IS it possible that the Queen’s death has stirred feelings of a bigger loss, which go far beyond her actual death?

The young Queen came to the throne at a time of change and optimism. Her life is a thread we can follow back to a golden time when we defeated fascism, and then embarked on a journey to rebuild a better world.

Throughout this journey the Queen was present. When our NHS was created, she opened our hospitals. We built social housing; she visited our new homes. Educational opportunities increased; she opened our new schools. This was a time when the public good was valued.

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As we look back over the decades of her life, it seems that it is not only the Queen who has died, but so has this post-war era of hope. Once so full of promise, this world of service and public good has been shattered. Our NHS is collapsing and privatised; work doesn’t pay, and families can’t eat and heat. We may not have rationing, but we do have food banks and rising poverty.

People know (despite what David Cameron glibly professed) that we are not in it together. We’re in the same storm, but in very different boats. Fear for our future is palpable, and whatever constancy the Queen once provided, this comfort has gone too. Her death represents the last connecting thread to this old world of hope, because the security we tried to build after the war has been torn down. People now feel alone in a very different world, with the Wolves of Westminster circling.

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These are difficult and dangerous times, where hope is hard to find. Yet hopelessness is what the Wolves want us to internalise, because hopelessness creates immobilisation. Rabbits in the headlights are easy meat. Whereas hope is essential to create mobilisation and change.

So, where can we find hope? Well, the values which lie behind independence are our hope – being the exact same values which once unified us after the war. Divisions suit the Union agenda. Instead, let’s focus on the values which bound us together, then and now – the NHS, democracy, and decent lives for all. For this reason we must claim independence as the real status quo, being the true protector of our traditional values.

Despite what Unionism claims, it’s the option of radical change. The Westminster Wolves – the oligarchs and powerful corporations – have privatised democracy, privatised the essentials of life, and ravaged what was built by us, the people. It’s a self-serving system which created a neverendum cost-of-living-crisis, with their £150 billion Truss-Tax to be added to the UK’s £2.2 trillion mountain of debt. When the fact is that Scotland can produce all the gas she needs, and nearly 100% of electricity through renewables.

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There is nothing traditional or status quo about the Union’s political system, it’s all about risk and radical change. Broken Billionaire Britain is literally tearing down all that we built. So, let’s not allow the Union to take the position of tradition and status quo, when clearly it’s not.

Tradition and status quo is the position which independence must name and claim. Independence is on the side of the people, not the Westminster Wolves. So let’s focus on the people’s values of the NHS, democracy and thriving for all. Because these shared values are the hope which can once again bind us together.

Pamela McLeman
via email

THERE are not too many times when you are grateful you are in your sixties and not in your twenties or younger, but this one of them. Liz Truss, a veritable brain of Britain, is the new Prime Minister. It seems her answer to the energy and cost-of-living crisis we face is to borrow many more billions of pounds, to add to the trillions the UK treasury already owes, in order to prop up the energy suppliers.

The energy suppliers will then eventually pass these billions on to the shareholders of the likes of BP and Shell – the companies who provide the energy suppliers with their oil and gas.

There would appear to be no logical end to this process. I do wonder what financial mess we are leaving behind for Scotland’s current young people. It looks like they will face a mountain of government debt which presumably at some time in the future will simply cripple the economy.

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I suspect if I was young, free and single I would leave Scotland and its UK-driven misery far behind. However, Brexit has made even that option much more difficult. With inflation topping 10% for the foreseeable future, it seems we will face an almost never ending spiral of wage demands, strikes and resultant price increases. Benefits and pensions will not keep pace.

The massive increases in non-domestic fuel bills will destroy a vast array of small, medium and even large businesses. The losses of corporation tax, income tax and VAT will simply add to the government’s financial woes.

The UK’s future looks bleak – very bleak. I sincerely hope there is a genuine – yes, once-in-a-lifetime – opportunity facing Scotland in the coming years in the shape of a referendum or plebiscite. It’s a case of use it or lose it.

Brian Lawson

I AM frightened to use the media just now as the only topic is Her Majesty’s funeral lead-up. Much too much and over the top are the polite phrases I’ll use.

One would think nothing else is happening in the world just now. Giving respect is one thing, but this overdoing it has gone too far.

The sooner it’s over the better for all, and we can then lead normal lives once more. The media can then inform what’s happening in the world apart from the going-ons of the Windsor family circus.

Drew Reid

I AM reminded of the quote from Voltaire – “If you want to know who rules over you, just look for who you are not allowed to criticise”.

Professor Alan Boyter
Inveraray, Argyll