ALEX Orr’s excellent letter (Brexit chickens come home to roost as new era of austerity begins, Nov 16) gets straight to the heart of the major cause of the crippling economic and social predicament that now faces the UK.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s Autumn Statement is mightily depressing reading, particularly considering that expert opinion considers he has delayed spending cuts until 2025 in a blatantly political decision that tries to mask the economic basket case that the UK has become until after the next General Election.

Unsurprisingly, whilst he warns ordinary people of the financial pain ahead, he continued to allow the Truss mini-Budget decision to lift the cap on bankers’ bonuses, a decision made possible by abandoning EU legislation. As Tory apologists claim that our woes are directly due to international instability and the results of Covid, many economic experts claim that Brexit places the UK in a unique economic position that has witnessed a drop in Gross Domestic Product of more than 4%. Factor in the incalculable loss of staff from areas like the NHS and it is clear that Brexit is a cancer riddling the UK economy.

READ MORE: SNP warn of Scottish innovation drought through anti-Europe policies

Yet it is not simply a case of the self-inflicted economic harm of Brexit. Brexit has polarised the UK politically more than any time in the last 100 years and released a Pandora’s Box of rabid right-wing xenophobic political bile into the mainstream of the Tory party and UK political life. The Conservative MP for Ashfield, Lee Anderson, is the living embodiment of these rancorous and callous views. The man who claimed an exorbitant sum for his most recent expenses as an MP, and who claimed in true Gradgrindian style that people could live off £3 a day, regularly cites Brexit as a reason why asylum seekers ought to be thrown back into boats and returned to France tout de suite. This inhumane and chauvinistic rhetoric may charm the Daily Mail, Express, Sun and Telegraph’s readers but it highlights the stark difference between the little Englander and the majority of the rest of the UK.

Brexit has created the Gordian Knot that is the Northern Ireland protocol, an issue exacerbated by the refusal of the antediluvian DUP representatives to form a Stormont Assembly and which continues to jeopardise the hard-won peace in the province, as evidence by the bombing of a police patrol vehicle in Strabane.

The Labour Party, even in the face of recent polls that show a clear majority for a Brexit reversal, still peddle the line that they can make Brexit work, though present little or no evidence to demonstrate how they would achieve this inconceivable feat. Lest we forget, the people of Scotland voted by 62% to remain in the EU but will be among the worst affected economically by the recession. As indy supporters on Twitter are fond of saying – you Yes yet?

Owen Kelly

SO, as noted in Monday’s paper, some of the SNP leadership are urging members to attend rallies on Wednesday, a welcome change from the usual mixture of ignoring and disparaging that normally takes place about such events (SNP urge members hit streets and join court ruling rallies, Nov 21).

Can it be that they’re realising the independence movement is greater than the SNP? Maybe it’s an acknowledgement that others not in the SNP have worthwhile ideas about independence and the road to it. If so, it’s a good sign that they’ve finally realised that “the party” is not the sole fount of wisdom regarding independence.

There are organisations and individuals whose ideas have been cursorily dismissed in the recent past simply because they weren’t part of the SNP in-crowd.

If this is just a temporary aberration from previous actions it will only weaken the drive towards independence but if it shows a willingness to broaden its scope, then in long run it can only be beneficial to the wider movement.

The broader and more encompassing the independence movement is, the stronger it becomes. The SNP will remain the main vehicle of the independence movement but must take on board ideas from the wider movement if success is to be achieved.

Drew Reid

CAN I, with respect, disagree wholeheartedly with Mike Russell’s call for all of us, “starting from now, to refute and rebut every single lie Unionists come up with”?

We Scots have been doing this for over 300 years. Has Westminster paid any attention to this? No, they have not.

We have raised our voices. We have sent letters. We have delivered petitions. We have been on peaceful demonstrations and marches. Has Westminster listened to any of this? NO, THEY HAVE NOT! There is no point in doing any of these things anymore. They just fall on deaf ears.

In my opinion, it is long past time that we stopped bitching about what the Tories and other like-minded people say about us. We are never going to change their closed minds.

Let us get on with what we are going to do when we have independence. We have bigger things to get organised. What type of government do we want that will represent all of our people better? How can we get people who genuinely care about how the country is run involved?

Come on Scotland, think positive. Sun Szu would have ignored these mindless distractions and would have concentrated on making the future better for all.

George McKnight
West Calder

I NOTICE Tory rhetoric has recently changed from “we’re all in this together” to “we’re all having to ride out the same storm”. Perfectly true, but we’re certainly not “all in the same boat”. Most Tory frontbenchers will ride out the storm in a metaphorical luxury yacht while most of the rest of us will be in rowing boats – often, sadly, with no means of propulsion!

Bill Drew