THE “Horrornation” is past at last. Many Scots will breathe a sigh of relief.

Now, issues of relevance must take centre stage, as illustrated in Saturday’s National. A highly pertinent article by Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp (The wellbeing economy approach is key to our prosperity and to indy) should by read and understood by all those with their eye on the future.

Grow the economy, boost the GDP – it’s the inane mantra of many politicians worldwide.

Shrink the economy before critical factors affecting the planet does it for us is perhaps, maybe, a saner view, but could even lead directly to growing inequality.

Courtesy of major trading businesses, our consumerism, in all its forms, is expanding at a rate which is now considered by many to be at odds with the wellbeing of the planet’s environment. As the trap closes, who is willing to cut their present lifestyle? The poor have little option.

Major bank takeovers and the move to card and online banking means the distribution of power and wealth is falling into fewer hands. Before too long, this might prove a key factor in controlling the welfare and behaviour of the masses, hopefully not by using private armies. Manufacturing weapons of mass destruction as one means of expanding GDP will only lead to bulldozing more bodies and towns into polluting landfill sites.

Scotland, get a grip! Gain independence! Stop being deflected by the crowning nonsense of worshiping one family. Our wellbeing, perhaps ultimate survival, depends on many voices at international level preaching environmental morality to the all powerful.
Iain R Thomson

I LOVED the singing of the Celtic fans at Hampden last weekend. It takes me back to the 1967 game at Wembley when the same anthem rang round the ground and later in the streets of Soho. Except substitute “coronation” for “World Cup”.
Eric Morris

IT took some time, but I have found something good about the coronation.

It lets us see how much the rest of the world has changed since the same ceremony was performed in 1953.

Then, we had dozens of street parties. I know, as I was working for the local paper in Leith, the Gazette, and spent a large part of the day photographing street parties. Where are they now?

Next day, I was on a train south to join the RAF on my national service, which took me to Germany to work as an intercept controller when we were expecting the Russians to follow their takeover of East Germany with an invasion of West Germany.

It was also a time when Scotland’s education system was rated as one of the world’s best. That, of course, was before we imported the appalling comprehensive system from England.

And a time when obesity was a rarity at large, virtually unknown in the school system and certainly among nurses.

Car ownership was rare enough to limit the air pollution in city streets. Little, if any, of the food we ate was stuffed with damaging preservatives. And none of it was stuffed into plastic containers – which helped to ensure our streets were by and large free from litter.

Of course, some of the changes to our lives since 1953 have been for the better.

Off hand, I can’t think of many. But God bless WhatsApp. When I was in the RAF, and when I was working in Canada in the 50s, my communication with my parents was a weekly letter from them and one from me in return. Now my family chats, often with photos, on an almost daily basis. Which you will appreciate how much that means to me when I tell you that one of my daughters lives in Hawaii, one in Guatemala, one in the United States and one in London. Yes, I know… as far from their faither as possible. My son, on the other hand, is only 280 miles away in Nottingham.

And I have to say how glad I am to have my National delivered daily. And not just for the Giant Crosswords.
Bill Sinclair

THERE has been much talk about “cancel culture” after Joanna Cherry was “dis-invited” by Edinburgh’s Stand Comedy Club. This letter isn’t, however, about that specific incident. It’s about the rank, sickening hypocrisy of those on the right of Scottish and UK politics who have gleefully jumped on this to denounce all those they see as woke types that they consider cancel free speech at the drop of a hat.

To digress, and please bear with me on this one, apparently there is this hunk of metal. It’s like the robot out of Lost In Space, a bairn’s sci-fi programme from the 1960s which I fondly remember. It’s called Archie Ian Bot, or AI Bot for short. I understand you can take its heid off and stuff it full of shredded UK newspapers, then give it a few seconds to digest them.

If you then say, “Archie, what is cancel culture?” he would state: “That is when lefty, woke, snowflake, politically correct people refuse to listen to nice, normal, ordinary, no-nonsense people who talk common sense. Such as fears of an invasion of immigrants, about horrible foreigners, about Muslim terrorists, about there being no real poverty, just lazy scroungers, about gay and trans people polluting the minds of innocent children, about ungrateful separatist Jocks, dangerous Republican Irish people and the weird Welsh.”

Poor old put-upon Archie proves that those throughout the UK who are opposed to right-wing politics are effectively cancelled every day of their lives by their views being rubbished, with no right to reply, by the vast majority of the “free” print press (that certainly isn’t “free” to own) and much of the media. If that’s not cancel culture, what the hell is?

Changing the subject a bit, I was totally disgusted at the fawning behaviour of an STV reporter interviewing Trump and asking him about Nicola Sturgeon, knowing full well what negative stuff he would say about her. When Trump gets more respect than our former first minister there really is something totally rotten in parts of the “Scottish” media.

Aye, the next time someone wants to stuff “facts” into ye Archie, gie them a gid zap wi yer laser beams!”
Ivor Telfer
Dalgety Bay, Fife

I DISAGREE with Stephen Flynn’s analysis of the impact of the English council elections on the next General Election. I don’t think the SNP will be the kingmakers! People in England and Wales are starting to see what we’ve seen for some time now – that Labour and the CONservatives are indistinguishable in manner and policy.

Starmer will sit on the fence all the way up to and including the next election, continually fretting about saying, suggesting or actually doing something to upset the public or, more importantly, the mainstream media (MSM). No, the kingmakers will be the LibDems, in my opinion, who will pick up dozens of seats in England from disgruntled constituents sick to the back teeth of the two main parties playing pass the parcel with their ongoing economic incompetence.
Steve Cunningham

FISHING communities don’t necessarily have the unbiased wisdom required to ensure the continuity of a healthy fishing industry as they have a vested interest in maximising catches and current profits, so their opposition the current proposals for protected marine areas is understandable although not admirable.

They have always protested against any regulations to limit catches despite the fact that, left to their own devices, the fishing industry has overfished every species around the UK and heavy trawling has left the seabed as a desert where thousands of square miles of sea grass used to grow, sheltering juvenile fish. This heavy trawling has been compared to hunting rabbits by bulldozing their meadows.

Every spring, fish merchants sell many kilos of cod roe, each kilo comprising tens of thousands of eggs, when a sensible industry would have a short closed season on cod so that the eggs could hatch into next-year’s fish.

Unfortunately, long term planning appears to have no place in fishing communities.
James Duncan

I NOTED Humza Yousaf’s comments to the anti-poverty summit in Edinburgh where he stated that he had “asked every Scottish Government department to review upcoming policies to ensure they are better targeted at those on the lowest incomes”.

While it is commendable that Humza should wish to ensure that those people on low incomes are given better provision, he also needs to be very aware of the political consequences of his actions and in particular to those which may be compared to what the SNP stated in their 2021 Scottish election manifesto.

The Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) commented on the possible impact that such actions may have with regard to the SNP policy on “Free School Meals”. Page 61 of the 2021 SNP manifesto stated that as well as providing free school meals for primary school children, the party would also look in the longer term to “pilot the provision of free nutritious breakfasts in secondary schools and, based on the findings of the pilot project, explore the feasibility of universal provision in secondary schools”.

Given that this was a very clear statement within the manifesto, it would, in my opinion, be a very foolish politician who decided off his or her own bat that it is one that would not be honoured. I do not know who currently provides political advice to Humza Yousaf, but if they are in any way advising him to consider not honouring a manifesto commitment, then he or she needs their head examined! The example of what happened to the LibDems in the years following their 2010 somersault on university tuition fees was definitive. If the SNP political advisers of 2023 are not aware of this, then they need to be reminded.

The commitments made in the SNP manifesto of 2021 should run for the duration of the Parliament. On such principle, political trust with voters is built. Should Humza wish to alter any existing policy beyond that date, he should only do so in consultation with the SNP membership, either through the party’s annual conference or at a meeting of a reconvened SNP National Council.

The SNP stood and won the 2021 Scottish election on the basis of what was in the party’s manifesto. While I support and applaud Humza’s sentiments with regard to ending deprivation, it must not be done at the expense of any commitment made in that manifesto. If he has new ideas which he wants to introduce, then my advice to him is to consult with ordinary SNP members and listen to them. A good start to this would be to implement Resolution 22, passed at the SNP conference of 2021, and reconvene the SNP National Council.
Jim Finlayson