FOR many, respectful mourning of the Queen’s passing has provided little respite from confronting the difficult challenges of day-to-day living. While some appear content with a society where food banks proliferate and genuine asylum seekers are treated worse than criminals, others argue that with independence there would be the opportunity to make a more progressive future for all of Scotland’s citizens.

Those that now attempt to justify removing the double-salary cap on banker’s bonuses at this time are among the same people who have claimed that nine years will not be a long enough period between referenda on Scotland’s constitutional future.

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Setting aside the departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union – which has been a disaster for many individuals, families and businesses, especially in Scotland – and the fact that seven years is considered sufficient for successive constitutional referenda in Northern Ireland, there has since the first referendum been a fundamental change in the constitutional debate.

The proclaimed epithets of “partner” and “partnership of equals”, often accompanied by other complimentary words, were frequently employed by Better Together proponents prior to the first referendum in 2014, but with the introduction of English votes for English laws, the non-inclusive negotiation and dictatorial implementation of Brexit, plus the recent attempts by the UK Government to emasculate the powers of the Scottish Parliament, one would have to be blind not to see that any semblance of a genuine partnership between Scotland and England is “no more”.

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The historic Royal Coat of Arms as displayed in Scotland shows a unicorn holding the Saltire and a lion holding the flag of St George either side of an emblematic quartered shield dating back to the Union of the Crowns in 1603 (current form of shield dates from 1837).

Does anyone today seriously believe that Scotland and England are equal partners in a purportedly voluntary union governing the United Kingdom?

Stan Grodynski
Longniddry, East Lothian

OUTRAGE was my reaction when I read your article “Cap on bonus payment for Bankers could be scrapped” (Sep 16). This article proved beyond any doubt that the new government under the leadership of the Liz Truss has taken a massive leap to the right.

This article also highlighted the proposal by this new government to scrap the recent National Insurance increases, a move which will benefit higher earners the most.

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The UK has endured more than a decade of Conservative austerity cuts and policies that have seen the rich getting richer and those living on the brink of poverty being plunged into poverty. Pensioners struggling, being forced to work longer before becoming eligible for their state pensions (the lowest in Europe), caps on welfare benefits regardless of one’s circumstances, those benefits being sanctioned if they don’t comply to certain rules and regulations, yet what do we get from this new government? More of the same under the new PM.

Getting off the starting blocks with scrapping the EU cap (which currently stands at double salary) on bankers’ bonuses. Yet again Brexit rears its head, helping the wealthy while punishing the poor.

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Interesting that the first sight of the Chancellor’s proposals in his mini-budget next week is for those who need help least. What about those who genuinely and urgently need assistance, those who depend on their local food banks, those who will be sitting at home cold and alone this winter, spending a quarter of their state pension income on energy bills any paying greatly increased prices for their food bills?

This proposal by the Chancellor is an outrage of herculean proportions. Let’s instead hear the Chancellor “scrap the cap” – the cap on benefits. A single act that will assist millions.

Catriona C Clark

THE latest hoo-hah in your columns on Sunday about the “Stone of Scone” prompts me to repeat what I wrote to you on July 4 last year: “I would prefer to live in a Scotland free of monarchy and mysticism. The best thing to do with any piece of rock claiming to be Scotland’s stone of destiny would be to grind it to a fine dust and dump it far out in the Atlantic Ocean. The rationality of the Scottish Enlightenment is an heirloom of infinitely greater worth than a piece of rubble – I don’t care whose head allegedly rested on it.”

Lawrence Buckley
Crieff, Perthshire

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NO matter how long the queues are to file past the Queen’s coffin, they are never going to be as long as the queue of people waiting for NHS appointments, operations and help.

Winifred McCartney

ACCORDING to Sergei Loznitsa’s documentary State Funeral (about Stalin’s), loudspeakers in the streets sought to make mourning compulsory. We don’t have to do that. We have the BBC.

Alastair McLeish