AS I read The National’s letters pages, its independence content reads more and more like the ending of a Q8 sketch with Spike Milligan saying, “What are we going to do now?”, as it fizzles out and the players walk backwards out of shot.

Next year will be a critical one. The world teeters on the brink of another world war as the escalation in the Middle East takes on a momentum of its own and Russia looks for an out from its disastrous Ukraine War.

The recent air strikes by Russia in Syria reflect the continuing unrest and instability in that wrecked nation.

Lebanon teeters on the edge of bankruptcy as a result of issues never resolved after its civil war while Israel completes the destruction of any remaining sympathy for post-Holocaust Jewry across the world with its genocidal destruction of Gaza.

READ MORE: Leadership void must end for Israeli-Palestinian peace to advance

Throw in the tension between Saudi Arabia and Iran and their proxies in Iraq and Yemen and you have a powder keg just waiting for a spark. The “world leaders” are all caught in the headlights of their own pathetic ambitions and bias, stumbling around to meet their backers’ expectations, rather than doing what actually needs to be done.

The financial markets are undecided – 2024 could end up seeing the same fiscal collapse for the same reason in 2008, “bets” that turn out to have no real value and leave investors with billions of pounds of worthless trash investments as another bubble bursts.

Westminster is at its weakest in a generation.

Sinn Fein (top team below) are looking to force a vote on Irish reunification after the next UK election while our Scottish independence leaders sit on their hands, frit of acting without a Section 30 agreement, a Section 30 agreement which is never coming as England needs Scottish resources to keep its heavily indebted head above water.

The National: Sinn Fein top team

What will it take for someone in Scottish politics to say: “Thus far and no further with Westminster’s perfidy, time we were offski Scotland." Show some of the fire and guts currently missing from the “Weary Wullie” politics that depress me on a daily basis as the two sides, who should be working as one, continue to sneer and backbite at each other over past slights and perceived injustices, like a latter-day Council of Regents, all to the benefit of Westminster’s grandees.

To them I say, get your act together, clout heids ayont t’ ither. There is a far more important goal you need to focus on in 2024 – Scottish independence.

Peter Thomson

via email

FIRST he suggests postponing the drive for independence for 20 or 30 years, then Stephen Noon proposes putting SNP members in the undemocratic, unelected House of Lords despite the fact this goes against everything the party has stood for since its inception.

We should be removing our MPs from the Commons, not considering sticking some of them in the House of Horrors. Perhaps Stephen fancies a bit of ermine himself?

His analogy of the “independence plane” getting ready to land is frankly laughable. The thing hasn’t even taken off yet let alone flown. In fact, it’s still waiting at the terminal for enough passengers to get on board. The airline didn’t think it necessary to promote the attractions of the destination! Stephen talks about “setting direction and creating momentum”.

READ MORE: Stephen Noon: What we must do now to see independence done well 

Maybe he should look up the definition of momentum. A body must be moving first, before it can gain momentum!

Phrases such as “more independence rather than full independence” and “co-operation with the rest of the UK” just beggar belief. Westminster is enthusiastically reducing what minuscule independence we already have and won’t co-operate … ever.

There were so many ludicrous statements and mental images in his Christmas Eve column that at first I thought it had been penned by Lewis Carroll, but maybe that’s a bit unfair – Alice in Wonderland was more realistic! The title of Noon’s article should have been “Stephen in Cloud Cuckoo Land”.

A recent contributor to the letters page was quite right when he said that with Noon as chief strategist for the 2014 campaign, it’s no wonder we lost.

D Henderson


AS we approach the 10th anniversary of the independence referendum we also approach the 10th anniversary of the launch of The National. This single daily newspaper which represents the views of more than 50% of the population of Scotland who are dissatisfied with Westminster and support self-determination now also represents the views of around 75% of the population who wish closer relations with our European neighbours.

While the BBC and the rest of the mainstream media have continued to fail the people of Scotland, 24-hour news channels have been launched to further emphasise “good news” in England while promoting “bad news” in Scotland.

The gross imbalance of the UK mainstream media is now reflected across a range of TV channels, with currently only Channel 4 News approaching a semblance of political and constitutional reporting balance.

READ MORE: Scotland Office beggars belief to claim it has no record of staff numbers

In the same manner that the SNP Scottish Government should be exploiting every available avenue to make progress in areas where it will have full responsibility once independence is achieved, a new TV channel (eg “ScotNews”), emphasising “good news” stories in Scotland while still reporting any significant “bad news” in appropriate context, would be a huge step in advancing overall media balance.

Of course, the Scottish Government does not currently have control over broadcasting but is it possible an independent organisation, such as Newsquest which owns The Herald and The National, could be encouraged to step up to the mark?

Several million people in Scotland, along with many more in the rest of the UK and around the world, hope and pray that such an organisation would refuse to bow before the self-serving British establishment and will emulate the free spirit of Braveheart.

Stan Grodynski

Longniddry, East Lothian