GERRY Hassan was thought-provoking as usual on Tuesday (We must kickstart a new strategy for indy with post-mortem of why we lost in 2014). Coupling that with General Election poll warnings to the SNP, just how long have we got before we’re really in the doldrums?

The Tory party won’t willingly go to the slaughter at the next elections. They’ll play a variety of cards, not least diversity and patriotism.

They’ve had three women PMs, two from BME communities if you count Disraeli, four BME Chancellors in three years and the first BME Foreign Secretary.

But their diversity, aimed at excluded, marginalised groups, wraps itself in a warped sense of inclusion. Tory inclusion to a great degree is aligned to their vision of patriotism and isolationism, and that sadly will continue to appeal to many across society.

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Tory patriotism means penalising the victims, currently focusing on the people crossing the Channel in boats. It means the harsh punishment of sending them off to a third country, a black African nation. But all the while they’re ignoring the criminals who organise and profit from the trade in the homeless, the destitute.

Have we forgotten the victimisation that came with the Tory rape clause? Or the stigmatisation of the working poor needing to strike, or that the UK is an entity that depends on food banks? But now, by voting Tory you’re securing borders and helping to keep the land green and pleasant all the while wrapped in the Jack. And if inflation drops further between now and the General Election, they’ll tell us we’ve seen off the greed of the unions and we stood together, coming through food shortages. They will invoke an at-home fighting spirit as we’re still fighting the dictatorship of Russia, abroad and at a distance.

It’s not a given that Labour will have a majority, so we know they will throw everything at Scotland. There might not be more than the proverbial cigarette paper between Tory and Labour, but smooth it out and Labour will promise the new, fresh face of politics.

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Labour’s tack will be to remind us how detrimental the Tories have been to the UK economy, to our pockets, our mortgages, to the NHS, to our standing on the global stage, insisting how much better off we’ll be with Labour.

Being better than the Tories shouldn’t be enough and we’re better than both the Tories and Labour, aren’t we? After all these years with our majority in Westminster and pro-indy governments, we should be. We should be confident of not just holding, but winning, as opposed to considering the unthinkable. We know that “wanting” indy doesn’t cut it, but without a route to indy, where is the political vision for Scotland’s future that we can offer? What’s our alternative?

Something needs to change in the narrative otherwise we just might see a Labour Party now further centre-right than ever before in government, with a dispirited Yes movement and no effective pro-indy political leadership.

Selma Rahman

I AM dismayed by the proposed selection of names to be given to the soon-to-arrive Tay Crossing. It has been suggested that local school children choose between:

1) Coronation Crossing and Destiny Road

2) King’s Bridge and Destiny Road

3) Destiny Bridge and New Kingsway

It should not escape you that they all contain a royal element. Why would our councillors propose these names? The recent damp squib of a coronation should be ringing bells that support for the monarchy and Westminster is low and plummeting! Let’s put an end to this cap-doffing symbolism.

May I suggest opening a contest to local schools to come up with a shortlist of names of their OWN choosing? Or better still, give it the title “No Before Time Tay Crossing”.

Alan Black
via email

I WOULD like very much to thank your correspondent Alex Leggatt for his kind words about the City of Perth (Letters, May 24) and express my delight that he and his wife enjoyed their recent two-day visit here so much.

Like all other local authorities in Scotland, Perth and Kinross is not without its budgetary challenges but we place a high value on keeping the city and all other parts of Perth and Kinross clean, tidy and welcoming and cuts in this area were rejected at our recent budget.

I hope very much that Mr Leggatt and his wife will choose to come back to Perth later next year when the new Perth Museum in the old City Hall, designed to host the Stone of Destiny, will be open.

Andrew Parrott
Perth City Centre Ward Councillor and Depute Provost of Perth and Kinross

THE creeping privatisation of the NHS in England should be a warning shot that the Tories are set on ending the NHS throughout UK. Labour cannot be trusted to reverse the trend – witness their refusal to change protest and anti-union laws should they win the next General Election. All persons who desire independence must start our project fear by letting everyone know that only by Scotland being self-run will the NHS remain and expand. Further, I would suggest that any NHS-funded invention or procedure should invoke royalties from any organisation using such.

M Ross