denunciation of ... popery” will be echoed in the speeches heard at Orange Order parades this summer in our “enlightened” country. In 18th-century Scotland the use of the word popery was the dog whistle equivalent of Farage’s xenophobic rants in our day. Not merely some abstract theological quibble with Rome, but a sinister encouragement to de-humanise, “other” and often murder those of a different faith.

Witness the treatment of prisoners after Culloden, then the so-called pacification of the Highlands. The irony being that by no means all Jacobites were Catholics, but popery was a handy word to use – a catch-all justification for brutality and murder.

I’m waiting to read of Ferguson’s denunciation of Cumberland and his activities. I may wait a long time. He may or may not have fought at Fontenoy where an Irish brigade was responsible for defeating British troops (how that must have galled him), but his use of hateful, bigoted language does make him complicit in the Hanoverian excesses. Where Michael sees a leading figure in the Enlightenment, I see a quisling.

Jim Butchart
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