THE Tory Government does not need to intervene over the Gary Lineker BBC tweet row – there are enough known Tories on the board of the BBC and elsewhere who are donors to the Tory Party and will defend them, no matter what.

Just look at Alan Sugar. He backs Boris Johnson on Twitter ... no action.

Then there’s Fiona (interrupter of everyone bar the Tories) Bruce, who defends Stanley Johnson’s domestic abuse by saying it was “just once”. Many domestic violence workers can take you to the graves of women who were abused “just once”.

And let’s not forget an episode of David Attenborough’s show being cancelled in case the right-wing object – and the programme in question is backed by worldwide nature-loving organisations.

There are plenty more Tory sympathisers in the BBC who do not even try to hide their bias – just look at the BBC in Scotland and weep at the open bias even on the news. If it is SNP bad, you can bet it will be top of the agenda every time.
Winifred McCartney

THE recent debates over the future of Scotland’s wind energy strategy took me back to happier days of my youth in the 1970s. It was a simpler time – “It’s Scotland’s Oil” was the word on the streets. A Corries concert and the 7:84 company’s The Cheviot, The Stag, And The Black Black Oil inspired me to join the SNP. There was talk, mainly in jest, of two new taps for every home – one for petrol and one for whisky. In the second election of 1974, 11 SNP MPs were elected and we felt Scotland was on the move. It was a time of hope and the start of something wonderful and powerful.

Of course, the two new taps did not materialise and 50 years on the dream of independence remains just that – a dream. Many of the friends I made over those years have not lived to see our dream and I fear many more of us will not. The halfway house of devolution is as far as some folk appear to want to venture. “Zero carbon emissions – at any cost” has become the new dream.

The £700 million predicted (not assured) from the recent sale of wind farm leases feels and sounds like a lot of money. I suppose it is, but when you consider the total Scottish Government budget is more than £40 billion per annum, it is less than a 2% one-off windfall. Perhaps the SNP should be launching a new campaign – It’s Scotland’s Wind.

It seems we have learned little from the economic outcome of the 1970s when the oil fields were sold off to the multinationals. Perhaps we should not blame our politicians as many of them were not even born at that time. As in the 1970s, there is now talk, just talk, of new jobs and supply chain investments. The turbines will be built overseas and simply assembled on site. When completed, they will be controlled by a few folk with computers probably based somewhere else in the world.

The electricity they generate is destined to be shipped south via vast cables about to be installed. The £2.1 billion link between Peterhead in north-east Scotland and Drax in north Yorkshire is expected to provide enough “green” electricity from Scottish offshore wind farms to power two million homes in England. The cables will run under the sea for 437km before making landfall at a beach near Bridlington. We cannot allow our own Government to sell Scotland’s wind to the multinationals and their overseas investors. They will take great pleasure in selling it back to us via our ever increasing fuel bills for the foreseeable future and well beyond.

Sometimes it feels just like the 1970s all over again. I must look out my platform shoes and the corduroy flared jeans.
Brian Lawson

MARK Brown’s piece in last weekend’s Sunday National titled “Marching for justice” about the forthcoming Resist Racism Scotland Demonstration in Glasgow was excellent. Ma heid was continually nodding in agreement so much as I read it I must have looked like one of these cheesy nodding dogs in the backs of cars in the 1970s!

Mark stated that Talat Ahmed, a member of the STUC Black Workers’ Committee and a leading figure in Stand Up To Racism in Scotland, has argued the UK Tory government has displayed a despicable role in fomenting racism against refugees and migrants and was one of the most racist British governments in history. I 100% agree.

Matters have now plummeted to new depths. The Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, has just introduced the Illegal Migration Bill to end illegal entry as a route to asylum in the UK. She claimed in an email in her name (although amazingly now denying any knowledge of it) to Tory members that her “efforts to end the traffic without resorting to changing the law had been blocked by an activist blob of left-wing lawyers, civil servants and the Labour Party”.

On Newsnight, Vicky Tennant, the UNHCR adviser to the UK, stated they believed the powers in the Bill were a clear breach of the Refugee Convention. She added it really closes down access to asylum and that’s been a long-standing humanitarian commitment by the UK.

I just find the whole tenor of this UK Government is becoming more and more depressing, chilling, frightening and harsh. They are so far behind in the polls, they see the only way to win the next UK election as being to foment racism, appeal to the anti-woke brigade and deflect any resentment against themselves to basically anyone else but those of their ilk.

Our Government has taken a stance on such issues that’s clearly the polar opposite of its counterparts at Westminster. Its tone has been very much one of compassion, sympathy, empathy and warmth regarding issues of asylum and immigration. I therefore consider it’s more vital than ever that whoever wins the contest to be SNP leader and subsequently first minister continues, without rowing back even one inch, on our Government’s admirable humanitarian position. By the way, Gary Lineker, you should make Scotland your home. We will make you feel welcome!
Ivor Telfer
Dalgety Bay, Fife

LIKE most people, Nicola’s sudden resignation at first was intriguing and then, with the passage of time, reality set in that the required changes would dominate the SNP after their long innings as the most successful, powerful and dominant party. Internal changes will now occur towards a successful outcome for a long overdue independence from Westminster’s clutches in hopefully the near future.

For quite some years now, I have been troubled with thinking that the wording for the SNP does not gel with many voters. Hoping that future changes will result as a new first minister is elected, part of those changes would perhaps also include a changed name for the SNP.

The word “national” can have the wrong connotation with many voters. With likely overdue changes to further independence being explored and acted on, now is the time for the SNP to change their name to have more meaning that voters would understand towards an overdue independence. A successful nation via independence for its own use – and so leave England to stand on its own feet, and it is no doubt quite capable of finding its own political way. After all, it achieved its desired Brexit, which is some form of independence from everyone else, and reluctantly pulled Scotland into that equation.

A new name for the SNP? Why not.

Perhaps “SP”, to stand for the Scottish Party. Yes, Scottish Party?

After all, down south, political parties are readily identified by similar – Liberal Party; Conservative Party; Labour Party, etc. We already have that in Scotland and the voter knows where to put their mark readily. If the SNP were to fit in that way, it would show they have grown up and abandoned their long but successful innings and I am sure would reel in some extra membership. Scottish Party? Yes, that has real meaning. Even some from other parties in Scotland could easily change their vote to Scottish Party when voting in Scottish elections.

As a well advanced octogenarian, change has been an important, dominant aspect of my life – some good, some bad, some disastrous but benefits amass given time. Change in life is a positive. Look what is happening with Nicola’s resignation and the dust will eventually settle, perhaps even quicker – time will tell.
WD Mill Irving

I DO wish our politicians would stop weakening Scotland’s case for independence by constantly talking about Scotland’s democracy. Politicians may live in a democracy but I live in a semi-dictatorship. The whole world has turned its back on the system that England favours and SNP politicians call democracy.

We have a vote in Westminster but 59 MPs out of more than 600 is not democracy. It’s a colony being ruled in a parliamentary system it has no power in. To appease the natives, we have been given a puppet parliament where Westminster retains overall control with no right to our own assets or the income from those assets. A colony indeed.

In 1707, politically powerful lords were the norm, but in the 21st century, unelected, politically powerful institutions represent dictatorships.

One way to gain independence is through our ballot box and we start by making the case for Scotland’s economy. For years, our economy has been rubbished by GERS, but at long last Kate Forbes has the political will to separate Scotland’s economy from the UK’s. Why was this not done years ago by those who profess to want independence? Too much time-wasting on policies designed to satisfy minority groups.

Before the 2014 referendum, many countries did not know that Scotland was a separate country with its own flag and as part of the UK we all enjoyed democracy. We need a leader who will stand up to international brow-beating by explaining at every opportunity the political reality Scotland is ruled under.

If we are going to be held by international law to a union signed 300 years ago, then we use the law to break that union. How many times has Westminster broken union rules that they are held to as much as Scotland is? Where is the political will to hold Westminster to union rules – and how often must they break those rules before that union becomes null and void?
Mrs G Ross

UNLIKE Christopher Bruce (Letters, Mar 7), I was fortunate to visit the Ness of Brodgar site, admittedly some years ago, and when there was told that it dated from 5000 BC. So I agreed with Iain WD Forde that “this site predates Stonehenge” which I understood to date from 2000/2500 BC.

However, in order to check the scale of pre-dating, I went on Google and lo and behold they now have the Ness of Brodgar as dating from “around 3000 BC” and surprise, surprise, Stonehenge from “around 3000 BC”.

So my belief that the builders of the Ness of Brodgar might have taught the designers of Stonehenge how to build now lies in tatters.

To use a current (horrible) expression, “levelling up” was clearly in operation even then, if Google is to be believed!
Paul Gillon
Leven, Fife

IF any money can be found for a heritage project it must be the Ness of Brodgar and not the Victorian folly that is Kinloch Castle, Rum.

This Neolithic site is well worthy of World Heritage status and it should be preserved.

What an amazing museum it would be.
SallyAnn Urry