Readers Letters: It’s time to demand true Scottish democracy

After enduring Kwasi Kwarteng's supercilious and smirking arrogance in his representations to the media, are we allowed to take some comfort in his being scapegoated and sacked as Chancellor of the Exchequer by the very leader whose flawed ideology he supported, and whom he prostrated himself to and hung his now defunct political credibility and career on?

Former Chancellor of the Exchequer Kwasi Kwarteng and current Prime Minister Liz Truss were political allies for years (Picture: Leon Neal/Getty Images)
Former Chancellor of the Exchequer Kwasi Kwarteng and current Prime Minister Liz Truss were political allies for years (Picture: Leon Neal/Getty Images)

This latest Downing Street musical chairs shambles is like Vladimir Putin trying to rehabilitate himself in the eyes of the international community by claiming the war crimes he's perpetrating in Ukraine were not down to him, and hanging some inconsequential itinerant general out to dry to absorb culpability and take one for the team.

Isn't the shambles of Westminster government a political disgrace, as well as being an economics disaster?

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Broadcaster Jeremy Vine has been live streaming a lettuce after a Twitter poll showed 82 per cent of respondents reckoned a shop-bought lettuce would last longer than Liz Truss as Prime Minister. Who really doubts it? Shouldn't we support the lettuce?

Watching Truss's performance between her PMQs and Friday's press statement her only response is that she has delivered her “solution” to the energy crisis by capping average bills at £2,500 per annum, ignoring the simple fact that this is still 100 per cent more than this time last year, and still woefully unaffordable for those on low incomes, basic pensions and benefit dependent.

Is anyone happy to accept this as the panacea to end all panaceas and forget the crippling increase in mortgage rates that threaten homelessness for millions, the exponential rise in food prices exacerbating poverty, the threats to incomes from loss of employment as the economy shrinks, and the salient truth that the markets have no faith in her policies and leadership of the sixth biggest economy in the world?

So now Truss has appointed as Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, who we all remember for his flawed stewardship as Health Secretary, and who was deemed to be of such high calibre for cabinet office that Truss failed to appoint him to Cabinet office when she arrived blinded by the headlights at No 10.

So, what's changed? Chuck Kwasi under the bus for delivering the policies she instructed him to pursue and bring in a replacement yes man languishing in the hinterland of Tory party influence. Doesn't this display the paucity of talent in the Conservative party; Truss's desperation to retain her position come what may?

While no one relishes it, the democratic imperative is for the electorate to decide the way forward. We need a general election without delay to right the wrongs of this corrupt Tory party bereft of any competent ideas on how to manage the economy and act in the interests of the entire electorate.

None of this surprises me. My only concern is, when are Scots going to get angry enough to demand that we determine our own future through being the independent nation that history says we should be. Contemporary shenanigans demonstrate that our only hope for social and political justice rests with a Holyrood in full control of the mechanics of independent nationhood.

Isn't it time to get angry and protest for Scottish democracy, and demand it?

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Jim Taylor, Edinburgh

Call a poll

PM sacks her Chancellor after only 38 days! A situation that calls into questions the PM’s own situation, as Liz Truss was fully behind Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-budget. A mini-budget that has subsequently plunged the housing market into turmoil, seen financial markets sinking rapidly, the cost of living crisis worsening and pensions in freefall – our economy has crashed amidst the complete incompetence of the Westminster Government. The International Monetary Fund has alarm bells ringing over the mini-budget. We have witnessed two U-turns since that “fiscal event” 21 days ago.

So, how on earth is the PM still dwelling in No.10? Ms Truss, despite having the backing of the Conservative members, has no backing from her own backbenchers, telling a very clear story. The time has come, the country simply cannot afford to go on with this immoral and incompetent Government any longer, it is time to let the people decide through an urgent general election.

Catriona C Clark, Banknock, Falkirk

Who decides?

With a fourth chancellor in as many months, an awkward and at times terrified-looking Prime Minister held a short, unbelievably bad, press conference. In a recent Commons pronouncement PM Liz Truss urged “growth, growth, growth” but neglected to say how it could be achieved. She ignored the cost of living crisis, including massive mortgage costs and the reality of climate change. As the economy crashed, confidence at home and abroad evaporated.

Liz Truss, in not only attacking political rivals along with environmental campaigners, trade unions and think tanks, disregards the democratic process. Furthermore, in totally ignoring the First Minister of Scotland this UK PM is seriously undermining her “precious” Union. She is simply not up to the job as the UK slips into a winter of discontent. She may be worse than Boris Johnson and at least he had some craic!

In truth, within this voluntary union, who really decides Scotland’s future? Is it the people of Scotland through their elected representatives or a dysfunctional Westminster Government and Prime Minister we did not vote for?

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Grant Frazer, Newtonmore, Highland

Charge us more

The Scotsman is alarmed at mortgage interest rates rising to six per cent (Leader, 15 October).To finance the building of my house in 1965 I borrowed the amount I required at a fixed rate 5-6 per cent, about the bank rate at the time. I only had to pay the interest as the loan was covered by an insurance policy. But I thought nothing of paying that amount.In his recent book The Price of Time, The Real Story of Interest, Edward Chancellor covers the history of interest and points out how very low rates are unusual and can be a sign of economic problems. In ancient Greece, the rate was 20 per cent. We need to get used to higher rates, which actually encourage lending. Who wants to lend money when there is little or no return?

Steuart Campbell, Edinburgh

Why I believe

In Perspective, Brian Wilson continues his SNP bashing (The Scotsman, 15 October). If he wants Nationalists to change their political views, he is going the wrong way about it. The reason I, as a Scot, choose to support Scottish self-government is because I want to live in a country where the views of the majority are heard and respected. I also want the country to be governed by a legislature that acts upon the wishes of the people of Scotland. I want to live in a Union with all other nations that form a Great Britain where we work together as equals.

As it is, I live in a Scotland which is governed by a legislature where the Scots have little voice and no influence. This parliament is dominated by a partner in the Union that is so big that all other voices are drowned out. The Prime Minister can choose to ignore Scotland’s First Minister. MPs at Westminster can choose to ignore Scottish MPs because they dislike their politics. All of this disregards the democratic will of the Scottish people. The fact is that our government does not want to hear what we have to say!

My ideal of an independent Scotland is far more important than Nicola Sturgeon or the SNP or Liz Truss. It is about democracy.

Now, Brian Wilson, I have explained why I am a Nationalist. Why are you a Unionist? Convince me that I am wrong. That might be far more productive than constant SNP bashing. I could engage in Tory, Labour or Lib Dem bashing, but that would not be constructive.

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Angus Shaw, Cupar, Fife

No Oil Month

I see that October is Black History Month; in other countries it is also LGBT History Month and National Arts and Humanities Month. Can I suggest that we have a No Oil Month?

For one month there would be no production, refining, buying, selling or transporting of oil. Petrol stations could close for a month and oil-related workers could take leave. At the end we could have a referendum as to whether the people support leaving fossil fuel in the ground.

Geoff Moore, Alness, Highland

The last post?

In a delivery market that has more than doubled since 2019, it is incredible that Royal Mail is losing money and seeking to reduce staff (your report, 14 October). Although this fine postal service has suffered from not charging enough in the past, its letter delivery business has at the same time been protected from private deliverers by legislation preventing them from charging less than £1 per item.

At the same time, Parcelforce has had a competitive advantage by not having to charge VAT, making its prices 20 per cent cheaper for those unable to reclaim it.

The conclusion is that management failure to grasp market opportunities is the reason for its problems, plus inflexible working hours for delivery staff.

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A simple realignment of priorities and working practices in a changed market would restore the position and save this huge national asset from strikes and failure.

Malcolm Parkin, Kinnesswood, Perth & Kinross

Good raisins

I was interested to see a letter reference a berry that was new to me – the “raisin d’etre” (14 October). It sounds as if it might well be another fruit we should be adding to our five-a-day for a healthy life and it would be good to know where it may be found.

S Beck, Edinburgh

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