BMJ Public Health has published a paper on how inflation has impacted people in Scotland. Even with mitigation measures in place, premature mortality was estimated to increase by 6.4%, and life expectancy to fall by 0.9%. However, these impacts are not evenly distributed.

Because poor households spend a greater proportion of their incomes on energy than rich ones, they experience a higher inflation rate. They are also dying early at a higher rate.

Last year, the UK Government’s energy price guarantee and other mitigation measures resulted in a premature death rate of 2% in the richest areas but 8% in the poorest – four times higher. Without these supports, early deaths would have been 5% and 23% respectively.

READ MORE: Warning UK cost of living crisis will cause rise in premature deaths

Scottish households spend more on gas and electricity than the UK average, despite being more than self-sufficient in both, a result of being a de facto colony within the Union. If Scotland owned its energy resources, rather than multinational corporations and foreign governments, and if it, rather than Westminster, controlled energy and economic policy, then fuel poverty wouldn’t exist and Scotland would be more like its wealthier Nordic neighbours.

A healthy economy results in a healthy nation. The failing UK economy has meant lower life expectancy and wider health inequalities for all, but especially for the poorest.

It doesn’t have to be this way. The answer for Scotland is to take back control from Westminster, and put it in the hands of the sovereign Scottish people.

Leah Gunn Barrett

THERE is a Yes organisation called Salvo. You can read all about them at Their purpose is to utilise Scots law (there are 83 laws still live from before 1707) and international law to get us independence. They will do this by using current law including those international agreements signed by the UK Government.

The detail is too large a subject to cover fully in a letter. In summary, the laws of Scotland developed from the 13th century, so that by the time the 17th century came along the people of Scotland had in law made themselves sovereign. Not the crown, not the parliament but the people. At the end of each session of the old Scots parliament the people met at a Salvo meeting to keep the political leaders in check and push forward their demands directly. This is exactly what the Swiss do today via their system of referendums.

READ MORE: Jim Fairlie: Abstentionism may be the only route left to a referendum

The law that enshrines our sovereignty is the 1689 Claim of Right. That law was included into the 1706 and 1707 Acts and Treaty of the Union. The Claim of Right is approved and confirmed by Westminster regularly, the last time in the summer of 2018.

Salvo started up to educate people and also initiate actions regarding international, UK and Scottish legal knowledge. Part of this education was a modern document written earlier this year called the Stirling Directive. It’s on their website. This defines in modern English the Scots law as its stands today on sovereignty and the duties and responsibilities of our politicians to us the people.

The parliament’s presiding officer was sent a request for someone to meet Salvo last Wednesday and formally accept the document. No-one communicated back to Salvo and no-one was there to meet them at 11am as requested. Likewise a similar event took place at St Andrew’s House.

This is not just simple bad manners. It is also disrespectful of a campaigning Yes organisation. How can our politicians treat us so badly on this issue? They all swear allegiance to the people when they take up a new seat. Pity they do not want to accept the directive. I hope in time they will apologise to Salvo for their ignorant behaviour, say sorry and get on with honouring us, the people.

Please note that Salvo are not a political party, they are a campaigning Yes organisation fighting for our freedom not via a referendum but by using current law.

Robert Anderson

I READ with interest Rhoda Meek’s excellent article about the future of the Gaelic language in the Sunday National (Gaelic can be saved as a language, but saving its soul will be harder, Sep 24).

What it really required in the language heartlands is Gaelic-speaking parents bringing their children up speaking Gaelic and English, reaping the undoubted benefits of bilingualism while also having Gaelic-medium education.

I imagine that’s what happens in the Faroes with Faroese, except that the other language is Danish. The population of the Faroes is only about 52,000, much the same as the present number of Gaelic speakers in Scotland.

What we need here are a few Finlay MacLeod-type community development people, say, working in pairs, working for local grassroots organisations, paid for by government. I believe it would work wonders. Too high a price to pay? Surely not if it saves a wonderful language and culture from extinction.

Donald MacLeod
Strathnaver, Sutherland