IT is blatantly obvious to all that the announcement made by the British Prime Minister regarding North Sea oil and gas is nothing more than environmental vandalism on a global scale.

Selling/auctioning more than 100 new licences is all about raising cash for the coffers of the Westminster Treasury and keeping its fossil-fuel masters happy.

Little, if any, of the oil and gas makes its way to Britain, with the vast majority being sold on the international market.

But the promise to extract every drop from the North Sea basin for short-term monetary gain reminds me of another disastrous prime minister, Gordon Brown. He sold off the gold reserves and raided pension funds. What happened then was years of austerity under the Tories.

What we are also seeing are election promises. Promises such as the carbon-capture plant along with 21,000 jobs in Peterhead – promised once before years ago, then cancelled.

All they are doing is selling off the family silver, or should I say Scotland’s silver. It happened so often in the past and in most cases all this did was make people poorer. Scotland has to wake up to these Westminster attacks before the “new clearances” decimate our country.
William Golden

The report on the Rutherglen by-election by Abbi Garton-Crosbie in The National on Wednesday wisely avoided speculation on the conduct of the recalled MP or the campaign that will no doubt generate many comments based on emotions rather than facts.

The London-based triumvirate have nothing to offer so it won’t be long before their campaigns descend into attacks on the SNP, no doubt the most virulent based on their treatment of the now recalled MP.

It is worth recalling that she is where she is today because she failed to consider the consequences of her conduct on the health and safety of her parish, her constituents and the public.

The statement made by Sheriff Principal Craig Turnbull in Glasgow Sheriff Court on September 13, 2022, when sentencing Margaret Ferrier, is essential reading for anybody following the by-election campaign.

In it, he links the details of her actions to the charges and gives the reasoning behind the sentence, along with an accurate, detailed timeline of the events that occurred from the time she felt unwell until she returned home from London.

The next few months will be very interesting.
John Jamieson
South Queensferry

HAVING first been thrown under the wheels of the SNP battle bus, it has finally rolled over Margaret Ferrier and consigned her to Scottish political history.

Ferrier attended the Commons chamber almost every day of the week, even on the rare days when it sat on a Friday. Out of all 650 MPs, she had the second highest number of contributions at question time. Between April 2022 to April 2023, she spoke 354 times. In the last week of this parliamentary session, she contributed 18 times. I hope her replacement, whoever it may be, is even half as hard working.

The National: The likely by-election campaign in the Rutherglen and Hamilton West seat of disgraced MP Margaret  Ferrier will highlight all kinds of divisions Image: PA

I assume her constituency office staff have now joined the ranks of the unemployed. I hope the SNP leadership is happy with the outcome. It is interesting to note that less than 15% of the electorate voted to unseat Ms Ferrier. There are more than 15,000 postal voters registered in the constituency, around 7000 more than the number required to hit the 10% threshold for the recall petition. Thousands of Unionist postal voters were handed a golden opportunity to change their MP. They did not even need a stamp to return their ballot paper.

In terms of the timing of the by-election, October 5 or 12 are apparently the favoured dates. Short of a major miracle – we live in hope but must deal in reality – the seat will fall to Unionist Labour.

A week, as they say, is a long time in politics so things may change in the next couple of months. The SNP conference will be held from October 15-17. Hopefully there might be an opportunity for an extensive post mortem and much-needed reflection on the way ahead should Rutherglen not go in the SNP’s favour.
Dr Iain Evans

I WAS very disappointed by the wording of your front page on Wednesday, “voters kick out Ferrier”. This was more like something from the Unionist press and is not helpful to the SNP in trying to win the by-election.

Can I also say Margaret Ferrier was badly treated by her party. She did make a mistake, for which she was sentenced by the court, and losing her job as well seems a disproportionate punishment.

Meantime, no punishment or sanctions seem to be forthcoming for those MPs who dished out hundreds of millions of taxpayers’ money to their Tory pals for dodgy PPE equipment, etc, with nothing to show for it.
Angus Ferguson

MY thanks to Richard Easson for his quoting of the Act of Union. It confirms beliefs I have long held anent the overreach of the powers assumed by Westminster, in particular the use of Henry VIII powers.

Underlying the terms quoted in this context is another stipulation, that both the Scottish and English parliaments would be dissolved and a new joint one set up. Westminster, therefore, is by law NOT a continuation of the earlier English parliament, so that laws and statutes of that defunct body have no validity in the current parliament, making the powers in question nothing more than a note in history.

Furthermore, if Westminster is acting as an English parliament, does that not contravene the Act of Union and invalidate it, thus justifying Holyrood becoming a Scottish Parliament, independent of any control or interference from Westminster?

Should we not be identifying this and other breaches of the Act to build a case in international law for Scotland restoring our full sovereignty over the form of government that best suits our needs? Let us start that process and give our opposition more than one strand of action to combat at the same time.
L McGregor