WE have friends just landed from Melbourne, Australia this weekend and on Sunday afternoon, as I was making them some lunch, they asked if they could put the telly on and catch up with what’s happening in Scotland.

I said of course, and put on the TV menu for them. I cannot say exactly what came out of their mouths when they were confronted with a choice of: The Seven Wonders of the Commonwealth, or The Queen's Favourite Animals, followed by Crufts or Inside The Tower of London, followed by Henry VIII.

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They both said they could understand a lot more now why Scotland is so desperate to break away, saying – and these are their exact words – “not content with nicking all your oil and gas to steady their sinking Brexit ship, they are now brainwashing you too. Jeez, fella, if they tried this back in Oz there would be rioting in the streets.”

They certainly have a point, and said they can’t wait to let Scots over in Oz know just had bad it really is here with state control. Me, I am thinking it would be very interesting to see the Scottish viewing figures for this absolute drivel being served up to us on a Sunday afternoon.

We simply have to leave, and leave now, whatever way we have to do it, whether it’s through Salvo or denying the crooked authorities down south and informing them we are having a vote and if they won’t sanction it, we simply have to take it above their heads. We owe it to our children, as no more generations should have to put up with this absolutely preposterous situation, as a) it’s not the Middle Ages, and b) we cannot bear another moment of having foreign governments ruling our lives, ones we simply NEVER vote for. The last time I looked this hugely unhappy set of islands, excepting Ireland who prosper, could not be more broken or unhappy as the latest research should only one place on earth was unhappier. So what is happening to Scotland’s huge resources, which should be the key to our prosperity?

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Any vote would be a landslide – we know it, they know and the whole world knows it – so hopefully Scotland will elect a real leader as it can’t happen a moment too soon. The best brains in the Yes movement need to all gather together under a new banner. It’s really not rocket science.

Anyway, I must go or will miss the end of The Queen’s Favourite Animals, and don’t want to miss that or I will be jealous of the 13 people in Scotland who are watching it.

Iain K

I LIKED your article in the Friday edition that highlighted pioneering women from the nationalist movement (In fine voice: women of the indy movement). I appreciate you said the list was not exhaustive, but may I add three you did not mention?

Wilhelmina Campbell. Later known as Elma Gibson, in 1928 she was a founder member of the National Party of Scotland (NPS). Three years later in the Glasgow St Rollox constituency she became the first nationalist to save a deposit in Glasgow. The only other NPS candidates who saved deposits in the 1931 General Election were John MacCormick and Oliver Brown.

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Isobel Lindsay. The SNP achieved a breakthrough in council elections in 1968 which included a total of 13 councillors elected in Glasgow. Isobel was the only woman and received publicity from the Glasgow Herald for becoming the youngest Glasgow councillor. Isobel went on to be both a parliamentary candidate and a national office-bearer for the SNP. In 1984 there was an all-women contest for deputy leader which Isobel lost by the respectable margin of 60-40 to Margaret Ewing. Isobel has also been a long-term participant in the campaign for nuclear disarmament.

Roseanna Cunningham. She was the victor of the Perth and Kinross by-election in 1995 and two years later made history by becoming the first ever SNP by-election winner to retain the seat in a General Election. Like Margo MacDonald and Margaret Ewing before her, she went on to become deputy leader of the party, a position she held for four years. An MSP from 1999 by the time Roseanna retired at the Scottish Parliament election of 2021 she had become the longest-still-serving parliamentarian in Scotland.

Let us hope similarly inspiring women continue to emerge.

Ewen Cameron

A RECENT report stated that the UK "plant" within the IRA, Freddie Scappaticci, caused more deaths than he prevented. He was given the power to murder in order to safeguard the UK's interests in Northern Ireland. The UK's use of spies, and their willingness to undertake the most heinous of crimes in order to safeguard the unity of this "precious union", goes back hundreds of years and even involved the author Daniel Defoe in the 18th century.

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Northern Ireland isn't a country rich in oil, gas and renewables and doesn't have the UK's nuclear weapons stored beside its largest city. Isn't it wonderful that the UK's security services were not involved in the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, in which all of these priceless assets would have been an irreplaceable loss to Westminster had the Yes vote won?

Alasdair Forbes
Farr, Inverness-shire