MY partner and I really enjoyed our day at the independence march in Edinburgh organised by Believe in Scotland and Yes for EU. Before it started, we witnessed Lorna Slater, Patrick Harvie, Ross Greer, Jamie Hepburn and Keith Brown interacting in such a genuine, cheery spirit of camaraderie. In the current climate of much negativity at times, it was really heartwarming to see!

Then we got home and it all went horribly wrong. I put on Channel 4 News, my telly news of choice. However, in my euphoria following the march, I momentarily forgot that Channel 4 News, along with the rest of UK and Scottish telly news, is unashamedly biased against our cause.

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At no point did they show pictures of the independence supporters who had enthusiastically marched down the Royal Mile earlier that afternoon. Ciaran Jenkins studiously ignored what had just happened that day and spent most of his interview with Humza forensically grilling him about the latest concrete scandal and the remainder about the SNP’s slide down the opinion polls over the past year. Humza had to remind him about the humongous positivity surrounding the earlier march and that support for independence was still around 50%.

There’s nae way the timing of this soor attack was coincidental. Nae chance! If it wisnae concrete, it wid be drug or alcohol deaths, ferries etc. We all know the script! Anything, absolutely anything, but having the good grace to acknowledge the FACT there was massive support for independence on the streets of Edinburgh that day! Shame on you, Channel 4 News!

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For aulder gits like me, and many younger folk, of course, who still switch on the telly to keep adrift of current affairs, this distorted picture of reality in Scotland is what we are being fed. It’s no wonder that many folk, particularly those not really into politics, having consistently and relentlessly received “SNP/independence bad” messaging by the media and printed press, with the exception of The National/Sunday National, of course, are going to think the SNP and independence are, well, bad! Once that is ingrained into the psyche, it’s extremely difficult to shift.

So let’s cut Humza a bit of slack. Converting more folk in Scotland to our cause, given the absolute stranglehold the Unionist side has on what information is, and crucially isn’t, communicated to the public, would be a ginormous task for absolutely anybody in his job right now.

I suggest a new chant for the next indy march – “What do we want? Oor ain press! When dae we want it? NOW!”

Ivor Telfer
Dalgety Bay, Fife

BOOK me an anger management class NOW! The Chain of Freedom from Edinburgh to Bowling was set to host 70,000 Scots peacefully, hand in hand, across our country, on October 14, 2023. Plans and negotiations and work, work, work from Judith Reid, Wilma Bowie, and the 10 folk who have been working the social media –then on Wednesday, the powers that be along the Union Canal forbade the use of the towpath claiming health and safety issues.

Well, if it ain’t safe for a few Scots to stand still and hold hands along it for half an hour, they’d better close the whole thing because surely it has to be dangerous for everyone! NCR 754, they say, is unsafe!

READ MORE: Chain of Freedom plan update after canal rejection

The Celtic Park stadium has a capacity of 60,411 and the infrastructure of Scotland is enough to support that. Thousands of people have signed up for this event, made arrangements with coach companies and booked hotels. People have booked flights from Australia and Sweden. Independence-supporting MPs, MSPs and notable people from the independence movement have endorsed the chain and have signed up to be a part of it. Even the First Minister wished the idea success.

Would the French take this? Well, we Scots never seem to get worked up like they do but this has got my blood boiling and as one of the many who have traversed the entire length of both Union and Forth and Clyde canals, I really do not understand the problem. After all, it is possible that an orderly bunch of 70,000 individuals who have a passion for Scottish independence could all arrive at the same time and start to stroll along the canal towpaths.

The canals belong to the people of Scotland, and I would urge anyone who is a supporter of independence and who feels that a human chain across our country to demonstrate that passion is a good idea to now contact your independence-supporting MP and MSP and make it clear to them that whoever in the Union Canal management has, at this late stage, decided to try to scupper this great event should think again – and quickly.

Cher Bonfis
via email

I AM writing concerning part of the letter by David McCrory under the heading “Normalisation of buzzwords is key to examining the concepts further” (Sunday National, The long letter, September 3). Regarding a “unilateral declaration of independence (UDI)”, he writes in item one: “… My belief it’s the only way to restore independence.”

That wording seems to suggest that he really doesn’t understand what a UDI actually is. A “unilateral declaration of independence (UDI)” or “unilateral secession” is a formal process leading to the establishment of a new state by a subnational entity which declares itself independent and sovereign without a formal agreement with the state from which it is seceding.

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I previously had a letter on this subject printed under the heading “UDI is not as simple as some seem to suggest” (Sunday National, November 22, 2020). Regarding the UDI of Kosovo, the International Court of Justice Advisory Opinion on the UDI in respect to Kosovo, July 22, 2010: “… did not violate any applicable rule of international law… A UDI does not create a state; it is not among the criteria of statehood as specified in the Montevideo Convention.”

The Montevideo Convention Article 1 states: “The state as a person of international law should possess the following qualifications: (a) a permanent population; (b) a defined territory; (c) government; and (d) capacity to enter into relations with other states.”

There have now been 37 UDIs since 1776 and only 16 of them have been fully successful. The fact is that it has now been more than 100 years since there has been a successful UDI from the UK.

Everything I have written is verifiable. Another letter-writer said: “You cannot change reality by wishing it away.”

Facts are chiels that winna ding.

Michael Follon

ONE of the announcements from Scotland’s First Minister Humza Yousaf during the presentation of his Programme for Government should certainly have made the headlines – £12 an hour for both childcare and social care workers, a huge 10% increase and very deserving. With an ageing population and a shortage of care staff and nursery staff in the country, this announcement is the Government at Holyrood reaching out and recognising the vital role social care plays in keeping many in their own homes and tackling loneliness. It may be worth mentioning that the minimum wage for over-23s across the UK is £10.42 an hour.

Catriona C Clark

WE want to thank The National for giving prominence to Scottish culture with Alan Riach’s excellent articles. We’ve been introduced to a lot of brilliant writing that would otherwise have passed us by, from Janet Paisley and of course Hugh MacDiarmid, to the wonderful Window To The West by Meg Bateman and John Purser. And now Kate Tough in Ohmage Of The People (Some literary reflections on royalty in our Dis-United Kingdom, September 4) – her poetry on the coronation surely reflects the feelings of so many of us who could never hope to articulate them so well!

Keep on with this great work!

Eileen Duke and Ken Wardrop

SWEATING at 25 degrees centigrade means heavy manual work becomes more than a shirt-off exercise. In a lifetime of working outside, pick and shovel or fencing tools, this unbroken sunshine leaves me only one choice – beach and suntan oil. In my young days as an Aberdeenshire orra loon, working a pair of Clydesdale horses at the ploughing, or carrying hundredweight and a half sacks of corn from a threshing mill into the loft, it was hands-on. I watched the introduction of “Fergie tractors” with hydraulic power change the face of farming.

Today, a large proportion of the so-called “labouring class” can let machines feel the heat. The up-and-coming generation of farm workers will experience another major shift in their lifestyle. Firstly, there will be less of them, less ruptures, and the heavy lifting done by robotic machines controlled by the farmer on his laptop. AI will soon spell more than artificial insemination to the farming of tomorrow as food production methods and soil fertility fall into the hands of the “money boys”.

There could be a dearth of practical hands who can mend a fence but a surfeit of “pen-pushers” twiddling their thumbs and telling us how to do it.

Iain R Thomson

SO petrol and diesel prices have gone up again – it looks like the oil producers are restricting production and that forces oil prices up.

The RAC reports there is not enough competition retailing petrol and diesel – the supermarkets “rule the roost” – though there are many independents, they are followers rather than leaders.

The CMA is about to insist that their dominance of fuel retailing should be interrupted, and a sell-off of some outlets by these retailing giants is planned or in discussion – however, this sounds like another “regulator failure”.

Having just watched the Netflix drama-documentary Painkiller, dealing with the highly addictive analgesic OxyContin, it was disappointing to see that Purdue Pharma got the product into the market by targeting one single person with a science background at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Eventually, it was taken off the market, but with 300,000 dead and $11 billion in the pockets of the owners, the Sackler family.

I am an ex-smoker, so it interests me that the latest issue that affects our children is vaping, driven by the massive power of the old tobacco industry.

It is obvious to me that the power of money and the need to be financially successful can drive reprehensible behaviour. In order to protect these regulators, I wonder if there is or could be a support team which protects the regulators from targeting.

The market is not an effective controller or regulator, as people in power can leave the building with their “ill-gotten” swag before the prison door shuts. They can shift their money out and away from the government’s reach.

Petrol and diesel prices affect the cost of living. National Grid charges affect electricity prices. Now, disposable vapes are creating a nicotine addiction in our teenagers.

Lets start unravelling this mess by banning disposable vapes now.

Alistair Ballantyne