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Faith in Holyrood decisions failing, The Press and Journal, K Fernie, 27/11/20.

I see the Scottish Parliament’s justice committee is pondering what to do with the Hate Crime Bill. Hopefully, the committee will have more up top than the MSPs who put the anti-smacking bill on the statute books a couple of weeks ago. Holyrood invited public opinion on both these bills. Many people responded, myself included, but in the case of the anti-smacking bill not a blind bit of notice was taken of widespread opposition. It’s wholly on the cards that the same thing could happen with the Hate Crime Bill, the committee riding roughshod over every plea for sanity, commonsense, and most important of all the preservation of free speech. Why they have to meddle with satisfactory existing legislation is anyone’s guess. lb add to the nonsense, Holyrood has newly declared itself party to an arrangement which will allow droves of people from the highest Covid tiers in the country to stravaig willy-nilly across the UK over the Christmas period. I fear the Scottish Government has lost its marbles entirely. Keith Fernie, Drakies Avenue, Inverness


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What are the SNP hiding from us?, Press and Journal, Simon Turner, 28/11/20.

Sir, – Your columnist Alex Bell rightly highlighted the secretive culture in the SNP government and the need for the public to challenge that secretive culture (Press and Journal, November 26). The SNP have been defeated in the Scottish Parliament for a second time regarding the legal advice they received for the so-called Alex Salmond inquiry. The ability the SNP has to defy our parliament is neither healthy nor acceptable in a democracy. My own MSP Kevin Stewart has voted twice with his party rather than in his constituents’ interests to ensure the truth comes out about what the Scottish Government knew or did not know about Alex Salmond’s behaviour in government. Many will remember when the UK Government was beaten on a vote in the Commons over handing over the Brexit legal advice, the UK Government handed over the necessary documentation the next day. This peculiar stance adopted by the SNP and SNP MSPs makes me – and I am positive many other Press and Journal readers – wonder what it is that the SNP Scottish Government are trying to hide from the public in the run-up to the 2021 Scottish elections? Alex Bell is right; we the public need to challenge the SNP’s secretive culture, especially when they govern in our name. Simon Turner, Salisbury Court, Aberdeen


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Give us the facts, The Scotsman, D Cowe, 28/11/20.

Give us the facts To placate their following, SNP politicians are calling fora referendum next year. Can these politicians please have the courtesy to inform “the people of Scotland” in detail what the social, economic, financial and military implications of an independent Scotland will be? None of them appear to be willing to address these issues. It is clear that those who want independence tomorrow have no concern for the real implications of separation and are driven only by the emotion of some sort of “free-dom” from Westminster, and xenophobia. They might also want to explain what is free and independent of the dream of being shackled to Brussels and the cost of EU membership. Andrew Wilson seems to be the only separatist who comes close to realistically addressing the implications, but of course, he is ridiculed by fellow believers. DOUGLAS COWE, Alexander Avenue, Newmachar, Aberdeenshire


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