I NOTED with interest that our esteemed Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, in his grandiose new year address to the nation promised that “we will halve inflation this year to ease the cost of living and give people financial security”.

I find this very interesting. For many months now Tory government ministers from the PM down have been claiming that inflation is not something over which they have control. Rather, they say, it has been caused by factors outwith their control, such as the pandemic, the sharp rises in worldwide fuel prices and the war in Ukraine.

But surely government ministers can’t have it both ways. Either inflation is not something over which they have control – in which case Mr Sunak’s pledge to halve inflation in 2023 looks a mite disingenuous – or else inflation is something over which the government does have control, in which case the citizens of the UK might be interested to know why they haven’t got it under control already.

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I suspect that the “pledge” is actually nothing more than typical Tory spin. It seems likely, according to informed commentators, that inflation will indeed fall in 2023, but that is unlikely to be due to anything which Mr Sunak’s government does or does not do.

David Howdle


WHILE idly listening on my radio to the first Scottish Questions session of 2023 from Westminster, I was suddenly taken aback by a sneering comment to the SNP MP ranks by our usual pro-Union antagonist, Alister “Union” Jack (The Sec of State for Scotland). He commented that a latest opinion poll revealed 59% of Scots want to remain in the United Kingdom!? This charlatan of a man then scoffed at the SNP’s marked silence on the subject.

This figure is in my opinion pure fantasy under the current political stance regarding the Scottish constitution and other massive failures by successive Tory governments; but where did this opinion poll come from and how was it manipulated to show such an unbelievable figure with a significant statistical points change in the space of a few weeks?

This figure is not credible and one wouldn’t even need to be a savvy statistician to quickly scrutinise and dispel the relevance of this opinion poll that Mr Jack gleefully referred to. It must be seriously investigated and explained/criticised by the likes of The National and other favourable pro-indy media outlets.

Prior to this charade by this non-entity of a Secretary of State for Scotland, he also presented a glowing picture of the Brexit “con” (after being hit from all sides regarding the massive economic failure of Brexit and the lies about so many issues on trade etc) as being such a wonderful success and being backed by other shameless Scottish Tories who are nothing more than sycophants hanging on to the coat-tails of their Tory masters/the Tory right in London.

It was another unimpressive charade that went hand in hand with Jack’s efforts to undermine the cause for Scottish independence and try to beat the drum for the GB logo and flying his cherished political banner – aptly named the Union Jack! Was it a response to the previous day’s motion in the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood backing our democratic right to call a referendum for Scottish independence? I suspect it was exactly that!

Bernie Japs


“NO-ONE tells the enemy what their intentions are in advance,” says William Purves (Letters, Jan 11). But neither do you send your troops into battle without ammunition.

In a hot war, keeping the enemy in the dark is possible as only your own troops will be informed. In a peaceful, open democracy this is not possible, and Yes campaigners are crying out for ammunition to use on the doorsteps.

Ever since 2014 the currency question, which had a lot to do with our loss then, has been gnawing away at our defences, as campaigners have not been able to quell the concerns of undecided and wavering folk. Eight years have passed since the last referendum and still we have no definitive decision from our government.

Is it time for the Yes movement to take matters into its own hands? Should we decide collectively to declare that the new currency will be the Pound Scots, and that it will initially be pegged to the Pound Sterling? Should that be printed on all our leaflets? What do readers think?

Every army needs a target, and I believe ours should be the date Nicola has already set – October, come what may.

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“Ignoramus or troll”? I’ll let William decide for me.

Richard Walthew



The man who recently inherited an obscene amount of personal wealth and paid no inheritance tax could surely do something better for Scotland than to donate a fridge to a single one of Scotland’s many food banks if he really cared (King Charles’s visit to Scottish food bank is “pretence of compassion”, thenational.scot, Jan 12).

Let’s be done with the anachronism that is the monarchy and let’s get ourselves out of the toxic Union that made food banks a feature of our communities while we are at it. Out-of-touch Charlie Windsor can go away home and take his fridge with him.

Ni Holmes

St Andrews

AS someone who wouldn’t touch The Spectator with a barge-pole, I couldn’t give a toss about Rod Liddle’s views – or Kevin McKenna’s views on Rod Liddle for that matter.

If, however, as Kevin asserts, the SNP are harbouring activists who “routinely issue violent threats against women”, isn’t it time he got out from behind the journalistic innuendo and named names?

Alan Woodcock