MUCH of the comment from pundits and political commentators was about the content contained in the so called “King’s Speech”. As expected, it was a total non-event devoid of any policies aimed at addressing the appalling cost-of-living crisis which presently preoccupies the vast majority of our citizens as we approach Christmas and the perils of a hard winter.

The tinkering changes announced were as usual policies relating to England and contained nothing of relevance for the other nations of the UK. As expected, further devolution of areas such as immigration, trade union activities and the environment required by Scotland never materialised. The real issue was the context in which this was all taking place.

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In this year of 2023 the public here and abroad were subjected to an extravaganza of “Ruritanian” proportions not seen since pre 1917 tsarist Russia or at the height of the great royal houses of Europe in the mid-1850s. Perhaps this was tolerated during the Victorian age but surely in the 21st century it is now past its sell-by date. The younger generation – in fact, any generation – must greet such a spectacle if not with amusement and a high degree of indifference but an irrelevance to their day-to-day lives.

The Westminster parliament “bubble” is an expression that suggests that our seat of government is itself an archaic, out-of-touch institution still using procedures, rules, customs, sanctions, costumes, baubles and various implements of state which relate to a bygone age. It not only holds back modern democracy but is totally resistant to change. The spectacle of the “King’s Speech” showcased clearly the vested interests of the elite, the privileged and the entitled as they continue to have a stranglehold on the levers of power.

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Sadly, an unwritten constitution makes matters worse. The pomp and circumstance of the spectacle, the colourful costumes, the coach and horses, the finery of the those involved including the military and the royal household and just the huge number of of people present in the unelected House of Lords delivered an even “bigger bubble”. At a time of bankrupt, Brexit, broken Britain, what on earth did this cost? Do the elite even care!

From a Scottish perspective what we saw was not a UK parliament, it was the parliament of England with English emblems, English rules, English history, English paraphernalia and English pageantry. A “new UK parliament” was never formed and enacted from day one of the Treaty of Union. The odd thistle was seen here and there!

All that was seen and heard at the King’s Speech extravaganza simply showed that Scotland is and always has been a subject nation, at best a junior partner and at worst a country exploited and plundered for its wealth and resources. Let’s end this. Independence and nothing less.

Dan Wood

I READ in Wednesday’s National that 500 numpties were observed posturing and bellowing outside parliament. Does anyone care very much about their nonsense? It seems not. Cries of “not my king” heard – patent nonsense. Charles is their King even though they do not like it. Fax is chiels as winna ding. Teàrlach Rìgh na h-Alba and long may he reign.

R Mill Irving
Gifford, East Lothian

IT never fails to scunner me,
this pantomime and flummery:
He and She on gilded thrones,
with headgear of priceless stones.

He reads aloud, She checks nails,
as kowtowers crawl like snails;
oh how they bow, how they curtsy,
deary dear, it greatly irks me!

For sure, for sure, these ancient rites,
of ermine robes and men in tights,
tugging forelocks, stooping low,
are nothing but a medieval show.

Carriages and dressed-up horses,
the uniformed fighting forces,
this is England, twenty twenty-three,
does my head in, this is not me.

Children cry, hungry and cold,
never seen diamonds or gold;
all they wish is their daily bread,
not a fortune upon their head!

This nonsense cannot prevail,
it’s time to erase this fairy tale;
no longer this stupid pantomime,
it has to cease, and now’s the time.

George Robertson,

BEFORE the new Tory extremism becomes law and it is illegal to write to The National, which will become The North Briton, I wish to get in my last sixpence-worth.

I object to being ruled by an alien monarch, alien aristocracy, and a parliament elected under an out-of-date democracy which holds its power over my country Scotland through a corrupt Treaty which has been and is being ignored all the time.

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As far as I am concerned there has been a mandate for Scotland to leave the UK since the 2014 referendum, which was warped by forms of gerrymandering including media distortions, political dishonesty and promises made by those who had no ability or intention to fulfil them. This may be acceptable in a corrupt parliament election where a cosmetic change of government is all that is at risk and which may change in a short time, but not for the long-time future of a country. I therefore agree with the letter from Bruce Moglia in which he writes “Dissolution of Treaty must come before any negotiations”.

Allow me to add for the record that since my youth in 1961 in Trafalgar Square I rejected nuclear weapons and war generally. I still do. I abhor modern colonialism and political mastery, whether by the UK in the British Isles, US and its friends in the Levant or the Russian proto-empire. Is it chance that there is a continuous analogy between the history of slavery and indigenous peoples in the US, the history of cultural suppression and clearances in the UK, the aggression towards the people once known as Cossacks in southern Ukraine and the Armenian minorities of that zone of influence, and lastly the so-called war in Gaza?

Iain WD Forde