THE BBC Scotland Debate Night Scotland Leaders Special on Tuesday was not a debate – it was a tedious, furious very badly handled brawl. The layout of the participants and the supposed chair did not help.

As usual, you had three Unionists all piling in on John Swinney and talking over him. Stephen Jardine has to be the worst adjudicator. He simply piled in as well but only to Swinney. We don’t want his opinions or extra points especially when it is obvious he is not unbiased.

The audience had lots of Labour plants – Labour MSPs knew their names. And what a rude remark from Anas Sarwar to say: “Read my lips.” This was not even challenged by Jardine.

“Read my lips, no austerity from Labour,” he screams but we will be keeping the two-child benefit cap, England will still have tuition fees and pay for prescriptions and no free personal care – all products of AUSTERITY in England and Labour have said they will stay.

Scotland has raised tax to mitigate some of these but Starmer will not. Sarwar has the nerve to say the future of Scotland is to be decided by the people of Scotland but we will not give you another referendum.

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He is a democracy denier just like the Tories. “The people of Scotland will decide, but we will not let them.”

Let’s remember Labour the last time in power – £1.5 billion sent back to Westminster. FM Jack McConnell could not think of anything Scotland needed (we did need new roads, hospitals, bridges), nothing, so he sent the money back.

And worst of all, Gordon Brown’s PFI which we are still paying for 17 years after Labour left office in Scotland.

They kept Scotland’s oil secret, they stole a huge area of our water so that Scotland’s GDP would look bad. Scotland be careful what you vote for – don’t be fooled again.

Then comes the B word Brexit – neither Labour nor the Tories are facing up to the damage done by leaving the EU and they are not prepared to do anything about it.

All in all an unedifying debate -– with Douglas Ross getting off scot-free and Sarwar buoyed up by a loaded audience.

Winifred McCartney


KEN Webb, in Tuesday’s Long Letter, sets out an economic case that rarely gets debated. Unfortunately, this is not the economics taught in universities over past recent decades, so the media and the vast majority of politicians, including those in Holyrood and the Scottish Government, turn their faces away from this alternative understanding, without ever explaining why they take that position (though it’s true that this route is not available to Scotland until we have our own currency).

It is amazing that the basic question of how a government, like the UK, which has control of its own currency, could fund all the services its population desires within the capacity of the resources available, is disregarded in this way.

All we are left with is austerity, and according to the Tories, taking more money off disabled folk. We’re brainwashed to thinking there’s no alternative, which is shocking, when you think about it.

Denigrate it by calling it a “magic money tree” if you like, but wonder how the UK can go to war without first raising taxes.

Roddie Macpherson

via email

WHAT I’ve noticed these last six months that seems to have crept up on us unannounced, is that we keep getting offered cuts in our national insurance contributions. Why is this happening you might ask?

Well, as a probable unintended consequence of the tax powers being devolved to Scotland no less, Rishi Sunak now knows that he can’t bribe Scots with an income tax cut as he knows full well that the Scottish Government would not necessarily pass on these cuts and indeed improve services with the savings.

So he has in effect snookered himself and his party and severely limited their options. Result!

Steve Cunningham


I SAID it in my last letter and repeat it now. If you are an independence supporter please, please, please think very carefully about who you vote for.

The only party with a realistic chance of getting pro independence MPs elected in a first-past-the-post electoral contest are the SNP. The time has now come for Rishi Sunak and his like to be shown the door, but Labour don’t need Scottish votes to get them out.

We do though, need to show those in Westminster that there is still strong support for independence in Scotland – and those in power there measure that in how many MPs we send there who are pro independence.

Once we are a normal independent country, then that is the time for you to support Alba, the Greens or any others that you favour. In this election, if needs be, cross your fingers, hold your nose but vote SNP.

Graham Smith


HEADLINE grabbing as it may be “wealth creation” as the star turn of Labour’s manifesto – sans any real shake up of a tax system that has benefited the wealthiest in society the most for decades now – brings anyone with a modicum of working critical faculty to one conclusion and one conclusion only regarding Sir Kier Starmer.

Like Liz Truss, the Labour leader believes in the oft-debunked unicorn “trickle-down economics”. Is this what Britain is ousting the Tories for?

Amanda Baker