THE Bank of England’s relentless raising of interest rates to supposedly quell inflation is complete madness, since inflation is not caused by excess consumer demand but by external shocks such as the war in Ukraine and corporate profiteering.

This, combined with the UK Government’s refusal to pay inflation-matching pay rises, is plunging over a quarter of the UK population into catastrophic debt and poverty.

The UK Government’s slavish devotion to the discredited and malign neoliberal ideology that only the private sector creates anything of value, is at the root of this misery.

The UK is deliberately engineering economic ruin for its citizens. It has already sold off all the country’s valuable assets to private corporations which are jacking up prices and stashing their profits in offshore accounts, while public services languish on life support.

READ MORE: UK economy grows 0.1% in first quarter despite March slump

And yet at the first sign of a private bank teetering because of its gambling in the global financial casino, the UK is only too eager to “find the money” to bail it out. But when it comes to investing in its own people and in the vital services they need to live a decent life, the government invokes artificial “fiscal rules” that lead to another grim round of austerity for millions, while the bankers and wealthy elite grow fatter. A Labour government will be no different.

So long as it remains a UK colony, Scotland’s assets will continue to be stripped and its people will become poorer. The answer is for the Scottish people to reclaim their sovereignty so they can create a fairer and more prosperous nation for all.

Leah Gunn Barrett



THE published figures in yesterday’s report on the cost of the Queen’s funeral – including an £18.8m bill for the Scottish Government – are only a small part of the true cost when you take into consideration the impact on industry, commerce and the greater economy. It’s a crazy number that then becomes embarrassing when the UK cost of around £161m is multiplied up.

The money spent on purely ceremonial charges could have been put to much better public and charitable use in line with the alleged Christian beliefs and responsibilities of the sovereign.

I really can’t think on any positive benefit from the House of Windsor. Funeral costs starting at £161m, wedding costs and coronation costs add up to a ridiculous amount measured in hundreds of millions.

When are people going to realise that this great confidence trick is simply a charade and a meaningless futile attempt at national unity in a grossly unfair society?

However, it does seem that small steps are being taken, with the various republican groups gaining traction and publicity. I’m surprised they haven’t been shut down or targeted by the dark forces of the state but perhaps there’s hope for the wider movement to progress its aims.

Surely a truly democratic state would seek to encourage or engage in the real debate on the subject of monarchy? To be forward-looking we’re going to have to dump these throwbacks to medieval times and traditions sooner rather than later.

Dougie Gray

via email


KELLY Given’s unbridled outrage at what most people in the country – including many with ADHD phenomena and NHS psychiatrists – found to be a timely indictment of private online clinics was jarring to read (The BBC should apologise for sensationalist ADHD doc, May 18).

Her manifest anger most certainly distorted her ability to make a considered critique of the documentary and in particular and – irresponsibly in my view – ignored the very real concern by experienced psychiatrists that massive

over-diagnosis has taken place over recent decades. In addition, she downplayed the very real dangers of physical harm from amphetamines and the risk they pose of causing other psychiatric symptoms such depression, OCD and, in some

cases, psychosis.

ADHD is not a condition to be taken lightly and addictive stimulants should be the last card in the pack, especially for vulnerable children who may have very real cause to have become inattentive and impulsive in their social context.

Time and space does not allow me to fully elucidate her faulty “preconceptions” of this new pandemic and the many lives that have been destroyed by uncritical acceptance of mainstream psychiatry and its Big Pharma partners. Suffice to say readers should seek good sources of research to understand the controversy over this phenomenon.

Panorama made a useful contribution to exposing dangerous and slapdash diagnoses. Some of the horrible symptoms Kelly has suffered are to my knowledge not commonly associated with ADHD. They might well be helped by stimulants but in the long term amphetamines are debilitating and addictive.

Dr Andrew Docherty MRCP



ALEX Cole-Hamilton has either forgotten, or perhaps never realised, that without the Scotland of perhaps not so an ancient time, it would have taken longer for the world to become the “modern world” he refers to.

Scotland is certainly not “pining for an ancient nation” but simply the free and independent nation it was a little over 300 years ago. Hardly ancient. If he paid a visit to the Wallace Tower, just north of Stirling Castle, Cole-Hamilton would find the many references to those early, and not so early, inventions and manufacturing of all things Scottish which contributed to the modern world.

My constituency in Fife has been represented at Westminster and Holyrood by Cole-Hamilton’s party for some time. After this outrageous outburst denigrating Scotland’s history, I would hope to see an independence party representative returned in both parliaments after their next elections.

Alan Magnus-Bennett