DEPUTY Prime Minister Oliver Dowden has called for an “exhaustive list” of every Scottish school and nursery as part of an £8 million plan to install portraits of King Charles. This ridiculous directive is reminiscent of an authoritarian state rather than a democracy.

The Tories have recently been complaining about civil servants working on developing the case for independence. That work has been democratically mandated by a majority of the people of Scotland and this hare-brained scheme of Dowden’s is indicative of just how desperate and hypocritical the Tories are.

In my letter of August 20, I stated just how important the teaching and promotion of our proud Scottish history is in secondary schools and other teaching institutions. Today’s youth are tomorrow’s adults and the young are the age group that are most likely to vote for independence.

The Tories and Unionists in general are well aware of that fact and despite the evidence that the Tories are cutting the Scottish budget, they can still shake the magic money tree and invest millions of pounds in what can only be described as the attempted indoctrination of our young.
Sandy Gordon

PRESUMABLY the portrait of King Charles will be wide enough to accommodate his right honourable ears. I expect Westminster will make money available to widen the doors of all public buildings.

That will, of course, be taxpayers’ money. It’s apparently in such short supply that we can’t pay doctors properly and we can’t afford to pay teachers and their support staff, and our council workers, a living wage.

The time has surely come to stop this monarchy farce, together with the House of Lords and the whole corrupt honours system. If that seems to be a step too far for England, then independence can’t come quickly enough.
Tony Kime

I SENT the following to my Tory MP, John Lamont. Will he respond? Well, he hasn’t answered any other questions I have sent him about his so-called government at Westminster.

“Just how many school lunches would £8m buy? Or extra CT scanning machines? Or more mental health practitioners for young people? How much insulation for substandard housing? Etc. Please tell me you do not agree with this amount being spent on a bunch of portraits of an unelected monarch!”
Betsy Barker

I’M not often lost for words but I really didn’t know what to say about Saturday’s column from SNP president Michael Russell, headlined “The time has come to turbocharge land reform”.

Mr Russell was first elected to the Scottish Parliament in 1999. Between then and his retirement in 2021, he held almost a record number of senior Cabinet positions. For two years, he was environment minister.

His column ends with the rousing words: “The only people who are desperate to preserve that situation – to ensure that a rich man can always sit in his castle with a poor man always at his gate – are Tory lairds and their apologists at Holyrood and Westminster. We should not let them do so for a single minute more.”

Why it is only now, 24 years after Mr Russell entered the Scottish Parliament, that “the time has come to turbocharge land reform”? Land reform has been on the SNP’s back burner for a very long time.

Sadly I suspect that is where it is going to remain for the foreseeable future. It has simply become a giant carrot dangled in front of rural Scotland’s voters at election times by all political parties.
Glenda Burns

I DID not know if I should laugh or cry while reading Lorna Slater’s column headlined “Westminster is terrified by the Bute House Agreement” (Aug 25). I rather suspect Westminster and Unionists are actually having a really good laugh at the agreement.

It has led to a number of Green policies helping to drag down support for the SNP to such a level that they are now in imminent danger of being overtaken by the Scottish branch office of the UK Labour Party. A lot has happened since the Bute House Agreement was signed two years ago – almost all of it not to the benefit of the SNP.

Ms Slater claimed: “At times it has been a rollercoaster and has taken our politics into uncharted territory. But we have learned from one another, worked well with each other and delivered on the kind of policies and priorities Greens have been shouting about for years but have never been in a position to turn into action.”

As many opinion polls have confirmed, the wheels have sadly come off the rollercoaster and it is now in freefall. At some point in the next year, the UK General Election will see it hit the ground with a number of SNP MPs (possibly around half of them) becoming political casualties.

As the Greens have no MPs in Scotland, they have nothing to lose. Perhaps the fact they have been shouting about some other policies for years but have never been in a position to turn them into action might suggest there is a certain lack of support for them among the public.

Most telling of all was the fact that Ms Slater recently visited Rutherglen to support the Green candidate standing against the SNP candidate in the forthcoming by-election. The Green candidate will attract a small number of votes, perhaps enough to help ensure the election of a Unionist Labour MP.

The National: Cameron Eadie with Green Co-Leaders and activists - Credit: Scottish Greens/ Cami Glasgow.

The result of the by-election will be very interesting in that it may unfortunately indicate how far our rollercoaster has fallen. Maybe then it will be time to tear up the agreement, put it in the recycling bin and remove the two Green ministers from the Cabinet.
Brian Lawson