SO, can someone please tell me at what point morality became just so passé, man! Being dragged along to Sunday school back in the 1960s by my dear old mum and dad, I’m afraid all that stuff about the scriptures just went ower ma innocent wee heid. However, even at the age of five or six, the concept of morality provided by the Church of Scotland minister in Jedburgh did sink into my brain. Let’s face it, it’s not a difficult concept to grasp, even for wee bairns! For example, the term “tell the truth and shame the devil” was imprinted on my brain at an early age.

Unfortunately, it looks like the high-heid yins at the Post Office and Fujitsu didn’t attend Sunday school and didn’t know the meaning of that term, or more likely, didn’t give a damn! A big slap on the wrist for their mums and dads, that’s all I can say! Hang on, I’ve just realised the Post Office heid honcho Paula Vennells is an Anglican priest, no less!

Well, I know what the Church of Scotland’s definition of “telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but” is, from my youth, and I can assure you the art of perfecting evasion definitely isn’t a get-out clause within it. If Paula Vennells hasn’t been guilty of at least evasion, then I’m a duck! Maybe the Church of England has a slightly more relaxed view of morals but I seriously doubt it.

It’s not just the Post Office and Fujitsu though. Immorality runs deep in Tory England! We also had the Windrush scandal and certain polis forces being blatantly racist, misogynistic, homophobic, transphobic and well, generally not nice chaps to say the least!

We had – at the height of one of the worst pandemics to hit the world in the last 100 years or so – PPE contracts being awarded to pals of the UK Government (allegedly – aye right!) at the expense of proven, experienced suppliers. Of course, there was partygate around that time too.

Then there was the much-forgotten banking scandal whereby some bankers totally screwed up the world’s financial system, which was effectively resolved by inflicting pain on the least well-off in society. Were any bankers locked up behind bars or had personal wealth taken from them as a punishment? Naw, dinnae be silly! The law of the land is intended to keep the little people in line, even when they have done nothing wrong – like those Post Office workers!

Then there is Gaza. At a time when it is estimated that more than 10,000 Palestinian bairns have been killed, what is the priority of the US, the UK and some other countries in the West? Well, urgent military action, to ensure shipping in the Red Sea related to Western economic interests, doesn’t have to be subject to a massive diversion due to Houthi attacks. Ten thousand Palestinian bairns versus Western economic interests? Nae competition! Absolutely disgusting immorality!

Where is there some solace from this grotesque and depressing climate of immorality? Well, SNP and Scottish Greens politicians have regularly made arguments related to a wide range of topics that most definitely include the moral aspect. The Tories are morally bankrupt – as are Labour under the Starmer regime. Yet another reason for anyone thinking of deserting the SNP for Labour tae think again! Aye, ye cannae gaun wrong wi telling the truth and shaming the Deil!

Ivor Telfer

Dalgety Bay, Fife

LABOUR’S Ian Murray prefers to talk down Scottish education rather than highlight his and Michael Shanks’s vote in the UK Parliament against their own country’s having the right to

self-determination. A photo of the two Anglo-Scots bowing their heads to their colonial masters screams volumes about their treachery.

Murray and Shanks are willing accomplices in the continued political and economic domination of Scotland by England. They warm their backsides on the green benches while whispering weasel words to their constituents that English LINO (Labour In Name Only) will look after Scottish interests.

Meanwhile, shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves is living it up at Davos, guzzling champagne with billionaires and bankers like Silicon Valley’s Sriram Krishnan and JP Morgan Chase, no doubt promising these disaster capitalist vultures open access to what’s left of Scotland’s land and resources. She pontificates that “the lifeblood of economic growth is private sector investment” while dismissing the public sector as a drain and denying it any critical investment.

In reality, it’s global financial capitalism that’s sucking the lifeblood of the economy. There’s no public service left to flog but the NHS which the Tories have nearly bled dry, readying it for private companies to swoop in and put it out of its misery. Wes Streeting can’t wait since his corporate donors will expect quick payback.

A question for Murray and Shanks. With Reeves’s ironclad “fiscal rules”, code for austerity, where will they get all this shiny new money for Scotland’s public services that they love to deride? Answers on the back of a £1.25 (and rising) private postage stamp, please.

Leah Gunn Barrett


I CAMPAIGN for independence with no affiliation to any party in Scotland. I know other folk who are in parties and groups who share the pro-independence ideals, yet I note how often they disagree with one another on issues of policy, despite lacking the power it takes to put said policies into practice.

I hear some say that an independent Scotland should rejoin the EU, or not rejoin, according to those who say that EU rule is just as negative for Scotland as Westminster. I disagree – a newly independent Scotland would not suffer from trading with a huge friendly neighbour. I also think EU law is more person-focused than current UK law, particularly when Westminster has the power to overrule Holyrood’s elected politicians’ rulings, to attempt to put right injustices or inequality in Scotland.

Three hundred years of the Union has created a lot of good, while also undermining the status of Scotland as anything like an “equal” partner. It is a hard truth to accept that England is regarded (certainly in Westminster) as the most influential and wealthiest part of the one-sided Union,

Unionists might try to justify their own view, yet I know from experience that most of them will not even try to explain why they stay in a Union that has politically done many things to cause loss of faith in Unionists. From the Labour plan to not reveal the value of oil wealth to Scotland to the printed verbatim account from the daily meetings at Westminster to the 2014 misleading nonsense regarding currency and “extra” powers for Scotland as a “reward” for the No vote, any attempts to coddle Scotland are now seen as cons to ensure the Unionist parties can remain on their private gravy train paid for by taxpayers who enjoy no such luxury as those who allegedly “serve”.

Now the circle is closing as millions in the unequal Union start to see it exposing itself for what it is. UK history is littered with folk being told lies and justice being played with to cover political travesties. I say to all, if you really want genuine change, start with returning power to Scotland.

Trevor Swistchew


I READ with unwavering interest and increasing irritation the excellent but sadly not surprising Ferret article in the Sunday National.

I learned, from the article, that a wummin called Nicola Gordon is a director of Sepa. She also is a director of a Norwegian North Sea oil drilling company. Greed, corruption, conflict of interest – any or all of the above? Do we have to petition for her to resign too?

The article goes on to suggest that Sepa is riddled with such conflicts and thereby raises doubts about the body’s independence and fitness for purpose. None of these failings appear to have been addressed at any level.

These disclosures and concerns – also expressed anent the appointment of the new chair of Scottish Water – pile on the agonies which came to public notice in the Post Office Scandal.

We are weel and truly in the realm of the Augean Stables and the clean-out is overdue. But where is Hercules?

Elsewhere, it is reported that Theresa May and senior civil servants insisted on Paula Vennells being awarded a CBE for services to the Post Office. It has been pointed out that too that May is active in the CoE and Vennells was too as a CoE priest. Heaven forfend that organised religion might have had an influence on the award of honours.

Was it not suggested that May was somewhat culpable for the Windrush scandal too?

I hope there is not a connection but the UK Government is taking powers to permit the DWP without warrant to access the bank accounts of state pensioners. Mel Stride, the minister responsible, stated that only accounts where there are sufficient grounds for suspecting fraud will be accessed. It seems the DWP uses computer systems supplied by Fujitsu. Are the savings of state pensioners secure with the banks they have trusted with their money and guaranteed that they will not be doctored to support false allegations? It would also seem that the banks have acquiesced in what could be unjustified breaches of privacy and confidentiality by not raising any objection to third-party access to customer accounts.

All very concerning. Anither Fujitsu tsunami on the Horizon?

Melvyn Gibson

via email

IN Thursday’s National, Michael Collie declares in his letter that Scotland is not rich. Hmmm, he might consider that:

With just 8.3% of the UK’s population, (remember this number), Scotland has:

- 32% of the land area

- 61% of the sea area

- 90% of the fresh water

- 65% of the natural gas production

- 96% of the crude oil production

- 47% of the opencast coal production

- 81% of the untapped coal reserves

- 62% of the timber production

- 46% of the total forest area

- 92% of the hydroelectric production

- 40% of the wind, wave and solar energy production

- 10% of the pig herd

- 60% of fish landings

- 30% of the beef herd

- 20% of the sheep herd

- 15% of the cereal holdings

- 20% of the potato holdings

- 100% of the Scottish whisky production

- 70% of the gin production.

In addition, we have:

- £17 billion construction industry

- £13bn food and drink industry

- £10bn business services industry

- £9.3bn chemical services industry

- £9.3bn tourism industry

- £7bn financial services industry

- £5bn aerospace service industry

- £4.5bn whisky export industry

- £3.1bn life sciences industry

- £350 million in textile exports

- Scotland has opened its first goldmine

- The fourth-largest financial services in Europe, worth more than £1 trillion

- £10bn maritime industry

- £1.5tn in oil and gas reserves

- And we have the best-educated workforce in Europe, with 45% educated to degree level or more

Given this information, perhaps Mr Collie might like to reassess his views about our country. If indeed Scotland was poor, the Westminster government wouldn’t be moving heaven and earth to retain its hold over our true wealth.

Tony Perridge


ANENT George Kerevan’s Monday article praising Lord Harold Wilson for at least keeping the United Queendome out of the Vietnam war. He did so only to avoid yet another split in the ranks at Labour’s ever evolving rightwards policies. Lord Wilson sent the Troops IN to defend their partition of Ireland in 1969. Tony Benn Signed the PTA to make Wilson the worst offender of Human rights in Europe. Wilson also sold Frigates to the Chilean fascist dictator at the height of all his atrocities. Benn, as Minister of Technology, for Wilson’s “White Hot technological Revolution” ratted on his ECND posing to create more nuclear plants than the official Tories. Wilson also invaded British Guyana, with the US’s approval.

Labour was caught on the hop at the Orange judiciary’s heavy-handed approach to Irish Civil Rights marchers, who were emulating President Kennedy’s alleged support. At first, the troops were met by cups of tea from the Irish Republicans and then bullets, as the support for the partition became more obvious. The IRA spring from being a joke to prominence after the Bloody Sunday masssacre, which still being “investigated”, whitewashed and waffled. The whole world knows of Britain’s guilt. Wilson’s Cabinet were expecting civil disturbance to happen in Scotland, as he ordered the North Sea to be hounded as quickly as possible before the Scotland gained Independence. The Unions obliged with poorer wages, conditions, pension, and health and safety than the Norwegian and Mexican Unions and Governments. Lord Callaghan, at the time, said he was more worried at the seats where the SNP came second, gaining the largest overall number of votes. All of Scotland’s regional police forces were put on alert with Helicopter’s, pillar boxes and bushes, etc, following suspects with massive surveillance operations. Even Jailing and holding Scottish republicans under their PTA laws, that allowed suspects to be held for 48, plus another five days extension, with permission from the Scottish Office. The expensive and ruinous and abandoned Regionalisation was meant to “bring Government closer to the people”, without the need for Independence. I know, because I was a victim of these laws and harassment. You would not believe the lengths they went to in Scotland. at the time. They seem to think they are safer now and have split the movement asunder.

Labour stood and cheered in the House at the News of James Connolly’s judicial murder, in 1916, whilst wounded and strapped to a chair and supported the division of Ireland; India, Palestine, Korea and Vietnam. Their Zero Per Cent Pay Freeze was policed by the Tame Unions, including MI5 tout, Joe Gormley. Brother Baron Lord Cooper, boss of the Municipal Union, who policed the Freeze along with the Union’s Donat Brothers of Dundee. I was a shop steward during the Pilkington six-week “unofficial” strike, in Possilpark, Glasgow. The factory was moved to England with a grant from the Labour Government and the English shop stewards replied to our solidarity appeal with, “Every man for himself Jock”. Lord Pilkington was given his Peerage by Lord Wilson and his glass monopoly, exonerated in Wilson’s fake “Monopolies Commission”. The independent Scottish Trade Unions were “amalgamated” and closed down in Scotland, apart from the separate Teaching Unions under separate Education Laws. The older Scottish Cooperative Wholesale Sociaties, that owned farms, factories and services were massively asset stripped and taken over by the English Coop, all under Lords Wilson and Callaghan’s watch.

Lord “Gorbals Mick” Marshall, Speaker of the Hoose, etc, was the Union rep across the road from Pilkington in Possil’s Denmark St GKN nuts and bolts factory. He kept his workers in during the Winter of Discontent and was given his reward and Peerage, etc, in Labour Heaven. His Son Paul Martin, “inherited” his Springburn seat and attacked the SNP MSP, for being invited to speak at the annual John Maclean rally, which the Brit left Labour backers never attend. Labour is already reverting to type, after their glorious Rutherglen victory. Memoires are short. Labour must never be allowed power back in Scotland again.

Donald Anderson


IT was very heartening to hear of the progress of Douglas Chapman MSP’s campaign to get the Rosyth/Dunkirk ferry link set up. It would be important for voters at the next election to see a new working transport link that had been supported by the Scottish Government. It would be viewed with great enthusiasm by export organisations, farmers, fishing organisations and all who promote tourism at every level.

Everyone in Scotland who wanted to continue with our European links would see this as a concrete step towards this.

It is urgent to develop our Scottish economy in every way we can. This is a very positive way to do it!

Maggie Chetty