IN Thursday’s paper, Ni Holmes wrote a letter about the uniqueness of the Scots language and how important it is to be protected by law in a similar way to Scots Gaelic. This is because language is us, it is our culture. A people without their language lose a great deal. They lose self, and with it the recognition and feeling of our cultural uniqueness.

In the latter part of the 1800s, a committee of the Privy Council in Westminster created the Scottish Education Department to teach us English, replacing the Church of Scotland which managed education before this. The plan was cultural change. At that time we all spoke Scots or Gaelic or both. The CofS taught Gaelic and Scots. Then, in 1911, the Scottish Education Department was moved to Edinburgh.

It is the policy of our education department to teach English and not our own language but that of a foreign larger neighbour. This is deliberate. It is to destroy culture. It was and is being done to eradicate Scottishness. Despite how both can be taught.

In the 1950s, in the Gaelic-speaking areas the teaching of that language was stopped and only English taught for the same reason. Many people, including the teachers, could not talk or read English. In some counties of Scotland today, most English teachers are non-Scots.

Our Scots leid, our other mother tongue, was demonised as poor slang English. It, as Ni Holmes explained, is not. English is the language now in Scotland for business and administration and for half of us, our main language. That will stay unless we change the law. Scots should be taught in schools as a second language to protect our history and culture. In the EU, children are taught their own language and most are taught English as the language of Western international business.

Hopefully then, once independent, many will revert to Scots as the youth gets older and English will be for international business and to allow us to talk to friends and family in other parts of these islands. Our culture will return.

I have read that most independence supporters talk some Scots. Many “No” supporters mostly identify with the English culture. Can you see the danger?

English is not our language or culture – it is imposed on us by an external country. Our Unionist countrymen who support a foreign land identify through an English culture and language. We must fight this by passing a law in Holyrood to protect Scots so that it is taught in our schools to all our children along with English. If we do not, it will make our fight for freedom harder. We lose ourselves.

Robert Anderson Dunning IN the independence campaign, there has now developed a widening gap between indy-supporting politicians and the grassroots indy movement which is now observable in opinion polls, why should this be?

One obvious reason that I can see for this is the failure of the SNP, and indeed the Alba leadership, to properly address the fundamental question of Scottish sovereignty. The leading figures of both the SNP and Alba will all assert with pride that sovereignty in Scotland is in the hands of the people. However, they then proceed to act as if this was not the case and it was merely an empty slogan.

Now the reality is entirely different, and the Scottish people are increasingly becoming aware of the gap between the words of politicians and their actions. It is undoubtedly true that in Scottish constitutional history, sovereignty in Scotland rests in the hands of the people and has done since the early 14th century.

This is no empty political slogan – it is a legal constitutional fact, so why do the politicians have such difficulty in establishing an independent Scottish state? What is stopping this? Where is the hold-up?

The real problem is that the politicians who proudly claim that sovereignty rests in the hands of the Scottish people do nothing to help the Scottish people apply their sovereignty. The Scottish people can only apply their precious sovereignty if they have a political institution through which it can be applied. It follows therefore that unless the Scottish political leadership provide the political institution required, the Scottish people can’t operate their sovereignty and this is creating anger and frustration among the people.

So what is this political institution the Scottish people need to exercise their sovereignty? In constitutional history, it is a “Convention of Estates”. Which, in modern terms, is a convention which represents the broad economic and social aspects of Scottish society. In 1989, a Constitutional Convention was established in Scotland which in fact drew up the draft of the Scottish devolved parliament. Believe in Scotland, in its document route to independence, calls for the recall of the Scottish Constitutional Convention, which would have the power to apply the Scottish people’s sovereignty.

What we need is for Scottish politicians to stop talking about Scottish sovereignty and to start supporting Believe in Scotland’s policy of re-establishing the Scottish Constitutional Convention. If we did this and all got behind it, then we can use our sovereignty to establish a democratic sovereign state. We will be able to do this – with or without support from Westminster.
Andy Anderson

ALYN Smith’s latest extensive pro-Europe column ends with the words: “At the next General Election, a strong contingent of SNP MPs can bring pressure to bear on the next UK Government to deliver radical changes which will help people.”

At the last UK General Election, the SNP returned 48 MPs (out of a possible 59) to Westminster. I suppose the rather obvious questions would be:

1. What will be the difference between those SNP MPs elected in 2019 and those elected in 2024?

2. Why will they be able to bring more pressure than the current group of SNP MPs (which includes Mr Smith)?

3. Why will these radical changes “help people throughout these isles”?

4. What “radical changes” does he refer to?

On current opinion polling, there is every chance that there will be fewer SNP MPs in 2024. Why on earth will they be able to bring more pressure than they have done in the past four years?

Without a change in attitude to the day-to-day operation of the House of Commons these are just meaningless words. They are simply a large carrot dangled in front of the ever-more-weary SNP members and supporters.
Glenda Burns

ANYBODY with a scintilla of an impartial brain will now have long deduced that the effects of climate change are highly likely to wipe us homo sapiens, animals and basically the natural world off the face of the planet, and probably sooner than we previously thought. There are some optimistic folk that think this can be averted if we drastically change our behaviour. The problem is, human nature (ie greed!) always gets in the way. However, right now, that’s all irrelevant. We have absolutely no option but to try and change – full stop!

Then there is ... Alex Salmond! I read in the Sunday National (September 10) that he’s cheesed off that Humza is quite rightly cheesed off at Fergus Ewing, amid reports Fergus faces severe disciplinary action over his rebellions against the Scottish Government and criticism of his party’s Bute House Agreement partners, the Scottish Greens.

Alex stated that Fergus was “articulating what everybody else knows – that the Green Party are a crushing liability to the independence cause”. Then I read the article on the opposite page. In it, the highly respected, impartial pollster John Curtice states: “The answer to why the Greens are polling strongly is quite simple. They’re appealing to a niche market whose views on environmental issues are very different from those who are criticising them. It’s the wrong argument to undermine the Greens.”

Who would any reasonable person, given the living hell that climate chaos is inflicting on millions of folk and billions of animals throughout the world right now, give their credence to between these conflicting views? I had to think a whole nanosecond about that one! I would go much further. This relentless bashing of the Greens is cringeworthy and embarrassing to think what anyone throughout the world who genuinely wants to save the planet looking in on Scottish politics makes of it.

What would Greta Thunberg make of it? If she met Alex in the flesh, I think he would have one of her famous contemptuous, withering looks coming his way! After all, for years now, Greta has always been the true “adult” in the room!

Lang may yer lum reek, Scottish Greens, and aw thaim in the SNP supportive of youse! Dinnae let the Salmond grind ye doon!
Ivor Telfer
Dalgety Bay, Fife

DAVID Pate is, of course, right to refute Flower of Scotland as Scotland’s national anthem (September 11). It is a maudlin dirge, more suited to being bawled in the pub. At least that aspect is Scottish enough. I have little objection to its martial sentiment (La Marseillaise, one of the greatest of national anthems, is thrilling and admired the world over), but Flower of Scotland conjures up a Jimmy Wig and much-too-long, lager-stained kilt. Others have described it as “ghastly Brigadoonish mince”. Being “loved”, however, as it undoubtedly is, is not enough. As David Pate says, our small, extraordinary nation has unrivalled achievements and a place in the affections of the wider world which deserve an appropriate anthem.

It actually has a worthy contender. Scots Wha Hae is superb with a jauntier tempo. Imagine a roll of drums, crash of brass then off we go. I have just such a recording and it is thrilling.

With a tune thought to have been played at Bannockburn, and with words by our national poet, its credentials are impeccable.

If the process of choosing a national anthem looks like becoming an excruciating farce dominated by the “red-top” press, then the Scottish Parliament should take control (as it should have long ago), and appoint a panel of our finest musicians and composers to consider the matter seriously. We have the time to do this properly.
David Roche

ONE possible reason for the rise in support for the Labour Party is related to Westminster. There is a significant rise in anti-Tory sentiment and while voting SNP will not rid us of the Tory-led UK Government, voting Labour may well do. This is probably the principal reason for Labour’s anti-indy stance.

It wouldn’t be so bad if Labour were actually able to permanently embed a truly egalitarian socialism in the UK but they have never achieved this and given the UK establishment, they never will. Another short-term period of Labour in charge will not really change things. So the only way to create a socially orientated society – which is the natural inclination of Scots anyway – is to band together, show the waverers the benefits and get independence over the line.
Nick Cole
Meigle, Perthshire