WE would like to invite you, your colleagues, family and friends to the most adventurous independence event to date: The Chain of Freedom – Scotland.

This is being held on Saturday, October 14, and we hope that we can encourage as many grassroots supporters – including independence MSPs, MPs and councillors – to put all party politics aside for a day and join like-minded folks, side by side, to show your commitment to Scotland regaining her independence.

It takes approximately 70,000 like-minded independence supporters to stand, shoulder to shoulder, along the length of the Clyde, Forth and Union canals, using the NCR754 cycle path. At the moment, we have more than 15,000 registered to attend, more than 120 Yes hubs/groups have chosen their “links” and people are travelling from as far afield as France, Sweden, Canada and Australia.

We already have the backing of Alan Cumming, Lesley Riddoch, many independence-supporting MSPs, MPs and councillors, major independence groups such as Yes Bikers, The Silent Clansman, Yes Cyclists, Yes Choir, The Two Davies, Independence Live TV, Independence Podcasters, Caledon Radio, Aye Matters and many, many more. The numbers are growing every day.

For further information and to join us go to www.chainoffreedom.scot and click “join us”. Be part of Scottish independence history and don’t be the missing link – stand on your link, saltires flying and show the world we DO want Scotland to be a normal independent country.
Wilma Bowie
On behalf of the Chain of Scotland team

AT the Edinburgh Book Festival, Wes Streeting claimed taxpayer money funds the NHS. Politicians repeat this so often that it’s no wonder people take it as gospel. The truth neither the Tories nor Labour want you to know is that the UK Government can spend as much as is necessary to fund public services because it has its own bank and is the sole currency issuer.

The other truth they want to conceal is that every pound spent on health generates £4 in economic growth. It’s called the health multiplier because healthy people are able to work. Put simply, spending on health is an investment, not a cost. Improving the nation’s health enhances the nation’s wealth.

Long-term illness decreases employment, median income and economic output per person. The number of long-term sick in the UK has been rising steadily, with nearly 2.5 million working-age people off work. Investing in the NHS leads to lower A&E visits and non-elective admissions and increases workforce participation.

Scotland spends more on health per person and has more doctors, nurses, midwives and dentists than in any other UK nation. But we aren’t as good as we could be. As part of the UK, we lack the power to adequately invest in our people’s health and other public services which are the foundation of economic prosperity.

A Labour government won’t stop the rot because it pledges to extend the policies that have resulted in the UK being the most unequal G7 country apart from the US.

For Scotland, the only alternative to continuing decline is independence.
Leah Gunn Barrett

IVOR Telfer deserves my respect for many of his letters I have enjoyed in the past. In another, published last week in the Sunday National’s Seven Days supplement, I was surprised to read the following: “As the country of my birth still isn’t an independent nation, I guess, albeit reluctantly, officially I’m deemed to be British as well as Scottish.”

Let’s look at the history. Scotland became an independent nation state in 843AD, and until 1707 and the Treaty of Parliamentary Union with England, that was the case. That, by the way, is 864 years of independence up to that point, and the Kingdom of Scotland is the oldest in Europe.

The National: Tristran Clarke, a staff member at The National Archives of Scotland, in Edinburgh, looks over the Act of Union of the Scottish Parliament, which dates back to January 16, 1707..

In 2016, the UK Supreme Court stated that “the Treaty of Parliamentary Union between England and Scotland undoubtedly created a new state but it did not create one nation”. Indeed – and it didn’t create two nations either. What it did do was leave two nations still standing, namely Scotland and England in that order, because in the pecking order of precedence, the Scottish nation is older than the English variety and therefore should always be named before it. England did not become a nation until 924AD, almost 100 years after Scotland.

The Romans created a north-western province of their empire called Britannia in what today would be their defeated territories of England and Wales. The undefeated territory, and by God they did try, to the north of it they called Caledonia. By the 16th century, Britannia had already morphed into Britain, and an English polymath of Welsh descent, John Dee (1527-1608/9), an adviser to Queen Elizabeth I of England, coined the phrase British Empire and is also credited with the phrase British Isles. The latter being an outrageous claim that Scotland was part of Britain which it wasn’t, but it stuck and the lie is still in use to this day.

In 1707. following the ratifying Acts of Union, a new parliament was supposed to be set up in London called the Parliament of Great Britain but following the usual chicanery by perfidious Albion, the same English Parliament that had been sitting earlier was recalled, in an instantaneous breach of the Treaty of Union, and that English Parliament is still sitting today. So much for the Parliament of Great Britain, and so much for British identity. I am a Scot, or even a Caledonian if you like, and never will be a Brit. I am a proud holder of an Arran passport since the 1970s and that substitute will do me fine till I can apply for a genuine Scottish working example.
Bruce Moglia
Via email

IN the Sunday National, JRH McEwen suggests that though “a wrong-resenting race”, we should not dwell on past wrongs. I think the opposite. The SNP as they form the Scottish Government (and that think of themselves as a law-abiding party) should fight every historical and modern wrong in whatever court can be found – Scottish, UK, EU or international.

An old wrong from the time of the Treaty of Union is the failure to (re-)establish the Scottish Mint which if translated to modern terms would become a Scottish currency and banking system. Then there is the fact that after the treaty, the English Parliament carried on with unelected lords remaining part of the law-making system. Surely this is wrong, along with the archaic first-past-the-post which disenfranchises a huge part of the English electorate as well as the whole of Scotland making it even more undemocratic. Scottish law was supposed to be sacrosanct but now it is overruled by the Supreme Court, part of English law. We must have only Scots law in Scotland as guaranteed by the Treaty of Union.

Then there is the UK failing to observe the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons treaty and forcing Scotland against its will to join in this crime. There is the removal from the EU of Scotland against the popular vote. There are the current interventions of Westminster in the valid passing of laws in the Scottish Parliament.

My personal objection is the continued treatment of Scotland as a colony by the concealment of the true balance of payments between Scotland and the rUK. The facts about this have been ignored for many decades but should be published when to hand like any other set of financial transactions including such schemes as the London Weighting. Thus all the fiddles that have gone on for years will come to light instead of the dishonest and corrupt GERS believed only by those that believe in kelpies.
Iain WD Forde

I LIVE in Dumfries and Galloway and wouldn’t recommend cycling the country roads. The roads are an absolute disgrace.

Narrow roads with high hedges and blind corners compound the problem of the potholes and the raised temporarily repaired potholes, along with the verges/gutters that can be 20cms deep. It makes cycling extremely challenging and dangerous especially when also having to avoid the HGVs and huge agricultural vehicles that use these roads.

The roads aren’t wide enough for the recommended passing distance – without even taking into account the disrepaired roads.
Martyn Lindley
via email

IF the Taymouth Castle estate does become a gated community in spite of present denials, should the Scottish Government insist that if people are not allowed in then residents should not be allowed out?

M Ross Aviemore IN his letter of Aug 14, Richard Walthew posed the question of how do we overcome the Scottish cringe?

The answer is education and in particular the teaching of Scottish history at primary and secondary school level.

Just as centuries of Unionist indoctrination and the inculcation of negative tropes are at their most profound in early and formative years, it follows that the teaching of Scotland’s glorious history will foster a national pride and self-confidence and a “can do” attitude.

Education in parishes, schools and universities made the Scottish Enlightenment and Scottish innovation possible. It made Scotland and Edinburgh the centre of the intellectual world.

In sum, Scotland had a “can do” attitude.

When I attended secondary school, I was taught at best a smattering of Scottish history – all the rest was British history. It was only after I had left secondary school that I became aware of Scotland’s glorious history. It had a profound effect on me, I was filled with an empowering feeling of pride in being a Scot. I have a towering ambition and confidence in Scotland successfully making its way in the world and autonomously taking its place among the family of nations.

Chapping on doors is OK for connecting with the converted but it’s hardly going to persuade intractable doubters, that can only happen with an early years school curriculum that fully reflects Scotland’s amazing history.

So when those pupils are of an age to vote, they will have confidence and pride and a “can do” attitude in voting for Scottish independence.

Sandy Gordon Edinburgh FRONT-PAGE news in your sister paper The Herald, in colour headlines: “BP sees a future for North Sea oil and gas.”

Pity nobody saw that in 2014, it’s supposed to be exhausted.
Kenny Burnett