Well done Lesley Riddoch. Her take on the Westminster interference with the Holyrood administration is right on the money and it inspires me to ask any Unionist friends what their definition of “democracy” actually is.

Currently, the SNP don’t have their troubles to seek but I, for one, will never waver from voting for them right up to the time when Scotland frees itself of the burden of Westminster or I don the pine jerkin!

In 1979, we had the first referendum on Scottish devolution. There was, though, a requirement for 40% of registered voters to vote “Yes” so, despite there being a majority in favour, because that majority didn’t pass the 40% threshold, devolution was denied. Is that democracy?

In 1987, we had a General Election and 50 of the then 72 Scottish Westminster seats went to the Labour Party. However, Thatcher got in and introduced the Poll Tax in Scotland. Is that democracy?

Roll on to the 2014 referendum and because of one opinion poll, the gang at Westminster panicked, sending the three Unionist amigos from the Home Counties and arming them with the war cry, “If you vote Yes, you’ll be out of the EU”. Gordon Brown added to the mix by using the Daily Record to front-page his “Vow” and promises “faster, safer and better change than separation”. But where are we? Despite voting resoundingly, to remain in the EU, Scotland is now out! Is that democracy?

And so, to the latest affront. Alister Union Jack waits, despite there being nine months of debate in the Holyrood Parliament, until it has passed to slap this Section 35 veto on the Gender Recognition Reform Bill. Here are my questions with this one. Doesn’t he hold the brief “Secretary of State for Scotland”? Doesn’t that require him to know a bit about what’s happening in Scotland, like for example the passage of this bill?

Did he find it himself or did he have someone scour through the fine print of the Scotland Act to locate this hitherto never used Section 35? And is it democracy or is it the behaviour of a colonial viceroy wanting to emphasise the subordinate status of the elected administration of a vassal state? Given that ignorance and arrogance are a proven forte of the Conservative Party, I suspect the latter!

So, never mind the diversionary brouhaha about the rights, wrongs and minutiae of the GRR Bill – focus your attention on the Westminster brand of “democracy” and ask yourself: Is it “governance of the people, for the people, by the people” or is it “rule of a neighbouring state by a privileged minority”?
Ned Larkin

THE Scottish Government must take the blocking of the GRR Bill to every court it can – this about democracy!

To support the legal challenge, every party in Holyrood should be out at every opportunity, demanding the Tory government support the bill. LibDem and Labour leadership should be supporting this challenge. The bill was supported by four of the five parties and passed by 86 votes to 39.

We should make this about the right of Scottish MSPs to pass its laws as was envisaged in the 1707 act, with its in legal system equal in all ways to the English legal system!
Rab Doig

SUPPORTERS of Humza Yousaf’s decision to make a legal challenge to Alister Jack’s use of Section 35 of the Scotland Act to veto the GRR Bill often argue that, because it was backed by many Unionist opposition MSPs, this implies general support for the bill.

The National: Humza Yousaf has followed through on his leadership pledge and is taking the UK government to court over their blocking of the GRR BillHumza Yousaf has followed through on his leadership pledge and is taking the UK government to court over their blocking of the GRR Bill

But do proponents of the bill ever wonder why these Unionist MSPs, completely out of character, voted for it? Was it out of genuine concern for the welfare of a tiny minority, perhaps less than 0.5%, of the Scottish population?

Or could it be that they were assured by their London masters beforehand that the bill would be immediately vetoed by Jack and would probably plunge the SNP into chaotic division? Isn’t it strange that that is exactly what has happened?

If the First Minister and the SNP want to pick a fight with Westminster over a Section 35 notice then perhaps they should wait until something arises that is of real consequence to the majority of Scots and illustrates to them the benefits and urgency of our taking matters into our own hands through independence. You know, that might even increase support for independence.

The consequence of Yousaf’s decision, under pressure from the Greens, is exactly what the Westminster Unionists want, because it results in time, effort and valuable resources being squandered on an exercise in futility, when all energy and focus should be on achieving independence.

Westminster can block legislation by Holyrood any time it wishes and for any spurious reason and, can even abolish the Scottish Parliament whenever it wants. The only way to prevent England from dictating to Scotland is for us to be independent. That should be the priority of the SNP, not indulging in lost causes.
D Henderson

ELON Musk got it right the first time, the BBC is a state broadcaster. You only have to compare interviews with any Unionist politician and any SNP politician to confirm this.

Listen in to the latest interview with Jackie Baillie and she is allowed a rant about bad SNP – forgetting of course that Labour has had its own investigations into finances with the last Labour FM. Not even asked about the lack of information about Faslane.

Then listen to the interview with MP Philippa Whitford – she is interrupted constantly and barely gets to answer a question. The difference is now so stark – the BBC is getting bolder with any indy-supporting person and letting Unionists on air simply to diss the SNP and getting no difficult questions at all.
Winifred McCartney