Herald letter: Neil Oliver Is A Great Guy.

THE response of Scottish Nationalists to the appointment of Neil Oliver as president of the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) is as predictable as it is small-minded. As a long-time member of NTS, I find it hard to see a better ambassador than such an accomplished populariser of Scotland and its heritage.

I am sure that your readers will make their own minds up on some of his views which tend to challenge the self-satisfied nationalist stereotypes of victimhood and blameless historical passivity. However, they should also be informed that Neil Oliver has not referred to SNP and Yes voters as “cancerous” (as your correspondent Robert McCraw – Letters, October 4 – alleges.)

Catalonia: Statement By Party of European Socialists

Refers to position of both the Catalan Socialist Party and the Spanish Socialists. I share the positions of my European, Spanish and Catalan comrades.

Party of European Socialists president Sergei Stanishev commented on the current crisis in Catalonia: ‘By calling an illegal referendum, Catalonian nationalists have tried to bend the rule of law to their advantage. By hiding behind the police and the judiciary, the Spanish government is stretching Spain´s institutions, giving up on politics and feeding extremist positions on both camps’

PSOE and PSC Partit dels Socialistes de Catalunya have wisely warned both governments since long time that dialogue and negotiation is the only way to get out of this crisis. The PES fully supports their demand for negotiations in the framework of the Parliamentary Committee for the study of the territorial reform, recently approved in the Spanish Congress thanks to the initiative of the PSOE-PSC’.

“This shameful day of violence won’t be forgotten but the wounds left can be healed through a political process respectful of the constitution and democratic values”, Stanishev concluded.