TORY hatchet man Jeremy Hunt is about to do a Freddie Krueger impression. He is going to bring in swingeing unprecedented cuts to public services and massive hikes in taxes for ordinary people.

The propaganda, repeated by the Tories, their surrogates in the tribal oligarch-owned newspapers and pompous popinjays on hate TV networks, is that this shared pain is “necessary” as the UK has run out of money. This is complete and utter baloney.

Paid liars in the media will try to pretend that the UK economy is the same as a household budget. This is not true. The UK Government runs a fiat currency. It can never cease to have money. The Government chooses what it spends money on and what it does not. Therefore austerity is a choice and not a necessity.

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In 2010, when Westminster austerity was introduced, the collective wealth of the 1000 richest people in the UK was £333.5 billion. By this year, it was £710.723 billion. Rishi Sunak is on that list. In 2010, 60,000 food parcels were being given out by the Trussell Trust. In 2022 it is 2.1 million. Since 2008 the UK has seen wages collapse at the same rate as Greece. One estimate is that £120bn is lost each year through tax avoidance by the super-rich.

The bailout of hedge funds, banks and other financial institutions in 2008 and in 2020 allowed the oligarchy to escape the consequences of the crisis. Working people are trapped in a political system that forbids them any meaningful way to express their interests.

In order to distract the population from the looming crisis, the Tories and Labour have found a new scapegoat. Refugees crossing the channel. A rancid atmosphere has been encouraged by Westminster, similar to that vomited up by fascists.

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The majority of those crossing the Channel come from countries that have been bombed and sanctioned by Nato under the umbrella of “humanitarian intervention”. When it suited Westminster’s geopolitical aims, refugees from Ukraine and Hong Kong were welcomed with a fanfare of agitprop. The hypocrisy is nauseating.

The way the Westminster government reacts to refugees shows the contempt and hatred the ruling junta has for working people in its most ugly form. It is exactly what they will do to the population of this country should the opportunity arise. Westminster is waging a class war against the population. Independence is the only way out of this form of corporate fascism the Tories have imposed on Scotland.

Alan Hinnrichs

AMIDST warnings of tax rises and the economy on a knife edge, public servants calling for increased wages with strikes and threats of strikes, we await the Autumn Statement on Thursday with bated breath. We simply cannot hear more of the same; we need progressive taxation, where those on higher earnings shoulder more of the burden.

This statement should be all about reaching out, targeting spending on those in need and following the example here in Scotland of progressive taxation and the Scottish Child Payment. At the beginning of this momentous week for our economy, a good start came forth from Scotland with an increase on Monday of the Scottish Child Payment to £25/week to every eligible child. Added to this, the criteria for inclusion for this benefit has been extended.

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The Joseph Rowntree Foundation think-tank describe the extended rollout and increase to the Scottish Child Payment as “a watershed moment in tackling poverty in Scotland” and said “the rest of the UK should take note”.

The Conservative Westminster government has much to answer for regarding the current cost-of-living crisis, so can we expect Jeremy Hunt MP to get off on the right footing by “taking note” and targeting and prioritising spending towards those who really need it. The country simply cannot afford to do otherwise.

Catriona C Clark

I HATE to put it this way, but Christina McAnea, Gen Secy of Unison, "accusing" the Tories of deliberately running down the NHS seems to be stating what’s been the bleedin’ obvious to most of us for many years now.

They know the NHS is a popular system in all the nations comprising the UK, so the only way they can change this is to systematically destroy it until enough people (with sufficient financial resources) decide to “go private”. This gives them the opportunity to state that the system is under-utilised, making it economically unviable (the usual Tory excuse for dumping anything) and therefore should be scrapped.

JOB DONE! Perhaps the title Conservative and Unionist Party should be more honestly changed to the Greedy Selfish Bastard Party. (Unless there are SOME members left who DON’T agree with current developments.)

Barry Stewart

I WAS struck by the photograph in Saturday’s paper of a moonbow.

Twenty-odd years ago I was driving north on a winter night when I saw one. It had snowed heavily up Glen Ogle, but this turned to rain as I drove down to Lix Toll. When I turned west into Glen Dochart, the rain stopped, the sky behind me cleared, and the whole landscape was flooded with brilliant moonlight. Ahead, above Crianlarich, was still heavy black cloud, and I noticed a bow of light beside Ben More. When I later read up on the phenomenon I read, as you say in your text, that a moonbow will look white to the eye, and you need a long-exposure photograph to see the colours.

The moonbow I saw was coloured. The colours were faint, but there was no question of it. I wonder if anyone else has been lucky enough to see that? It was one of the most magical things I have ever seen!

Robert Moffat