PROFESSOR Tom Devine was commenting today on the radio on this historic week after Queen Elizabeth’s death, as her cortege left Balmoral’s estates.

As Scotland's pre-eminent historian, he was knighted by the Queen a few years ago. At this ceremony, the Queen said that she was pleased to be honouring a Scots scholar and historian and she raised her voice – “who has written extensively on Scottish history”.

Devine said: “It’s a shame some UK politicians can’t speak of Scotland with the same level of respect.”

I notice the Welsh language had pride of place in the Welsh ascension ceremony today for new King Charles. So why is the Scots language still treated as an embarrassment?

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It’s shocking that Scots history and culture has been so deliberately suppressed over the past century in Scotland. Children were belted in schools for speaking in Scots and teachers were told they would sound ignorant if they spoke in Scots.

In Maori schools in New Zealand, Maori children are taught Maori words and culture and to be proud of their heritage.

So why on earth must Scots be embarrassed of their wonderful Scots culture?

Many Scots are totally ignorant of Scots history and have been taught only English culture.

The Welsh also sang the Welsh national anthem. We in Scotland urgently need new words to Flower of Scotland or a new Scots national anthem (hint, hint The Proclaimers, Dougie MacLean etc).

I would like to emphasise to those who like the Union with England, Wales and Northern Ireland – Scotland’s independence is not in any way about not having “unity” here in the UK.

In fact, I hope we can have much better and more successful unity after indy – its about how Scotland is best governed in the best interests of all those who live in Scotland.

I lived for many years in the United States – the states are united, but also independently run their own affairs. For instance, each state organises their own trade deals, VAT rates, immigration, laws, and other economic levers. So I firmly believe that Scotland needs those own self governing levers to best address the needs and interests of the people of Scotland.

I hope the recent services and ceremonies around the Queen’s death, show any doubters that Scotland is its own distinct nation, one of the oldest in Europe. I hope all those who dislike Scottish traditions were able to appreciate the beauty of Karen Matheson’s Gaelic song at the St Giles service.

I had heard from several sources that Operation Unicorn was well planned ahead of time. I hope we can have unity as well as the best of self-government.

I would be for a slimmed down monarchy, and I don’t like the term “subject” and would much prefer “citizen”.

As Succession actor Brian Cox recently said in his chat with Nicola Sturgeon at the Edinburgh Book Festival, it’s not about personalities but about country and democracy.

“Its time to be free!”

P Keightley


I WAS a passenger on a bus travelling past Ibrox Stadium on Wednesday evening before the match against Napoli.

A crowd of 20 to 30 Rangers supporters boarded the bus at Paisley Road Toll, some of whom had obviously fortified themselves in the local pubs.

The driver very sensibly let them pile on without paying. A number of the fans went upstairs and began stamping on the floor and singing sectarian songs. As they left the bus this group of fans stumbled downstairs singing about being “up to their knees in Fenian blood” punctuated with shouts of “God Save the King” and “F*** the Pope”. The fans on the lower deck looked on and one remarked that “at least they are good humoured”.

How long will people in Glasgow be subjected to this kind of behaviour? It is bullying and intimidation. The Scottish football authorities also do nothing about the anti-social behaviour – so anti-social it has in the past turned into rioting in Glasgow city centre.

The police then “escort” the fans wherever they want to go and ordinary citizens just have to get out of the way.

Why can’t unacceptable behaviour be dealt with by ordering the next match played to be behind closed doors, with more bad behaviour resulting in more closed door matches? Perhaps then the decent fans will take control and begin to self-police their more riotous friends.

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The reason why nothing is done is that the authorities do not have the will to tackle the obvious problems.

In any case, this group of fans paid a magnificent tribute to Queen Elizabeth and presumably were proud of their efforts.

S Durning


THANKS to Alasdair Forbes for his Long Letter yesterday, comparing the lives of his grandmother and Elizabeth, who both died at the same age but lived very different lives.

It was thought-provoking and from the heart, and I know which one of them I would have loved to have met.

Hilary de Vries