AS an elector in now my 70s, I will again be voting for Scottish independence.

The Tories say a defeat for the SNP would deal a fatal blow to Scottish independence while Labour take a similar line by quoting pollsters that claim SNP would lose votes by going too strong on independence.

The Tories were wiped out once before in Scotland. It’s time to deal them a fatal blow and wipe them out again. With Tory Brexit, how many fishermen, farmers or businesses have got the promise of greater freedom to trade? They can’t even trade with Northern Ireland without a mountain of paperwork.

The Unionist parties seem to coordinate their attacks on the SNP as they fear a strong opposition. You only have to look at their Scottish billboard advertising so far, where you can see the Union flags plastered across them. The billboards seem to be saying: “Do as you’re told” .

The fact that Labour especially should use the Union flag tells me that they will ditch their principles in a heartbeat to gain power. How many old red-flag socialists will see this as a final betrayal? Labour cannot be trusted to keep any promise it will make in its manifesto.

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I believe the SNP should be more forceful to independence. They should declare that a vote for the SNP will be a vote for independence and not a vote for a referendum on independence.

If the majority of constituencies elect a candidate whose stated aim is independence and Westminster refuses to accept that the Scottish electorate do not wish to be governed by Westminster, a unilateral declaration of independence (UDI) should be made.

The UK General Election is an election for the people to decide by whom they wish to be governed. If a majority of constituencies in Scotland elect independence candidates, they are saying that they do not want Westminster to govern Scotland. There would be no need for a referendum, as the election has been called by the Westminster Parliament to decide the issue of who governs under the election under Westminster rules. A Section 30 order does not apply, as the Scottish Government is not a participant in this particular procedure.

The main Unionist parties pick points with the SNP, their oft-quote being the SNP’s only interest is independence and they “should get on with their day job”.

Over the last two years, there have been many dispute strikes in the English public services, Nurses, doctors, local authorities, National Rail, etc. The only response from the UK Government has been to label them as agitators and other derisory terms for simply trying to get decent wages and conditions, Even the opposition, the Labour Party, have sometimes joined in with this rhetoric.

The National: Conservative Party Conference

In Scotland, there has been little disruption. The Scottish Government has negotiated terms and avoid many strikes. Do the workers, nurses, doctors, Scot-rail workers, local authority workers or their unions believe they should have had a better deal? The answer is yes – but the difference is, as an example, when the junior doctors rejected an offer from the Scottish Government, the Scottish minister said she was disappointed but would sit down the next day with their representatives to see if they could work something out.

In all cases, the disputes were settled because the unions or representatives and the Scottish Government negotiated in “good faith”. Can you find any problems with the Scottish Governments handling of these services? Of course we can, but compared to the utter chaos services are under in England, these negotiations are diplomatic. There is no faith – good or otherwise – between unions or workers representatives and the UK Government.

I could list all the advantages that Scots have over the English public which are vilified by both Tory and Labour, but here are just a few. Free bus travel for over 60s and under 22s; free prescriptions; no tuition fees; extra child payments; no bridge tolls; free personal care for the elderly; free child places for nursery children from the age of three; local train service in public control; water and sewage under public control without domestic water meters paid along with Council Tax in an annual combined bill and many more.

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All under the SNP’s watch. These are examples of the SNP Scottish Government getting on with the day job with Scotland and the people their only interest.

What will Scottish Labour voters be voting for just to put Keir Starmer into 10 Downing Street? Then what? Will Labour MPs from Scotland, even in opposition, vote down a Scottish agenda, which their own party MSPs have supported in the Scottish Parliament only for their Westminster MPs to be lobby fodder for Starmer? The party leader who doesn’t care about Scotland, only the votes that might give him the keys to “Number 10”?

It matters not whether it’s Sunak or Starmer, Scotland will still be dancing to a Westminster tune.

It should be noted that in the General Election of 2015, the SNP gained 56 out of 59 constituencies in Scotland. Let’s make it 57 out of 57 in 2024.

A Kerr


THE most positive message I have heard from the party leaders in the first week of the election campaign came in the form of a call from SNP leader John Swinney for an “emergency budget” to be a priority. An emergency budget is necessary for so many reasons – not least to address the cost of living crisis, the continual rise in foodbank use and the levels of child poverty.

Rishi Sunak would have us all believe inflation is coming down and the economy is in recovery. Tell that to those volunteers at local foodbanks. The country needs a new direction, and the direction of Sir Keir Starmer regarding the suitability of Dianne Abbot to stand under a Labour banner has been despicable, as has Mr Starmer’s commitment to Conservative austerity. Scotland has the opportunity on July 4 to take us on a new direction. Will the voters grasp the nettle ?

Catriona C Clark