writes well on Nicola Sturgeon as the 'saviour of Scotland' but Ms Sturgeon may see herself as even bigger than that.
Her Christmas card for 2015 – created by Mairi Hedderwick – depicts herself as welcoming refugee children from around the world to her official residence. As with traditional Hollywood representations of Christ, her face is obscured. Her pose – legs and arms akimbo – is an odd echo of the saltire. Scotland, personified by its Dear Leader, is opening its arms to the oppressed children of the world, while Katie Morag dashes in with a box emblazoned with the saltire.
What does all this say about Nicola Sturgeon? Well, she must have sat down and signed the cards bearing this remarkable image, so it surely says something about how she sees herself. It is difficult to imagine another Western leader sending out such an image without attracting howls of derision from political commentators, artists and writers – but not in Scotland. Here, our Dear Leader sends out the cards, and no one is laughing. Satire is truly dead in Scotland.
The card for 2016 depicted Ms Sturgeon with Oor Wullie – a cartoon image of how many in Scotland like to see ourselves as we think we are. The 2017 card should be a recognition of how Holy Willie flourishes in Scottish life, as never before. I suggest art by John Byrne, words by Tom Leonard.
's article was well written and well reasoned save for his point that it would be a mistake to vote for independence without any certainty that Scotland would obtain membership of the EU. Having outlined the farago (why does my spellchecker want to replace farago with Farage?) that is Brexit and the future with this right-wing cabal, it seems to me that membership of the EU isn't necessarily our greatest concern.
I wholly support EU membership and I would be both surprised and greatly disappointed if our paths diverge. Nonetheless I am more and more of the opinion that obtaining our independence away from Westminster is increasingly more important for our future well-being, both morally and economically. Within or without the EU, an independent Scotland will face some challenging years ahead. But it is better that we take responsibility for our own decisions and have a government which cannot simply ignore the wishes of the majority of the Scottish electorate – at any time or on any issue.
It might conceivably have been fair of Kenneth Roy
to note the list of Bills currently before the Scottish parliament. Not all of them are exciting for the average voter, but that's what law-making often is: keeping the law up-to-date, useful and usable. In particular, the Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee (DPLRC) does a lot of work on subordinate legislation, and that should be added to the enumeration of law-making activity too. Finally, the bankruptcy consolidation included a major reform that had been enacted the year before, the whole exercise being the outcome of years of effort by your neighbour in Kilwinning, the Accountant in Bankruptcy, and the Scottish Law Commission. Legislation is sometimes boring because it has been very well prepared before it gets to parliament at all.
Every year since 2012 there has been a Russian literary conference in Moffat held in partnership with the State Library for Foreign Literature and the Institute for Translation, both based in Moscow. The theme of our sixth conference this year (20-22 October) is: 'The art and literature of the 1905 and 1917 revolutions'. Two of the Russian participants are novelists who have written 'what if...' books i.e. 'what if...things had turned out differently'. The organisers of the conference would very much like to have info about any Scottish authors who have treated historical events in a similar way. Can any of your readers help?